State: Vermont – VTPublished on October 13th, 2015 | by Brandon Ramsey in Geography
The state abbreviation for Vermont is VT. It is located in the New England region of the United States. With over 75% of the area covered in forests, it is the leading producer of maple syrup in the U.S.
Today we’ll look at information about this place in the form of a broad overview, followed by an examination of the state’s geography, climate, and history. First, let’s take a look at some key information:
- State capital: Montpelier
- Largest City: Burlington
- Total area: 9.616 square miles (ranked 45th)
- Population: 626,562 (ranked 49th)
- Highest Point: Mount Mansfield (4,935 feet)
- Admitted to the Union: March 4, 1971
- Time zone: Eastern UTC -5/-4
- Abbreviation: VT
- Official website: vermont.gov
- State Flag
- State song: “These Green Mountains”
- Motto: “Freedom and Unity”
- Nickname: The Green Mountain State
- State bird: Hermit thrush
- Flower: The Red Clover
- Insect: Western honey bee
- Tree: sugar maple
- Mammal: Morgan horse
- Amphibian: Northern Leopard Frog
- Reptile: painted turtle
State Overview: VT
The western border of the state is halfway made up of Lake Champlain. This border is shared with the state of New York. One of the iconic areas in VT are the Green Mountains. To the south is Massachusetts, and across the Connecticut river to the east is New Hampshire. Finally, to the north is the Canadian province of Quebec.
The capital of Montpelier has a population of only 7,855 which makes it the least populated capital among the 50 U.S. States. This the 6th smallest and 2nd least populated state as well, with a population that is composed of 94.3% Caucasian residents.
The original population here were the Native American tribes known as the Abenaki, and the Iroquois. A good portion of the area was claimed by the French during the early colonial era. France ceded the area to Great Britain when they were defeated during the Seven Years’ War. Here in the United States it is referred to as the French and Indian War.
For years the colonies of New York and New Hampshire disputed over whether or not the land was theirs. Settlers from these colonies were met by the Green Mountain Boys Militia and suffered strong resistance. Eventually they were able to create an independent state known as the Vermont Republic.
It was founded in 1777 during the Revolutionary War and lasted for fourteen years. It is one of only four states that was a sovereign state prior to joining the Union. The others are Texas, Hawaii, and California.
This was one of the first places to partially abolish slavery. During this time, it also played a critical role in the Underground Railroad, which was a network of safe houses that assisted fleeing slaves in escaping to Canada.
Climate and Geography
The average annual temperature here is 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Here the climate is classified as humid continental. The early summers are mild, while the later months like August are more intense. The state is known for its colorful autumn season where the sugar maple trees and other foliage showcase red, orange, and gold foliage.
The northeastern portion, known as the Northeast Kingdom, is typically 10 degrees cooler than other areas of the state during the winter months. Overall, this is the seventh coldest state in the country.
Interestingly, the winters are “too cold to snow” because the temperatures get so low that they cannot sustain precipitation. The highest temperature ever recorded was 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The lowest cold temperature is -50 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is also the only state that doesn’t have any buildings taller than 124 feet. In terms of the total area, it is larger than the country of El Salvador, but smaller than the country of Haiti. The major lake here, Lake Champlain, is the sixth-largest body of fresh water in the United States.
The origin of the state’s name isn’t certain, but it most likely comes from the French term “Lest Verts Monts” which means “the Green Mountains.” This term comes from the fact that the mountains are more forested than the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Adirondacks of New York.
The first European to see the area that would eventually become Vermont was Jacques Cartier in 1535. In 1609, Samuel de Champlain claimed the area as part of New France. The first settlement, Fort Lamotte, went up in 1666. Following their loss in the French and Indian War, France ceded the territory to Great Britain.
The first major success of the patriots during the Revolutionary War came with the capture of Fort Ticonderoga due to efforts from Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys.
New York refused to recognize the land titles as part of the New Hampshire Grants and this resulted in citizens rising up. Ultimately, this led to them proclaiming their independence on January 15, 1777 during the American Revolutionary War.
In June of 1777, a convention of 72 delegates met and chose the name of the state. On July 4, the Constitution of Vermont was written as the Windsor Tavern; it was adopted by the delegates on July 8th. This was one of the first constitutions to ban slavery and provide adult male suffrage, along with public school.
Slavery was fully banned by state law on November 25th, 1858 which was less than three years before the Civil War. From the 1850’s and on, the people here became major activists in opposing slavery. During the Civil War, the state sent 34,000 men into the service.
After the Civil War, the railroads started expanding and linking into national networks. As a result of this, the agricultural output and average incomes soared. In the 21st century, Vermonters opposed the Iraq War, but despite this, they had the highest rate of deaths in the U.S.
In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene caused a significant amount of flooding in the southern portion of the state. In July of 2000, this was the first state to introduce civil unions. In 2009, it was the first to legislate same-sex marriage.
You may think you know everything about this place now, but wait until you check out our list of Vermont state facts! There’s plenty more to discover about this place. Thanks as always for reading, and be sure to share your own information in the comments below!