|Nickname||The Badger State|
|Governor||Scott Walker, R|
|Senator||Ron Johnson, R |
|Senator||Tammy Baldwin, D |
|Ratification of Constitution/or statehood||May 29, 1848 (30th)|
Wisconsin, the "Badger State", or unofficially "America's Dairyland", was the thirtieth state to enter the union, on May 29, 1848. The capital city of Wisconsin is Madison.
The town of Ripon in Wisconsin was "The Birthplace of the Republican Party" in 1854.
The state tree is the sugar maple, the state song is "On Wisconsin", the state flower is the wood violet, the state bird is the American robin, the state animal is the badger, the state fossil is the trilobite, and the state fish is the muskellunge.
The state Constitution of Wisconsin, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:
- We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution.
Prior to U.S. independence
The first people believed to have inhabited Wisconsin are called "Paleo-Indians", adaptable communities believed by those who accept evolution to have lived around 12,500 to 8,000 years ago, although evidence strongly points to a more recent timeframe. In the centuries surrounding the life of Christ, the natives began to domesticate and build great mounds—culminating in the Effigy Mounds culture during the Early Middle Ages. Around AD 1000, a new people and a relatively advanced culture, the Middle Mississippian culture, penetrated the area, emigrating from ceremonial city of Cahokia, which is estimated to have had tens-of-thousands of inhabitants. They built several communities in Wisconsin, which was at the far north of their reach, and they lasted until about AD 1200. After European settlers started advancing inward, numerous native peoples moved westward, many of them settling in Wisconsin.
Europeans began exploring Wisconsin around the 1620s-30s, with Etienne Brule widely believed to have been the first European explorer to visit in 1622, although the authenticity of the account is disputed. Wisconsin was under French influence until 1760, when the British took over. The fur trade dominated economic activity in Wisconsin during the colonial period, where Europeans sold various items to the natives for beaver skins.
On July 13, 1787, the Northwest Ordinance was adopted by the American Second Continental Congress, which created a provisional government over the land northwest of the Ohio River, including present-day Wisconsin. Slavery was prohibited in this territory. Wisconsin only saw one conflict on its territory during the War of 1812 at Fort Shelby on St. Feriole Island at Prairie du Chien in 1814. Several battles of the 1832 Black Hawk War, including the Battle of Wisconsin Heights, were fought in Wisconsin. The first territorial capital was Belmont, located about thirty miles from Dubuque, Iowa.
During the first half of the 19th Century, natives lost control over Wisconsin land and whites settled the land. A major survey of Wisconsin began in 1832 in order to measure and subdivide the land, and this would not be complete until 1866. On July 4, 1836, due to sufficient population growth, Wisconsin Territory was formed, created out of Michigan Territory.
Wisconsin enjoyed a lead mining boom in the 1830s and 40s until the California gold rush of 1849 drew many miners away. It was a mining state before it became a predominantly agricultural state. Metallic lead could be picked up from the ground without digging. Cornish miners (from Britain) were some of the earliest European settlers of the state.
In 1846, Wisconsin voters passed a referendum to become a U.S. state. A constitutional convention met in Madison, Wisconsin, drafting a very "advanced and progressive" constitution in December 1846 that included several controversial measures, such as allowing immigrants who applied for citizenship to vote and black suffrage. The proposed constitution was defeated in an April 1847 referendum, and a new convention drafted "a more acceptable and moderate" constitution, which was accepted by the voters in March of 1848. Wisconsin was admitted into the Union as the 30th state on May 29, 1848.
Prior to the Civil War, Wisconsin was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. "Wisconsin soldiers fought in every major battle of the Civil War," with the Iron Brigade being the most well-known unit from the state.
Between 1840 and 1880, Wisconsin was considered "America's breadbasket", with 1/6th of all wheat grown in the U.S. coming from the state. However, by the end of the 19th Century, dairy farming was becoming prevalent, with mainly German and Scandinavian immigrants taking up the industry. By 1915, Wisconsin produced the most butter and cheese out of every other state. In addition, skilled manufacturing became prevalent in the state. The state also had a major logging industry during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
In 1889, the Wisconsin legislature enacted the Bennett Law, which required that schools use only English in classes and enacted several schooling regulations. Propoents of the law hoped it would help German immigrants assimilate into American culture and society, but the law provoked a backlash from Germans and other ethnic groups against the GOP, which had supported the law. In the next elections, Republicans were voted out and the law was eventually repealed. Despite this, German schools, which had once only taught in German, started also using English in teaching. Similar assimilation attempts were attempted in regards with Native Americans between the late 19th Century through the 1920s.
