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Wisconsin Colleges

Wisconsin Colleges


After the American Revolutionary War, Wisconsin was a part of the U.S. Northwest Territory. That was the first Northwest Territory, defined in 1790 by the new Congress as a way to get control over uncontrolled settlement to clear up ownership of areas that were still in dispute with both France and Britain.   It was then governed as part of Indiana Territory, Illinois Territory, and Michigan Territory. Settlement began when the first two public land offices opened in 1834.  Wisconsin Territory was organized on July 3, 1836 and became the 30th state on May 29, 1848.


The state is heavily wooded and has within its borders over 8,500 lakes.  The largest of these, Lake Winnebago, is over 200 square miles.  The Wisconsin River runs generally southward down mid-state, dividing it in two.  The state also fronts on both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.  All that water combined with the extensive north woods have made Wisconsin a sportsmanís haven for years, much like Michiganís Upper Peninsula.


Milwaukee is the largest city in the state with a population of 630,000.   It is a port of entry, shipping heavy cargo from the entire Midwest to world ports via the St. Lawrence Seaway.  The cityís factories also produce heavy machinery and electrical equipment. The city is a principal manufacturer of diesel and gasoline engines, tractors, and beer; Milwaukee once dominated the country's beer-brewing industry.   Just north of Milwaukee is the corporate headquarters of Harley Davidson Motorcycles.  The city has also attracted some electronics manufacturers.


Madison is the second largest city with a population of 210,000 and a metropolitan area of about 350,000.   It is the stateís capital and the home of the University of Wisconsinís flagship campus.  It was actually founded in 1836 to be the stateís capital, the same year that Wisconsin became a territory. The appeal of the location was its proximity, between the areaís oldest settlement, Green Bay, and the highly populated lead mining regions in the southwest. 


The townís founder had to bribe and cajole the territorial legislature to agree to move the capital to this un-built town, but the developer carried the day and the cornerstone for the capital was laid in 1837, nine years before the village was incorporated.  In 1848, Wisconsin entered the Union.


Green Bay is also an important Great Lakes harbor and has been a trading center since first occupied by the French in 1717; The British took control of it in 1767 and the Americans at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War.  Beside the port functions, the city has some meatpacking facilities and handles distribution of agricultural and lumber products.


The University of Wisconsin has ten campuses; however the tuition fees for non residents are in excess of $10,000 per semester for an undergraduate.  Marquette is a notable private institution in Milwaukee; there are a number of other private schools as well.  For information on incoming and developing industries in the state, contact the state Department of Economic Development or check their website for possible leads.

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