Everything you wanted to know about Montana, history, economy people and more - History

Everything you wanted to know about Montana, history, economy people and more - History

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Basic Information

Postal Abreviation: MT
Natives: Montanan

Estimated pop. 2018: 1,062,000
Legal Driving Age: 18
(15 w/Driver's Ed.)
Age of Majority: 18
Median Age: 39.8

State Song: “Montana”
Lyrics: Charles C. Cohan
Music: Joseph E. Howard

Median Household Income:$50,818

Capital..... Helena
Entered Union..... Nov. 8, 1889 (41st)

Present Constitution Adopted: 1972

Nickname: Big Sky Country
Treasure State

“Oro y plata” (Gold and silver)

Origin of Name:
A Latinized Spanish word, meaning– place of mountains.

Railroad Stations

Montana Economy

AGRICULTURE: barley, cattle, hay, sheep,
wheat, wood, wool.

MINING: coal, copper, gemstones, gold,
natural gas, petroleum,
platinum-palladium, silver, zinc.

MANUFACTURING: chemicals, food
processing, lumber products.


Montana Geography

Total Area: 69,709 sq. miles
Land area: 68,898 sq. miles
Water Area: 811 sq. miles
Geographic Center: Miller
20 mi. SW of Jefferson City
Highest Point: Taum Sauk Mountain
(1,772 ft.)
Lowest Point: St. Francis River
(800 ft.)
Highest Recorded Temp.: 118˚ F (7/14/1954)
Lowest Recorded Temp.: –40˚ F (2/13/1905)

The Southwestern part of Montana is dominated by the Ozark Mountains. The Ozarks are a series of low mountain peaks, reaching 1,500 feet. The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of the state. The Montana River forms 250 miles of the western boundary of the state, and then flows eastward crossing Montana and joining the Mississippi.


Billings, 104,170
Missoula, 95,802
Great Falls, 58,505
Bozeman, 37,280
Butte-Silver Bow, 34,200
Helena, 28,190
Kalispell, 19,927
Havre, 9,310
Anaconda–Deer Lodge County, 9,298
Miles City, 8,410

Montana History

1807 Manuel Lisa built a trading post on the Yellowstone River, where it meets
the Big Horn river.
1828 Fort Union was built.
1862 Gold was found in Montana.
1864 Montana became a territory, with Virginia City as the capital,
1876 George Custer and his men are killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
1889 Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st state. Helena was selected
as the capital.
1910 Glacier National Park was created.
1983 After operating copper mine for 100 years Anaconda closes operations in

Famous People

Gary Cooper
Chet Huntley
Mike Mansfield
Lester C. Thurow

Montana National Sites

1) Big Hole National Battlefield
This National battlefield commemorates the battle between the US troops and the Nex Perce Indians in August 1877. The 655 acre site includes a small museum.

2) Custer Battlefield National Monument
This battlefield located on the banks of the Little Bighorn River commemorates Custer’s famous last stand.

3) Glacier National Park
One of the most beautiful and largest Glacier National Park the park received its name from the Glaciers that created it. The park covers 1,103,572 acres, and contains six peaks over 10,000 feet tall.

4) Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
The 1,500 acre preserves one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States.
At one time the ranch covered 25,000 acres.

Franchise Facts and History – All You Need to Know

Franchising is the perfect recipe for growth. Throughout history, every franchised operation has been fueled by the desire to expand. But franchised businesses are also the result of limited financial capital and the need to overcome great distances. Join us as we journey through the pages of history and learn about some of the most important franchise facts.

10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Anglo-Saxons

The Anglo-Saxon period lasted from the early fifth century AD to 1066 – after the Romans and before the Normans. But how much do you know about the Anglo-Saxons? Who were they, where did they come from, and where did they settle? Here, author Martin Wall brings you the facts…

This competition is now closed

Published: April 26, 2020 at 3:30 am

The Roman period in Britain is often said to end in the year 410 when the Roman emperor Honorius supposedly told the Britons to look to their own defences because Rome itself was beleaguered by barbarian attacks. Certainly around that time, Roman rule in Britain faltered, leaving a power vacuum that was filled by incomers arriving from northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. Today, we know these immigrants as the Anglo-Saxons, and they ruled England for much of the next 600 years.

They did, however, have to wrestle with the Vikings to retain control of their lands during that period, and were forced to concede power along the way to a number of Danish kings – including, most notably, Canute (aka Cnut), who ruled an empire in England, Denmark and Norway. The Anglo-Saxon era ended with William of Normandy’s triumph at the battle of Hastings in 1066, which ushered in a new era of Norman rule.

Here, Martin Wall brings you 10 facts about the Anglo-Saxons…

Where did the Anglo-Saxons come from?

The people we call Anglo-Saxons were actually immigrants from northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. Bede, a monk from Northumbria writing some centuries later, says that they were from some of the most powerful and warlike tribes in Germany.

Bede names three of these tribes: the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. There were probably many other peoples who set out for Britain in the early fifth century, however. Batavians, Franks and Frisians are known to have made the sea crossing to the stricken province of ‘Britannia’.

The collapse of the Roman empire was one of the greatest catastrophes in history. Britain, or ‘Britannia’, had never been entirely subdued by the Romans. In the far north – what they called Caledonia (modern Scotland) – there were tribes who defied the Romans, especially the Picts. The Romans built a great barrier, Hadrian’s Wall, to keep them out of the civilised and prosperous part of Britain.

As soon as Roman power began to wane, these defences were degraded, and in AD 367 the Picts smashed through them. Gildas, a British historian, says that Saxon war-bands were hired to defend Britain when the Roman army had left. So the Anglo-Saxons were invited immigrants, according to this theory, a bit like the immigrants from the former colonies of the British empire in the period after 1945.

The Anglo-Saxons murdered their hosts at a conference

Britain was under sustained attack from the Picts in the north and the Irish in the west. The British appointed a ‘head man’, Vortigern, whose name may actually be a title meaning just that – to act as a kind of national dictator.

It is possible that Vortigern was the son-in-law of Magnus Maximus, a usurper emperor who had operated from Britain before the Romans left. Vortigern’s recruitment of the Saxons ended in disaster for Britain. At a conference between the nobles of the Britons and Anglo-Saxons, [likely in AD 472, although some sources say AD 463] the latter suddenly produced concealed knives and stabbed their opposite numbers from Britain in the back.

Vortigern was deliberately spared in this ‘treachery of the long-knives’, but was forced to cede large parts of south-eastern Britain to them. Vortigern was now a powerless puppet of the Saxons.

The Britons rallied under a mysterious leader

The Angles, Saxons, Jutes and other incomers burst out of their enclave in the south-east in the mid-fifth century and set all southern Britain ablaze. Gildas, our closest witness, says that in this emergency a new British leader emerged, called Ambrosius Aurelianus in the late 440s and early 450s.

It has been postulated that Ambrosius was from the rich villa economy around Gloucestershire, but we simply do not know for sure. Amesbury in Wiltshire is named after him and may have been his campaign headquarters.

