Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Overview
Wisconsin is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

. It is bordered by Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 to the west, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 to the southwest, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 to the south, Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

 to the east, Michigan
Upper Peninsula of Michigan
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P., or Upper Michigan. It is also known as the land "above the Bridge" linking the two peninsulas. The peninsula is bounded...

 to the northeast, and Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

 to the north. Wisconsin's capital is Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

, and its largest city is Milwaukee. As of 2010, the state's 72 counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 have a total of 5,686,986 residents.

The word Wisconsin originates from the name given to the Wisconsin River
Wisconsin River
-External links:* * * , Wisconsin Historical Society* * * *...

 by one of the Algonquian
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

 speaking American Indian
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 groups living in the region at the time of European contact
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

.
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Encyclopedia
Wisconsin is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

. It is bordered by Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 to the west, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 to the southwest, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 to the south, Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

 to the east, Michigan
Upper Peninsula of Michigan
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P., or Upper Michigan. It is also known as the land "above the Bridge" linking the two peninsulas. The peninsula is bounded...

 to the northeast, and Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

 to the north. Wisconsin's capital is Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

, and its largest city is Milwaukee. As of 2010, the state's 72 counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 have a total of 5,686,986 residents.

Etymology


The word Wisconsin originates from the name given to the Wisconsin River
Wisconsin River
-External links:* * * , Wisconsin Historical Society* * * *...

 by one of the Algonquian
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

 speaking American Indian
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 groups living in the region at the time of European contact
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

. French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 explorer Jacques Marquette
Jacques Marquette
Father Jacques Marquette S.J. , sometimes known as Père Marquette, was a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan...

 was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River and record its name, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal. This spelling was later corrupted to Ouisconsin by other French explorers, and over time this version became the French name for both the Wisconsin River and the surrounding lands. English speakers anglicized
Anglicisation
Anglicisation, or anglicization , is the process of converting verbal or written elements of any other language into a form that is more comprehensible to an English speaker, or, more generally, of altering something such that it becomes English in form or character.The term most often refers to...

 the spelling to its modern form when they began to arrive in greater numbers during the early 19th Century. The current spelling was made official by the legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 of Wisconsin Territory
Wisconsin Territory
The Territory of Wisconsin was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 3, 1836, until May 29, 1848, when an eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Wisconsin...

 in 1845.

Throughout the course of its many variations, the Algonquian word for Wisconsin and its original meaning have both grown obscure. Interpretations may vary, but most implicate the river and the red sandstone that line its banks. One leading theory holds that the name originated from the Miami word Meskonsing, meaning "it lies red," a reference to the setting of the Wisconsin River as it flows by the reddish sandstone of the Wisconsin Dells
Dells of the Wisconsin River
thumb|250px|Dells of the Wisconsin RiverThe Dells of the Wisconsin River — also called the Wisconsin Dells — is a 5-mile gorge on the Wisconsin River in southern Wisconsin, USA...

. Numerous other theories have also been widely publicized, including claims that name originated from one of a variety of Ojibwa
Ojibwa
The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

 words meaning "red stone place," "gathering of the waters," or "great rock."

History




Wisconsin has been home to a wide variety of cultures over the past twelve thousand years. The first people arrived around 10000 BCE during the Wisconsin Glaciation
Wisconsin glaciation
The last glacial period was the most recent glacial period within the current ice age occurring during the last years of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years ago....

. These early inhabitants, called Paleo-Indians, hunted now-extinct ice age animals exemplified by the Boaz mastodon
Boaz mastodon
The Boaz mastodon is the skeleton of a mastodon found near Boaz, Wisconsin in 1897. A fluted quartzite spear point found near the Boaz mastodon suggests that humans hunted mastodons in southwestern Wisconsin.-History:...

, a prehistoric mastodon
Mastodon
Mastodons were large tusked mammal species of the extinct genus Mammut which inhabited Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Central America from the Oligocene through Pleistocene, 33.9 mya to 11,000 years ago. The American mastodon is the most recent and best known species of the group...

 skeleton unearthed along with spear points in southwest Wisconsin. After the ice age ended around 8000 BCE, people in the subsequent Archaic period lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering food from wild plants. Agricultural societies emerged gradually over the Woodland period
Woodland period
The Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures was from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE in the eastern part of North America. The term "Woodland Period" was introduced in the 1930s as a generic header for prehistoric sites falling between the Archaic hunter-gatherers and the...

 between 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. Toward the end of this period, Wisconsin was the heartland of the "Effigy Mound
Effigy mound
Sites in the U.S. of similar history may be found at Indian Mounds ParkAn effigy mound is a raised pile of earth built in the shape of a stylized animal, symbol, religious figure, or human figure. Effigy mounds were only built during the Late Woodland Period .Effigy mounds were constructed in many...

 culture," which built thousands of animal-shaped mounds across the landscape. Later, between 1000 and 1500 CE, the Mississippian
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 and Oneota
Oneota
Oneota is a designation archaeologists use to refer to a cultural complex that existed in the eastern plains and Great Lakes area of what is now the United States from around AD 900 to around 1650 or 1700. The culture is believed to have transitioned into various Macro-Siouan cultures of the...

 cultures built substantial settlements including the fortified village at Aztalan
Aztalan State Park
Aztalan State Park is a Wisconsin state park located just south of the town of Aztalan, Wisconsin at latitude N 43° 4' and longitude W 88° 52', and established in 1952. It was also designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966...

 in southeast Wisconsin. The Oneota may be the ancestors of the modern Ioway and Ho-Chunk
Ho-Chunk
The Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, are a tribe of Native Americans, native to what is now Wisconsin and Illinois. There are two federally recognized Ho-Chunk tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska....

 tribes, who shared the Wisconsin region with the Menominee
Menominee
Some placenames use other spellings, see also Menomonee and Menomonie.The Menominee are a nation of Native Americans living in Wisconsin. The Menominee, along with the Ho-Chunk, are the only tribes that are indigenous to what is now Wisconsin...

 at the time of European contact. Other American Indian groups living in Wisconsin when Europeans first settled included the Ojibwa
Ojibwa
The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

, Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, and Pottawatomie, who migrated to Wisconsin from the east between 1500 and 1700.

The first European to visit what became Wisconsin was probably the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 explorer Jean Nicolet
Jean Nicolet
Jean Nicolet de Belleborne was a French coureur des bois noted for exploring Green Bay in what is now the U.S. state of Wisconsin.-Life:...

. He canoed west from Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay is a large bay of Lake Huron, located entirely within Ontario, Canada...

 through the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 in 1634, and it is traditionally assumed that he came ashore near Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

 at Red Banks
Red Banks, Brown County, Wisconsin
Red Banks is an unincorporated community located in the town of Scott, Brown County, Wisconsin, United States.-History:In 1634, Jean Nicolet landed at Red Banks becoming the first white man to explore the present state of Wisconsin....

. Pierre Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers
Médard des Groseilliers
Médard Chouart des Groseilliers was a French explorer and fur trader in Canada. He is often paired with his brother-in-law Pierre-Esprit Radisson who was about 20 years his junior...

 visited Green Bay again in 1654 – 1666 and Chequamegon Bay
Chequamegon Bay
Chequamegon Bay is an inlet of Lake Superior, NE-SW and 2- wide, in Ashland and Bayfield counties in the extreme northern part of Wisconsin. It lies largely inside the barrier of Chequamegon Point and Long Island, with the Bad River Indian Reservation to the east. Ashland, Wisconsin is on its...

 in 1659 – 1660, where they traded for fur with local American Indians. In 1673, Jacques Marquette
Jacques Marquette
Father Jacques Marquette S.J. , sometimes known as Père Marquette, was a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan...

 and Louis Jolliet
Louis Jolliet
Louis Jolliet , also known as Louis Joliet, was a French Canadian explorer known for his discoveries in North America...

 became the first to record a journey on the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway
Fox-Wisconsin Waterway
The Fox–Wisconsin Waterway is a waterway formed by the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. First used by European settlers in 1673 during the expedition of Marquette & Joliet, it was one of the principal routes used by travelers between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River until the completion of the...

 all the way to the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 near Prairie du Chien. Frenchmen like Nicholas Perrot continued to ply the fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 across Wisconsin through the 17th and 18th centuries, but the French made no permanent settlements in Wisconsin before Great Britain
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 won control of the region following the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 in 1763. Even so, French traders continued to work in the region after the war, and some, beginning with Charles de Langlade
Charles Michel de Langlade
Charles Michel de Langlade was a Great Lakes fur trader of French Canadian and Ottawa heritage. His father was Augustin Langlade; his mother, Domitilde, was a sister of Ottawa war chief Nissowaquet...

 in 1764, now settled in Wisconsin permanently rather than returning to British-controlled Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

Wisconsin became a territorial possession of the United States in 1783 after the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. However, the British remained in de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 control until after the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, which finally established an American presence in the area. Under American control, the economy of the territory shifted from fur trading to lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 mining. The prospect of easy mineral wealth drew immigrants from throughout the U.S. and Europe to the lead deposits located at Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Mineral Point is a city in Iowa County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 2,617 at the 2000 census. In 2008 the city's population had taken a decline and is currently only 2,462, but still the second most populous community in Iowa County...

 and nearby areas. 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 sudden influx of white miners prompted tension with the local Native American population. The Winnebago War
Winnebago War
The Winnebago War was a brief conflict that took place in 1827 in the Upper Mississippi River region of the United States, primarily in what is now the state of Wisconsin. Not quite a war, the hostilities were limited to a few attacks on American civilians by a portion of the Winnebago Native...

 of 1827 and the Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S....

 of 1832 led to the forced removal of American Indians
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 from most parts of the state. Following these conflicts, Wisconsin Territory
Wisconsin Territory
The Territory of Wisconsin was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 3, 1836, until May 29, 1848, when an eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Wisconsin...

 was organized in 1836. Continued white settlement led to statehood in 1848.

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
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

. The debate became especially intense in 1854 after a runaway slave from Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 named Joshua Glover
Joshua Glover
Joshua Glover was a runaway slave from St. Louis, Missouri who sought asylum in Racine, Wisconsin in 1852. Upon learning his whereabouts in 1854, slave owner Bennami Garland attempted to use the Fugitive Slave Act to recover him. Glover was captured and taken to a Milwaukee jail...

 was captured in Racine
Racine, Wisconsin
Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196...