Wisconsin has an interesting political history that is not easy to define. Prominent political leaders from Wisconsin have come from all sides of the political spectrum, from staunch conservatives like Scott Walker to Socialists like Victor Berger. The Republican Party dominated Wisconsin politics from the party's formation until the Great Depression, but both Republicans and Democrats have performed well in Wisconsin, especially since the Depression. It is often considered a swing state.
Formation of the Republican Party
When the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska bill, which became law that same year, was proposed, it met very strong opposition in Wisconsin, regardless of one's political affiliation. Numerous meeting were held against the bill, and in one of them held in Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20, 1854, political leaders under the leadership of lawyer Alvan E. Bovay proposed the creation of a new political party. Other similar meetings also supported creating a new party, and "in July of 1854, a convention was held in Madison to organize the new party"—the Republican Party. Ripon is thus considered by many to be birthplace of the party. From the beginning, the Republican Party performed very well in the state.
Beginning around the turn of the 20th Century, the ideology of Progressivism became prominent in Wisconsin politics, with Progressivists taking control of the Republican Party, which was dominant in state politics, around 1900. While Republican Wisconsin governor and senator Robert M. La Follette led the movement on the state and national level, there were numerous other Progressivist leaders in Wisconsin, including governor James Davidson. Progressivists enacted much legislation during this time, on both the state and federal level, which massively increased the size and scope of the government. Despite the successes of Progressivism, numerous people, including within the Republican Party, disagreed with Progressivist policies, although for differing reasons. The "Wisconsin Idea" was developed during this time.
During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Progressivists continued to enact legislation in Wisconsin that expanded government programs and power, this time under the leadership of Robert La Follette's two sons, Robert La Follette Jr. and Phil La Follette. In 1934, Progressivist Republicans, who were dissatisfied with the conservatism of both the GOP and the Democrats, split from the GOP and formed the Wisconsin Progressive Party. The party performed very well in the succeeding elections at first, capturing the governorship and state legislature, and was able to enact a "Little New Deal". However, the party eventually lost support and was dissolved in 1946.
While Progressivists supported government intervention in the economy and society, the leftist Socialists, who dominated especially in Milwaukee around the same time, were more extreme, supporting the total replacement of capitalism with a very expansive government, as well as "a planned economy of state-owned industries." While there was socialist political activity for years prior, "the first formal manifestation of Socialism in Milwaukee came with the establishment of the Social-Democratic Party in 1897," which eventually became the Socialist Party of America. The party was led by Victor Berger, who in 1910 became the first Socialist Party candidate elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In that same election, the Socialist Party took complete control over Milwaukee city and county. While the Socialists, including Berger and Milwaukee mayor Emil Seidel, were defeated in the 1912 election, Socialists were soon elected again and would continue to play a prominent but reduced role in Milwaukee politics for several decades.
Due to their emphasis on the basics of municipal service, Milwaukee Socialists were often called "sewer socialists". The last Socialist mayor in Milwaukee was Frank P. Zeidler, who was mayor from 1948 to 1960.
Conservatism in Wisconsin
While Wisconsin is notable for its left-wing Progressivist and Socialist movements, numerous prominent conservatives also came from the state. One of them, Joseph McCarthy, is notable for his strong anti-communism and his active attempts to uncover Communist subversives in the U.S. government.
Tommy Thompson was another prominent conservative, although he has also been considered a moderate. He most prominently served as governor of Wisconsin from 1987 to 2001, and is famous for reforming the state's welfare system in order to reduce dependence on government, reducing the state's welfare caseload by 93 percent. He also "created the nation's first school choice program" in 1990.
Scott Walker and the conservative surge
- For further information, see Scott Walker
Despite Thompson's accomplishments, the conservative Scott Walker, who was first elected governor in 2010 has surpassed them. In the 2010 elections, conservative Republicans made large gains in Wisconsin, with Republicans taking control of the state legislature, the U.S. House delegation, and one U.S. Senate seat, all in addition to the governorship.
Walker became a leader of conservatives nationwide when he supported and then signed into law a repeal of most of the collective bargaining privileges of most government workers. While liberals and labor unions strong opposed this move, Walker became the first governor to survive a recall election in 2012. The GOP continued to make major gains, including in the 2016 elections, when Donald Trump became the first Republican since 1984 to win the state, among other GOP victories.
Walker and the other conservative Republicans made major changes in other areas, including abortion, gun rights, and fiscal conservatism.
Southwestern Wisconsin is now a less heavily populated agricultural region even though for a while it was the economic center of the state. The Southeast, which includes Milwaukee and the suburban corridor running south to Chicago, is now the most populous section of the state.
Wisconsin is well known for its dairy industry and is a top producer of cheese in the US.
As of 2017.
