Minnesota has a progressive income tax structure; the four brackets of state income tax rates are 5.35, 7.05, 7.85 and 9.85 percent. As of 2008, Minnesota was ranked 12th in the nation in per capita total state and local taxes. In 2008, Minnesotans paid 10.2 percent of their income in state and local taxes; the U.S. average was 9.7 percent. The state sales tax in Minnesota is 6.875 percent, but there is no sales tax on clothing, prescription drug medications, some services, or food items for home consumption. The state legislature may allow municipalities to institute local sales taxes and special local taxes, such as the 0.5 percent supplemental sales tax in Minneapolis. Excise taxes are levied on alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel. The state imposes a use tax on items purchased elsewhere but used within Minnesota. Owners of real property in Minnesota pay property tax to their county, municipality, school district, and special taxing districts.
The Minnesota Legislature is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The state has sixty-seven districts, each covering about sixty thousand people. Each district has one senator and two representatives, each senatorial district being divided into A and B sections for members of the house. Senators serve for four years and representatives for two years. In the November 2010 election, the Minnesota Republican Party gained twenty-five house seats, giving them control of the House of Representatives by a 7262 margin. The 2010 election also saw Minnesota voters elect a Republican majority in the Senate for the first time since 1972. In 2012, the Democrats regained the House of Representatives by a margin of 7361, picking up 11 seats; the Democrats also regained the Minnesota Senate. Control of the houses shifted to Republicans in the 2016 election.
State of Minnesota Official site
Indian Affairs Council, State of Minnesota
Prairie Island Indian Community
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
Lower Sioux Indian Community
The Upper Sioux Community Pejuhutazizi Oyate
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
White Earth Indian Reservation Tribal Council
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
The river roughly defined the American frontier in the 19th century, particularly downstream from Kansas City, where it takes a sharp eastern turn into the heart of the state of Missouri. The major trails for the opening of the American West all have their starting points on the river, including the California, Mormon, Oregon, and Santa Fe trails. The first westward leg of the Pony Express was a ferry across the Missouri at St. Joseph, Missouri. Similarly, most emigrants arrived at the eastern terminus of the First Transcontinental Railroad via a ferry ride across the Missouri between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha. The Hannibal Bridge became the first bridge to cross the Missouri River in 1869, and its location was a major reason why Kansas City became the largest city on the river upstream from its mouth at St. Louis.
True to the then-ideal of Manifest Destiny, over 500,000 people set out from the river town of Independence, Missouri to their various destinations in the American West from the 1830s to the 1860s. These people had many reasons to embark on this strenuous year-long journey economic crisis, and later gold strikes including the California Gold Rush, for example. For most, the route took them up the Missouri to Omaha, Nebraska, where they would set out along the Platte River, which flows from the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado eastwards through the Great Plains. An early expedition led by Robert Stuart from 1812 to 1813 proved the Platte impossible to navigate by the dugout canoes they used, let alone the large sidewheelers and sternwheelers that would later ply the Missouri in increasing numbers. One explorer remarked that the Platte was "too thick to drink, too thin to plow". Nevertheless, the Platte provided an abundant and reliable source of water for the pioneers as they headed west. Covered wagons, popularly referred to as prairie schooners, provided the primary means of transport until the beginning of regular boat service on the river in the 1850s.
During the 1860s, gold strikes in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and northern Utah attracted another wave of hopefuls to the region. Although some freight was hauled overland, most transport to and from the gold fields was done through the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, as well as the Snake River in western Wyoming and the Bear River in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. It is estimated that of the passengers and freight hauled from the Midwest to Montana, over 80 percent were transported by boat, a journey that took 150 days in the upstream direction. A route more directly west into Colorado lay along the Kansas River and its tributary the Republican River as well as pair of smaller Colorado streams, Big Sandy Creek and the South Platte River, to near Denver. The gold rushes precipitated the decline of the Bozeman Trail as a popular emigration route, as it passed through land held by often-hostile Native Americans. Safer paths were blazed to the Great Salt Lake near Corinne, Utah during the gold rush period, which led to the large-scale settlement of the Rocky Mountains region and eastern Great Basin.
As settlers expanded their holdings into the Great Plains, they ran into land conflicts with Native American tribes. This resulted in frequent raids, massacres and armed conflicts, leading to the federal government creating multiple treaties with the Plains tribes, which generally involved establishing borders and reserving lands for the indigenous. As with many other treaties between the U.S. and Native Americans, they were soon broken, leading to huge wars. Over 1,000 battles, big and small, were fought between the U.S. military and Native Americans before the tribes were forced out of their land onto reservations.
Conflicts between natives and settlers over the opening of the Bozeman Trail in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana led to Red Cloud's War, in which the Lakota and Cheyenne fought against the U.S. Army. The fighting resulted in a complete Native American victory. In 1868, the Treaty of Fort Laramie was signed, which "guaranteed" the use of the Black Hills, Powder River Country and other regions surrounding the northern Missouri River to Native Americans without white intervention. The Missouri River was also a significant landmark as it divides northeastern Kansas from western Missouri; pro-slavery forces from Missouri would cross the river into Kansas and spark mayhem during Bleeding Kansas, leading to continued tension and hostility even today between Kansas and Missouri. Another significant military engagement on the Missouri River during this period was the 1861 Battle of Boonville, which did not affect Native Americans but rather was a turning point in the American Civil War that allowed the Union to seize control of transport on the river, discouraging the state of Missouri from joining the Confederacy.
However, the peace and freedom of the Native Americans did not last for long. The Great Sioux War of 187677 was sparked when American miners discovered gold in the Black Hills of western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. These lands were originally set aside for Native American use by the Treaty of Fort Laramie. When the settlers intruded onto the lands, they were attacked by Native Americans. U.S. troops were sent to the area to protect the miners, and drive out the natives from the new settlements. During this bloody period, both the Native Americans and the U.S. military won victories in major battles, resulting in the loss of nearly a thousand lives. The war eventually ended in an American victory, and the Black Hills were opened to settlement. Native Americans of that region were relocated to reservations in Wyoming and southeastern Montana.