. 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. The Wisconsin Supreme Court
Wisconsin Supreme Court
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state of Wisconsin. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over original actions, appeals from lower courts, and regulation or administration of the practice of law in Wisconsin.-Location:...

 ultimately declared the Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional in a trial stemming from the incident. The Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, founded on March 20, 1854, by anti-slavery expansion activists in Ripon, Wisconsin
Ripon, Wisconsin
Ripon is a city in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,828. The City of Ripon's official website claims the city's current population to be 7,701. The city is surrounded by the Town of Ripon....

, grew to dominate state politics in the aftermath of these events. During the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, around 91,000 troops from Wisconsin fought for the Union.
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.I. Case & Company
Case Corporation
Case Corporation was a manufacturer of construction and agricultural equipment. In 1999 it merged with New Holland to form CNH Global, a Fiat Group division...

 in Racine were founded to build agricultural equipment. Wisconsin briefly became one of the nation's leading producers of wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 during the 1860s. Meanwhile, the lumber industry dominated in the heavily forested northern sections of Wisconsin, and sawmills sprang up in cities like La Crosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. The city lies alongside the Mississippi River.The 2011 Census Bureau estimates the city had a population of 52,485...

, Eau Claire
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Eau Claire is a city located in the west-central part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 65,883 as of the 2010 census, making it the largest municipality in the northwestern portion of the state, and the 9th largest in the state overall. It is the county seat of Eau Claire County,...

, and Wausau
Wausau, Wisconsin
Wausau is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people...

. 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. This forced both wheat agriculture and the lumber industry into a precipitous decline.
Beginning in the 1890s, farmers in Wisconsin shifted from wheat to dairy
Dairy
A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...

 production in order to make more sustainable and profitable use of their land. Many immigrants carried cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

-making traditions that, combined with the state's suitable geography and dairy research led by Stephen Babcock
Stephen Moulton Babcock
Stephen Moulton Babcock was a U.S. agricultural chemist. He is best known for his Babcock test in determining dairy butterfat in milk processing, in cheese processing, and in the "single-grain experiment" that would lead to the development of nutrition as a science.-Early life and career:Born on a...

 at the University of Wisconsin, helped the state build a reputation as "America's Dairyland." Meanwhile, conservationists including Aldo Leopold
Aldo Leopold
Aldo Leopold was an American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac , which has sold over two million copies...

 helped reestablish the state's forests during the early 20th century, paving the way for a more renewable lumber and paper mill
Paper mill
A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags and other ingredients using a Fourdrinier machine or other type of paper machine.- History :...

ing industry as well as promoting recreational tourism in the northern woodlands. 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 toolmaking, leading Wisconsin to rank 8th among U.S. states in total product value by 1910.

The early 20th century was also notable for the emergence of progressive
Progressivism in the United States
Progressivism in the United States is a broadly based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century and is generally considered to be middle class and reformist in nature. It arose as a response to the vast changes brought by modernization, such as the growth of large...

 politics championed by Robert M. La Follette
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

. Between 1901 and 1914, Progressive Republicans in Wisconsin created the nation's first comprehensive statewide primary election
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 system, the first effective workplace injury compensation
Workers' compensation
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence...

 law, and the first state income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

, making taxation proportional to actual earnings. The progressive Wisconsin Idea
Wisconsin Idea
The Wisconsin Idea is the political philosophy developed in the American state of Wisconsin that fosters public universities' contributions to the state: "to the government in the forms of serving in office, offering advice about public policy, providing information and exercising technical skill,...

 also promoted the statewide expansion of the University of Wisconsin through the UW-Extension system at this time. Later, UW economics professors John R. Commons
John R. Commons
John Rogers Commons was an American institutional economist and labor historian at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.-Biography:Born in Hollansburg, Ohio, John R. Commons had a religious upbringing which led him to be an advocate for social justice early in life...

 and Harold Groves helped Wisconsin create the first unemployment compensation program in the United States in 1932.

Wisconsin took part in several political extremes in the mid to late 20th century, ranging from the anti-communist
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

 crusades of Senator Joseph McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

 in the 1950s to the radical antiwar protests at UW-Madison that culminated in the Sterling Hall bombing
Sterling Hall bombing
The Sterling Hall Bombing that occurred on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus on August 24, 1970 was committed by four young people as a protest against the University's research connections with the US military during the Vietnam War...

 in August 1970. Recent politics have been comparatively moderate, but the state has continued to push forward new ideas, most notably becoming a leader in welfare reform
Welfare reform
Welfare reform refers to the process of reforming the framework of social security and welfare provisions, but what is considered reform is a matter of opinion. The term was used in the United States to support the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act...

 under Republican Governor Tommy Thompson
Tommy Thompson
Thomas George "Tommy" Thompson , a United States Republican politician, was the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, after which he served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thompson was a candidate for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, but dropped out early after a poor performance in polls...

 during the 1990s. The state's economy also underwent further transformations towards the close of the century, as heavy industry and manufacturing declined in favor of a service economy
Service economy
Service economy can refer to one or both of two recent economic developments. One is the increased importance of the service sector in industrialized economies. Services account for a higher percentage of US GDP than 20 years ago...

 based on medicine, education, agribusiness, and tourism.

Two U.S. Navy battleships, BB-9
USS Wisconsin (BB-9)
USS Wisconsin , an Illinois-class battleship, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 30th state.The keel of Battleship No. 9 was laid down on 9 February 1897 at San Francisco, California, by the Union Iron Works...

 and BB-64
USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
USS Wisconsin , "Wisky" or "WisKy", is an , the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin...

, were named USS Wisconsin in honor of this state.

State Symbols

  • State Motto: Forward
  • State Song: On Wisconsin!
  • State Flower: Wood Violet
  • State Bird: Robin
    Robin
    Robin may refer to:* Robin , a common given name and a surname.It may also refer to:- Birds:Most birds called "robins" belong to the superfamily Muscicapoidea:* European Robin...

  • State Tree: Sugar Maple
    Sugar Maple
    Acer saccharum is a species of maple native to the hardwood forests of northeastern North America, from Nova Scotia west to southern Ontario, and south to Georgia and Texas...

  • State Fish: Muskellunge
    Muskellunge
    A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

  • State Animal: Badger
    Badger
    Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae. There are nine species of badger, in three subfamilies : Melinae , Mellivorinae , and Taxideinae...

  • State Wildlife Animal: White-Tailed Deer
  • State Domesticated Animal: Dairy Cow
  • State Mineral: Galena
    Galena
    Galena is the natural mineral form of lead sulfide. It is the most important lead ore mineral.Galena is one of the most abundant and widely distributed sulfide minerals. It crystallizes in the cubic crystal system often showing octahedral forms...

  • State Rock: Red Granite
  • State Symbol of Peace: Mourning Dove
  • State Insect: Honey Bee
    Honey bee
    Honey bees are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis...

  • State Soil: Antigo Silt Loam
  • State Fossil: Trilobite
    Trilobite
    Trilobites are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita. The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record defines the base of the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian period , and they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before...

  • State Dog: American Water Spaniel
    American Water Spaniel
    The American Water Spaniel, , is a breed of spaniel which is one of a small number of breeds originating in the United States. Developed in the state of Wisconsin during the 19th century from a number of other breeds, including the Irish and English Water Spaniels. The breed was saved by Dr. Fred J...

  • State Beverage: Milk
    Milk
    Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

  • State Grain: Corn
    Corn
    Corn is the name used in the United States, Canada, and Australia for the grain maize.In much of the English-speaking world, the term "corn" is a generic term for cereal crops, such as* Barley* Oats* Wheat* Rye- Places :...

  • State Dance: Polka
    Polka
    The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia...

  • State Dessert: Cream Puff
    Cream puff
    A profiterole, cream puff or choux à la crème is a choux pastry ball filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, or ice cream. The puffs may be decorated or left plain or garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar....


Geography





Wisconsin is bordered by the Montreal River; Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

 and Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 to the north; by Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

 to the east; by Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 to the south; and by Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 to the southwest and Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 to the northwest. A border dispute with Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 was settled by two cases, both Wisconsin v. Michigan
Wisconsin v. Michigan
Two Supreme Court cases, Wisconsin v. Michigan, 295 U.S. 455 and Wisconsin v. Michigan, 297 U.S. 547 , settled a border dispute between Wisconsin and Michigan. A third, Michigan v. Wisconsin, ...-Lake Superior to Lac Vieux Desert:...

, in 1934 and 1935. The state's boundaries include the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and St. Croix River in the west, and the Menominee River
Menominee River
The Menominee River is a river in northwestern Michigan and northeastern Wisconsin in the United States. It is approximately 118 mi , draining a rural forested area of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan into Lake Michigan...

 in the northeast. Wisconsin is the northernmost state that does not share a border with Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

With its location between the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 and the Mississippi River, Wisconsin is home to a wide variety of geographical features. The state is divided into five distinct regions. In the north, the Lake Superior Lowland
Lake Superior Lowland
In the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the Lake Superior Lowland, also known as the Superior Coastal Plain, is a geographical region located in the far northern part of the state bordering Lake Superior...

 occupies a belt of land along Lake Superior. Just to the south, the Northern Highland
Northern Highland
The Northern Highland is a geographical region covering much of the northern territory of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The region stretches from the state border with Minnesota in the west to the Michigan border in the east, and from Douglas and Bayfield Counties in the north to Wood and Portage...

 has massive mixed hardwood and coniferous forests including the 1500000 acres (6,070.3 km²) Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is a 1,530,647 acre U.S. National Forest in northern Wisconsin in the United States. Much of the old growth forest in this region was destroyed by logging in the early part of the 20th century...

, as well as thousands of glacial lakes, and the state's highest point, Timms Hill
Timms Hill
Timms Hill is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Located in north-central Wisconsin in Timms Hill County Park in the Town of Hill in Price County, Timms Hill has an elevation of ....

. In the middle of the state, the Central Plain
Central Plain (Wisconsin)
For other central plains, see Central PlainIn the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the Central Plain is a geographical region consisting of about of land in a v-shaped belt across the center of the state...

 has some unique sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 formations like the Dells of the Wisconsin River
Dells of the Wisconsin River
thumb|250px|Dells of the Wisconsin RiverThe Dells of the Wisconsin River — also called the Wisconsin Dells — is a 5-mile gorge on the Wisconsin River in southern Wisconsin, USA...

 in addition to rich farmland. The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands
Eastern Ridges and Lowlands
The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands is a geographical region in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin, between Green Bay in the north, and the border with Illinois in the south...

 region in the southeast is home to many of Wisconsin's largest cities.
The ridges include the Niagara Escarpment
Niagara Escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment, or cuesta, in the United States and Canada that runs westward from New York State, through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois...

 that stretches from New York State, the Black River Escarpment
Black River Escarpment (Wisconsin)
The Black River Escarpment is a geological feature in Eastern Wisconsin.The escarpment runs parallel to and between the Niagara Escarpment and the Magnesian Escarpment....

 and the Magnesian Escarpment.
The bedrock of the Niagara Escarpment is dolomite
Dolomite
Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg2. The term is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock dolostone....