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R)
- Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D)
- Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-01]
- Rep. Mark Pocan [D, WI-02]
- Rep. Ron Kind [D, WI-03]
- Rep. Gwen Moore [D, WI-04]
- Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner [R, WI-05]
- Rep. Glenn Grothman [R, WI-06]
- Rep. Sean Duffy [R, WI-07]
- Rep. Mike Gallagher [R, WI-08]
- Governor Scott Walker (R)
- Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R)
- Attorney General Brad Schimel (R)
- Secretary of State Doug La Follette (D)
- State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk (R)
Wisconsin's legislative branch consists of a senate and an assembly.
Sports in Wisconsin
Milwaukee is home to three professional sports teams. The Brewers (baseball), the Bucks (basketball), and the Admirals (hockey). Wisconsin is also home to the Green Bay Packers football team which has largest following of any professional sports team. Wisconsin is also home to various college sports programs, most notably the Wisconsin Badgers and the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Abortion in Wisconsin
- There were 9,580 abortions done in the state in 2006, down from 9,817 in 2005. This is the third year in a row that abortions in the Midwestern state have decreased and the number is the lowest since 1974.
- "Wisconsin Right to Life is ecstatic that Wisconsin abortion numbers continue to decline," Barbara Lyons, the group's director, told LifeNews.com in a statement.
- "In addition, the abortion rate (which represents the number of abortions per 1000 women of childbearing age) remains at 8, which is one of the lowest abortion rates in the nation," Lyons added. The national abortion rate is about 15 per 1,000 women.
- In the statement, Wisconsin Right to Life suggests that the abortions are on the decline because of its work and pro-life legislation the state has enacted and polls showing that younger Americans are more pro-life than previous generations. ...
- There are 14 abortions per 100 life births in Wisconsin, lower than the 24 per 100 live births nationwide.
- In 2006, there were 596 abortions on minors. Written consent (usually by a parent) was provided in 530 of these; the patient was an emancipated minor in 24; and a court granted a petition to waive the parental consent requirement in 42. There were no teens who got abortions after being victimized by sexual assault. ...
- Some 85 percent of the abortions were surgical and 15 percent involved abortion drugs, an increase of one percent over 2005.
In 2011, conservative governor Scott Walker signed the Wisconsin state budget into law, which defunded Planned Parenthood, making Wisconsin the fourth state to defund the illegal program. Walker also signed other pro-life bills into law, including one banning abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Campbell, Henry C. Wisconsin in Three Centuries, 1684-1905 (4 vols., 1906), highly detailed popular history
- James K. Conant. Wisconsin Politics And Government: America's Laboratory of Democracy (2006)
- Richard Current, Wisconsin: A History (2001)
- Larry Gara; A Short History of Wisconsin 1962
- Holmes, Fred L. Wisconsin (5 vols., Chicago, 1946), detailed popular history with many biographies
- Robert C. Nesbit, Wisconsin: A History (rev. ed. 1989)
- Quaife, Milo M. Wisconsin, Its History and Its People, 1634-1924 (4 vols., 1924), detailed popular history & biographies
- Raney, William Francis. Wisconsin: A Story of Progress (1940),
- A. H. Robinson and J. B. Culver, ed., The Atlas of Wisconsin (1974)
- I. Vogeler, Wisconsin: A Geography (1986);
- WPA, Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State 1941; detailed guide to every town and city, and cultural history
Detailed scholarly studies
- Anderson, Theodore A. A Century of Banking in Wisconsin (1954)
- Braun, John A Together in Christ: A history of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (2000), 55 pp
- Buenker, John D. The History of Wisconsin. Volume IV The Progressive Era, 1893-1914 (1998), highly detailed history
- Brøndal, Jørn. Ethnic Leadership and Midwestern Politics: Scandinavian Americans and the Progressive Movement in Wisconsin, 1890-1914. University of Illinois Press, 2004 ISBN 0-87732-095-0.
- Bungert, Heike, Cora Lee Kluge, and Robert Ostergren, eds. Wisconsin: German Land and Life. (Madison: Max Kade Institute, 2006. 260 pp. isbn 0-92411-926-8.)
- Butts, Porter. Art in Wisconsin ( Madison, 1936).
- Clark, James I. Education in Wisconsin (1958).
- Cochran, Thomas C. The Pabst Brewing Company (1948), the best history of any brewery
- Mike Corenthal. Illustrated History of Wisconsin Music 1840-1990: 150 Years (1991)
- Richard Nelson Current. History of Wisconsin: The Civil War Era, 1848-1873 (1976) standard state history
- Curti, Merle and Carstensen, Vernon. The University of Wisconsin: A History (2 vols., 1949)
- Curti, Merle. The Making of an American Community A Case Study of Democracy in a Frontier County (1969), in-depth quantitative social history
- Fries, Robert F. Empire in Pine: The Story of Lumbering in Wisconsin, 1830-1900 (1951).