A great battle took place, supposedly sometime around AD 500, at a place called Mons Badonicus or Mount Badon, probably somewhere in the south-west of modern England. The Saxons were resoundingly defeated by the Britons, but frustratingly we don’t know much more than that. A later Welsh source says that the victor was ‘Arthur’ but it was written down hundreds of years after the event, when it may have become contaminated by later folk-myths of such a person.

Gildas does not mention Arthur, and this seems strange, but there are many theories about this seeming anomaly. One is that Gildas did refer to him in a sort of acrostic code, which reveals him to be a chieftain from Gwent called Cuneglas. Gildas called Cuneglas ‘the bear’, and Arthur means ‘bear’. Nevertheless, for the time being the Anglo-Saxon advance had been checked by someone, possibly Arthur.

Where did the Anglo-Saxons settle?

‘England’ as a country did not come into existence for hundreds of years after the Anglo-Saxons arrived. Instead, seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were carved out of the conquered areas: Northumbria, East Anglia, Essex, Sussex, Kent, Wessex and Mercia. All these nations were fiercely independent, and although they shared similar languages, pagan religions, and socio-economic and cultural ties, they were absolutely loyal to their own kings and very competitive, especially in their favourite pastime – war.

At first they were pre-occupied fighting the Britons (or ‘Welsh’, as they called them), but as soon as they had consolidated their power-centres they immediately commenced armed conflict with each other.

Woden, one of their chief gods, was especially associated with war, and this military fanaticism was the chief diversion of the kings and nobles. Indeed, tales of the deeds of warriors, or their boasts of what heroics they would perform in battle, was the main form of entertainment, and obsessed the entire community – much like football today.

Who was in charge?

The ‘heptarchy’, or seven kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, all aspired to dominate the others. One reason for this was that the dominant king could exact tribute (a sort of tax, but paid in gold and silver bullion), gemstones, cattle, horses or elite weapons. A money economy did not yet exist.

Eventually a leader from Mercia in the English Midlands became the most feared of all these warrior-kings: Penda, who ruled from AD 626 until 655. He personally killed many of his rivals in battle, and as one of the last pagan Anglo-Saxon kings he offered up the body of one of them, King Oswald of Northumbria, to Woden. Penda ransacked many of the other Anglo-Saxon realms, amassing vast and exquisite treasures as tribute and the discarded war-gear of fallen warriors on the battlefields.

This is just the sort of elite military kit that comprises the Staffordshire Hoard, discovered in 2009. Although a definite connection is elusive, the hoard typifies the warlike atmosphere of the mid-seventh century, and the unique importance in Anglo-Saxon society of male warrior elites.

Which religion did Anglo-Saxons follow?

The Britons were Christians, but were now cut off from Rome, but the Anglo-Saxons remained pagan. In AD 597 St Augustine had been sent to Kent by Pope Gregory the Great to convert the Anglo-Saxons. It was a tall order for his tiny mission, but gradually the seven kingdoms did convert, and became exemplary Christians – so much so that they converted their old tribal homelands in Germany.

One reason why they converted was because the church said that the Christian God would deliver them victory in battles. When this failed to materialise, some Anglo-Saxon kings became apostate, and a different approach was required. The man chosen for the task was an elderly Greek named Theodore of Tarsus, but he was not the pope’s first choice. Instead he had offered the job to a younger man, Hadrian ‘the African’, a Berber refugee from north Africa, but Hadrian objected that he was too young.

The truth was that people in the civilised south of Europe dreaded the idea of going to England, which was considered barbaric and had a terrible reputation. The pope decided to send both men, to keep each other company on the long journey. After more than a year (and many adventures) they arrived, and set to work to reform the English church.

Theodore lived to be 88, a grand old age for those days, and Hadrian, the young man who had fled from his home in north Africa, outlived him, and continued to devote himself to his task until his death in AD 710.

Everything you need to know about the Anglo-Saxons

Alfred the Great had a crippling disability

When we look up at the statue of King Alfred of Wessex in Winchester, we are confronted by an image of our national ‘superhero’: the valiant defender of a Christian realm against the heathen Viking marauders. There is no doubt that Alfred fully deserves this accolade as ‘England’s darling’, but there was another side to him that is less well known.

Alfred never expected to be king – he had three older brothers – but when he was four years old on a visit to Rome the pope seemed to have granted him special favour when his father presented him to the pontiff. As he grew up, Alfred was constantly troubled by illness, including irritating and painful piles – a real problem in an age where a prince was constantly in the saddle. Asser, the Welshman who became his biographer, relates that Alfred suffered from another painful, draining malady that is not specified. Some people believe it was Crohn’s Disease, others that it may have been a sexually transmitted disease, or even severe depression.

The truth is we don’t know exactly what Alfred’s mystery ailment was. Whatever it was, it is incredible to think that Alfred’s extraordinary achievements were accomplished in the face of a daily struggle with debilitating and chronic illness.

An Anglo-Saxon king was finally buried in 1984

In July 975 the eldest son of King Edgar, Edward, was crowned king. Edgar had been England’s most powerful king yet (by now the country was unified), and had enjoyed a comparatively peaceful reign. Edward, however, was only 15 and was hot-tempered and ungovernable. He had powerful rivals, including his half-brother Aethelred’s mother, Elfrida (or ‘Aelfthryth’). She wanted her own son to be king – at any cost.

One day in 978, Edward decided to pay Elfrida and Aethelred a visit in their residence at Corfe in Dorset. It was too good an opportunity to miss: Elfrida allegedly awaited him at the threshold to the hall with grooms to tend the horses, and proffered him a goblet of mulled wine (or ‘mead’), as was traditional. As Edward stooped to accept this, the grooms grabbed his bridle and stabbed him repeatedly in the stomach.

Edward managed to ride away but bled to death, and was hastily buried by the conspirators. It was foul regicide, the gravest of crimes, and Aethelred, even though he may not have been involved in the plot, was implicated in the minds of the common people, who attributed his subsequent disastrous reign to this, in their eyes, monstrous deed.

Edward’s body was exhumed and reburied at Shaftesbury Abbey in AD 979. During the dissolution of the monasteries the grave was lost, but in 1931 it was rediscovered. Edward’s bones were kept in a bank vault until 1984, when at last he was laid to rest.

England was ‘ethnically cleansed’

One of the most notorious of Aethelred’s misdeeds was a shameful act of mass-murder. Aethelred is known as ‘the Unready’, but this is actually a pun on his forename. Aethelred means ‘noble counsel’, but people started to call him ‘unraed’ which means ‘no counsel’. He was constantly vacillating, frequently cowardly, and always seemed to pick the worst men possible to advise him.

One of these men, Eadric ‘Streona’ (‘the Aquisitor’), became a notorious English traitor who was to seal England’s downfall. It is a recurring theme in history that powerful men in trouble look for others to take the blame. Aethelred was convinced that the woes of the English kingdom were all the fault of the Danes, who had settled in the country for many generations and who were by now respectable Christian citizens.

On 13 November 1002, secret orders went out from the king to slaughter all Danes, and massacres occurred all over southern England. The north of England was so heavily settled by the Danes that it is probable that it escaped the brutal plot.