, while the two shorter ridges have limestone bedrock.
In the southwest, the Western Upland
Western Upland
The Western Upland is a geographical region covering much of the western half of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It stretches from southern Polk County, Wisconsin in the north to the state border with Illinois in the south, and from Rock County in the east to the Mississippi River in the west.The...

 is a rugged landscape with a mix of forest and farmland, including many bluffs on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. This region is part of the Driftless Area, which also includes portions of Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, and Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. This area was not covered by glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

s during the most recent ice age, the Wisconsin Glaciation
Wisconsin glaciation
The last glacial period was the most recent glacial period within the current ice age occurring during the last years of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years ago....

.

Overall, 46% of Wisconsin's land area is covered by forest. Langlade County
Langlade County, Wisconsin
Langlade County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2000, the population was 20,740. Its county seat is Antigo.-Geography:According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and is water...

 has a soil rarely found outside of the county called Antigo Silt Loam
Antigo (soil)
Antigo soils are among the most extensive soils in Wisconsin. They occur on about 300,000 acres in the northern part of the State. Antigo soils are well-drained and formed under northern hardwood forests in loess and loamy sediments over stratified sandy outwash...

.

Areas under the management of the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 include the following:
  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
    The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a U.S. national lakeshore consisting of 21 islands and shoreline encompassing 69,372 acres on the northern tip of Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Superior....

     along Lake Superior
  • Ice Age National Scenic Trail
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
    Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
    The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway is a federally protected system of riverways located in eastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. It protects of river, including the St. Croix River , and the Namekagon River , as well as adjacent land along the rivers. The St...



There is one national forest managed by the U.S. Forest Service
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass...

 in Wisconsin, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is a 1,530,647 acre U.S. National Forest in northern Wisconsin in the United States. Much of the old growth forest in this region was destroyed by logging in the early part of the 20th century...

.

Wisconsin has sister-state relationships with the Germany's Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, Japan's Chiba Prefecture
Chiba Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture...

, Mexico's Jalisco
Jalisco
Jalisco officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Jalisco is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is located in Western Mexico and divided in 125 municipalities and its capital city is Guadalajara.It is one of the more important states...

, China's Heilongjiang
Heilongjiang
For the river known in Mandarin as Heilong Jiang, see Amur River' is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. "Heilongjiang" literally means Black Dragon River, which is the Chinese name for the Amur. The one-character abbreviation is 黑...

, and Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

.

Wisconsin has seven locations in which you can stand in four counties at one time (4 corners), even with the counties' borders often being river-based.

Climate


Wisconsin's climate is classified as humid continental
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

. The highest temperature ever recorded in the state was in the Wisconsin Dells, on July 13, 1936, where it reached 114 °F (46 °C). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was in the village of Couderay
Couderay, Wisconsin
Couderay is a village in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, United States, along the Couderay River. The population was 96 at the 2000 census. The village is located within the Town of Couderay....

, where it reached −55 °F (−48 °C) on both February 2 and February 4, 1996.
Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Selected Wisconsin Cities [°F (°C)]
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Green Bay 24/7
(−4/-14)
29/12
(−2/-11)
40/23
(4/-5)
55/34
(13/1)
68/45
(20/7)
77/54
(25/12)
81/59
(27/15)
78/56
(26/13)
70/48
(21/9)
58/37
(14/3)
42/26
(6/-3)
29/13
(−2/-11)
La Crosse 26/6
(−3/-14)
32/13
(0/-11)
45/24
(7/-4)
60/37
(16/3)
72/49
(22/9)
81/58
(27/14)
85/63
(29/17)
82/61
(28/16)
74/52
(23/11)
61/40
(16/4)
44/27
(7/-3)
30/14
(−1/-10)
Madison 25/9
(−4/-13)
31/14
(−1/-10)
43/25
(6/-4)
57/35
(14/2)
69/46
(21/8)
78/56
(26/13)
82/61
(28/16)
79/59
(26/15)
71/50
(22/10)
60/39
(16/4)
43/28
(6/-2)
30/16
(−1/-9)
Milwaukee 28/13
(−2/-11)
32/18
(0/-8)
43/27
(6/-3)
54/36
(12/2)
66/46
(19/8)
76/56
(24/13)
81/63
(27/17)
79/62
(26/17)
72/54
(22/12)
60/43
(16/6)
46/31
(8/-1)
33/19
(1/-7)
http://www.ustravelweather.com/wisconsin/

Demographics


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
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

, who settled the southwestern area of the state. The next wave was dominated by "Yankees," migrants from New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 and upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

; in the early years of statehood, they dominated the state's heavy industry, finance, politics and education. Between 1850 and 1900, large numbers of European immigrants followed them, including Germans, Scandinavians (the largest group being Norwegian), and smaller groups of Belgians
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Dutch, Swiss
Swiss (people)
The Swiss are citizens or natives of Switzerland. The demonym derives from the toponym of Schwyz and has been in widespread use to refer to the Old Swiss Confederacy since the 16th century....

, Finns
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, and others. In the 20th century, large numbers of Mexicans
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and African Americans came, settling mainly in Milwaukee; and after end of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 came a new influx of Hmongs
Hmong people
The Hmong , are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Hmong are also one of the sub-groups of the Miao ethnicity in southern China...

.

According to the 2010 Census, the state's population is: 83.3% Caucasian, 6.3% African American, 5.9% Hispanic, 2.3% Asian,1.0% Native American, and 1.8% of mixed race.

The six largest ancestry groups in Wisconsin are: German (42.6%), Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (10.9%), Polish (9.3%), Norwegian (8.5%), English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (6.5%), and Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 (6.1%). German is the most common ancestry in every county in the state, except Menominee, Trempealeau and Vernon. Wisconsin has the highest percentage of residents of Polish ancestry of any state.
The various ethnic groups settled in different areas of the state. Although Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 settled throughout the state, the largest concentration was in Milwaukee. Norwegians
Norwegians
Norwegians constitute both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in United States, Canada and Brazil.-History:Towards the end of the 3rd...

 settled in lumbering and farming areas in the north and west. Small colonies of Belgians
Belgians
Belgians are people originating from the Kingdom of Belgium, a federal state in Western Europe.-Etymology:Belgians are a relatively "new" people...

, 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 1940 on. Menominee County is the only county in the eastern United States with an American Indian majority.

86% of Wisconsin's African-American population live in four cities: Milwaukee, Racine
Racine, Wisconsin
Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196...

, Beloit
Beloit, Wisconsin
Beloit is a city in Rock County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2010 census, Beloit had a population of 36,966. The greater Beloit area is home to more than 91,000 residents.-Claim to fame:...

, Kenosha
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha is a city and the county seat of Kenosha County in the State of Wisconsin in United States. With a population of 99,218 as of May 2011, Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin. Kenosha is also the fourth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, following Chicago,...

, with Milwaukee home to nearly three-fourths of the state's black Americans. In the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 region, only Detroit
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

 and Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 have a higher percentage of African-American residents.

33% of Wisconsin's Asian population is Hmong
Hmong people
The Hmong , are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Hmong are also one of the sub-groups of the Miao ethnicity in southern China...

, with significant communities in Milwaukee, Wausau
Wausau, Wisconsin
Wausau is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people...

, Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

, Sheboygan
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
-Airport:Sheboygan is served by the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport, which is located several miles from the city.-Roads:Interstate 43 is the primary north-south transportation route into Sheboygan, and forms the west boundary of the city. U.S...

, Appleton
Appleton, Wisconsin
Appleton is a city in Outagamie, Calumet, and Winnebago Counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It is situated on the Fox River, 30 miles southwest of Green Bay and 100 miles north of Milwaukee. Appleton is the county seat of Outagamie County. The population was 78,086 at the 2010 census...

, Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

, La Crosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. The city lies alongside the Mississippi River.The 2011 Census Bureau estimates the city had a population of 52,485...

, Eau Claire
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Eau Claire is a city located in the west-central part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 65,883 as of the 2010 census, making it the largest municipality in the northwestern portion of the state, and the 9th largest in the state overall. It is the county seat of Eau Claire County,...

, Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,916 people, 24,082 households, and 13,654 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,662.2 people per square mile . There were 25,420 housing units at an average density of 1,075.6 per square mile...

, and Manitowoc
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Manitowoc is a city in and the county seat of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. According to the 2000 census, Manitowoc had a population of 34,053, with over 50,000 residents in the surrounding communities...

.

Religion



Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 is the predominant religion of Wisconsin. As of the year 2000, the RCMS reported that the three largest denominational groups in Wisconsin are Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, Mainline Protestant, and Evangelical Protestant. The Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Wisconsin (at 1,695,660), followed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA officially came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three churches. As of December 31, 2009, it had 4,543,037 baptized members, with 2,527,941 of them...

 with 463,432 members reported and the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, reporting 241,306 adherents. The percentage of Wisconsin residents who belong to various affiliations are shown below:
  • Christian
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

     – 80%
    • Protestant
      Protestantism
      Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

       – 50%
      • Lutheran
        Lutheranism
        Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

         – 23%
      • Methodist
        Methodism
        Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

         – 7%
      • Baptist
        Baptist
        Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

         – 5%
      • Presbyterian
        Presbyterianism
        Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

         – 2%
      • United Church of Christ
        United Church of Christ
        The United Church of Christ is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination primarily in the Reformed tradition but also historically influenced by Lutheranism. The Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches united in 1957 to form the UCC...

         – 2%
      • Other Protestant or general Protestant – 15%
    • Roman Catholic
      Roman Catholicism in the United States
      The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

       – 29%
    • Other Christian – 2%
  • Other religions – 1%
  • Non-affiliated – 15%

Crime


Statewide FBI Crime statistics for 2009 include 144 murders/nonnegligent manslaughter; 1,108 forcible rapes; 4,850 robberies; 8,431 aggravated assaults; and 147,486 property crimes. Wisconsin also publishes its own statistics through the Office of Justice Assistance. The OJA reported 14,603 violent crimes in 2009, with a clearance rate (% solved) of 50%. The OJA reported 4,633 sexual assaults in 2009, with an overall clearance rate for sexual assaults of 57%. Of note, in Wisconsin juveniles are nearly three times more likely than adults to be victims of sexual assault, with 11- to 15-year-old children as the highest victimized age group.