- Paul Geib; "From Mississippi to Milwaukee: A Case Study of the Southern Black Migration to Milwaukee, 1940-1970" The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 83, 1998
- Glad, Paul W. The History of Wisconsin, Volume 5: War, a New Era and Depression, 1914-1940, standard state history
- Haney, Richard C. A History of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin since World War II
- Jensen, Richard. The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888-1896 (1971)
- Lampard, Eric E. The Rise of the Dairy Industry in Wisconsin (1962).
- McBride, Genevieve G. On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage
- Herbert F. Margulies; The Decline of the Progressive Movement in Wisconsin, 1890-1920 (1968)
- Merrill, Horace S. William Freeman Vilas: Doctrinaire Democrat (1954) Democratic leader in 1880s and 1890s
- Olson, Frederick I. Milwaukee: At the Gathering of the Waters
- A History of Agriculture in Wisconsin, by Schafer, Joseph (1922)
- Schafer, Joseph. "The Yankee and Teuton in Wisconsin", Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 6, No. 2, Dec. 1922, pp. 125–145, compares Yankee and German settlers
- Still, Bayrd. Milwaukee, the History of a City 1948 online edition
- Thelen, David. Robert M. LaFollette and the Insurgent Spirit 1976.
- Unger, Nancy C. Fighting Bob LaFollette: The Righteous Reformer (2000)
- Wisconsin Electronic Reader full text of many primary source books
- The Badger State: A documentary history of Wisconsin (1979)
- La Follette's Autobiography, a personal narrative of political experiences, 1913
- First Peoples. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- answersingenesis.org and other sources
- Effigy Mounds Culture. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Mississippian Culture and Aztalan. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Iroquois Wars of the 17th Century. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Arrival of the First Europeans. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Colonialism Transforms Indian Life. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- The French Fur Trade. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- The Northwest Ordinance, 1787. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- The War of 1812. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- The Black Hawk War. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Belmont Wisconsin town website
- Treaty Councils, from Prairie du Chien to Madeline Island. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Early U.S. Settlement. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- The Creation of Wisconsin Territory. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Lead Mining in Southwestern Wisconsin. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- The State Constitutions of 1846 and 1848. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Wisconsin enters the Union - This Day in History. History.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Wisconsin. History.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- The Iron Brigade, Old Abe and Military Affairs. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- The Rise of Dairy Farming. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- The Rise of Skilled Manufacturing. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Logging and Forest Products. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Americanization and the Bennett Law. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Bennett Law. Encyclopedia of Milwaukee. Retrieved Novmeber 23, 2016.
- The Woman's Suffrage Movement. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Vogeler, Ingolf K. & Finley, Robert W. Constitutional framework - Wisconin. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Vogeler, Ingolf K. & Finley, Robert W. Political and economic maturity - Wisconin. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Wisconsin. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Wisconsin. 270towin.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- 1848 Presidential General Election Results. uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- 1852 Presidential General Election Results. uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Wisconsin and the Republican Party. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- According to Encyclopedia.com, the date was February 28, 1854 .
- Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Depression and Unemployment. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Wisconsin Progressive Party. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Milwaukee Sewer Socialism. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Frank P. Zeidler — The Last Socialist to Run a Major American City. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Joseph McCarthy. u-s-history.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- de Toledano, Ralph (April 25, 2005). The Real McCarthy. The American Conservative. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Walker, Dan (November 7, 2012). After a long career, Tommy makes his political exit. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Tommy Thompson and the Conservative Revolution. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Perlman, Ellen (1997). Tommy G. Thompson. Governing. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Wisconsin: GOP wins Senate, House, gov. seats, ousting Feingold. USA Today (from AP). November 3, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- Stein, Jason & Johnson, Annysa (November 3, 2010). Republicans take over state Senate, Assembly. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- Scott Walker. Biography.com. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- Wisconsin's Walker survives recall by wide margin. Fox News. June 6, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- Bauer, Scott (November 9, 2016). Republicans build majorities in Legislature. The Charlotte Observer (from AP). Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- Kueppers, Courtney (November 8, 2016). Trump Becomes First Republican Presidential Candidate Since 1984 To Win Wisconsin. Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com (Apr. 9, 2007) http://www.lifenews.com/state2218.html
- Zagorski, Sarah (August 24, 2015). Scott Walker Pushes Bill to De-Fund Planned Parenthood After It Sells Aborted Baby Parts. LifeNews.com. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- Scott Walker outlines abortion, gay marriage positions in letter. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (from AP). October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- Stein, Jason (July 20, 2015). Scott Walker signs 20-week abortion ban, trooper pay raise. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 21, 2016.