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Samuel de Champlain explored Vermont in 1609 and claimed the region for France. The first settlement established by France was Fort Ste. Anne in 1666. The first English settlers arrived in the area in 1724 and established Fort Dummer at what now is Brattleboro.
In the late 1600's, New Hampshire's governor granted land in Vermont to settlers. But, New York claimed the same land and gave it to other settlers. King George III of England ruled that it was New York that owned the region in 1764. The Green Mountain Boys formed and fought to retain ownership of the land forcing settlers from New York out of the region.
Settlers from the New Hampshire Grants united in 1777 to create their own state, calling it Vermont. The dispute with New York was settled in 1790, when Vermont paid the state $30,000. Vermont became the 14th state to join the Union on March 4, 1791.
No other state produces as much monument grade granite and marble as Vermont. It leads in the nation's production of maple syrup and talc. While the rocky, rugged terrain doesn't allow for extensive farming, the state is well suited for dairy farming and raising fruit trees.
Almost three quarters of the state's agricultural income comes from dairy products. The most important manufacturing industries in the state are electrical components, semiconductors and computer components. And, tourism is also a major industry. Each year millions of people visit the states numerous ski resorts and take advantage of the fishing and hunting in the area.
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