Law and government


The capital is Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

.
State Executive Officers
  • Governor: Scott Walker
    Scott Walker (politician)
    Scott Kevin Walker is an American Republican politician who began serving as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin on January 3, 2011, after defeating Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, 52 percent to 47 percent in the November 2010 general election...

     (R)
  • Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch
    Rebecca Kleefisch
    Rebecca Kleefisch is a former television news anchor, turned American politician, and is currently serving as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin...

     (R)
  • Attorney General: J.B. Van Hollen (R)
  • Secretary of State: Douglas LaFollette (D)
  • Treasurer: Kurt W. Schuller
    Kurt W. Schuller
    Kurt W. Schuller is the State Treasurer of Wisconsin and a businessman.Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Schuller graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with an associate degree in management and communications. Schuller owned and managed restaurants and lives in Eden, Wisconsin...

     (R)
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction (Non-partisan Office): Tony Evers

See also:
  • Wisconsin Constitution
    Wisconsin Constitution
    The Constitution of the State of Wisconsin is the governing document of the U.S. State of Wisconsin. It establishes the structure and function of state government, describes the state boundaries, and declares the rights of state citizens...

  • Governors of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin State Legislature
    • Wisconsin State Senate
      Wisconsin State Senate
      The Wisconsin Senate, the powers of which are modeled after those of the U.S. Senate, is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature, smaller than the Wisconsin State Assembly...

    • Wisconsin State Assembly
      Wisconsin State Assembly
      The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin Senate, the two constitute the legislative branch of the U.S. state of Wisconsin....

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    Wisconsin Supreme Court
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state of Wisconsin. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over original actions, appeals from lower courts, and regulation or administration of the practice of law in Wisconsin.-Location:...

  • U.S. Congressional Delegations from Wisconsin
  • Map of congressional districts
  • List of U.S. Senators from Wisconsin

Politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2008 42.31% 1,262,393 56.22% 1,677,211
2004 49.31% 1,478,120 49.71% 1,489,504
2000 47.56% 1,237,279 47.83% 1,242,987
1996 38.48% 845,029 48.81% 1,071,971
1992 36.78% 930,855 41.13% 1,041,066
1988 47.80% 1,047,794 51.41% 1,126,794


During the period of the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Wisconsin was a Republican
History of the United States Republican Party
The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous...

 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
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

 and his sons, originally of the Republican Party
Republican Party of Wisconsin
The Republican Party of Wisconsin is the Wisconsin affiliate of the United States Republican Party . The state party chair is Brad Courtney...

, but later of the revived Progressive Party
Progressive Party (United States, 1924)
The Progressive Party of 1924 was a new party created as a vehicle for Robert M. La Follette, Sr. to run for president in the 1924 election. It did not run candidates for other offices, and it disappeared after the election except in Wisconsin. Its name resembles the 1912 Progressive Party, which...

. Since 1945, the state has maintained a close balance between Republicans and Democrats
Democratic Party of Wisconsin
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in Wisconsin. As of 2009, it is headed by state party chairman Mike Tate, who is the youngest chairman of a state party...

. Republican Senator Joe McCarthy was a controversial national figure in the early 1950s. Recent leading Republicans include former Governor Tommy Thompson
Tommy Thompson
Thomas George "Tommy" Thompson , a United States Republican politician, was the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, after which he served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thompson was a candidate for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, but dropped out early after a poor performance in polls...

 and Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.; prominent Democrats include Senators Herb Kohl
Herb Kohl
Herbert H. "Herb" Kohl is the senior U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. He is also a philanthropist and the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks National Basketball Association team...

 and Russ Feingold
Russ Feingold
Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold is an American politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He served as a Democratic party member of the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator representing the 27th District.He is a recipient of the John F...

, and Congressman David Obey.

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
Bennett Law
The Bennett Law was a very controversial state law passed in Wisconsin in 1889, that required the use of English to teach major subjects in all public and private elementary and high schools. It affected the state's many German-language private schools , and was bitterly resented by German-American...

 campaign of 1890, when the Germans switched to the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 because of the Republican Party's
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.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 2001. One such city, Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

, has been named the Number 1 digital city by the Center for Digital Government in consecutive years.

In the 2008 presidential election, Wisconsin voted for the Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois Senator Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

. Obama captured 56% of the vote statewide, with the urban centers of Milwaukee and Madison voting strongly Democratic. Bucking the historic trend, Brown County (home to Green Bay) and Outagamie County (home to Appleton) voted for Obama over John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee. In all, McCain captured approximately 42% of the vote statewide and won 13 of the state's 72 counties. Of the counties won by McCain, only a handful were by greater than 55% of the vote (Florence, Green Lake, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha, with Washington County providing his largest single-county percentage victory in the state). In all, Obama was successful in 59 counties, transcending the state's usual east/west and urban/suburban/rural divides. Wisconsin ranked second in voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election, behind Minnesota.

In 2008 under Democratic rule, Milwaukee became the third U.S. city to pass paid sick-days legislation.

The 2010 elections, however, 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.S. Senator Russ Feingold
Russ Feingold
Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold is an American politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He served as a Democratic party member of the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator representing the 27th District.He is a recipient of the John F...

, and Republicans took two previously Democratic-held House seats, creating a 5–3 Republican majority House delegation.

On February 14, 2011, the Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. Completed during 1917, the building is the fifth to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature...

 erupted with protests
2011 Wisconsin protests
The 2011 Wisconsin protests were a series of demonstrations in the state of Wisconsin in the United States beginning in February involving at its zenith as many as 100,000 protestors opposing the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill. Subsequently, anti-tax activists and other conservatives, including tea...

 when the Legislature took up a bill that would end most collective bargaining rights for state employees, except for wages, to address the $3.6 bil. deficit. The protests attracted tens of thousands of people each day, and garnered international attention.

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.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin


The last election in which Wisconsin supported a Republican Presidential candidate was in 1984. However, both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were close, with Wisconsin receiving heavy doses of national advertising because it was a "swing," or pivot, state. Al Gore carried the presidential vote in 2000 by only 5,700 votes, and John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 won Wisconsin in 2004 by 11,000 votes. However, in 2008, Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 carried the state by 381,000 votes and with 56%. Republicans had a stronghold in the Fox Valley
Fox River (Wisconsin)
The Fox River is a river in eastern and central Wisconsin in the United States. Along the banks is a chain of cities, including Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, Little Chute, Kimberly, Combined Locks, and Kaukauna. Except for Oshkosh, these cities refer to themselves as the Fox Cities...

, but elected a Democrat, Steve Kagen
Steve Kagen
Steven Leslie Kagen, M.D. is a physician and was the U.S. Representative for , serving from 2007 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party...

, of Appleton
Appleton, Wisconsin
Appleton is a city in Outagamie, Calumet, and Winnebago Counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It is situated on the Fox River, 30 miles southwest of Green Bay and 100 miles north of Milwaukee. Appleton is the county seat of Outagamie County. The population was 78,086 at the 2010 census...

, for the 8th Congressional District in 2006. However, Kagen survived only two terms and was replaced by Republican Reid Ribble in the Republican Party's sweep of Wisconsin in November 2010, 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
Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Waukesha County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2008, the population was 380,629. Its county seat is Waukesha.-History:The part of Wisconsin that Waukesha County now occupies was a part of Michigan when Milwaukee County was organized in September 1834. On July 4, 1836, the...

. The City of Milwaukee heads the list of Wisconsin's Democratic strongholds, which also include Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

 and the state's Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 reservations. Wisconsin's largest Congressional district, the 7th, had voted Democratic since 1969. Its representative, David Obey, chaired the powerful House Appropriations Committee.. However, Obey retired and the once Democratic seat was overtaken by Republican Sean Duffy in November 2010.
  • Wisconsin's political history encompasses, on the one hand, "Fighting Bob" La Follette
    Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
    Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

     and the Progressive movement; and on the other, the Republican and anti-Communist Joe McCarthy
    Joseph McCarthy
    Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

    .
  • In the early 20th century, the Socialist Party of America
    Socialist Party of America
    The Socialist Party of America was a multi-tendency democratic-socialist political party in the United States, formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization...

     had a base in Milwaukee. The phenomenon was referred to as "sewer socialism
    Sewer Socialism
    Sewer Socialism was a term, originally more or less pejorative, for the American socialist movement that centered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and existed from around 1892 to 1960...

    " 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 1950s, largely because of the red scare and racial tensions. The first Socialist mayor of a large city in the United States was Emil Seidel
    Emil Seidel
    Emil Seidel was the mayor of Milwaukee from 1910 to 1912. He was the first Socialist mayor of a major city in the United States, and ran as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America in the 1912 presidential election....

    , elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1910; another Socialist, Daniel Hoan
    Daniel Hoan
    Daniel Webster "Dan" Hoan was a United States lawyer and politician. He became the second Socialist mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and his tenure is generally considered to be the longest continuous socialist administration in U.S. history...

    , was mayor of Milwaukee from 1916 to 1940; and a third, Frank P. Zeidler
    Frank P. Zeidler
    Frank Paul Zeidler was an American Socialist politician and Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serving three terms from April 20, 1948 to April 18, 1960. He was the most recent Socialist mayor of any major American city, although U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was the mayor of Burlington, the largest...

    , from 1948–1960. Socialist newspaper editor Victor Berger was repeatedly elected as a U.S. Representative, although he was prevented from serving for some time because of his opposition to the First World War.
  • William Proxmire
    William Proxmire
    Edward William Proxmire was an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a United States Senator from Wisconsin from 1957 to 1989.-Personal life:...

    , a Democratic Senator (1957–89), dominated the Democratic party for years; he was best known for attacking waste and fraud in federal spending.
  • Democrat Russ Feingold
    Russ Feingold
    Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold is an American politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He served as a Democratic party member of the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator representing the 27th District.He is a recipient of the John F...

     was the only Senator
    United States Senate
    The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

     to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001.
  • Democrat Tammy Baldwin
    Tammy Baldwin
    Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district, serving since 1999. She is a member of the Democratic Party. In September 2011, Baldwin announced she would be a candidate in the 2012 U.S...

     from Madison was the first, and is currently the only, openly lesbian U.S. Representative.
  • In 2004, Gwen Moore
    Gwen Moore
    Gwendolynne Sophia Moore is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. She is a member of the Democratic Party.The district is based in Milwaukee and also includes South Milwaukee, Cudahy and St. Francis, and part of West Allis. She is the first woman to represent the district...

    , a Democrat from Milwaukee, became Wisconsin's first African-American U.S. Representative.