One of the Danes killed in this wicked pogrom was the sister of Sweyn Forkbeard, the mighty king of Denmark. From that time on the Danish armies were resolved to conquer England and eliminate Ethelred. Eadric Streona defected to the Danes and fought alongside them in the war of succession that followed Ethelred’s death. This was the beginning of the end for Anglo-Saxon England.

Everything you need to know about the Vikings

Neither William of Normandy or Harold Godwinson were rightful English kings

We all know something about the 1066 battle of Hastings, but the man who probably should have been king is almost forgotten to history.

Edward ‘the Confessor’, the saintly English king, had died childless in 1066, leaving the English ruling council of leading nobles and spiritual leaders (the Witan) with a big problem. They knew that Edward’s cousin Duke William of Normandy had a powerful claim to the throne, which he would certainly back with armed force.

William was a ruthless and skilled soldier, but the young man who had the best claim to the English throne, Edgar the ‘Aetheling’ (meaning ‘of noble or royal’ status), was only 14 and had no experience of fighting or commanding an army. Edgar was the grandson of Edmund Ironside, a famous English hero, but this would not be enough in these dangerous times.

So Edgar was passed over, and Harold Godwinson, the most famous English soldier of the day, was chosen instead, even though he was not, strictly speaking, ‘royal’. He had gained essential military experience fighting in Wales, however. At first, it seemed as if the Witan had made a sound choice: Harold raised a powerful army and fleet and stood guard in the south all summer long, but then a new threat came in the north.

A huge Viking army landed and destroyed an English army outside York. Harold skilfully marched his army all the way from the south to Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire in a mere five days. He annihilated the Vikings, but a few days later William’s Normans landed in the south. Harold lost no time in marching his army all the way back to meet them in battle, at a ridge of high ground just outside… Hastings.

Martin Wall is the author of The Anglo-Saxon Age: The Birth of England (Amberley Publishing, 2015). In his new book, Martin challenges our notions of the Anglo-Saxon period as barbaric and backward, to reveal a civilisation he argues is as complex, sophisticated and diverse as our own.

This article was first published by History Extra in 2015

Margaret Thatcher Enters Parliament

In December 1951 Margaret married Denis Thatcher, a wealthy businessman. Less than two years later she gave birth to twins, Carol and Mark. Meanwhile, she was studying for the bar exams, which she passed in early 1954. She then spent the next few years practicing law and looking for a winnable constituency.

Thatcher ran for parliament once more in 1959—this time in the Conservative-dominated constituency of Finchley𠅊nd easily won the seat. The first bill she introduced affirmed the right of the media to cover local government meetings. Speaking about the bill in her maiden speech, she focused not on freedom of the press but instead on the need to limit wasteful government expenditures𠅊 common theme throughout her political career.

By 1961 Thatcher had accepted an invitation to become parliamentary undersecretary in the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. She then steadily moved up the ministerial ranks, becoming secretary of state for education and science when the Conservatives retook power in 1970. The following year she was demonized by her Labour Party opponents as “Thatcher the milk snatcher” when she eliminated a free milk program for schoolchildren. Nonetheless, she was able to keep her job, and in 1975, with the Conservatives back in the opposition, she defeated former Prime Minister Edward Heath to take over leadership of the party.

Sacagawea and the Corps of Discovery

Within a month, a near-tragedy earned Sacagawea particular respect. The boat in which she was sailing nearly capsized when a squall hit and Charbonneau, the navigator, panicked. Sacagawea had the presence of mind to gather crucial papers, books, navigational instruments, medicines and other provisions that might have otherwise disappeared𠅊ll while simultaneously ensuring her baby’s safety. In appreciation, Lewis and Clark named a branch of the Missouri for Sacagawea several days later. Clark, in particular, developed a close bond with Sacagawea as she and Baptiste would often accompany him as he took his turn walking the shore, checking for obstacles in the river that could damage the boats.

Five days after the first members of the Corps crossed the Continental Divide at Lemhi Pass, Sacagawea did, as planned, translate the captains’ desire to purchase horses to the Shoshone they encountered. Sacagawea was surprised and happy to recognize the Shoshone’s leader, Chief Cameahwait, as her brother, and they had an emotional reunion.

Sacagawea also put her naturalist’s knowledge to use for the Corps. She could identify roots, plants and berries that were either edible or medicinal. Sacagawea’s memories of Shoshone trails led to Clark’s characterization of her as his “pilot.” She helped navigate the Corps through a mountain pass—today’s Bozeman Pass in Montana—to the Yellowstone River. And although it couldn’t be quantified, the presence of a woman𠅊 Native American, to boot𠅊nd baby made the whole corps seem less fearsome and more amiable to the Native Americans the Corps encountered, some of whom had never seen white faces before. This eased tensions that might otherwise have resulted in uncooperativeness at best, violence at worst.

After reaching the Pacific, Sacagawea returned with the rest of the Corps and her husband and son—having survived illness, flash floods, temperature extremes, food shortages, mosquito swarms and so much more—to their starting point, the Hidatsa-Mandan settlement, on August 14, 1806. For his service Charbonneau received 320 acres of land and $500.33 Sacagawea received no compensation.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Book Sales (But Were Afraid to Ask)

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Publishing is the business of creating books and selling them to readers. And yet, for some reason we aren’t supposed to talk about the latter. Most literary writers consider book sales a half-crass / half-mythological subject that is taboo to discuss.

Most literary writers consider book sales a half-crass / half-mythological subject that is taboo to discuss.

While authors avoid the topic, every now and then the media brings up book sales — normally to either proclaim, yet again, the death of the novel, or to make sweeping generalizations about the attention spans of different generations. But even then, the data we are given is almost completely useless for anyone interested in fiction and literature. Earlier this year, there was a round of excited editorials about how print is back, baby after industry reports showed print sales increasing for the second consecutive year. However, the growth was driven almost entirely by non-fiction sales… more specifically adult coloring books and YouTube celebrity memoirs. As great as adult coloring books may be, their sales figures tell us nothing about the sales of, say, literary fiction.

This is literally the sixth best-selling book of 2016

This lack of knowledge leads to plenty of confusion for writers when they do sell a book. Are they selling well? What constitutes good sales? Should they start freaking out when their first .00 royalty check comes in? Writers should absolutely write with an eye toward art, not markets. Thinking about sales while creating art rarely produces anything good. But I’m still naïve enough to think that knowledge is always better than ignorance, and that after the book is written, writers should come to publishing with a basic understanding of what is going on. Personally speaking, my knowledge of the fundamentals of publishing helped me not even think or worry about book sales when my own book was published last year. And since I need a reason to justify the time I’ve spent dicking around on BookScan, here is my guide to everything you wanted to know about book* sales (but were afraid to ask).

*Because “books” is an impossibly large category covering everything from Sudoku puzzles to C++ guides, I’m going to focus on traditionally published fiction books in this article.


What is a book sale?

Wait, you say, everyone knows what a book sale is. Ah, yes, but, what this section presupposes is… maybe you don’t? Actually, one of the things that makes the conversation about book sales so confusing is that there are several different numbers thrown around, and often even people in the publishing industry completely confuse them. Here are four different numbers that are frequently conflated:

1) The number of copies of the book that are printed.

2) The number of copies that have been shipped to stores or other markets like libraries.

