Statehood: May 29, 1848
Nickname: The Badger State
Thousands of years ago, most of Wisconsin was visited by glaciers, scraping the tops off hills, leaving rich earth deposits and leaving a land of beautiful lakes (15,000 of them) resting in fertile plains and valleys arranged between rolling hills and ridges. This state can be divided into five geographical land areas; the Lake Superior Lowland, the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands (Great Lakes Plains), the Northern Highland, or Superior Upland, the Central Plain and the Western Upland.
Lake Superior Lowland: In northern Wisconisin, the Lake Superior Lowland slopes gradually upwards toward the south from the shores of Lake Superior. This small area of flat plain extends about 5 to 20 miles inland.
Northern Highland: Most of northern Wisconsin is characterized by Northern Highland geography. This area, lying south of the Lake Superior Lowland, expands into about 1/3 of the sate. The Norther Highland reaches its highest elevations in the north, sloping downward to the south. The Northern Highland supports hundreds of small lakes and heavily forested hills. Timms Hill, the highest point in Wisconsin, is located in the Northern Highland.
Central Plain: South of the Northern Highland and curving across the central part of the state is an area of Central Plain. In the southern portion of the Central Plain, the Wisconsin River has carved the beautiful scenic gorge, Wisconsin Dells. This is an area of buttes and mesas; an unexpected landscape for central Wisconsin.
Eastern Ridges and Lowlands: To the east of the Central Plain, the gently rolling hills of the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands area extends from Green Bay south to Illinios. This is the richest agricultural region of Wisconsin where ice-age glaciers deposited earth over limestone ridges.
Western Upland: To the west of the Central Plain the Western Upland is characterized by limestone and sandstone bluffs along the Mississippi River. The Western Upland extends along the Mississippi River to the border of Illinios. The southwestern portion of the Western Upland was not touched by glaciers and is an area that supports steeply sloped ravines and winding ridges.
Narrow Lake Superior lowland plain met by Northern highland, which slopes gently to the sandy crescent central plain; Western upland in the southwest; three broad parallel limestone ridges running north-south are seperated by wide and shallow lowland in the south-east.
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Land Area: 54,310 square miles - ranked 23rd in total area
Number of counties: 72
Natural resources have always been important to the economy of Wisconsin. Very early settlers were fur traders, and the population of the territory expanded quickly when lead was discovered and began to be mined.
By the early 1900s, the lumber industry began to be important in Wisconsin, and then businesses creating furniture, paper products and wagons.
During the mid-1900s, the economy gradually began to shift away from agriculture toward manufacturing.
Other important farm products are peas, beans, beets, corn, potatoes, oats, hay, and cranberries.
The chief industrial products of the state are automobiles, machinery, furniture, paper, beer, and processed foods.
Wisconsin ranks second among the 47 paper-producing states.
The state's mines produce copper, iron ore, lead, and zinc.
Population: 5,536,201 people Rank: 20th
Madison is Wisconsin's state capital. It is a trading and manufacturing center in a fertile agricultural region.
Foods and beverages, chemicals, machinery, medical supplies, and wood and metal products are made.
Madison was founded in 1836, and (through the efforts of James Duane Doty) was chosen territorial capital before it was settled.
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