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Facts about Montana for kids

Montana, America's northernmost Rocky Mountain state, lies on the Canadian border between Idaho in the west and the Dakotas in the east. It covers an area of 147,138 square miles. Montana means mountainous in Spanish. Montana is also called 'Land of the Shining Mountains' and 'The Big Sky Country'. High rugged mountains cover western Montana, where the highest point is Granite Peak (12,799 feet). Eastwards, the mountains thin out and the land becomes a grassy plain.

Montana for kids - Glacier National Park Map of Montana for kids

Facts about Montana for kids

Montana has beautiful mountain scenery, including the Alpine wildflower meadows in Glacier National Park.

Facts about Montana for kids

The map shows the location of Montana.

About half of Montana's 989,415 people live in rural areas. Only five cities have more than 20,000 people, including Helena, the state capital. Seven Indian tribal reservations lie within the state. The tribes include the Assiniboin and Sioux, Blackfeet, Chippewa-Cree, Salish and Kootenai, Crow, Northern Cheyenne, and the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

Montana's farms produce more than half of the state's total income. Wheat, barley, hay and sugar beet are leading crops. But only one-fourth of the farmland is used for crop raising. The poorer soil is grassland where farmers rear large herds of cattle and sheep. Montana is rich in minerals, especially petroleum and natural gas. Most of the state's manufacturing industries are based on its agricultural and mineral resources.

The earliest known inhabitants of Montana were the Indian tribes. French fur trappers were active in the area in the mid-1700's. American fur trappers built the first known permanent settlement in Montana in 1847. By 1864, Montana was created a territory. Indian wars continued until 1877, when a federal army crushed all Indian opposition. Montana prospered as a cattle-raising territory after the Northern Pacific Railroad was opened in 1883. This provided transportation to the great cities in the east. In 1889, Montana became the 41st state. By 1900, the state grew rich from its minerals and its economy boomed in and after World War II.

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