3) The number of copies that have been sold to readers.

4) The Nielsen BookScan number.

These numbers can all be wildly different. It’s not uncommon at all for a publisher to, say, print 5,000 copies, but only sell 3,000 copies to bookstores/other markets, of which, 2,000 copies are actually sold to customers. Meanwhile, BookScan shows 600 copies sold. And we haven’t even gotten into ebooks yet (more on that later).

A publishing employee calculating a royalty statement

What’s the actual number of books sold? Well… basically a combo of 2 and 3, plus ebook and audiobook sales. A publisher sells books to retailers like bookstores, but also to some institutions like libraries. However, retailers normally (though not always) have the right to return unsold copies. So some copies that are “sold” will eventually be unsold. (On author royalty statements, a certain amount of money is always withheld as “reserve against returns.”)

While this is basic, it’s surprisingly common for authors and publishers to either intentionally or unintentionally confuse these numbers: brag about their sales while citing the print run, for example. On the other hand, the media almost always references the BookScan number without any context about how wrong that number can be.

What Is BookScan and Why Should We Care?

In my hypothetical above, the Nielsen BookScan number, is the least accurate. It’s the furthest away from the “true” sales of the book. And yet, if you read any articles on book sales it is precisely the BookScan number you will see. This is because while publishers and authors (via royalty statements) have access to the real numbers, they are almost never released to the public or to rival publishers. Thankfully, there is Nielsen BookScan, an industry tracking tool that records point of sales based on ISBNs. (Yes, this is the same Nielsen of TV’s Nielsen ratings.) People in publishing can use BookScan to get a general sense of what books are selling, the health of the industry, or tear their hair out in frustration while looking up the sales of their rivals.

So Why Can BookScan Be So Inaccurate?

Nielsen BookScan counts cash register sales of books by tracking ISBNs. A clerk scans the barcode, and the sale is recorded. Pretty simple.

Bookstore employees scanning ISBNs

So why can it be inaccurate? To begin with, BookScan only tracks print book sales. Amazon and other major ebook vendors do not release ebook sales, so basically no one has any idea how those are selling (outside of publishers tracking their own sales). Ebook sales vary wildly from book to book (and genre to genre), but are typically less than 1/3rd of sales. For certain genres, especially science fiction and romance, ebooks can be as much as 50% or more.

Even for print books, BookScan can only do so much. BookScan gets data from most big bookstores (including Amazon and Barnes & Noble), but it doesn’t get all of them. It also doesn’t track library sales — which can be significant — or any sales that don’t go through a bookstore. BookScan itself claims to track 75% of print sales, and that may be true overall. For a popular literary fiction title, for which library sales or hand sales are a tiny percentage, BookScan is probably getting at least 75% or more of print sales. For other types of books, BookScan might record as little as 25% of print sales. Small press books, for example, can sell most of their copies at conferences, book festivals, and direct sales on the publisher’s website or at readings. BookScan misses all of that.

Lastly, BookScan was only introduced in 2001, so numbers for any books published before this millennium are completely inaccurate. (I’ve seen people bemoan the small sales of, say, Infinite Jest compared to some recent bestseller without realizing that.) All that said, BookScan does a good job showing general trends in the industry and seeing which books are doing better than others. But you should keep in mind that total book sales are perhaps twice that of every number listed.

A young author ready to publish his first novel

How Much Does an Author Make Per Sale?

So let’s say you bought a book (like, oh, how about Upright Beasts by Lincoln Michel), how much would the author make? Author royalty rates vary, but the industry standard is about 8% of the cover price for paperbacks and 10% for hardcovers (escalating to 15% if sales go well). Ebooks, which have variable pricing, are 25% of the publisher’s take. Now, as an author I’d love for those rates to be higher, but I do think it is important for authors to understand that the majority of the cover price doesn’t go to the publisher. Well over 50% of the cover price goes to the retailer that sells books to customers and the distributor who gets the books to retailers. There is plenty to be said about whether the publishing model could be more efficient, if middlemen could be cut out, etc. etc. But when certain corners of the writing world — such as certain self-publishing ideologues — scream about how publishers are ripping off authors and taking 90% of the pie for themselves, that isn’t really accurate.

A young author opening his first royalty statement

Don’t Most Authors Make No Money From Sales?

Correct. Most authors do not make any money off of actual book sales because most books do not “earn out” their “advance.” Traditionally published authors are paid money up front, before a book is released. This “advance” is money given up front to the author out of future royalties so that the author can buy ramen and pay the overdue electricity bill. “Earning out” means the book has sold enough copies that the total royalties (not the total sales) match up to the advance, thus providing a (most likely tiny) trickle of royalty money to authors for all sales thereafter.

This ‘advance’ is money given up front to the author out of future royalties so that the author can buy ramen and pay the overdue electricity bill.

Here’s an example: Writer von Author writes My Big Literary Novel and Big Publishing House Press pays her $50,000 dollars as an advance. The cover price of the book is $20 dollars and her royalty rate is 10%. (In reality it would be more like a

$25 hardcover at 10–15% followed by a

$15 paperback at 7–10%, but I’m simplifying.) If the publisher sells 10,000 copies of the book, the total sales are $200,000 and the author has earned $20,000 from royalties… except that she was already paid $50,000 so she is actually at negative $30,000. She doesn’t have to pay anyone back either though, the publisher takes the loss. However, if the book sells 25,000 copies, then the author would earn back her advance and at copy twenty-five thousand and one, she would start earning $2 per book sold.

A young author after reading his first royalty statement

How Does Publishing Survive If Most Books Don’t Earn Out?

To begin with, publishers survive on a handful of hits. A 50 Shades of Grey here or a Gone Girl there make up for a lot of low-advance books that don’t sell well. This is similar to how movie studios survive on a few massive blockbusters to offset the costs of movies that don’t earn what is expected at the box office. Additionally, the publisher makes money before the author does. Even if the distributor and retailer take, say, 65% of the sale price (and it can be as much as 75%), the publisher is getting 25% to the author’s 10%.

When an article talks about how some huge advance given to a debut author and/or celebrity author won’t earn out, that doesn’t actually mean the publisher won’t make money. (Here’s a blog post breaking down the example of Lena Dunham’s huge advance.) In fact, publishers may give huge author advances on books they know won’t earn out as a way of paying a de facto higher royalty rate.

Take our example above. If My Big Literary Novel sells 20k copies, the author still hasn’t earned back her advance yet the press is taking in $90,000 (35% of cover price minus 50k advance). Of course, the press also has to pay for the printing costs of the book as well as any marketing costs or money spent on cover art before it can even pay the various employees that worked on the book… but you get the general idea.


Two authors gossiping about their friends’ book sales

Okay, Let’s Get to the Dirt: What Does an Average Book Sell?

Probably not surprisingly, the answer is… it really depends. The first thing that writers need to understand is that book sales — like advances — are all over the place. This is true even for individual authors. It’s not unheard of for an author to get roughly similar critical acclaim for their first three novels, yet have them sell 10k, 100k, and 10k respectively. Publishing is full of luck, timing, and unpredictable trends. (I mean, adult coloring books? Really?) And even then, publishers give dramatically different amounts of support and marketing even to books published by the same imprint.

