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The area we know as North Dakota was claimed by France in 1738 and later included as part of the Louisiana Purchase when the United States bought land from France in 1803.

US Congress created the Dakota Territory on 2 March 1861 and it comprised what is now North Dakota, South Dakota, and most of Montana and Wyoming. In 1863, it was reduced in size to what is currently North Dakota and South Dakota.

On 2 November 1889, North Dakota was admitted as the 39th state.

Over 100,000 immigrants came to northern Dakota Territory between the years of 1879 and 1886. Another huge influx occurred when more than 250,000 persons came into the state between 1898 and 1915.

Homesteading:
Settlers mostly became farmers, either buying land from the railroad, or homesteading 160 acres. The government gave the land to the settlers free if they lived on it and improved it for a certain number of years. If they were willing to plant and care for trees, they could receive an additional 160 acres as well.

From about 1875 to 1890 in eastern North Dakota, large farms -- from 3,000 to 65,000 acres were abundant, especially around the Red River Valley.

Ranching:
Most ranching took place in western North Dakota, especially around the Little Missouri River Valley and the industry boomed until 1886-1887, when an early winter with blizzards killed an estimated 3/4ths of all the cattle. Afterwards, ranching continued on a smaller scale.

Neighbors:
North Dakota is bordered on the north by Saskatchewan and Manitoba, east by Minnesota, south by South Dakota, and west by Montana.



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