Wisconsin covers an area of 56,153 sq mi, including part of Lake Michigan; its capital is Madison. With many unique landforms, including the Door Peninsula between Lake Michigan and Green Bay, its northern area has one of the greatest concentrations of lakes in the world. The Wisconsin River crosses the state. Forests cover about 45% of it. Originally inhabited by the Adena, or Mound Builders, the region was home to several different Indian tribes, including the Ojibwa, Menominee, and Winnebago, when Europeans arrived. The French explorer Jean Nicolet visited Wisconsin in 1634; the first permanent European settlement was established in 1717. The area remained under French control until 1763, when France ceded it to Great Britain after the French and Indian War. After the American Revolution the region was ceded to the U.S. The American settlers dispossessed the Indians of their land and settled the region. It became the Wisconsin Territory in 1836. It was admitted to the Union as the 30th state in 1848. The Progressive movement began in Wisconsin c. 1900, resulting in the passage of legislation that made the state a leader in social reform. It is a major milk, butter, and cheese producer in the U.S. Tourism and recreation also are economically important. Wisconsin ports handle much of the Great Lakes domestic freight shipping.
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