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Wisconsin - Wikipedia

These early inhabitants, called Paleo-Indians , hunted now-extinct ice age animals such as the Boaz mastodon , a prehistoric mastodon skeleton unearthed along with spear points in southwest Wisconsin. Toward the end of this period, Wisconsin was the heartland of the " Effigy Mound culture", which built thousands of animal-shaped mounds across the landscape.

Even so, French traders continued to work in the region after the war, and some, beginning with Charles de Langlade in , now settled in Wisconsin permanently, rather than returning to British-controlled Canada. The British gradually took over Wisconsin during the French and Indian War , taking control of Green Bay in and gaining control of all of Wisconsin in Like the French, the British were interested in little but the fur trade. One notable event in the fur trading industry in Wisconsin occurred in , when two free African Americans set up a fur trading post among the Menominee at present day Marinette.

The first permanent settlers, mostly French Canadians , some Anglo- New Englanders and a few African American freedmen, arrived in Wisconsin while it was under British control. Charles Michel de Langlade is generally recognized as the first settler, establishing a trading post at Green Bay in , and moving there permanently in The French residents at the trading post in what is now Green Bay, referred to the town as "La Baye", however British fur traders referred to it as "Green Bay", because the water and the shore assumed green tints in early spring.

The old French title was gradually dropped, and the British name of "Green Bay" eventually stuck. The region coming under British rule had virtually no adverse effect on the French residents as the British needed the cooperation of the French fur traders and the French fur traders needed the goodwill of the British. During the French occupation of the region licenses for fur trading had been issued scarcely and only to select groups of traders, whereas the British, in an effort to make as much money as possible from the region, issued licenses for fur trading freely, both to British and French residents.

The fur trade in what is now Wisconsin reached its height under British rule, and the first self-sustaining farms in the state were established as well. From to , Green Bay was a prosperous community which produced its own foodstuff, built graceful cottages and held dances and festivities. Wisconsin became a territorial possession of the United States in after the American Revolutionary War. However, the British remained in control until after the War of , the outcome of which finally established an American presence in the area.

The prospect of easy mineral wealth drew immigrants from throughout the U. Some miners found shelter in the holes they had dug, and earned the nickname "badgers", leading to Wisconsin's identity as the "Badger State". The Winnebago War of and the Black Hawk War of culminated in the forced removal of Native Americans from most parts of the state.

By fall of that year, the best prairie groves of the counties surrounding what is now Milwaukee were occupied by farmers from the New England states. Yankees from New England and upstate New York seized a dominant position in law and politics, enacting policies that marginalized the region's earlier Native American and French-Canadian residents.

The growing population allowed Wisconsin to gain statehood on May 29, , as the 30th state. Between and , Wisconsin's non-Indian population had swollen from 31, to , Over a third of residents , were foreign born, including 38, Germans, 28, British immigrants from England, Scotland, and Wales, and 21, Irish. Only about 63, residents in had been born in Wisconsin. Nelson Dewey , the first governor of Wisconsin , was a Democrat.

Dewey oversaw the transition from the territorial to the new state government. Politics in early Wisconsin were defined by the greater national debate over slavery. A free state from its foundation, Wisconsin became a center of northern abolitionism. The debate became especially intense in after Joshua Glover , a runaway slave from Missouri , was captured in Racine. Glover was taken into custody under the Federal Fugitive Slave Law , but a mob of abolitionists stormed the prison where Glover was held and helped him escape to Canada.

In a trial stemming from the incident, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ultimately declared the Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional. Wisconsin's economy also diversified during the early years of statehood. While lead mining diminished, agriculture became a principal occupation in the southern half of the state. Railroads were built across the state to help transport grains to market, and industries like J. Wisconsin briefly became one of the nation's leading producers of wheat during the s.

These economic activities had dire environmental consequences. By the close of the 19th century, intensive agriculture had devastated soil fertility, and lumbering had deforested most of the state. Beginning in the s, farmers in Wisconsin shifted from wheat to dairy production in order to make more sustainable and profitable use of their land. Many immigrants carried cheese-making traditions that, combined with the state's suitable geography and dairy research led by Stephen Babcock at the University of Wisconsin , helped the state build a reputation as "America's Dairyland".

Manufacturing also boomed in Wisconsin during the early 20th century, driven by an immense immigrant workforce arriving from Europe. Industries in cities like Milwaukee ranged from brewing and food processing to heavy machine production and tool-making, leading Wisconsin to rank 8th among U.

The early 20th century was also notable for the emergence of progressive politics championed by Robert M. Between and , Progressive Republicans in Wisconsin created the nation's first comprehensive statewide primary election system, [47] the first effective workplace injury compensation law, [48] and the first state income tax , [49] making taxation proportional to actual earnings.

