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A comprehensive history of a state thought by many to be the most livable. Minnesota evolved from many cultures. By the time the territory was formed in 1849, the first European contacts were nearly two centuries old. When Minnesota was admitted to the union in 1858, only about one-fourth of its area was occupied by white settlers. In this volume, William Lass tells the story of Minnesota from its beginnings to the present with attention to people's adaptation to Minnesota's oftentimes harsh environment. He relates the persistence and change in the traditional frontier businesses in the twentieth century and describes recent developments in Minnesota society, including rapidly increasing metropolitanism, environmental concerns, and the resurgence of conservatism in politics. Minnesota's somewhat unique political history, which featured farm protest movements and the ultimate creation of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, is also discussed. This history not only provides descriptions of the essential events of Minnesota's past, but also offers an interpretation of major trends and characteristics of the state and its distinctiveness within the context of the nation's story.