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Minneapolis–St Paul, United States of America

Reference work entry

Introduction

Minneapolis and St Paul are adjacent cities on opposite banks of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. Collectively they are known as the Twin Cities metropolitan region and they dominate the state’s economic activities. St Paul, to the east, is the state capital of Minnesota and is built on seven hills while the terrain in Minneapolis is relatively flat.

History

The sites of modern-day Minneapolis and St Paul were originally inhabited by Sioux Indians. In 1819 a fort was built at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers as a stopping off point for settlers heading west. In 1838 a French-Canadian trader Pierre Parrant became the first settler in the area occupied by modern-day St Paul, naming the settlement ‘Pig’s Eye’ after his own nickname. The area was renamed St Paul after a nearby chapel in 1841. In 1849 St Paul was made the capital of Minnesota territory, a status it maintained when Minnesota entered the Union 9 years later.

In 1872, the merging of a fort...

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