Nicknamed the "Land of 10,000 Lakes"-- an underestimate of the actual number-- Minnesota lies east of the Great Plains in the far upper Midwest. Sculpted by glaciers, Minnesota's landscape is a mix of rich and rolling farmlands, peat bogs, and the rugged Superior Upland that yields some of the richest iron ore in the world. The largest city, Minneapolis, lies across the head of the Mississippi River from the capital city, St. Paul. The so-called Twin Cities are home to a number of industrial manufacturing concerns. Food processing is a major sector throughout the state, packaging corn, meat and dairy goods, sugar beets, and the other rich agricultural products of the state. Once a battleground for the Dakota and the displaced Ojibwa, Minnesota accepted a heavy influx of German and Scandinavian immigrants in the late 19th century whose cultural influence remains in architecture, educational institutions, and local culture. Minnesota is also a famed center for third-party politics. It was a bastion of the early Republican Party and a stronghold of the Grange, which grew into reformist movements such as the Populist Party, the Progressive Party, and the Farmer-Labor Party, the last of which eventually merged with the Democrats. Minnesota's unusual politics have contributed such national figures such as Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and Jesse Ventura.
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Official State of Minnesota web site. Links and information on Minnesota government, industry, tourism, and miscellaneous official information.
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