That qualification aside, most fiction books published by a traditional publisher garner somewhere between 500 and 500,000 sales. Sometimes less, sometimes more.

Can You… Narrow that Down a Little?

Ignoring the outlier megastars like Stephen King or runaway hits like Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, most novels published by a big publisher BookScan somewhere between 2,000 and 40,000 books. Most short story collections issued by big publishers get about half that: between 1,000 and 20,000.

People really really really love this book

You can scale this down for publisher size. An independent small press is averaging more like 500 to 10,000 for novels and 300 to 2,000 for story collections. A micro press is more like 75 to 2,000 regardless of book type — at this level, the author’s “platform” and fan base matter more than if the book is a novel, story collection, or poems — with outside successes getting above 5k.

For debut books, you could cut all those numbers in half. Do keep in mind that this is after at least a year of sales. If your book just came out this month, don’t panic yet (and don’t check BookScan for a long time, if ever).

So the Average Novel Sells 20,000?

Well… no. Like baseball salaries or box office returns, book sales are heavily skewed by the minority of books that do really well. If you go into your local bookstore and look at all the books on the various tables, most of those will BookScan between 2,000 and 40,000 after a couple years of sales. The big books by the big names on the tables will get between 100,000 and a couple million.

However, most books struggle to find adequate distribution, much less coverage. Most books do not get placement on tables, and many do not even get to many bookstores at all. The majority of traditionally published novels sell only a couple thousand, if that, over their lifetime.

What Constitutes “Good” Sales?

As with anything here, we need qualifications. What constitutes “good” sales is entirely dependent on what type of book you are publishing, what size your publisher is, and what your advance was. 5,000 copies of a short story collection on a small press is a huge hit. 5,000 copies of a novel from a big publisher that paid a $100,000 advance is a huge disaster.

You also need to factor in the format. Selling 10,000 hardcover is worth more than 10,000 paperbacks. For ebooks, prices can be all over the place, even from a major publisher.

Qualifications aside, if you are a new writer at a big publisher and you’ve sold more than 10,000 copies of a novel you are in very good shape — as long as you didn’t have a large advance. It should be easy for you to get another book contract. If you sold more than 5,000, you are doing pretty well. You’ll probably sell your next book somewhere. If you sold less than 5,000, then you could be in trouble with the next book. (Although it is, as always, dependent on the project. If a publisher loves your next book, they may not care about previous sales.)

The smaller the press, the more you can scale down. One publisher of an independent press told me that most indie press books sell — not BookScan — about 1,500 copies, with 3,000 being good sales. Even then, the publisher stressed, an author selling 3,000 is really just paying for themselves. To be contributing to the operations of the press, they’d need to sell over 5,000.

An author (right) begging an editor (left) for a second chance

What Do Acclaimed, Buzzed-About Literary Books Sell?

So let’s say you jump through the hurdles of writing a book, getting an agent, and selling it to a respected press, AND you become one of the handful of books that is well-reviewed in big outlets and buzzed about in the literary world. How many books will you sell?

Most people would be surprised at the drastic range of book sales even among the books that people are buzzing about. If you took the ten literary fiction books that all the critics, Twitter literati, and well-read friends are discussing, their BookScan numbers might range from a couple thousand to 100k. Last year, NPR looked at the book sales of the Pulitzer Prize finalists and found the books ranged from under 3,000 to low six figures.

If you took the ten literary fiction books that all the critics, Twitter literati, and well-read friends are discussing, their BookScan numbers might range from a couple thousand to 100k.

That’s a small sample though, so I went through the BookScan numbers for every fiction book listed on the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014. I used 2014 instead of 2015 to make sure each book had at least 12 months of sales. No list is perfect, but the NYT list includes story collections and small press books alongside the big name literary authors and award contenders. 2014’s list includes names like Haruki Murakami, Lydia Davis, Marlon James, and David Mitchell as well as small press debuts by Nell Zink and Eimear McBride. It’s a good sampling of the “books that people are talking about” in the literary world.

The BookScan sales of those books literally ranged from 1,000 to 1.5 million, with an average (mean) of just over 75,000 copies sold per book. That 75k number is pretty skewed by the existence of Anthony Doerr’s runaway literary hit, All the Light We Cannot See, which sold over 1.5 millions of copies. (The next highest book was about 270,000.) If we remove the best and worst selling books on the list, we get a mean of 46,550 copies and a median of 25,000 copies.

(Once again, I’ll remind you that these are BookScan numbers for books published in 2014. The actual sales totals will be moderately to significantly higher depending on the book, and all of these books should continue to sell copies over the years.)

A photo of Stephen King reading this article

What If You Are a Finalist for a Major Award?

Let’s say you really hit the jackpot and are a finalist for the Pulitzer, what kind of sales would you get? Again, the range is huge. I looked up five years of nominees (from 2011 to 2015) and the range was 5,600 to over 1.5 million (yes, All the Light We Cannot See again). The mean was 250,100 and the median was 72,300. For the National Book Award, the mean was 178,600 and the median was 91,318

For comparison sake, I checked the finalists for science fiction’s prestigious Nebula awards. They ranged from 2,100 to 387,900 with a mean of 35,600 and a median of 12,300. That’s surprisingly less than the major literary awards, despite the frequently heard claim that genre fiction is more popular than literary fiction. (Although keep in mind that science fiction ebooks typically sell better as a percentage of total sales than literary fiction ebooks do.)

A famous author being awarded the National Book Award

What Does a #1 Bestseller Sell?

On average, a lot more. I checked the BookScan sales for all the books that hit the #1 spot on the New York Times list in 2014 and the mean sales were 737,000 with a median of 303,000. The top selling book was, as you can probably guess, 50 Shades of Grey at nearly 8 million. But the lowest was only 62,700, meaning more than 50% of NBA or Pulitzer finalists sold better than it. In fact, a whole lot of the 2014 literary award finalists sold better than bottom 2014 best sellers. If that’s confusing, remember that this is the list of books that were the best selling book in the country for one week, not for the whole year. Sales of commercial fiction books are often far more concentrated than the sales of popular literary fiction books, the latter of which can have very long tails.

Once again, I want to stress that these totals are perhaps 75% of book sales and do not include ebook or audiobook sales.

What About Short Story Collections? No One Buys Those, Right?

It’s a truism in the literary world that no one buys short story collections, and that even when you sell a collection a publisher will only buy it so that your future novel will do better. I myself have always believed this to be honest, even though I wrote and published a short story collection. However, looking at the data it actually seems that while fewer story collections sell, the ones that do can sell almost as well as novels. The seven story collections on the NYT 2014 list had a median of 23,000 BookScan sales… only 2k less than the median novel. When I expanded the data to include short story collections from the 2013 and 2012 list, the average sales were 53k and a median of 22.5k.

Tom Gauld nailing it

So All the Publishers that Rejected My Collection Are Fools!

