Rapid Settlement of the 19th Century

As a result of industrialization, the population became more concentrated into urban areas. By 1900, the Twin Cities were becoming a center of commerce, led by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and the foundation of the Federal Reserve Bank with its ninth district in Minneapolis. Many of the businessmen who had made money in the railroad, flour milling, and logging industries lived in the Twin Cities and personified the gilded age. They started to donate money for cultural institutions such as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (now the Minnesota Orchestra). The parks of Minneapolis, under the direction of Theodore Wirth became famous, and the new Minnesota State Capitol building and the Cathedral of Saint Paul attracted attention to Saint Paul.

The role of government also grew during the early 20th century. In the rural areas, most people obtained food and manufactured goods from neighbors and other people they knew personally. As industry and commerce grew, goods such as food, materials, and medicines were no longer made by neighbors, but by large companies. In response, citizens called on their government for consumer protection, inspection of goods, and regulation of public utilities. The growth of the automobile spurred calls to develop roads and to enforce traffic laws. The state officially started its trunk highway system in 1920, with the passage of the Babcock Amendment that established 70 Constitutional Routes around the state. New regulation was necessary for banking and insurance. The safety of industrial workers and miners became an increasing concern, and brought about the workers' compensation system. Since government was getting more complex, citizens demanded more of a role in their government, and became more politically active.

This is a web page for students designed by students to inform and educate the viewer about Minnesota's rich history.