Vermont, state in New England, the northeastern region of the United States; bordered by Canada to the north, the Connecticut River (with New Hampshire on the other side) to the east, Massachusetts to the south, and New York and Lake Champlain to the west.
Land and climate
Vermont has 6 main land regions. The Northeast Highlands are part of the White Mountain range of New Hampshire. In the Western New England Upland, which lines most of the state's eastern border, lies the broad, fertile Connecticut River Valley. In the Green Mountains region, rounded peaks run north-south through the center of the state. The Champlain Valley is a fertile lowland area bordering Lake Champlain. In the southwest lie the Taconic Mountains region, part of a mountain range running from Massachusetts into Vermont, and the Vermont Valley, a narrow region of river valleys. The Connecticut is the state's major river; others include Otter Creek and the Winooski, Missisquoi, and Lamoille rivers. Forests cover about four fifths of the state. Vermont has short, cool summers and long, cold winters. Principal cities are Burlington and Rutland.
Vermont's economy is led by service industries and manufacturing. Chief manufactured goods are electrical equipment, fabricated metal products, books and other printed materials, processed foods, transportation equipment, and furniture. Agriculture and mining account for a small share of the state's economy. Chief farm products are milk and dairy products, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, corn, and hay. Granite is the chief mining product.
Vermont's present constitution was adopted in 1793. The governor serves a 2-year term. The state's legislature, called the General Assembly, consists of 30 senators and 150 representatives; all serve 2-yearterms. In the U.S. Congress, Vermont is represented by 2 senators and 1 representative.
Several Native American tribes lived in the area before the first Europeans—an expedition led by French explorer Samuel de Champlain—arrived in 1609. The first permanent white settlement was established at present-day Brattleboro in 1724. Parts of Vermont were battlegrounds during the French and Indian wars. In 1770, Ethan Allen organized the Green Mountain Boys to resist New York's claims to Vermont lands. When the American Revolution broke out, the Green Mountain Boys joined other patriots to fight the British. In 1777, Vermont's settlers declared it an independent territory; it is one of 3 states (with Texas and Hawaii) that were recognized by the U.S. government as being independent republics before they joined the Union. Vermont's 1777 constitution prohibited slavery and was the first to provide for universal male suffrage (the right to vote). After the War of 1812, which was unpopular in Vermont, hard times drove many Vermonters to the Midwest. During the 1800s, Vermont switched from a sheep-raising to a dairying state. During the Civil War, Vermont supported the Union cause. From the late 1800s until the Great Depression (1930s), the importance of agriculture and the state's textile industries declined while that of tourism and manufacturing grew. World War II revived manufacturing. In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Vermont sought new industries while trying to preserve the scenic beauty that attracts tourists to the area.