|North Dakota has always been strongly influenced
by the Native Americans. The name Dakota goes back
to the Indian tribe of the same name. Since this
state already belongs to the Midwest, it was
discovered late compared to the east
coast states and was only sparsely populated for a
The first European to discover this
area for himself was the French Canadian La
Vérendrye, who led a commercial expedition to
the Mandan Indians in 1738. There was no direct
trade with the individual Indian tribes, but goods
and money changed hands indirectly.
The Indians also kept contact with the white
settlers so far to be aware that territorial claims
were made from this direction, above all from
the French and Spanish colonial rulers.
North Dakota was on the Union side during the
American Civil War, but did not play a prominent
role in this armed conflict due to its geographic
location in the far north.
Admission to the United States of America
The advancing industrial age did not stop at this
still largely undeveloped region. Numerous new
people came to the country with the construction of
The division into North and South Dakota came
about through the sale of the then largely
uninhabited territory. Finally, it was decided to
found two states.
North Dakota was admitted to the United States on
November 2, 1889. However, the two Dakotas competed
with each other and fought over who would be
In the end, they decided on a very pragmatic
solution : North Dakota is in the alphabet before
South Dakota and was therefore first included as the
39th state, South Dakota as the 40th state.
Agriculture is an important industry. Natural gas
and oil production is becoming increasingly
important in the raw materials sector. Larger
construction projects were carried out in the
1950s. This created the air force bases at Grand
Forks and Minot. 150 nuclear intercontinental
ballistic missiles are stationed in the north.
North Dakota residents have traditionally been
largely conservative, leading to
regular Republican election successes closely linked
to agriculture. There are various funding programs
in this area. However, there is an increasing
tendency towards an open attitude towards democratic
candidates, even though the Republicans have won the
election here continuously since 1948.
As North Dakota is located in the interior of the
USA and far away from large water masses with a
moderating influence, the climate is
continental. Although far north, the summers are
mostly dry and hot. The winters are correspondingly
Heavy thunderstorms are expected on 20 to 40
days, tornadoes are not uncommon. North Dakota lies
between the cold air masses from the polar regions
and the warm air masses that come from the Gulf of
This mixture often ensures strong wind
conditions. Arctic and tropical systems meet
directly and thus ensure unstable weather
conditions. These conditions stabilize in winter,
but snowstorms can occur more frequently in late
winter and spring.
With 672,591 inhabitants, North Dakota is
still relatively sparsely populated. The number of
inhabitants has not increased significantly since
1920, because 646,872 people lived here at that
time. In several years after this time there was
even negative growth of up to 5.7 percent.
North Dakota experienced the greatest population
growth in the period shortly before joining the
United States. In 1880, this region was able to
enjoy a population growth of more than 1,000
percent. This positive trend continued until 1910,
the values ranged between 417 and 80.8 percent.
Well-educated people with a university degree,
but also simple workers, mostly left this state
because there were better opportunities to earn
money elsewhere. State subsidy programs in the
high-tech area have not become established.
As natural gas and oil production becomes
increasingly important, North Dakota has seen
increased population growth. This state is
characterized by its many different cultures.
Russian Germans, along with Americans, make up
the majority of the population. Americans with
Scandinavian and German roots also feel at home
here. Indian culture is not only present in the
state name, but also in the country itself, because
there are numerous large Indian communities.
The indigenous people are therefore not only
pushed back to the margins of
society. Only Wyoming and Vermont have fewer
residents than North Dakota, which ranks 48th out of