N Scale Vermont
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Much of the business of local government in Vermont towns takes place each March at a town meeting held at a meetinghouse, such as this one in Marlboro, Vermont.
The State of Vermont ( /vrmnt/ (helpinfo)) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd by land area, 9,250 square miles (24,000 km2), and 45th by total area. It has a population of 621,270, making it the second least-populated state (with only Wyoming having fewer residents). The only New England state with no coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, Vermont is notable for Lake Champlain (which makes up 50% of Vermont's western border) and the Green Mountains, which run north to south. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north.
Originally inhabited by Native American tribes (Abenaki and Iroquois), much of the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by France but became a British possession after France's defeat in the French and Indian War. For many years, the surrounding colonies disputed control of the area (referred to at the time as the New Hampshire Grants) especially New Hampshire and New York. Settlers who held land titles granted by these colonies were opposed by the Green Mountain Boys militia, which eventually prevailed in creating an independent state, the Vermont Republic, founded during the Revolutionary War and lasting for 14 years; Vermont is thus one of four U.S. states (along with Texas, Hawaii, and the brief California Republic) to have, at one point, existed as its own sovereign government. In 1791, Vermont joined the United States as the fourteenth state, and the first outside the original Thirteen Colonies.
It is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. The state capital is Montpelier, and the largest city and metropolitan area is Burlington. No other state has a largest city as small as Burlington, or a capital city as small as Montpelier.
1.2 Largest towns
1.5 Natural history
2.3 Independence and statehood
2.4 Revolutionary War
2.5 Statehood and the ante-bellum era
2.6 The Civil War
2.7 Postbellum era and beyond
3.2 Race and gender
3.3 Ethnicity and language
4.1 Personal income
4.2 Real estate
5.1 Major routes
5.1.1 North-South routes
5.1.2 East-West routes
5.3 Local community public and private transportation
8 Law and government
8.2.1 National politics
8.2.2 State politics
9 Public health and safety
10.1 Higher education
12 Cultural pursuits
13 State symbols
14 Notable Vermonters
14.1 Notable fictional Vermonters
15 See also
18 External links
19 Related information
See also: List of counties in Vermont, List of Vermont county seats, List of towns in Vermont, and List of mountains in Vermont
Vermont is located in the New England region in the eastern United States and comprises 9,614 square miles (24,900 km2), making it the 45th-largest state. Of this, land makes up 9,250 square miles (24,000 km2) and water comprises 365 square miles (950 km2), making it the 43rd-largest in land area and the 47th in water area. In total area, it is larger than El Salvador and smaller than Haiti.
Map of Vermont, showing cities, roads, and rivers.
The west bank of the Connecticut River marks the eastern (New Hampshire) border of the state (the river itself is part of New Hampshire). Lake Champlain, the major lake in Vermont, is the sixth-largest body of fresh water in the United States and separates Vermont from New York in the northwest portion of the state. From north to south, Vermont is 159 miles (256 km) long. Its greatest width, from east to west, is 89 miles (143 km) at the Canadian border; the narrowest width is 37 miles (60 km) at the Massachusetts line. The state's geographic center is Washington, three miles (5 km) east of Roxbury.
The origin of the name Green Mountains (French: Les monts verts) is uncertain. Some authorities say that they are so named because they have much more forestation than the higher White Mountains of New Hampshire and Adirondacks of New York; others say that the predominance of mica-quartz-chlorite schist, a green-hued metamorphosed shale, is the reason. The Green Mountain range forms a north-south spine running most of the length of the state, slightly west of its center. In the southwest portion of the state are the Taconic Mountains; the Granitic Mountains are in the northeast. In the northwest, near Lake Champlain, is the fertile Champlain Valley. In the south of the valley is Lake Bomoseen.
Vermont has 14 counties. Only twoamoille and Washingtonre entirely surrounded by Vermont territory.
Several mountains have timberlines with delicate year-round alpine ecosystems. These include Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in the state; Killington Peak, the second-highest; Camel's Hump, the state's third-highest; and Mount Abraham, the fifth-highest peak. About 77% of the state is covered by forest; the rest is covered in meadow, uplands, lakes, ponds, and swampy wetlands.