In 2006, Democrats gained in a national sweep of opposition to the Bush administration, and the Iraq War. The retiring GOP 8th District Congressman, Mark Green, of Green Bay, ran against the incumbent Governor Jim Doyle
Jim Doyle
James Edward "Jim" Doyle is a Wisconsin politician and member of the Democratic Party. He was the 44th Governor of Wisconsin, serving from January 6, 2003 to January 3, 2011. He defeated incumbent Governor Scott McCallum by a margin of 45 percent to 41 percent; the Libertarian Party candidate Ed...

. Green lost by 8% statewide, making Doyle the first Democratic Governor to be re-elected in 32 years. 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 2008, Democrats regained control of the State Assembly by a 52–46 margin, marking the first time since 1987 the both the governor and state legislature were both Democratic. However, Republicans won both chambers of the legislature and the governorship in 2010, the first time all three changed partisan control in the same election.

Taxes


Wisconsin collects personal income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

es (based on five income brackets) which range from 4.6% to 7.75%. The state sales
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 and use tax
Use tax
A use tax is a type of excise tax levied in the United States. It is assessed upon otherwise "tax free" tangible personal property purchased by a resident of the assessing state for use, storage or consumption of goods in that state , regardless of where the purchase took place...

 rate is 5.0%. Fifty-nine counties have an additional sales/use tax of 0.5%. Milwaukee County and four surrounding counties have an additional temporary 0.1% tax which helps fund the Miller Park baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 stadium, which was completed in 2001. Retailers who make sales subject to applicable county taxes must collect this tax on their retail sales.

The most common property tax assessed on Wisconsin residents is the real property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

, 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
Intangible property
Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, describes something which a person or corporation can have ownership of and can transfer ownership of to another person or corporation, but has no physical substance. It generally refers to statutory creations such as copyright, trademarks,...

. Wisconsin does not collect inheritance tax
Inheritance tax
An inheritance tax or estate tax is a levy paid by a person who inherits money or property or a tax on the estate of a person who has died...

es. Until January 1, 2008, 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 road
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

s in Wisconsin; highway
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

 and road construction and maintenance are funded by motor fuel tax revenues.

Economy



In 2010 Wisconsin’s gross state product was $248.3 billion, making it 21st among U.S. states. The per capita personal income was $35,239 in 2008. The economy of Wisconsin is driven by manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, and health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

. Although manufacturing accounts for a far greater part of the state's income than farming, Wisconsin is often perceived as a farming state.

As of June 2010, the state's unemployment rate is 7.9% (seasonally adjusted)

In October 2010, the largest employers in Wisconsin were:
  1. Wal-Mart
    Wal-Mart
    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

    ;
  2. University of Wisconsin–Madison
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

    ;
  3. Milwaukee Public Schools
    Milwaukee Public Schools
    Milwaukee Public Schools is the largest school district in Wisconsin. As of 2007, it had an enrollment of 87,360 students, and as of 2006 employed 6,100 full-time and substitute teachers in 223 schools. The Milwaukee Public Schools system is the 33rd largest in the United States by enrollment...

    ;
  4. U.S. Postal Service;
  5. Wisconsin Department of Corrections
    Wisconsin Department of Corrections
    The Wisconsin Department of Corrections is an administrative department in the executive branch of the state of Wisconsin responsible for corrections in Wisconsin, including state prisons. As of 2011, the department is administered by Secretary Gary Hamblin. The DOC secretary is appointed by the...

    ;
  6. Menards
    Menards
    Menards is a chain of home improvement stores in the Midwestern United States.The privately held company headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin has 262 stores in 13 states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, and...

    ;
  7. Marshfield Clinic
    Marshfield Clinic
    Marshfield Clinic is a health care system in northern, central and western Wisconsin, with 2 hospitals and 52 community care centers as of June, 2010. It was founded in 1916 by six local physicians: K.W. Doege, William Hipke, Victor Mason, Walter G. Sexton, H.H. Milbee, and Roy P...

    ;
  8. Aurora Health Care
    Aurora Health Care
    Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care system headquartered in Milwaukee and serving eastern Wisconsin. The system has 13 hospitals, over 100 clinics, and more than 80 community pharmacies. With 29,000 employees including 3,385 physicians, Aurora is one of Wisconsin's largest...

    ;
  9. City of Milwaukee; and
  10. Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Agriculture


Wisconsin produces about a quarter of America's cheese, leading the nation in cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

 production. It is second in milk production, after California, and third in per-capita milk production, behind Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 and Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

. Wisconsin is second in butter production, producing about one-quater of the nation's butter. The state ranks first nationally in the production of corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 for silage
Silage
Silage is fermented, high-moisture fodder that can be fed to ruminants or used as a biofuel feedstock for anaerobic digesters. It is fermented and stored in a process called ensiling or silaging, and is usually made from grass crops, including corn , sorghum or other cereals, using the entire...

, cranberries
Cranberry
Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right...

 ginseng
Ginseng
Ginseng is any one of eleven species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae....

, and snap beans
Green bean
Green beans , also known as French beans , are the unripe fruit of any kind of bean, including the yardlong bean, the hyacinth bean, the winged bean, and especially the common bean , whose pods are also usually called string beans in the northeastern and western United States, but can also be...

 for processing. It grows over half the national crop of cranberries. and 97% of the nation's ginseng. Wisconsin is also a leading producer of oat
Oat
The common oat is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name . While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed...

s, potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es, carrot
Carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

s, tart cherries
Cherry
The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

, maple syrup
Maple syrup
Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species such as the bigleaf maple. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then...

, and sweet corn for processing. 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 50 State Quarters
50 State Quarters
The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. Between 1999 and 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter....

 design.

A large part of the state's manufacturing sector includes commercial food processing, including well-known brands such as Oscar Mayer
Oscar Mayer
Oscar Mayer is an American meat and cold cut production company, owned by Kraft Foods, known for its hot dogs, bologna, bacon and Lunchables products.-History:...

, Tombstone
Tombstone (pizza)
Tombstone is a brand of frozen pizza. It is available in several varieties, including pepperoni and sausage. The package design typically includes images of a cactus and the pizza.-History:...

 frozen pizza, Johnsonville
Johnsonville Foods
Johnsonville Sausage is a Wisconsin-based sausage producer, founded in 1945 by Ralph F. & Alice Stayer. Johnsonville Sausage produces various varieties of sausage including fresh bratwurst, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links...

 brats
Bratwurst
A bratwurst is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork or beef. The plural in German is Bratwürste....

, and Usinger's sausage
Fred Usinger
Fred Usinger, Inc., better known as Usinger's, is a sausage-making company located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Old World Third Street.- History :...

. Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Inc. is an American confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate. It markets many brands in more than 170 countries. 12 of its brands annually earn more than $1 billion worldwide: Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Trident, Tang...

 alone employs over 5,000 people in the state. Milwaukee is a major producer of beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 and was formerly headquarters for Miller Brewing Company
Miller Brewing Company
The Miller Brewing Company is an American beer brewing company owned by the United Kingdom-based SABMiller. Its regional headquarters are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the company has brewing facilities in Albany, Georgia; Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Eden, North Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas;...

 — the nation's second-largest brewer — until it merged with Coors Brewing Company. Formerly, Schlitz, Blatz
Valentin Blatz Brewing Company
The Valentin Blatz Brewing Company was an American brewery based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It produced Blatz Beer from 1851 until 1959 when the label was sold to Pabst Brewing Company.-History:...

, and Pabst
Pabst Brewing Company
Pabst Brewing Company is an American company that dates its origins to a brewing company founded in 1844 by Jacob Best and by 1889 named after Frederick Pabst. It is currently the holding company contracting for the brewing of over two dozen brands of beer and malt liquor from defunct companies...

 were cornerstone breweries in Milwaukee.
Badger State
State Animal: Badger
State Domesticated
Animal:
Dairy cow
State Wild Animal: White-tailed deer
White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer , also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States , Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru...

State Beverage: Milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

State Fruit: Cranberry
Cranberry
Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right...

State Bird: Robin
American Robin
The American Robin or North American Robin is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European Robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the flycatcher family...

State Capital: Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

State Dog: American water spaniel
American Water Spaniel
The American Water Spaniel, , is a breed of spaniel which is one of a small number of breeds originating in the United States. Developed in the state of Wisconsin during the 19th century from a number of other breeds, including the Irish and English Water Spaniels. The breed was saved by Dr. Fred J...

State Fish: Muskellunge
Muskellunge
A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

State Flower: Wood violet
Violet (plant)
Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae, with around 400–500 species distributed around the world. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere; however, viola species are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes in...

State Fossil
State fossil
Most American states have made a state fossil designation, in many cases during the 1980s. It is common to designate one species in which fossilization has occurred, rather than a single specimen, or a category of fossils not limited to a single species....

:
Trilobite
Trilobite
Trilobites are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita. The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record defines the base of the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian period , and they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before...

State Grain: Corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

State Insect: European honey bee
State Motto: Forward
State Song: "On, Wisconsin!
On, Wisconsin!
"On, Wisconsin!" is the fight song of the Wisconsin Badgers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. With modified lyrics, it is also the official state song of Wisconsin....

"
State Tree: Sugar maple
Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum is a species of maple native to the hardwood forests of northeastern North America, from Nova Scotia west to southern Ontario, and south to Georgia and Texas...

State Mineral: Galena
Galena
Galena is the natural mineral form of lead sulfide. It is the most important lead ore mineral.Galena is one of the most abundant and widely distributed sulfide minerals. It crystallizes in the cubic crystal system often showing octahedral forms...

 (Lead sulfide)
State Rock: Red granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

State Soil: Antigo silt loam
Antigo (soil)
Antigo soils are among the most extensive soils in Wisconsin. They occur on about 300,000 acres in the northern part of the State. Antigo soils are well-drained and formed under northern hardwood forests in loess and loamy sediments over stratified sandy outwash...

State Dance: Polka
Polka
The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia...

State Symbol of
Peace:
Mourning dove
Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove is a member of the dove family . The bird is also called the Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds...

State Microbe Lactococcus lactis
Lactococcus lactis
Lactococcus lactis is a Gram-positive bacterium used extensively in the production of buttermilk and cheese, but has recently also become famous as the first genetically modified organism to be used alive for the treatment of human disease. L...


Manufacturing


Wisconsin is home to a very large and diversified manufacturing economy, with special focus on transportation and capital equipment. Major Wisconsin companies in these categories include the Kohler Company
Kohler Company
'The Kohler Company is a manufacturing company in Kohler, Wisconsin best known for its plumbing products. Kohler also manufactures furniture, cabinetry, tile, engines, and generators.-History:...

