In 1783 Wisconsin became a territorial possession of the United States following the American Revolutionary War, although it remained under British control until the War of 1812. Once finally under American control, the economy in Wisconsin shifted from fur trading to lead mining which drew many immigrants from other parts of the U.S. and Europe to the area. During the 1890s production in the state of Wisconsin shifted from mining to wheat and dairy production. Many immigrants in the state brought cheese-making traditions which proved profitable and suitable for the geography in the area.
A free state since its foundation, politics in early Wisconsin centered on slavery and the state became a center of northern abolitionism. During the Civil War, over 90,000 troops from Wisconsin fought for the Union. In the mid to late 20th century, Wisconsin took part in several political extremes, ranging from the anti-communist crusades in the 1950s to radical antiwar protests in the 1960s and 70s.
Wisconsin remains a leading dairy producer but is also a significant producer of many other agricultural products including peas, beans, beets, corn, potatoes, oats, hay, and cranberries. In terms of industrial production, the chief industrial products of Wisconsin are automobiles, machinery, furniture, paper, beer, and processed foods and the state's mines continue to produce copper, iron ore, lead, and zinc.