Areas in Vermont administered by the National Park Service include the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (in Woodstock) and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
Burlington, Vermont's largest city
Montpelier, Vermont's Capital city
Cities (2008 estimated population):
South Burlington 17,574
St. Albans 7,250
Although these towns are large enough to be considered cities, they are not incorporated as such.
Largest towns (2008 estimated population):
St. Johnsbury 7,421
A covered bridge, set against the fall foliage, 2009
Vermont has a humid continental climate, with warm, humid summers and cold winters that are colder at higher elevations. It has a Kppen climate classification of Dfb, similar to Minsk, Stockholm, and Fargo. Vermont is known for its mud season in spring, followed by a generally mild early summer, hot Augusts, a colorful autumn, and, in particularts cold winters. The northern part of the state, including the rural northeastern section (dubbed the "Northeast Kingdom"), is known for exceptionally cold winters, often averaging 10F (5.56C) colder than the southern areas of the state. The annual snowfall averages between 60 inches (152 cm) to 100 inches (254 cm) depending on elevation, resulting in a number of cross-country and downhill ski areas. The annual mean temperature for the state is 43 F (6 C).
In the autumn, Vermont's hills display red, orange, and gold foliage displayed on the sugar maple as cold weather approaches. This display of color is not due so much to the presence of a particular variant of the sugar maple; rather, it is caused by a number of soil and climate conditions unique to the area.
The highest recorded temperature was 105 F (41 C), at Vernon, on July 4, 1911; the lowest recorded temperature was 50 F (45.6 C), at Bloomfield, on December 30, 1933. This is the lowest temperature recorded in New England (Big Black River, Maine, also recorded a verified -50F, in 2009). The agricultural growing season ranges from 120180 days.
Monthly normal and record high and low temperatures
Rec High F(C)
Norm High F(C)
Norm Low F(C)
Rec Low F(C)
There are five distinct physiographic regions of Vermont. Categorized by geological and physical attributes, they are the Northeastern Highlands, the Green Mountains, the Taconic Mountains, the Champlain Lowlands, and the Vermont Piedmont.
The state contains 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, 89 species of fish, 193 species of breeding birds, 58 species of mammals, more than 15,000 insect species, and 2,000 higher plant species, plus fungi, algae, and 75 different types of natural communities.
Vermont contains one poisonous snake, the Eastern timber rattlesnake, which is confined to a few acres in western Rutland County.
By the mid-19th century, wild turkeys were exterminated in the state through overhunting and destruction of habitat. Sixteen were re-introduced in 1969 and had grown to an estimated flock of 45,000 in 2009.
Main article: History of Vermont
Mount Mansfield, at 4,393 feet (1,339 m), is the highest point in Vermont.
Between 8500 to 7000 BC, at the time of the Champlain Sea, Native Americans inhabited and hunted in Vermont. During the Archaic period, from the 8th millennium BC to 1000 BC, Native Americans migrated year-round. During the Woodland period, from 1000 BC to AD 1600, villages and trade networks were established, and ceramic and bow and arrow technology was developed. In pre-Columbian Vermont, the western part of the state was originally home to a small population of Algonquian-speaking tribes, including the Mohican and Abenaki peoples. Sometime between 1500 and 1600, the Iroquois drove many of the smaller native tribes out of Vermont, later using the area as a hunting ground and warring with the remaining Abenaki. The population in 1500 was estimated to be around 10,000 people.
See also: List of forts in Vermont
The Old Constitution House at Windsor, where the Constitution of Vermont was adopted on July 8, 1777.
The first European to see Vermont is thought to have been Jacques Cartier, in 1535. On July 30, 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain claimed Vermont as part of New France, and erected a fort which was the first European settlement in Vermont.
In 1690, a group of Dutch-British settlers from Albany established a settlement and trading post at Chimney Point 8 miles (13 km) west of present-day Addison).
The first permanent British settlement was established in 1724, with the construction of Fort Dummer protecting the nearby settlements of Dummerston and Brattleboro.
From 1731-4, the French constructed a fort which gave the French control of the New France/Vermont border region in the Lake Champlain Valley.
The British failed to take the Fort St. Frdric four times between 1755 and 1758. In 1759, a combined force of 12,000 British regular and provincial troops under Sir Jeffrey Amherst captured the fort. The French were driven out of the area.
Following France's loss in the French and Indian War, the 1763 Treaty of Paris gave control of the land to the British.