; Mercury Marine
Mercury Marine
Mercury Marine, founded in 1939, is a division of Brunswick of Lake Forest, Illinois, in the United States. Mercury provides engines for private, commercial and government sales. Mercury also has its own line of very successful racing engines tailored for power and speed. The company's primary...

; Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation is a global provider of industrial automation, power, control and information solutions. Brands in industrial automation include Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software....

; Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls, Inc. is a company, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. It was founded in 1885 by professor Warren S. Johnson, inventor of the first electric room thermostat....

; Seagrave Fire Apparatus
Seagrave Fire Apparatus
Seagrave Fire Apparatus LLC is a manufacturer of fire apparatus that specializes in pumper and rescue units, as well as aerial towers. In addition to manufacturing new equipment, they refurbish, repair and upgrade older Seagrave apparatus, including National Fire Protection Association updates to...

; Pierce Manufacturing
Pierce Manufacturing
Pierce Manufacturing is an Appleton, Wisconsin based manufacturer of custom fire and rescue apparatus and a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation. Pierce was acquired by Oshkosh in 1996. The company was originally founded in 1913 by Humphrey Pierce and his son Dudley as the Pierce Auto...

 (fire apparatus); Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton is the world's largest manufacturer of air-cooled gasoline engines primarily for outdoor power equipment. Current production averages 11 million engines per year.-History:...

; Miller Electric
Miller Electric
Miller Electric is an arc welding and cutting equipment manufacturing company based in Appleton, WI. Miller Electric has grown from a one-man operation selling products in Northeast Wisconsin, to what is today one of the world's largest manufacturers of arc welding and cutting equipment...

; Milwaukee Electric Tool Company
Milwaukee Electric Tool Company
The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation is a manufacturer of heavy-duty portable electric power tools and accessories. The company was acquired by Hong Kong based Techtronic Industries in 2005. Techtronic is a public company, traded on Hong Kong's Heng Seng exchange...

; Bucyrus International
Bucyrus International
Bucyrus International, Inc. , was an American surface and underground mining equipment company. Founded as Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Company in Bucyrus, Ohio, in 1880, Bucyrus moved company headquarters to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1893. In its early history, Bucyrus produced steam...

; Joy Global
Joy Global
Joy Global Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company with an integral role in the mining industry. It manufactures and services heavy machinery used in underground and surface mining. Its underground mining machinery business operates primarily through subsidiary Joy Mining Machinery, a brand known for its...

 Inc.; The Manitowoc Company; Modine Manufacturing Company; Reliance Controls Corporation; Super Steel Products Corp.; Ladish Co.; Oshkosh Truck
Oshkosh Truck
Oshkosh Corporation , formerly Oshkosh Truck, designs and builds specialty trucks and truck bodies and access equipment. Based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the company employs 12,300 people around the world...

; Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson , often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression...

; and the Ariens Company.

Consumer goods


Wisconsin is a major producer of paper, packaging, and other consumer goods. Major consumer products companies based in the state include SC Johnson & Co., and Diversey Inc., Wisconsin also ranks first nationwide in the production of paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 products; the lower Fox River from Lake Winnebago
Lake Winnebago
Lake Winnebago is a freshwater lake in eastern Wisconsin, United States. It is the largest lake entirely within the state.-Statistics:...

 to Green Bay has 24 paper mill
Paper mill
A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags and other ingredients using a Fourdrinier machine or other type of paper machine.- History :...

s along its 39 miles (62.8 km) stretch.

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
GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare is a division of GE Technology Infrastructure, which is itself a division of General Electric . It employs more than 46,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. GE Healthcare is the first GE business segment to be headquartered...

, Epic Systems
Epic Systems Corporation
Epic Systems Corporation is a privately held health care software company founded in 1979 by Judy Faulkner. Originally headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, Epic began moving staff to a new $300 million campus in Verona, Wisconsin in late 2005. Nearly all of Epic's staff are based in the greater...

, and TomoTherapy
TomoTherapy
Tomotherapy is a type of radiation therapy in which the radiation is delivered slice-by-slice...

.

Tourism


Tourism is also a major industry in Wisconsin – the state's third largest, according to the Department of Tourism. Tourist destinations such as the House on the Rock
House on the Rock
The House on the Rock, originally opened in 1959, is a complex of architecturally unique rooms, streets, gardens and shops designed by Alex Jordan, Jr...

 near Spring Green
Spring Green, Wisconsin
Spring Green is a village in Sauk County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,444 at the 2000 census. The village is located within the Town of Spring Green.-Geography:Spring Green is located at ....

, Circus World Museum
Circus World Museum
The Circus World Museum is a large museum complex in Baraboo, Wisconsin devoted to circus-related history. The museum, which features not only circus artifacts and exhibits, but also hosts daily live circus performances throughout the summer, is owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, and...

 in Baraboo
Baraboo, Wisconsin
Baraboo is the largest city in, and the county seat of Sauk County, Wisconsin, USA. It is situated on the Baraboo River. Its 2010 population was 12,048 according to the US Census Bureau...

, and The Wisconsin Dells
Wisconsin Dells
Wisconsin Dells may refer to:* Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin* The Dells of the Wisconsin River...

 also draw thousands of visitors annually, and festivals such as Summerfest
Summerfest
Summerfest is a yearly music festival held at the Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. The festival lasts for 11 days, is made up of 11 stages with performances from over 700 bands, and since the mid-1970s has run from late June through early July, usually...

 and the EAA Oshkosh Airshow
Oshkosh Airshow
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is America's largest annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States....

 draw international attention, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Given the large number of lakes and rivers in the state, water recreation is very popular.

The distinctive Door Peninsula
Door Peninsula
The Door Peninsula is a peninsula in eastern Wisconsin, separating the southern part of the Green Bay from Lake Michigan. The peninsula begins in northern Brown and Kewaunee counties and proceeds northeast to include all of Door County. It is the western portion of the Niagara Escarpment. Well...

, 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 boil
Fish boil
A fish boil is a Great Lakes culinary tradition in areas of Wisconsin and along the coastal Upper Great Lakes, with large Scandinavian populations. Fish boils enjoy a particularly strong presence in Door County, Port Wing and Port Washington, Wisconsin...

s.

Film industry


On January 1, 2008, a new tax incentive
Tax incentive
A tax incentive is an aspect of the tax code designed to incentivize, or encourage, a certain type of behavior. This may be accomplished through means including tax holidays, tax deductions, or tax abatements...

 for the film industry came into effect. The first major production to take advantage of the tax incentive was Michael Mann's Public Enemies. While the producers spent $18 million dollars on the film, it was reported that most of that went to out-of-state workers and for out-of-state services; Wisconsin taxpayers had provided $4.6 million in subsidies, and derived only $5 million in revenues from the film's making.

Important municipalities


Towns are unincorporated minor civil division
Minor civil division
Minor civil division is a term used by the United States Census Bureau to designate the primary governmental and/or administrative divisions of a county, such as a civil township, precinct, or magisterial district...

s of counties.

Wisconsin's self-promotion as "America's Dairyland" sometimes leads to a mistaken impression that it is an exclusively rural state. However, Wisconsin contains cities and towns of all sizes. Over 68% of Wisconsin residents live in urban areas, with the Greater Milwaukee area home to roughly one-third of the state's population. Milwaukee is at the northern edge of an urban area bordering Lake Michigan that stretches southward into greater Chicago and northwestern Indiana, with a population of over 11 million. With over 602,000 residents, Milwaukee proper is the 22nd-largest city in the country. The string of cities along the western edge of Lake Michigan is generally considered to be an example of a megalopolis
Megalopolis (city type)
A megalopolis is typically defined as a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. The term was used by Oswald Spengler in his 1918 book, The Decline of the West, and Lewis Mumford in his 1938 book, The Culture of Cities, which described it as the first stage in urban overdevelopment and...

. Madison's dual identity as state capital and college town gives it a cultural richness unusual in a city its size. With a population of around 220,000, and metropolitan area of over 600,000, Madison is also a very fast-growing city. Madison's suburb, Middleton
Middleton, Wisconsin
Middleton is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. It is a western suburb of the state capital, Madison but it was actually founded before Madison. It got its name from Middletown, Connecticut; the "w" being dropped was due to a paper work error made by long time historian Edward Kromrey...

, was also ranked the "Best Place to Live in America" in 2007 by Money Magazine. Medium-size cities dot the state and anchor a network of working farms surrounding them. As of 2007, there were 12 cities in Wisconsin with a population of 50,000 or more. Cities and villages are incorporated urban areas in Wisconsin.

Education


Wisconsin, along with Minnesota and Michigan, was among the Midwestern leaders in the emergent American state university movement following the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 in the United States. By the turn of the century, education in the state advocated the "Wisconsin Idea
Wisconsin Idea
The Wisconsin Idea is the political philosophy developed in the American state of Wisconsin that fosters public universities' contributions to the state: "to the government in the forms of serving in office, offering advice about public policy, providing information and exercising technical skill,...

", which emphasized for service to the people of the state. The "Wisconsin Idea" exemplified the Progressive movement within colleges and universities at the time. Today, public education in Wisconsin includes both the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System
University of Wisconsin System
The University of Wisconsin System is a university system of public universities in the state of Wisconsin. It is one of the largest public higher education systems in the country, enrolling more than 182,000 students each year and employing more than 32,000 faculty and staff statewide...

, with the flagship university University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

, and the 16-campus Wisconsin Technical College System
Wisconsin Technical College System
Wisconsin Technical College System is a group of 16 technical colleges in Wisconsin.-History:The Wisconsin Legislature passed laws in 1911 requiring cities with a population of 5000 or more to set up trade schools, and a school board to control them...

 which coordinates with the University of Wisconsin. Notable private colleges and universities include Carthage College
Carthage College
Carthage College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Situated in Kenosha, Wisconsin midway between Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the campus is on the shore of Lake Michigan and is home to 2,500 full-time and 900 part-time...

, Marquette University
Marquette University
Marquette University is a private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman Catholic university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1881, the school is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities...

, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Milwaukee School of Engineering
The Milwaukee School of Engineering is a private university located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. MSOE is best known for its applications-oriented curriculum, close association with business and industry, and extremely high placement rate...

, Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical College of Wisconsin is a private, freestanding medical school and graduate school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It was formerly affiliated with Marquette University....

, Concordia University Wisconsin
Concordia University Wisconsin
Concordia University Wisconsin is a private liberal arts college located in Mequon, Wisconsin. The school is an affiliate of the 10-member Concordia University System, which is operated by the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod ....

