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A French explorer Jean Nicolet came to the Wisconsin area in 1734 and was followed by other traders and missionaries. Fur trade flourished under the French. The region went to British after French and Indian wars in 1763. The Northwest Territory was the first national territory of the United States comprising geographical regions generally known as the Old Northwest. This area included the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota. The French control here began with exploring and trading in the early 17th century. In 1763 the Treaty of Paris which ended the French and Indian Wars, the British obtained Canada and the Old Northwest.
G. R. Clark led and expedition against the British in the American Revolution and a new Treaty of Paris was established in 1783. This treaty ended the revolution and declared the Old Northwest Territory was within United States boundaries. Cession of all lands to the United States government were completed by 1786. This ended the strife among the states over rival claims. The Ordinance of 1787 set up the machinery for organization of the territories and admission of states. The Jay's Treaty and subsequent negotiations served to iron out some British and American difficulties, but British influence remained strong among the Indians. Wisconsin became part of the Northwest territory in 1787. Quarrels over the Northwest Territory was a chief cause of the War of 1812.
The War of 1812 was a conflict between the United States and Great Britain. Partly occasioned by a desire for neutral shipping rights by Americans in a period of strain in Franco-British relation, the practice of impressment of British sailors from American ships added fuel to the fire. The actual outbreak of hostilities, however, stemmed from the desire of frontiersmen for free land which could only be obtained at the expense of the Indians and the British. War was officially declared on June 18, 1812. The Treaty of Ghent ended the war on December 24, 1814. Although the war quickened the growth of American nationalism and opened the west for expansion, the United States embarked on a period of political isolation from Europe. Effective U. S. controls in Wisconsin began after the War of 1812. The discovery of lead mines brought first rush of settlers in the 1820s.
A conflict broke out between the Sac and Fox Indians and the United State in 1832. A treaty was imposed on the Indians in 1831 that led to their removal from Illinois and Wisconsin. A group of the Indians led by Black Hawk returned to the territory in April of 1832. This resulted in an armed conflict in which most of Black Hawks party was destroyed by a force under the command of Henry Atkinson. This conflict was known as Black Hawk War of 1832. Wisconsin was made a separate territory in 1836.
Wisconsin became the 30th state admitted to the union in 1848. European immigration especially German, was heavy. Rapid economic growth came to the region after 1860. Industrialization continued after World War II. The opening of Saint Lawrence Seaway and Power Project made this and other states accessible to ocean going vessels. Today the Capital of Wisconsin is Madison. The State Bird is the Robin and the State Flower is the Wood Violet.