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Vermont

Vermont
(In Detail[?]) (Full size)
State nickname: Green Mountain State

(In Detail)
Capital Montpelier
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 45th
24,923 kmē
23,974 kmē
949 kmē
3.8%
Population
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 49th
608,827
24.4/kmē
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

14th
March 4, 1791
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Latitude
Longitude
42°44'N to 45°0'43"N
71°28'W to 73°26'W
Width
Length
Elevation
  -Highest
  -Mean
  -Lowest
130 km
260 km
 
1,339 meters
305 meters
29 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-VT

Vermont is the 14th state of the United States, famous for its beautiful scenery, dairy products, maple syrup and progressive politics.

USS Vermont was named in honor of this state.

Table of contents

History

Vermont was originally home to the tribes of the Iroquois, Algonquin and Abenaki nations. In 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain claimed the area of what is now Lake Champlain, giving to the mountains the appelation that would eventually name the state: Les Verts Monts (The Green Mountains.)

In 1763, The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War, giving the area to the British. Parts of the region were at different times controlled by the colonies (later states) of New York and New Hampshire. Ethan Allen and his "Green Mountain Boys" fought against the British (resulting in the famous capture of Fort Ticonderoga), then later against these states, and in 1777 Vermont was declared an independent republic. This status held until 1791, when Vermont joined the Union as the 14th member.

Law and Government

Vermonters independently elect a Governor and Lieutenant Governor every two years. The current governor of Vermont is Jim Douglas[?], who assumed office in 2003.

In the US Senate, Vermont is represented by Sen. Patrick Leahy[?] (Dem) and Sen. James Jeffords[?] (Ind). Jeffords, a former Republican, left the party in 2001 as a result of political disagreements. In the House, Vermont is represented by Democratic Socialist Rep. Bernard Sanders[?].

Vermonters are known for their political independence and moderation. The Vermont government maintains a pro-active stance with regards to the environment, social services and prevention of urbanization. The most recent controversy to stir up major political conflict in the state was the adoption of civil unions, an institution which grants same-sex couples nearly all the rights and privileges of marriage. In Baker v. Vermont (1999) the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that, under the Constitution of Vermont, the State of Vermont must either allow homosexual couples to marry, or provide a separate but equal status for them. The State legislature chose the second option by creating the institution of civil union; the bill, which was supported by about half of the state's voters, was passed by the legislature, and signed into law by Governor Howard Dean. Some Vermonters voiced their displeasure out loud and in the following state senate elections.

Although Vermont boasts two Senate seats and a relatively small population, attempts by out-of-state candidates (so called "carpetbaggers[?]") to win a seat in Vermont have often been thwarted by locals. In 1998, a 79-year-old local man named Fred Tuttle[?] won national attention by defeating a Massachusetts multi-millionare in the Republican Primary. With a campaign budget of $201, Tuttle garnered 55% of the Primary vote, before graciously conceding the general election to Sen. Leahy.

Vermont is the birthplace of former presidents Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur.

Geography

See List of Vermont counties

Vermont, part of the New England region, borders New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, Massachusetts to the south, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont covers an area of approximately 25,000 km2 (9,600 square miles). The Connecticut River marks the eastern border of the state. Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest body of water in the United States, separates Vermont from New York in the northwest portion of the state. The Green Mountains[?], so named because their relatively short stature allows for mostly no timberline, form a north-south spine running the most of the length of the state, slightly west of its center. Several mountains do have timberlines: Mount Mansfield[?], the highest mountain in the state and Killington furnish two examples. Roughly 77% percent of the state is covered by forest, the rest in meadow, uplands, lakes, ponds and swampy wetlands.

Vermont is known for its brief mud season in spring followed by a cool summer and a colorful autumn, and particularly for its cold winters. The northern part of the state, including the rural northeastern section (dubbed the "Northeast Kingdom") is known for exceptionally cold winters, often averaging more than ten degrees (F) colder than the southern areas of the state. Snow is abundant in the winter, giving Vermont some of the East Coast's premier ski areas and cross-country skiing.

In the autumn, Vermont's hills experience an explosion of red, orange and gold foliage caused by the Sugar Maple[?]. That this famous display occurs so abundantly in Vermont is not due so much to the presence of a particular variant of the tree; it rather results from a number of soil and climate conditions unique to the area.

Economy

Over the past two centuries, Vermont has seen both population explosions and population busts. First settled by farmers, loggers and hunters, Vermont lost much of its population as farmers moved West into the Great Plains in search of abundant, easily-tilled land. Logging similarly fell off as over-cutting and the exploitation of other forests made Vermont's forest less attractive. Although these population shifts devastated Vermont's economy, the early loss of population had the beneficial effect of allowing Vermont's land and forest to recover from the excesses of human beings. The accompanying lack of industry has allowed Vermont to avoid many of the ill-effects of 20th century industrial busts, effects that still plague neighboring states. Today, much of Vermont's forest consists of second-growth.

Of the remaining industries, dairy farming is the primary source of agricultural income. Vermont dairy is exported to the rest of the world by companies like Ben and Jerry's[?] Ice Cream and Cabot Cheese. Vermont's natural beauty and social tolerance has also made it attractive to independent thinkers, unique companies and cottage industries such as The Vermont Teddy Bear Company[?] and King Arthur Flour[?]. Tourism, numerous summer camps, furniture-making and skiing also make up a large component of Vermont's income. Trout fishing, lake fishing and even ice fishing[?] draw the outdoorsman to the state as does the excellent hiking on the Long Trail. Several noteworthy horse shows are annual events. Golf courses are springing up with spas to service the weary client. One major fashion outlet mall isn't really a mall but the old town of Manchester[?] gentrified.

In recent years, Vermont has been deluged with plans to build condos[?] and houses on what was relatively inexpensive, untouched land. Vermont's government has responded with a series of laws controlling development and with some pioneering initiatives to prevent the loss of Vermont's dairy industry.

Demographics

As of 2000, the population is 608,827. The capital is Montpelier, and the largest city is Burlington. Vermont is one of the least populous states in the Union. Approximately 96.8% of the respondents identify themselves as White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, and 0.9% as Asian. Approximately 9.7% of Vermonters live below the poverty line, according to a 1997 Census model.

Important Cities and Towns

Education

Colleges and Universities

Professional Sports Teams

Miscellaneous Information

See also


Vermont is also the name of a place in the State of Illinois: see Vermont, Illinois.

External Links



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