Well, no. Those are mostly collections by buzzed about debut authors or established older writers. As I said, fewer story collections sell (although fewer are also published) and the ones that don’t sell fail harder than novels. And there’s a cap on story collections. No story collection is going to sell millions of copies like the biggest novels. All of the authors whose collections I counted in the last section sold better as novelists if they had novels out. Since big publishers survive on the few break-out books, it makes more business sense to bet on novels or push authors to write novels instead of stories. Whether that’s good for the culture or the art of literature is another question…

Still, it was heartening for me, as a lover of short stories, to see that collections from authors like Junot Diaz, Alice Munro, and George Saunders can BookScan over 100k, and a collection by someone like Stephen King can reach a million. (In fact, having looked at a lot of sales data I’m convinced Stephen King is the best-selling living short story author in America and probably the world). More importantly, great short story authors like Kelly Link, Lydia Davis, Aimee Bender, Jim Shepard, and so on will BookScan between 10 and 50k… which is comfortably in the range of what acclaimed literary novels sell.

How Does Genre Fiction Compare?

I’ve talked before about how the idea that literary fiction is a tiny niche market and that the various genres sell more is largely a myth. “Commercial fiction” — which is not a synonym for genre — can sell a lot more, especially when we are talking brand name like John Grisham, James Patterson, or Danielle Steel. YA fiction is also having a much-discussed boom these days. But for most writers of adult science fiction, romance, fantasy, and the like, the numbers will be roughly what I’ve listed in this article.

/>A ravenous genre fan

How Does Non-Fiction Compare?

Non-fiction is an insanely huge category that encompasses everything from craft books and joke books to travel guides and memoirs. While there is some variation in average sales between different types of novels, non-fiction sales are entirely dependent on which of the 1,000 types of non-fiction books you are talking about. I’m afraid I just can’t help there, except to say that what you might think of as literary non-fiction — lyric essay collections, memoirs, etc. — will be roughly similar to the numbers listed here.

What About Self-Publishing?

Like non-fiction, self-published books vary so wildly that they can’t really be generalized. If you publish your book through an established press, you can most likely guarantee a certain level of professionalism, distribution, and hopefully coverage for your book. Self-publishing, on the other hand, contains both professional full-time authors who spend time and money marketing their books as well as people who just think it would be fun to put an ebook up on Amazon and never spend any time marketing. Overall, self-published books sell far far less (in part because the majority of the market is still print, and it’s near impossible for self-published print books to get a foothold in stores), but of course their cut of each sale is much higher.

Which Sells More: Hardcover, Paperback, or Ebook?

Another surprising (to me at least) fact from the data I looked at is that books quite often sell the same amount in hardcover and paperback editions. If a book truly takes off, the paperback sales will eclipse the hardcover many times over. But for most books that are published in hardcover first, the paperback sales will be close to the same. Perhaps that’s a feature of the ebook era where readers who prioritize an affordable option will often choose the ebook?

As for ebooks themselves, the sales aren’t available publicly anywhere so it is impossible to say. According to a recent survey, ebooks account for about 20% of the total book market. From talking to publishers and authors, it seems ebook sales are erratic and — as a percentage of overall sales — vary wildly from book to book, publisher to publisher, and genre to genre. To add even more confusion, ebook prices fluctuate a lot more than paperback or hardcover. It is simply hard to pin down. For most traditionally published books, the percentage of sales that are ebook instead of print is somewhere between 10% and 50%.

A writer debating writing working on a novel or going back to dental school

So What Does All This Meeeaaan, Man?

I often hear that fiction is basically just an irrelevant niche and no one reads books at all. Now that we’ve looked at the numbers, well… I guess it depends on your point of view. If the average well-distributed novel is BookScanning only 10,000 copies, that seems pretty niche. Then again, there are plenty of industries where sales of 10k per product would be respectable. And we have to remember that the actual number of sales might be 20,000, and then maybe 30,000 people have read the book since plenty of people use libraries, pirate, or borrow books from friends. Every year, dozens of new books sell 100k copies on BookScan, and a couple sell a million. A recent Author Earnings report suggested maybe 4,600 writers earn 50k a year off of book sales alone. Not so shabby, maybe, until you realize that about that many MFA students graduate each year. Then again, that’s just looking at book sales, and not money made from freelance writing, speaking engagements, teaching classes, or other author income streams. And honestly, even getting a thousand strangers to read something you poured your heart and soul is pretty okay. Bottom line who knows what any of this means, but at the very least if you are a newly published or aspiring author you now know the world you’re going into.

As for me, I’m going to get back to work on a weird novel that will never sell, but, hell, is damn fun to write.


The name Montana comes from the Spanish word montaña, which in turn comes from the Latin word montanea, meaning "mountain" or more broadly "mountainous country". [9] [10] Montaña del Norte was the name given by early Spanish explorers to the entire mountainous region of the west. [10] The name Montana was added in 1863 to a bill by the United States House Committee on Territories (chaired at the time by James Ashley of Ohio) for the territory that would become Idaho Territory. [11]

The name was changed by representatives Henry Wilson (Massachusetts) and Benjamin F. Harding (Oregon), who complained Montana had "no meaning". [11] When Ashley presented a bill to establish a temporary government in 1864 for a new territory to be carved out of Idaho, he again chose Montana Territory. [12] This time, Rep. Samuel Cox, also of Ohio, objected to the name. [12] Cox complained the name was a misnomer given most of the territory was not mountainous and a Native American name would be more appropriate than a Spanish one. [12] Other names such as Shoshone were suggested, but the Committee on Territories decided they could name it whatever they wanted, so the original name of Montana was adopted. [12]

Various indigenous peoples lived in the territory of the present-day state of Montana for thousands of years. Historic tribes encountered by Europeans and settlers from the United States included the Crow in the south-central area, the Cheyenne in the very southeast, the Blackfeet, Assiniboine, and Gros Ventres in the central and north-central area, and the Kootenai and Salish in the west. The smaller Pend d'Oreille and Kalispel tribes lived near Flathead Lake and the western mountains, respectively. A part of southeastern Montana was used as a corridor between the Crows and the related Hidatsas in North Dakota. [13]

The land in Montana east of the continental divide was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Subsequent to and particularly in the decades following the Lewis and Clark Expedition, European, Canadian and American traders operated a fur trade, typically working with indigenous peoples, in both eastern and western portions of what would become Montana. Though the increased interaction between fur traders and indigenous peoples frequently proved to be a profitable partnership, conflicts broke out when indigenous interests where threatened, such as the conflict between American trappers and the Blackfeet. Indigenous peoples in the region were also decimated by diseases introducted by fur traders to whom they had no immunity to. [14] [15] The trading post Fort Raymond (1807–1811) was constructed in Crow Indian country in 1807. [16] Until the Oregon Treaty (1846), land west of the continental divide was disputed between the British and U.S. governments and was known as the Oregon Country. The first permanent settlement by Euro-Americans in what today is Montana was St. Mary's (1841) near present-day Stevensville. [17] In 1847, Fort Benton was established as the uppermost fur-trading post on the Missouri River. [18] In the 1850s, settlers began moving into the Beaverhead and Big Hole valleys from the Oregon Trail and into the Clark's Fork valley. [19]

The first gold discovered in Montana was at Gold Creek near present-day Garrison in 1852. A series of major mining discoveries in the western third of the state starting in 1862 found gold, silver, copper, lead, and coal (and later oil) which attracted tens of thousands of miners to the area. The richest of all gold placer diggings was discovered at Alder Gulch, where the town of Virginia City was established. Other rich placer deposits were found at Last Chance Gulch, where the city of Helena now stands, Confederate Gulch, Silver Bow, Emigrant Gulch, and Cooke City. Gold output from 1862 through 1876 reached $144 million silver then became even more important. The largest mining operations were in the city of Butte, which had important silver deposits and gigantic copper deposits.