, Carroll University, Edgewood College
Edgewood College
Edgewood College is a Dominican Catholic liberal arts college in Madison, Wisconsin, in the Diocese of Madison. Overlooking the shores of Lake Wingra, it occupies on Madison's near west side....

, Beloit College
Beloit College
Beloit College is a liberal arts college in Beloit, Wisconsin, USA. It is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and has an enrollment of roughly 1,300 undergraduate students. Beloit is the oldest continuously operated college in Wisconsin, and has the oldest building of any college...

, St. Norbert College
St. Norbert College
St. Norbert College is a private Catholic liberal arts college in De Pere, Wisconsin. Founded in October 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings, a Norbertine priest and educator, the school was named after Saint Norbert of Xanten. In 1952, the college became coeducational and today enrolls about 2,175...

, Lakeland College, Cardinal Stritch University
Cardinal Stritch University
Cardinal Stritch University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.The university also has sites located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and Rochester, Minnesota, as well as multiple Outreach programs throughout Wisconsin.Cardinal...

 and Lawrence University
Lawrence University
Lawrence University is a selective, private liberal arts college with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Lawrence University is known for its rigorous academic environment. Founded in 1847, the first classes were held on November 12, 1849...

, among others.
Elementary, middle and high school education are mandatory by law.

Culture



Citizens of Wisconsin are referred to as Wisconsinites. The traditional prominence of references to dairy farming
Dairy farming
Dairy farming is a class of agricultural, or an animal husbandry, enterprise, for long-term production of milk, usually from dairy cows but also from goats and sheep, which may be either processed on-site or transported to a dairy factory for processing and eventual retail sale.Most dairy farms...

 and cheesemaking in Wisconsin's rural economy (the state's license plates have read "America's Dairyland" since 1940) have led to the nickname (sometimes used pejoratively among non-residents) of "cheesehead
Cheesehead
Cheesehead is a nickname, sometimes used disparagingly, referring to a person from Wisconsin, referring to the large volume of cheese production of the state...

s" and to the creation of "cheesehead hats" made of yellow foam in the shape of a block of cheese.

Numerous ethnic festival
Festival
A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival....

s are held throughout Wisconsin to celebrate the heritage of its citizens. Such festivals include Summerfest
Summerfest
Summerfest is a yearly music festival held at the Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. The festival lasts for 11 days, is made up of 11 stages with performances from over 700 bands, and since the mid-1970s has run from late June through early July, usually...

, Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest celebrations
The Oktoberfest is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Germany during late September and early October. It is attended by six million people each year and has inspired numerous similar events using the name Oktoberfest in Germany and around the world, many of which were founded by German...

, Polish Fest
Polish Fest
Polish Fest is an annual ethnic festival held at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of the largest Polish festivals in the United States, it attracts Polish Americans from all over Wisconsin and nearby Chicago, who come to celebrate Polish culture through music, food and...

, Festa Italiana
Festa Italiana
Festa Italiana is an ethnic festival held annually at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is the largest Italian-American festival in America and features Italian music, food and entertainment...

, Irish Fest, Bastille Days, Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day), Brat(wurst) Days in Sheboygan
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
-Airport:Sheboygan is served by the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport, which is located several miles from the city.-Roads:Interstate 43 is the primary north-south transportation route into Sheboygan, and forms the west boundary of the city. U.S...

, Cheese Days in Monroe
Monroe, Wisconsin
Monroe, known as "the Swiss Cheese Capital of the USA", is a city in and the county seat of Green County, Wisconsin, United States. The population, was 10,843 at the 2000 census. The city is located partially within the Town of Monroe and partially in the Town of Clarno.-Geography:Monroe is located...

 and Mequon
Mequon, Wisconsin
Mequon is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It had a population of 21,823 at the 2000 census, and an estimated population of 23,739 in July 2009...

, African World Festival, Indian Summer, Arab Fest, and many others.

Art



The Milwaukee Art Museum
Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum is located on Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.Beginning around 1872, multiple organizations were founded in order to bring an art gallery to Milwaukee, as the city was still a growing port town with little or no facilities to hold major art exhibitions...

 in Milwaukee, with its brise soleil
Brise soleil
Brise soleil, sometimes brise-soleil , from French, "sun breaker"), in architecture refers to a variety of permanent sun-shading techniques, ranging from the simple patterned concrete walls popularized by Le Corbusier to the elaborate wing-like mechanism devised by Santiago Calatrava for the...

designed by Santiago Calatrava
Santiago Calatrava
Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect, sculptor and structural engineer whose principal office is in Zürich, Switzerland. Classed now among the elite designers of the world, he has offices in Zürich, Paris, Valencia, and New York City....

, is known for its interesting architecture. The Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens cover over 200 acre (0.809372 km²) of land on the far west side of the city. Madison is home to the Vilas Zoo
Henry Vilas Zoo
Henry Vilas Zoo is a public zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, United States.The Henry Vilas Zoo receives over 500,000 visitors annually. It charges no admission or parking fees, and is one of a few free zoos in the world accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums...

 which is free for all visitors, and the Olbrich Gardens conservatory, as well as the hub of cultural activity at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

. It is also known for Monona Terrace
Monona Terrace
Monona Terrace is a convention center on the shores of Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.-Controversy:...

, a convention center that was designed by Taliesin Architect Anthony Puttnam, based loosely on a 1930s design by Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

, a world-renowned architect and Wisconsin native who was born in Richland Center
Richland Center, Wisconsin
Richland Center is a city in Richland County, Wisconsin, United States, which also serves as the county seat. The population was 5,184 at the 2010 census.-History:Richland Center was founded in 1851 by Ira Sherwin Hazeltine, a native of Andover, Vermont...

. Wright's home and studio in the 20th century was at Taliesin
Taliesin (studio)
Taliesin , near Spring Green, Wisconsin, was the summer home of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright began the building in 1911 after leaving his first wife, Catherine Tobin, and his Oak Park, Illinois, home and studio in 1909. The impetus behind Wright's departure was his affair with...

, south of Spring Green. Decades after Wright's death, Taliesin remains an architectural office and school for his followers.

Music



Wisconsin has more country music festivals than any other state, including Miller Lite Presents Country Fest
Country Fest
Country Fest is a major music festival that is held every year right around late June in Cadott, Wisconsin. Over thousands of people attend this music festival that was started in 1987...

, Bud Light Presents Country Jam USA, the Coors Hodag Country Festival, Porterfield Country Music Festival, Country Thunder USA in Twin Lakes, and Ford Presents Country USA.

The state's largest city, Milwaukee, also hosts Summerfest
Summerfest
Summerfest is a yearly music festival held at the Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. The festival lasts for 11 days, is made up of 11 stages with performances from over 700 bands, and since the mid-1970s has run from late June through early July, usually...

, dubbed "The World's Largest Music Festival," every year. This festival is held at the lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park
Henry Maier Festival Park
The Henry W. Maier Festival Park, also known either as the Henry Maier Festival Grounds or as the Summerfest Grounds, is a festival park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States. The Park is named for Henry Maier, Milwaukee's longest-serving mayor....

 just south of downtown, as are a summer-long array of ethnic
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 musical festivals such as the Milwaukee Irish Fest
Milwaukee Irish Fest
Milwaukee Irish Fest is a yearly ethnic festival held at the Henry Maier Festival Park, on the Lake Michigan, USA, every third weekend in August. More than 130,000 people attend the Fest each year to take in nearly 250 acts on 17 stages. The four-day festival in downtown Milwaukee started in 1981...

.

The Wisconsin Area Music Industry
Wisconsin Area Music Industry
Wisconsin Area Music Industry is an American volunteer organization founded in 1980, and based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its stated purpose is "to educate and recognize the achievements and accomplishments of individuals in the Wisconsin music industry." The organization is best known for its...

 provides an annual WAMI event where it presents an awards show for top Wisconsin artists.

Alcohol and Wisconsin culture


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, binge drinking
Binge drinking
Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is the modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. It is a kind of purposeful drinking style that is popular in several countries worldwide,...

, driving under the influence
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence is the act of driving a motor vehicle with blood levels of alcohol in excess of a legal limit...

, and proportion of drinkers. Factors such as cultural identification with the state's heritage of German immigration, the longstanding presence of major breweries in Milwaukee, and a cold climate are often associated with the prevalence of drinking in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Tavern
Tavern
A tavern is a place of business where people gather to drink alcoholic beverages and be served food, and in some cases, where travelers receive lodging....

 League is a strong political force and the state legislature has been reluctant to lower a DUI offense from BAC 0.10 to 0.08 (only through Federal government influence) and raise the alcoholic beverage tax. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a daily morning broadsheet printed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. It is the primary newspaper in Milwaukee, the largest newspaper in Wisconsin and is distributed widely throughout the state...

series "Wasted in Wisconsin" examined this situation.

Recreation


The varied landscape of Wisconsin makes the state a popular vacation destination for outdoor recreation. Winter events include skiing, ice fishing and snowmobile derbies
World Championship Snowmobile Derby
The World Championship Snowmobile Derby is the World championship snowmobile race. It is held at the Eagle River Derby Track along U.S. Route 45 in Eagle River, Wisconsin on the third weekend in January. Eagle River is known as the "Snowmobile Capital of the World" because it hosts the Derby...

. Wisconsin has many lakes of varied size; the state contains 11188 square miles (28,976.8 km²) of water, more than all but three other states (Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 and Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

).

Outdoor activities are popular in Wisconsin, especially hunting and fishing. One of the most prevalent game animals is the whitetail deer. Each year in Wisconsin, well over 600,000 deer hunting licenses are sold. In 2008, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is an agency of the state of Wisconsin. Its purpose is to preserve, protect, manage and maintain the natural resources of the state. The WDNR has the authority to set policy for itself and to recommend regulations for approval by the State Legislature...

 projected the pre-hunt deer population to be about 1.5 to 1.7 million.

Sports




Wisconsin is represented by major league teams in three sports: football, baseball, and basketball. Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field is an outdoor football stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the home of the NFL's Green Bay Packers. Opened in 1957 as City Stadium, it replaced the original City Stadium as the Packers' home field...

, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

, is home to the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

's Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

. The Packers have been part of the NFL since the league's second season in 1921 and hold the record for the most NFL titles, earning the city of Green Bay the nickname "Titletown USA". The Packers are the smallest city franchise in the NFL, and is the only one owned by shareholders statewide. The franchise was founded by "Curly" Lambeau who played and coached for them. The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful small-market professional sports franchises in the world and have won 13 NFL championships, including the first two AFL-NFL Championship games (Super Bowl
Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League , the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather...

s I
Super Bowl I
The First AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, later known as Super Bowl I and referred to in some contemporary reports as the Supergame, was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.The National Football League ...

 and II
Super Bowl II
The second AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, later to be known as Super Bowl II, was played on January 14, 1968 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida....