The progressive Wisconsin Idea also promoted the statewide expansion of the University of Wisconsin through the UW-Extension system at this time. Commons and Harold Groves helped Wisconsin create the first unemployment compensation program in the United States in In the immediate aftermath of World War II, citizens of Wisconsin were divided over things such as the creation of the United Nations, support for the European recovery, and the growth of the Soviet Union's power.

However, when Europe divided into Communist and capitalist camps and the Communist revolution in China succeeded in , public opinion began to move towards support for the protection of democracy and capitalism against Communist expansion. Wisconsin took part in several political extremes in the mid to late 20th century, ranging from the anti-communist crusades of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the s to the radical antiwar protests at UW-Madison that culminated in the Sterling Hall bombing in August The state became a leader in welfare reform under Republican Governor Tommy Thompson during the s.

Navy battleships, BB-9 and BB , were named for the state. In , Wisconsin became the focus of some controversy when newly elected governor Scott Walker proposed, successfully passed, and enacted the Wisconsin Act 10 , which made large changes in the areas of collective bargaining, compensation, retirement, health insurance, and sick leave of public sector employees, among other changes.

Wisconsin is bordered by the Montreal River ; Lake Superior and Michigan to the north; by Lake Michigan to the east; by Illinois to the south; and by Iowa to the southwest and Minnesota to the northwest. A border dispute with Michigan was settled by two cases, both Wisconsin v. Michigan , in and The state's boundaries include the Mississippi River and St. Croix River in the west, and the Menominee River in the northeast. With its location between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, Wisconsin is home to a wide variety of geographical features.

The state is divided into five distinct regions. In the middle of the state, the Central Plain has some unique sandstone formations like the Dells of the Wisconsin River in addition to rich farmland.

The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands region in the southeast is home to many of Wisconsin's largest cities. The bedrock of the Niagara Escarpment is dolomite , while the two shorter ridges have limestone bedrock.

In the southwest, the Western Upland is a rugged landscape with a mix of forest and farmland, including many bluffs on the Mississippi River.

This region is part of the Driftless Area , which also includes portions of Iowa , Illinois , and Minnesota. This area was not covered by glaciers during the most recent ice age, the Wisconsin Glaciation. Langlade County has a soil rarely found outside of the county called Antigo silt loam.

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include the following: There is one national forest managed by the U.

Since its founding, Wisconsin has been ethnically heterogeneous. Following the period of French fur traders, the next wave of settlers were miners, many of whom were Cornish , who settled the southwestern area of the state. The next wave was dominated by "Yankees", migrants of English descent from New England and upstate New York ; in the early years of statehood, they dominated the state's heavy industry, finance, politics and education.

Between and , large numbers of European immigrants followed them, including Germans , Scandinavians the largest group being Norwegian , and smaller groups of Belgians , Dutch , Swiss , Finns , Irish , Poles , Italians , Luxembourgers , and others. In the 20th century, large numbers of Mexicans and African Americans came, settling mainly in Milwaukee; and after the end of the Vietnam War came an influx of Hmongs.

In the same year, 5. The six largest ancestry groups in Wisconsin are: The various ethnic groups settled in different areas of the state. Although Germans settled throughout the state, the largest concentration was in Milwaukee. Norwegians settled in lumbering and farming areas in the north and west. Small colonies of Belgians , Swiss , Finns and other groups settled in their particular areas, with Irish, Italian , and Polish immigrants settling primarily in urban areas.

African Americans came to Milwaukee, especially from on. Milwaukee , Racine , Beloit , Kenosha , with Milwaukee home to nearly three-fourths of the state's black Americans.

Of the residents of Wisconsin, Island areas, or born abroad to American parent s , and 4. Christianity is the predominant religion of Wisconsin. As of , the three largest denominational groups in Wisconsin were Catholic, Evangelical Protestant , and Mainline Protestant.

The Wisconsin Blue Book is the primary published reference about the government and politics of the state, documenting the organization of the state's three branches of government. Published every two years with updated information, copies are available by contacting state legislators.

Wisconsin's Constitution outlines the structure and function of state government. Wisconsin's government is organized into three branches: The executive branch is headed by the governor.

The current governor, Scott Walker , assumed office on January 3, In addition to the governor, the executive branch includes five other elected constitutional officers: Four members of the Wisconsin executive branch are Republicans.

The Wisconsin State Legislature is Wisconsin's legislative branch. The Legislature is a bicameral body consisting of the Assembly and the Senate. Wisconsin's court system has four levels: Municipal courts typically handle cases involving local ordinance matters.