Montana territory Edit

Before the creation of Montana Territory (1864–1889), areas within present-day Montana were part of the Oregon Territory (1848–1859), Washington Territory (1853–1863), Idaho Territory (1863–1864), and Dakota Territory (1861–1864). Montana became a United States territory (Montana Territory) on May 26, 1864. The first territorial capital was at Bannack. The first territorial governor was Sidney Edgerton. The capital moved to Virginia City in 1865 and to Helena in 1875. In 1870, the non-Indian population of the Montana Territory was 20,595. [21] The Montana Historical Society, founded on February 2, 1865, in Virginia City, is the oldest such institution west of the Mississippi (excluding Louisiana). [22] In 1869 and 1870 respectively, the Cook–Folsom–Peterson and the Washburn–Langford–Doane Expeditions were launched from Helena into the Upper Yellowstone region and directly led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872.

Conflicts Edit

As settlers began populating Montana from the 1850s through the 1870s, disputes with Native Americans ensued, primarily over land ownership and control. In 1855, Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens negotiated the Hellgate treaty between the United States government and the Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai people of western Montana, which established boundaries for the tribal nations. The treaty was ratified in 1859. [23] While the treaty established what later became the Flathead Indian Reservation, trouble with interpreters and confusion over the terms of the treaty led Whites to believe the Bitterroot Valley was opened to settlement, but the tribal nations disputed those provisions. [24] The Salish remained in the Bitterroot Valley until 1891. [25]

The first U.S. Army post established in Montana was Camp Cooke in 1866, on the Missouri River, to protect steamboat traffic going to Fort Benton. More than a dozen additional military outposts were established in the state. Pressure over land ownership and control increased due to discoveries of gold in various parts of Montana and surrounding states. Major battles occurred in Montana during Red Cloud's War, the Great Sioux War of 1876, and the Nez Perce War and in conflicts with Piegan Blackfeet. The most notable were the Marias Massacre (1870), Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), Battle of the Big Hole (1877), and Battle of Bear Paw (1877). The last recorded conflict in Montana between the U.S. Army and Native Americans occurred in 1887 during the Battle of Crow Agency in the Big Horn country. Indian survivors who had signed treaties were generally required to move onto reservations. [26]

Simultaneously with these conflicts, bison, a keystone species and the primary protein source that Native people had survived on for centuries, were being destroyed. Some estimates say more than 13 million bison were in Montana in 1870. [27] In 1875, General Philip Sheridan pleaded to a joint session of Congress to authorize the slaughtering of herds to deprive the Indians of their source of food. [28] By 1884, commercial hunting had brought bison to the verge of extinction only about 325 bison remained in the entire United States. [29]

Cattle ranching Edit

Cattle ranching has been central to Montana's history and economy since Johnny Grant began wintering cattle in the Deer Lodge Valley in the 1850s and traded cattle fattened in fertile Montana valleys with emigrants on the Oregon Trail. [30] Nelson Story brought the first Texas Longhorn cattle into the territory in 1866. [31] [32] Granville Stuart, Samuel Hauser, and Andrew J. Davis started a major open-range cattle operation in Fergus County in 1879. [33] [34] The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site in Deer Lodge is maintained today as a link to the ranching style of the late 19th century. Operated by the National Park Service, it is a 1,900-acre (7.7 km 2 ) working ranch. [35]

Railroads Edit

Tracks of the Northern Pacific Railroad (NPR) reached Montana from the west in 1881 and from the east in 1882. However, the railroad played a major role in sparking tensions with Native American tribes in the 1870s. Jay Cooke, the NPR president, launched major surveys into the Yellowstone valley in 1871, 1872, and 1873, which were challenged forcefully by the Sioux under chief Sitting Bull. These clashes, in part, contributed to the Panic of 1873, a financial crisis that delayed the construction of the railroad into Montana. [36] Surveys in 1874, 1875, and 1876 helped spark the Great Sioux War of 1876. The transcontinental NPR was completed on September 8, 1883, at Gold Creek.

Tracks of the Great Northern Railroad (GNR) reached eastern Montana in 1887 and when they reached the northern Rocky Mountains in 1890, the GNR became a significant promoter of tourism to Glacier National Park region. The transcontinental GNR was completed on January 6, 1893, at Scenic, Washington. [37]

In 1881, the Utah and Northern Railway, a branch line of the Union Pacific, completed a narrow-gauge line from northern Utah to Butte. [38] A number of smaller spur lines operated in Montana from 1881 into the 20th century, including the Oregon Short Line, Montana Railroad, and Milwaukee Road.

Statehood Edit

WASHINGTON, D.C. Nov. 7, 1889
To Hon. Joseph K. Toole, Governor of the State of Montana:
The president signed and issued the proclamation declaring Montana a state of the union at 10:40 o'clock this morning.

Secretary of State [39]

Under Territorial Governor Thomas Meagher, Montanans held a constitutional convention in 1866 in a failed bid for statehood. A second constitutional convention held in Helena in 1884 produced a constitution ratified 3:1 by Montana citizens in November 1884. For political reasons, Congress did not approve Montana statehood until February 1889 and President Grover Cleveland signed an omnibus bill granting statehood to Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington once the appropriate state constitutions were crafted. In July 1889, Montanans convened their third constitutional convention and produced a constitution accepted by the people and the federal government. On November 8, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed Montana the union's 41st state. The first state governor was Joseph K. Toole. [41] In the 1880s, Helena (the state capital) had more millionaires per capita than any other United States city. [42]

Homesteading Edit

The Homestead Act of 1862 provided free land to settlers who could claim and "prove-up" 160 acres (0.65 km 2 ) of federal land in the Midwest and western United States. Montana did not see a large influx of immigrants from this act because 160 acres were usually insufficient to support a family in the arid territory. [43] The first homestead claim under the act in Montana was made by David Carpenter near Helena in 1868. The first claim by a woman was made near Warm Springs Creek by Gwenllian Evans, the daughter of Deer Lodge Montana pioneer, Morgan Evans. [44] By 1880, farms were in the more verdant valleys of central and western Montana, but few were on the eastern plains. [43]

The Desert Land Act of 1877 was passed to allow settlement of arid lands in the west and allotted 640 acres (2.6 km 2 ) to settlers for a fee of $.25 per acre and a promise to irrigate the land. After three years, a fee of one dollar per acre would be paid and the settler would own the land. This act brought mostly cattle and sheep ranchers into Montana, many of whom grazed their herds on the Montana prairie for three years, did little to irrigate the land and then abandoned it without paying the final fees. [44] Some farmers came with the arrival of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads throughout the 1880s and 1890s, though in relatively small numbers. [45]