), Super Bowl XXXI
Super Bowl XXXI
Super Bowl XXXI was an American football game played on January 26, 1997, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1996 regular season. The National Football Conference champion Green Bay Packers defeated the American...

 and Super Bowl XLV
Super Bowl XLV
Super Bowl XLV was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference champion Green Bay Packers to decide the National Football League champion for the 2010 season. The game was held at Cowboys Stadium in...

 . The state's support of the team is evidenced by the 81,000-person waiting list for season tickets to Lambeau Field.


The Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

, the state's only major league baseball team, play in Miller Park in Milwaukee, the successor to Milwaukee County Stadium
Milwaukee County Stadium
Milwaukee County Stadium was a ballpark in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1953 to 2000. It was primarily used as a baseball stadium for the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers, but was also used for football games, ice skating, religious services, concerts and other large events...

 since 2001. In 1982, the Brewers won the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 Championship, marking their most successful season. The team switched from the American League to the National League starting with the 1998 season.

The Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They are part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and currently plays at the Bradley Center....

 of the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 play home games at the Bradley Center
Bradley Center
The Bradley Center is an indoor arena, located on the northwest corner of North 4th and West State Streets, in Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin....

. The Bucks won the NBA Championship in 1971.

The state also has minor league teams in hockey (Milwaukee Admirals
Milwaukee Admirals
The Milwaukee Admirals are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They play in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA at the Bradley Center.-History:...

) and baseball (the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are a minor league baseball team of the Midwest League, and the Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are located in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, and are named for timber rattlesnakes. The team plays its home games at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium...

, based in Appleton
Appleton, Wisconsin
Appleton is a city in Outagamie, Calumet, and Winnebago Counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It is situated on the Fox River, 30 miles southwest of Green Bay and 100 miles north of Milwaukee. Appleton is the county seat of Outagamie County. The population was 78,086 at the 2010 census...

 and the Beloit Snappers
Beloit Snappers
The Beloit Snappers are a Class A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, that plays in the Midwest League.Beloit joined the Midwest League as an expansion franchise in 1982. They were a Milwaukee Brewers farm team from its beginning through 2004; they switched to the...

 of the Class A minor leagues). Wisconsin is also home to the Madison Mallards
Madison Mallards
The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team based in Madison, Wisconsin that plays in the Northwoods League. Warner Park on Madison’s North side is the team's home field. The 2010 season marks the Mallards' 10th anniversary season....

, the La Crosse Loggers
La Crosse Loggers
The La Crosse Loggers are a La Crosse, Wisconsin based baseball team playing in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. They play at Copeland Park....

, the Eau Claire Express
Eau Claire Express
The Eau Claire Express is a collegiate summer baseball team playing in the Northwoods League. Their home games are played at Carson Park, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin ....

, the Green Bay Bullfrogs
Green Bay Bullfrogs
The Green Bay Bullfrogs is a baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. Their home games are played at Joannes Stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin...

, the Wisconsin Woodchucks
Wisconsin Woodchucks
The Wisconsin Woodchucks are an American baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. They play their home games at Athletic Park in Wausau, Wisconsin...

, and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a baseball team based in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. With their inaugural season in 2010, the Rafters will play their home games at Witter Field, previously home to the Wisconsin Rapids Twins...

 of the Northwoods League
Northwoods League
The Northwoods League is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams of the top college players from North America and beyond. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate...

, a collegiate all-star summer league. In arena football Wisconsin is represented by three teams: the Wisconsin Wolfpack
Wisconsin Wolfpack
The Wisconsin Wolfpack was an American football franchise based in Wisconsin. The Wolfpack name and brand has been used for two teams: an indoor football team in the Continental Indoor Football League and a traditional football team in the Mid Continental Football League.The indoor and outdoor...

 in Madison in the CIFL; the Green Bay Blizzard
Green Bay Blizzard
The Green Bay Blizzard is a professional indoor football team, which was founded in 2003. The Blizzard began play in the Indoor Football League in 2010, after having played the previous seven seasons in af2, in the now defunct the minor league of the Arena Football League. The Blizzard play in...

 of the IFL
Indoor Football League
The Indoor Football League began in 1999 as an offshoot of the troubled Professional Indoor Football League. Keary Ecklund, the owner of the Green Bay Bombers and Madison Mad Dogs, left the PIFL after its first, financially-troubled, season to start his own league. Unlike the PIFL, the IFL was an...

, and the Milwaukee Mustangs
Milwaukee Mustangs
The Milwaukee Mustangs were an Arena Football League team. They played from 1994 to 2001 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Bradley Center.-History:The team was founded in 1994 amidst rumors that the Green Bay Packers would soon stop playing games in Milwaukee, something they'd been doing since 1936...

 of the AFL.

Wisconsin also has many college sports programs, including the Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers
The Wisconsin Badgers are the collegiate athletic teams from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This NCAA Division I athletic program has teams in football, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, soccer, cross country, tennis, swimming, wrestling, track and field, rowing, golf, and softball...

, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

 and the Panthers of University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Badgers football
Wisconsin Badgers football
The Wisconsin Badgers are a college football program that represents the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and the Big Ten Conference. They play their home games at Camp Randall Stadium, the fourth-oldest stadium in college football...

 former head coach Barry Alvarez
Barry Alvarez
Barry Alvarez is a former American football player and coach and currently the Director of Athletics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He served as the head football coach at Wisconsin for 16 seasons from 1990 to 2005, compiling a career college football record of 118–73–4...

 led the Badgers to three Rose Bowl championships, including back-to-back victories in 1999 and 2000. The Badger men's basketball team won the national title in 1941
1941 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
-External links:* on Shrp Sports * , source for much of the information on this page.-See also:* 1941 NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament...

 and made a second trip to college basketball's Final Four
Final four
Final Four isa sports term that is commonly applied to the last four teams remaining in a playoff tournament, most notably NCAA Division I college basketball tournaments. The term usually refers to the four teams who compete in the two games of a single-elimination tournament's semi-final round...

 in 2000
2000 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2000 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 16, 2000, and ended with the championship game on April 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana...

. The Badgers claimed a historic dual championship in 2006 when both the women's
NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship
The annual NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship tournaments determine the top women's ice hockey teams in NCAA Division I and Division III. Women's ice hockey does not have a Division II classification. Under NCAA rules, Division II schools are allowed to compete as Division I members in sports...

 and men's hockey teams won national titles.

The Marquette
Marquette University
Marquette University is a private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman Catholic university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1881, the school is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities...

 Golden Eagles
Marquette Golden Eagles
The Marquette Golden Eagles are the intercollegiate athletic teams of Marquette University....

 of the Big East Conference
Big East Conference
The Big East Conference is a collegiate athletics conference consisting of sixteen universities in the eastern half of the United States. The conference's 17 members participate in 24 NCAA sports...

, the state's other major collegiate program, is known for its men's basketball team
Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball
The Marquette Golden Eagles Basketball team is the basketball team that represents Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The school's 1977 team, coached by Al McGuire, won the NCAA championship. Currently the team competes in the Big East Conference. It last played in the NCAA Division I...

, which, under the direction of Al McGuire
Al McGuire
Al McGuire was the head coach of the Marquette University men's basketball team from 1964 to 1977. He compiled impressive numbers throughout his coaching career, resulting in his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, and was also well known for his colorful personality.-Early life:He...

, won the NCAA National Championship in 1977
1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 32 American schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the National Champion of Men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 12, 1977, and ended with the championship game on March 28 in Atlanta, Georgia. A...

. The team returned to the Final Four in 2003
2003 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2003 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 18, 2003, and ended with the championship game on April 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana...

.

The Semi-Professional Northern Elite Football League consists of many teams from Wisconsin. The league is made up of former professional, collegiate, and high school players. Teams from Wisconsin include: The Green Bay Gladiators from Green Bay, WI, The Fox Valley Force in Appleton, WI, The Kimberly Storm in Kimberly, WI, The Central Wisconsin Spartans in Wausau, WI, The Eau Claire Crush and the Chippewa Valley Predators from Eau Claire, WI, and the Lake Superior Rage from Superior, WI. The league also has teams in Michigan and Minnesota. Teams play from May until August.

Wisconsin is home to the world's oldest operational racetrack. The Milwaukee Mile
Milwaukee Mile
The Milwaukee Mile is a -long oval race track in West Allis, Wisconsin that seats about 40,000 spectators. It operated as a dirt track until 1953. The track was paved in 1954....

, located in Wisconsin State Fair Park
Wisconsin State Fair Park
The Wisconsin State Fair Park is a fairgrounds and exhibition center in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, Wisconsin, USA. It has been the location of the Wisconsin State Fair since 1892. It also hosts other venues such as the Milwaukee Mile, the oldest continuously operating motor speedway in...

 in West Allis, Wisconsin
West Allis, Wisconsin
West Allis is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. The population was 61,254 at the 2000 census. Its name derives from Edward P. Allis, who started the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company in the 19th century. The site of the town was...

, held races there long before the Indy 500.

Wisconsin is home to the nation's oldest operating velodrome
Velodrome
A velodrome is an arena for track cycling. Modern velodromes feature steeply banked oval tracks, consisting of two 180-degree circular bends connected by two straights...

 in Kenosha
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha is a city and the county seat of Kenosha County in the State of Wisconsin in United States. With a population of 99,218 as of May 2011, Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin. Kenosha is also the fourth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, following Chicago,...

 where races have been held every year since 1927.

See also


  • Cheesehead
    Cheesehead
    Cheesehead is a nickname, sometimes used disparagingly, referring to a person from Wisconsin, referring to the large volume of cheese production of the state...

  • Lake Michigan
    Lake Michigan
    Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

  • Lake Superior
    Lake Superior
    Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

  • List of National Register of Historic Places in Wisconsin
  • List of people from Wisconsin

  • U.S. state
    U.S. state
    A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...



Further reading

Detailed popular history and many biographies. Detailed popular history & biographies. Detailed guide to every town and city, and cultural history.
See additional books at History of Wisconsin
History of Wisconsin
The history of Wisconsin encompasses the story not only of the people who have lived in Wisconsin since it became a state of the U.S., but also that of the Native American tribes who made their homeland in Wisconsin, the French and British colonists who were the first Europeans to live there, and...


External links