The circuit courts are Wisconsin's trial courts , they have original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases within the state. Challenges to circuit court rulings are heard by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals , consisting of sixteen judges who typically sit in three-judge panels. As the state's highest appellate court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court may hear both appeals from lower courts and original actions.

In addition to deciding cases, the Supreme Court is responsible for administering the state's court system and regulating the practice of law in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is divided into eight congressional districts. The state sales and use tax rate is 5. The most common property tax assessed on Wisconsin residents is the real property tax , or their residential property tax. Wisconsin does not impose a property tax on vehicles, but does levy an annual registration fee. Property taxes are the most important tax revenue source for Wisconsin's local governments, as well as major methods of funding school districts, vocational technical colleges, special purpose districts and tax incremental finance districts.

Equalized values are based on the full market value of all taxable property in the state, except for agricultural land. In order to provide property tax relief for farmers, the value of agricultural land is determined by its value for agricultural uses, rather than for its possible development value.

Equalized values are used to distribute state aid payments to counties, municipalities, and technical colleges. Assessments prepared by local assessors are used to distribute the property tax burden within individual municipalities. Wisconsin does not assess a tax on intangible property. Wisconsin does not collect inheritance taxes. Until January 1, , Wisconsin's estate tax was decoupled from the federal estate tax laws; therefore the state imposed its own estate tax on certain large estates.

There are no toll roads in Wisconsin; highway construction and maintenance are funded in part by motor fuel tax revenues, and the remaining balance is drawn from the State General Fund. Non-highway road construction and maintenance are funded by local governments municipalities or counties.

A Mexican consulate opened in Milwaukee on July 1, Donald Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 25, votes a margin of less than. This marked the first time Wisconsin voted for a Republican presidential candidate since , when every state except Minnesota and Washington D.

Both the and presidential elections were quite close, with Wisconsin receiving heavy doses of national advertising, in accord with its status as a "swing", or pivot, state. Al Gore carried the presidential vote in by 5, votes, and John Kerry won Wisconsin in by 11, votes.

On November 26, , Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed for a recount in Wisconsin due to concerns regarding hacking or other tampering with votes. It is the first presidential recount ever conducted in the state.

During the period of the Civil War , Wisconsin was a Republican state; in fact it is the state that gave birth to the Republican Party, although ethno-religious issues in the late 19th century caused a brief split in the Republican coalition. Through the first half of the 20th century, Wisconsin's politics were dominated by Robert La Follette and his sons, originally of the Republican Party , but later of the revived Progressive Party.

Since , the state has maintained a close balance between Republicans and Democrats. Republican Senator Joe McCarthy was a controversial national figure in the early s. The most famous controversy in the state's political history dealt with foreign language teaching in schools.

This was fought out in the Bennett Law campaign of , when the Germans switched to the Democratic Party because of the Republican Party's support of the Bennett Law, which led to a major victory for the Democrats. The cities of Wisconsin have been active in increasing the availability of legislative information on the internet, thereby providing for greater government transparency. Currently three of the five most populous cities in Wisconsin provide their constituents with internet-based access of all public records directly from the cities' databases.

Wisconsin cities started to make this a priority after Milwaukee began doing so, on their page , in One such city, Madison, has been named the Number 1 digital city by the Center for Digital Government in consecutive years.

Wisconsin has voted for Democratic candidates in six of the last seven presidential elections. Republican Donald Trump carried the state by 23, votes in Before that, the last Republican to carry the state was Ronald Reagan in At the statewide level, Wisconsin is competitive, with control regularly alternating between the two parties. The elections saw a huge Republican resurgence in Wisconsin. Republicans took control of the governor's office and both houses of the state legislature.

Republican Ron Johnson defeated Democratic incumbent U. Senator Russ Feingold , and Republicans took two previously Democratic-held House seats, creating a 5—3 Republican majority House delegation. The protests attracted tens of thousands of people each day, [ when? The Assembly passed the bill 53—42 on March 10 after the State Senate passed it the night before, and sent it to the Governor for his signature. Tom Barrett , the mayor of Milwaukee and Walker's opponent, won the Democratic primary and faced Walker again.

However, Kagen survived only two terms and was replaced by Republican Reid Ribble in the Republican Party's sweep of Wisconsin in November , the first time the Republican Party has taken back both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship in the same election. Republicans have held Waukesha County. The City of Milwaukee heads the list of Wisconsin's Democratic strongholds, which also includes Madison and the state's Native American reservations.