The end of the war brought new settlers to Vermont. Ultimately, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York all contended for this frontier area.
On March 20, 1764, King George III established the boundary between New Hampshire and New York along the west bank of the Connecticut River, north of Massachusetts, and south of 45 Degrees north latitude. When New York refused to recognize land titles through the New Hampshire Grants (towns created earlier by New Hampshire in present Vermont), dissatisfied colonists organized in opposition, which led to the creation of independent Vermont on January 18, 1777.
In 1770, Ethan Allen, his brothers Ira and Levi, and Seth Warner recruited an informal militia, the Green Mountain Boys, to protect the interests of the original New Hampshire settlers against the new migrants from New York.
Independence and statehood
1790 Act of Congress admitting Vermont to the federal union. Statehood began on March 4, 1791.
The gold leaf dome of the neoclassical Vermont State House (Capitol) in Montpelier designed by Ammi B. Young and amplified by Thomas Silloway.
Main article: Vermont Republic
On January 18, 1777, representatives of the New Hampshire Grants declared the independence of Vermont. For the first six months of the state's existence, the state was called New Connecticut.
On June 2, 1777, a second convention of 72 delegates met to adopt the name "Vermont." This was on the advice of a friendly Pennsylvanian who wrote them on how to achieve admission into the newly independent United States as the 14th state. On July 4, the Constitution of Vermont was drafted at the Windsor Tavern adopted by the delegates on July 8. This was among the first written constitutions in North America and was indisputably the first to abolish the institution of slavery in its constitution, provide for universal male suffrage and require support of public schools. It was in effect from 1777 to 1791. Slavery was banned again by state law on November 25, 1858.
Main article: Battle of Bennington
The Battle of Bennington, fought on August 16, 1777, was a seminal event in the history of the state of Vermont.
A combined American force, under General Stark's command, attacked the British column at Hoosick, New York, just across the border from Bennington and killed or captured virtually the entire British detachment. General Burgoyne never recovered from this loss and eventually surrendered the remainder of his 6,000-man force at Saratoga, New York, on October 17.
The Battles of Bennington and Saratoga are recognized as the turning point in the Revolutionary War because they were the first major defeat of a British army. The anniversary of the battle is still celebrated in Vermont as a legal holiday.
The Battle of Hubardton (July 7, 1777) was the only battle fought in the territory and though the Continental forces were technically defeated, the British forces were damaged to the point that they did not pursue the Americans (retreating from Fort Ticonderoga) any further.
Statehood and the ante-bellum era
Vermont continued to govern itself as a sovereign entity based in the eastern town of Windsor for fourteen years. The independent state of Vermont issued its own coinage from 1785-1788 and operated a statewide postal service. Thomas Chittenden was the Governor in 1778-1789 and in 1790-1791. The state exchanged ambassadors with France, the Netherlands, and the American government then at Philadelphia. In 1791, Vermont joined the Federal union as the fourteenth state, and the first to enter the Union after the original thirteen colonies.
Vermont had a unicameral legislature until 1836.
The mid-1850s onwards saw a transition from Vermonters mostly favoring slavery's containment, to a far more serious opposition to the institution, producing the Radical Republican and abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. While the Whig Party shriveled, and the Republican Party emerged, Vermont strongly trended in support of its candidates. In 1860, it voted for President Abraham Lincoln, giving him the largest margin of victory of any state.
The Civil War
Main article: Vermont in the American Civil War
During the American Civil War, Vermont sent more than 34,000 men into United States service. Almost 5,200 Vermonters, 15%, were killed or mortally wounded in action or died of disease, a higher percentage than any other state.
The northernmost land action of the war, the St. Albans Raid, took place in Vermont.
Postbellum era and beyond
The first election in which women were allowed to vote was on December 18, 1880, when women were granted limited suffrage and were first allowed to vote in town elections, and then in state legislative races.
Large-scale flooding occurred in early November 1927. During this incident, 84 people died including the state's lieutenant-governor. Another flood occurred in 1973, when the flood caused the death of two people and millions of dollars in property damage.
In 1964, the US Supreme Court forced ne-man, one-vote redistricting on Vermont, giving cities an equitable share of votes in both houses for the entire country. Until that time, counties had often been represented by area in state senates and were often unsympathetic to urban problems requiring increased taxes.
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