Wyoming

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File:Wyoming in United States.svg
Wyoming in United States

Wyoming is the least populous state in America, the 10th largest by area, and the 44th state admitted to the union. It's population was estimated at 578,759 in 2019 and the state is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho and Montana.

File:Flag of Wyoming.svg
Flag of Wyoming

The western half of the state is covered mostly by the mountain ranges and rangelands of the Rocky Mountains, while the eastern half of the state is high elevation prairie called the High Plains. Almost half of the land in Wyoming is owned by the U.S. government, leading Wyoming to rank sixth by area and fifth by proportion of a state's land owned by the federal government. Federal lands include two national parks—Grand Teton and Yellowstone—two national recreation areas, two national monuments, several national forests, historic sites, fish hatcheries, and wildlife refuges.

History[edit]

Several Native American groups originally inhabited the region now known as Wyoming. The Crow, Arapaho, Lakota, and Shoshone were but a few of the original inhabitants white explorers encountered when they first visited the region. What is now southwestern Wyoming became a part of the Spanish Empire and later Mexican territory of Alta California, until it was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War. French-Canadian trappers from Québec and Montréal went into the state in the late 18th century, leaving French toponyms such as Téton and La Ramie. John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, itself guided by French Canadian Toussaint Charbonneau and his young Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, first described the region in 1807. At the time, his reports of the Yellowstone area were considered to be fictional. Robert Stuart and a party of five men returning from Astoria discovered South Pass in 1812. The Oregon Trail later followed that route. In 1850, Jim Bridger located what is now known as Bridger Pass, which the Union Pacific Railroad used in 1868—as did Interstate 80, 90 years later. Bridger also explored Yellowstone and filed reports on the region that, like those of Colter, were largely regarded as tall tales at the time.

The region acquired the name Wyoming by 1865, when Representative James Mitchell Ashley of Ohio introduced a bill to Congress to provide a "temporary government for the territory of Wyoming". The territory was named after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, made famous by the 1809 poem Gertrude of Wyoming by Thomas Campbell, based on the Battle of Wyoming in the American Revolutionary War. The name ultimately derives from the Munsee word xwé:wamənk, meaning "at the big river flat".

The region's population grew steadily after the Union Pacific Railroad reached the town of Cheyenne in 1867, and the federal government established the Wyoming Territory on July 25, 1868. Unlike mineral-rich Colorado, Wyoming lacked significant deposits of gold and silver, as well as Colorado's subsequent population boom. However, South Pass City did experience a short-lived boom after the Carissa Mine began producing gold in 1867. Furthermore, copper was mined in some areas between the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Snowy Range near Grand Encampment.

Once government-sponsored expeditions to the Yellowstone country began, reports by Colter and Bridger, previously believed to be apocryphal, were found to be true. This led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park, which became the world's first national park in 1872. Nearly all of Yellowstone National Park lies within the far northwestern borders of Wyoming.

On December 10, 1869, territorial Governor John Allen Campbell extended the right to vote to women, making Wyoming the first territory and then United States state to grant suffrage to women. In addition, Wyoming was also a pioneer in welcoming women into politics. Women first served on juries in Wyoming (Laramie in 1870); Wyoming had the first female court bailiff (Mary Atkinson, Laramie, in 1870); and the first female justice of the peace in the country (Esther Hobart Morris, South Pass City, in 1870). Also, in 1924, Wyoming became the first state to elect a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who took office in January 1925. Due to its civil-rights history, one of Wyoming's state nicknames is "The Equality State", and the official state motto is "Equal Rights".

Wyoming's constitution included women's suffrage and a pioneering article on water rights. Congress admitted Wyoming into the Union as the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

Wyoming was the location of the Johnson County War of 1892, which erupted between competing groups of cattle ranchers. The passage of the federal Homestead Act led to an influx of small ranchers. A range war broke out when either or both of the groups chose violent conflict over commercial competition in the use of the public land.

Geography[edit]

File:Wyoming.JPG
On Interstate 80 leaving Utah
File:Autumn in the Bighorn Mountains.JPG
Autumn in the Bighorn Mountains

Location and size[edit]

As specified in the designating legislation for the Territory of Wyoming, Wyoming's borders are lines of latitude 41st parallel north and 45th parallel north, and longitude 104°3'W and 111°3'W (27 and 34 west of the Washington Meridian. Wyoming is one of only three states (Colorado, Utah) to have borders defined by only "straight" lines. Due to surveying inaccuracies during the 19th century, Wyoming's legal border deviates from the true latitude and longitude lines by up to half of a mile in some spots, especially in the mountainous region along the 45th parallel. Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. It is the tenth largest state in the United States in total area, containing 97814 sqm and is made up of 23 counties. From the north border to the south border it is 276 miles and from the east to the west border is 365 miles at its south end and 342 miles at the north end.

Natural landforms[edit]

Mountain ranges[edit]

The Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. The state is a great plateau broken by many mountain ranges. Surface elevations range from the summit of Gannett Peak in the Wind River Mountain Range, at 13,804 feet (4,207 m), to the Belle Fourche River valley in the state's northeast corner, at 3,125 feet (952 m). In the northwest are the Absaroka, Owl Creek, Gros Ventre, Wind River, and the Teton ranges. In the north-central are the Big Horn Mountains; in the northeast, the Black Hills; and in the southern region the Laramie, Snowy, and Sierra Madre ranges.

The Snowy Range in the south-central part of the state is an extension of the Colorado Rockies both in geology and in appearance. The Wind River Range in the west-central part of the state is remote and includes more than 40 mountain peaks in excess of 13,000 ft (4,000 m) tall in addition to Gannett Peak, the highest peak in the state. The Big Horn Mountains in the north-central portion are somewhat isolated from the bulk of the Rocky Mountains.

The Teton Range in the northwest extends for 50 miles (80 km), part of which is included in Grand Teton National Park. The park includes the Grand Teton, the second-highest peak in the state.

The Continental Divide spans north-south across the central portion of the state. Rivers east of the divide drain into the Missouri River Basin and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. They are the North Platte, Wind, Big Horn, and the Yellowstone rivers. The Snake River in northwest Wyoming eventually drains into the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, as does the Green River through the Colorado River Basin.

The Continental Divide forks in the south-central part of the state in an area known as the Great Divide Basin where water that precipitates onto or flows into it cannot reach an ocean—it all sinks into the soil and eventually evaporates.

Several rivers begin in or flow through the state, including the Yellowstone River, Bighorn River, Green River, and the Snake River.

Demographics[edit]

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The largest population centers are Cheyenne and Casper. Lander, Wyoming, where WCCLEpedia, Irkutsk Ice Truckers and Wyoming Catholic College are headquartered is the thirteenth largest city in the state.

The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of Wyoming was 578,759 in 2019

According to the 2000 census, the largest ancestry groups in Wyoming are: German (26.0%), English (16.0%), Irish (13.3%), Norwegian (4.3%), and Swedish (3.5%).

Conspiracy Theories[edit]

Many people suggest that Wyoming does not actually exist as with this organized group and this t-shirt. Officials from the "supposed" state government have not chosen to reply to these theories and IIT officials and the team here at WCCLEpedia are supposing for at least the present that Wyoming does actually exist as a state.