Wisconsin's largest Congressional district, the 7th, had voted Democratic since From the early 20th century, the Socialist Party of America had a base in Milwaukee. The phenomenon was referred to as " sewer socialism " because the elected officials were more concerned with public works and reform than with revolution although revolutionary socialism existed in the city as well.

Its influence faded in the late s, largely because of the red scare and racial tensions. Zeidler , from to Maier remained in office for 28 years, the longest serving mayor in Milwaukee history. Socialist newspaper editor Victor Berger was repeatedly elected as a U. Representative, although he was prevented from serving for some time because of his opposition to the First World War.

William Proxmire , a Democratic Senator —89 , was best known for attacking waste and fraud in federal spending. Republican Paul Ryan was, at age 28, the youngest member of the Congressional freshman class when he took office in January In , he was selected as the Republican party's candidate for Vice President , running with Mitt Romney.

In , Democrats gained in a national sweep of opposition to the Bush administration, and the Iraq War. The Republicans lost control of the state Senate. Although Democrats gained eight seats in the state Assembly, Republicans retained a five-vote majority in that house.

In , Democrats regained control of the State Assembly by a 52—46 margin, marking the first time since that the governor and state legislature were both Democratic. With the election of Scott Walker, Republicans won both chambers of the legislature and the governorship, the first time all three changed partisan control in the same election.

They have maintained that status since In March , the state's unemployment rate was 3. Wisconsin produces about a quarter of America's cheese, leading the nation in cheese production. It grows over half the national crop of cranberries. The significance of the state's agricultural production is exemplified by the depiction of a Holstein cow, an ear of corn, and a wheel of cheese on Wisconsin's state quarter design. A large part of the state's manufacturing sector includes commercial food processing, including well-known brands such as Oscar Mayer , Tombstone frozen pizza, Johnsonville brats , and Usinger's sausage.

Kraft Foods alone employs over 5, people in the state. Milwaukee is a major producer of beer and was formerly headquarters for Miller Brewing Company — the nation's second-largest brewer — until it merged with Coors Brewing Company. Formerly, Schlitz , Blatz , and Pabst were cornerstone breweries in Milwaukee. Wisconsin is home to a very large and diversified manufacturing economy, with special focus on transportation and capital equipment.

Wisconsin is a major producer of paper, packaging, and other consumer goods. The development and manufacture of health care devices and software is a growing sector of the state's economy, with key players such as GE Healthcare , Epic Systems , and TomoTherapy. Tourism is a major industry in Wisconsin — the state's third largest, according to the Department of Tourism.

Given the large number of lakes and rivers in the state, water recreation is very popular. In the North Country, what had been an industrial area focused on timber has largely been transformed into a vacation destination. Popular interest in the environment and environmentalism, added to traditional interests in hunting and fishing, has attracted a large urban audience within driving range.

The distinctive Door Peninsula , which extends off the eastern coast of the state, contains one of the state's tourist destinations, Door County. Door County is a popular destination for boaters because of the large number of natural harbors, bays, and ports on the Green Bay and Lake Michigan side of the peninsula that forms the county. The area draws hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly to its quaint villages, seasonal cherry picking, and fish boils.

On January 1, , a new tax incentive for the film industry came into effect. The first major production to take advantage of the tax incentive was Michael Mann 's Public Enemies. Wisconsin has no production of oil, gas, or coal. Other important electricity sources are natural gas and nuclear. The state has a mandate that ten percent of its electrical energy come from renewable sources by the end of One third of that ten percent comes from out of state sources, mostly wind generated electricity from Minnesota and Iowa.

The state has agnostic policies for developing wind power in state. Wisconsin is served by eight commercial service airports, in addition to a number of general aviation airports.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is responsible for planning, building and maintaining the state's highways. Eight Interstate Highways are located in the state. Amtrak provides daily passenger rail service between Chicago and Milwaukee. It also provides cross-country service via the Empire Builder with station stops in several cities in Wisconsin. With a population of around , and metropolitan area of over ,, Madison has a dual identity as state capital and college town.

Medium-size cities dot the state and anchor a network of working farms surrounding them. Wisconsin has three types of municipality: Cities and villages are incorporated urban areas.

Towns are unincorporated minor civil divisions of counties with limited self-government. Wisconsin, along with Minnesota and Michigan, was among the Midwestern leaders in the emergent American state university movement following the Civil War in the United States. By the start of the 20th century, education in the state advocated the " Wisconsin Idea ", which emphasized service to the people of the state. The "Wisconsin Idea" exemplified the Progressive movement within colleges and universities at the time.

Today, public post-secondary education in Wisconsin includes both the campus University of Wisconsin System , with the flagship university University of Wisconsin—Madison , and the campus Wisconsin Technical College System. Residents of Wisconsin are referred to as Wisconsinites. The traditional prominence of references to dairy farming and cheesemaking in Wisconsin's rural economy the state's license plates have read "America's Dairyland" since [] have led to the nickname sometimes used pejoratively among non-residents of " cheeseheads ", and to the creation of "cheesehead hats" made of yellow foam in the shape of a wedge of cheese.

Numerous ethnic festivals are held throughout Wisconsin to celebrate the heritage of its citizens. This festival is held at the lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park just south of downtown, as are a summer-long array of ethnic musical festivals. The Milwaukee Art Museum , with its brise soleil designed by Santiago Calatrava , is known for its interesting architecture. Decades after Wright's death, Taliesin remains an architectural office and school for his followers.

Drinking has long been considered a significant part of Wisconsin culture, and the state ranks at or near the top of national measures of per-capita alcohol consumption, consumption of alcohol per state, and proportion of drinkers. Consumption per-capita per-event, however, ranks low among the nation; number of events number of times alcohol is involved is significantly higher or highest, but consumption at each event smaller, marking Wisconsin's consumption as frequent and moderate.

Ten years ago, he removed his television to save electricity and consume less, since he…. Jonathan Baker, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, shares the steps he took with his wife to live a greener life:. This is the first of two articles exploring how local faith communities are getting involved in the green movement.

The second part will be published next week. For every journey there is a symbol that marks the journey. For Christianity, the symbol is the cross. For Islam, the symbol is the crescent. What is the symbol for the Jewish journey? Dick Solomon and his wife moved to Kenosha from New Jersey three years ago to be near their daughter, Debra, and her family.

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A group of or 1, people is hard for me to envision, and so when I read about millions and more who suffer hunger, disease and fear for their very lives and safety, I cannot begin to comprehend it. Why was I chosen to live the life God has given me? Why was I chosen to have l…. This may seem like a very bad time for someone who is not even a Catholic to defend priests, but that is what I need to do this week. Muslim worshippers around the world gathered at mosques this week to mark the four-day Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, which is one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar.

The holiday honors the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his first-born son as an act …. A group of U. Air Force officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees are calling for an investigation into the installation commander of Edwards Air Force Base in California, accusing him of violating Defense Department policies on religious proselytizing. New Brookland Tavern is as different on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings as, well, night and day. May he rest in peace. The festival begins Frid….

Members of Kenosha Bible Church, 67th St. Priests are accustomed to moving around to various parish assignments within their archdiocese. The difficult goodbyes are usually mitigated by the fact that most are only a city away, so friendships and relationships with family continue. But when a priest moves a world away, the goodbyes p…. The weather has warmed and that can mean only one thing — church summer festival season is back.

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Thank you to all my dear readers for deluging me with your signs from heaven. I am deeply touched by all of them. However, I think this will be the end of signs from dead people for a while. When Tremper High School graduate Jaime Brown left Kenosha for Los Angeles a decade ago, no one could have anticipated that she would return via Morocco, wearing a hijab and following the Muslim faith. Well, I may be the only one to think about May in that fashion, but I have compiled a list for all of the new funeral directors soon to be joining our ranks.

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What, as a disciple of God, should be my main priority examples: My dog was never good at tricks. She would sit, but only on carpet, never on a bare floor. She would come, if she felt the urge near the time when you requested it.

My little dog just turned 13, though, and has been showing signs of age. I can foresee a time in the very near future when she …. I understand that His son, Jesus, was, which got me to wonder if God ever stepped into His own creation?

Billy Graham was one of the most significant religious figures of the 20th century. On Good Friday, Christians from around the world undertake symbolic Living Stations of the Cross, remembering the walk Jesus Christ took more than 2, years ago, the day he was crucified.

One cannot understand Judaism at all without understanding Passover, and one cannot understand Christianity at all without understanding Easter. I am in awe of Passover and Easter — one as a participant and one as an observer.

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Halloween season puts faiths to the test.

Kenosha / k ɛ ˈ n oʊ ˌ ʃ ɑː / is a city in and the county seat of Kenosha County, Wisconsin, United States. Kenosha is on the southwestern shore of Lake an estimated population of 99, as of July 1, , it is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin and the fourth-largest city on Lake Michigan. The city is part of the United States Census Bureau's Chicago Combined. Fair Shake is dedicated to reducing the recidivism rate through personal and community focused ownership and engagement opportunities for inmates and former felons in connection with families, employers, property managers, and corrections. For every journey there is a symbol that marks the journey. For Dorothy and the Lion and the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, the symbol was the Yellow Brick Road.