In the early 1900s, James J. Hill of the Great Northern began to promote settlement in the Montana prairie to fill his trains with settlers and goods. Other railroads followed suit. [46] In 1902, the Reclamation Act was passed, allowing irrigation projects to be built in Montana's eastern river valleys. In 1909, Congress passed the Enlarged Homestead Act that expanded the amount of free land from 160 to 320 acres (0.6 to 1.3 km 2 ) per family and in 1912 reduced the time to "prove up" on a claim to three years. [47] In 1916, the Stock-Raising Homestead Act allowed homesteads of 640 acres in areas unsuitable for irrigation. [48] This combination of advertising and changes in the Homestead Act drew tens of thousands of homesteaders, lured by free land, with World War I bringing particularly high wheat prices. In addition, Montana was going through a temporary period of higher-than-average precipitation. [49] Homesteaders arriving in this period were known as "Honyockers", or "scissorbills". [45] Though the word "honyocker", possibly derived from the ethnic slur "hunyak", [50] was applied in a derisive manner at homesteaders as being "greenhorns", "new at his business", or "unprepared", [51] most of these new settlers had farming experience, though many did not. [52]

Honyocker, scissorbill, nester . He was the Joad of a [half] century ago, swarming into a hostile land: duped when he started, robbed when he arrived hopeful, courageous, ambitious: he sought independence or adventure, comfort and security . The honyocker was farmer, spinster, deep-sea diver fiddler, physician, bartender, cook. He lived in Minnesota or Wisconsin, Massachusetts or Maine. There the news sought him out—Jim Hill's news of free land in the Treasure State .

However, farmers faced a number of problems. Massive debt was one. [53] Also, most settlers were from wetter regions, unprepared for the dry climate, lack of trees, and scarce water resources. [54] In addition, small homesteads of fewer than 320 acres (130 ha) were unsuited to the environment. Weather and agricultural conditions are much harsher and drier west of the 100th meridian. [55] Then, the droughts of 1917–1921 proved devastating. Many people left, and half the banks in the state went bankrupt as a result of providing mortgages that could not be repaid. [56] As a result, farm sizes increased while the number of farms decreased. [55]

By 1910, homesteaders filed claims on over five million acres, and by 1923, over 93 million acres were farmed. [57] In 1910, the Great Falls land office alone had more than a thousand homestead filings per month, [58] and at the peak of 1917–1918 it had 14,000 new homesteads each year. [53] Significant drops occurred following the drought in 1919. [55]

Montana and World War I Edit

As World War I broke out, Jeannette Rankin, the first woman in the United States to be a member of Congress, voted against the United States' declaration of war. Her actions were widely criticized in Montana, where support for the war and patriotism was strong. [59] In 1917–18, due to a miscalculation of Montana's population, about 40,000 Montanans, 10% of the state's population, [59] volunteered or were drafted into the armed forces. This represented a manpower contribution to the war that was 25% higher than any other state on a per capita basis. Around 1500 Montanans died as a result of the war and 2437 were wounded, also higher than any other state on a per capita basis. [60] Montana's Remount station in Miles City provided 10,000 cavalry horses for the war, more than any other Army post in the country. The war created a boom for Montana mining, lumber, and farming interests, as demand for war materials and food increased. [59]

In June 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917, which was extended by the Sedition Act of 1918. [61] In February 1918, the Montana legislature had passed the Montana Sedition Act, which was a model for the federal version. [62] In combination, these laws criminalized criticism of the U.S. government, military, or symbols through speech or other means. The Montana Act led to the arrest of more than 200 individuals and the conviction of 78, mostly of German or Austrian descent. More than 40 spent time in prison. In May 2006, then-Governor Brian Schweitzer posthumously issued full pardons for all those convicted of violating the Montana Sedition Act. [63]

The Montanans who opposed U.S. entry into the war included immigrant groups of German and Irish heritage, as well as pacifist Anabaptist people such as the Hutterites and Mennonites, many of whom were also of Germanic heritage. In turn, pro-War groups formed, such as the Montana Council of Defense, created by Governor Samuel V. Stewart and local "loyalty committees". [59]

War sentiment was complicated by labor issues. The Anaconda Copper Company, which was at its historic peak of copper production, [64] was an extremely powerful force in Montana, but it also faced criticism and opposition from socialist newspapers and unions struggling to make gains for their members. [65] In Butte, a multiethnic community with a significant European immigrant population, labor unions, particularly the newly formed Metal Mine Workers' Union, opposed the war on grounds it mostly profited large lumber and mining interests. [59] In the wake of ramped-up mine production and the Speculator Mine disaster in June 1917, [59] Industrial Workers of the World organizer Frank Little arrived in Butte to organize miners. He gave some speeches with inflammatory antiwar rhetoric. On August 1, 1917, he was dragged from his boarding house by masked vigilantes, and hanged from a railroad trestle, considered a lynching. [66] Little's murder and the strikes that followed resulted in the National Guard being sent to Butte to restore order. [59] Overall, anti-German and antilabor sentiment increased and created a movement that led to the passage of the Montana Sedition Act the following February. [67] In addition, the Council of Defense was made a state agency with the power to prosecute and punish individuals deemed in violation of the Act. The council also passed rules limiting public gatherings and prohibiting the speaking of German in public. [59]

In the wake of the legislative action in 1918, emotions rose. U.S. Attorney Burton K. Wheeler and several district court judges who hesitated to prosecute or convict people brought up on charges were strongly criticized. Wheeler was brought before the Council of Defense, though he avoided formal proceedings, and a district court judge from Forsyth was impeached. Burnings of German-language books and several near-hangings occurred. The prohibition on speaking German remained in effect into the early 1920s. Complicating the wartime struggles, the 1918 influenza epidemic claimed the lives of more than 5,000 Montanans. [59] The suppression of civil liberties that occurred led some historians to dub this period "Montana's Agony". [65]

Depression era Edit

An economic depression began in Montana after World War I and lasted through the Great Depression until the beginning of World War II. This caused great hardship for farmers, ranchers, and miners. The wheat farms in eastern Montana make the state a major producer the wheat has a relatively high protein content, thus commands premium prices. [68] [69]

Montana and World War II Edit

By the time the U.S. entered World War II on December 8, 1941, many Montanans had enlisted in the military to escape the poor national economy of the previous decade. Another 40,000-plus Montanans entered the armed forces in the first year following the declaration of war, and more than 57,000 joined up before the war ended. These numbers constituted about ten percent of the state's population, and Montana again contributed one of the highest numbers of soldiers per capita of any state. Many Native Americans were among those who served, including soldiers from the Crow Nation who became Code Talkers. At least 1,500 Montanans died in the war. [70] Montana also was the training ground for the First Special Service Force or "Devil's Brigade", a joint U.S-Canadian commando-style force that trained at Fort William Henry Harrison for experience in mountainous and winter conditions before deployment. [70] [71] Air bases were built in Great Falls, Lewistown, Cut Bank, and Glasgow, some of which were used as staging areas to prepare planes to be sent to allied forces in the Soviet Union. During the war, about 30 Japanese Fu-Go balloon bombs were documented to have landed in Montana, though no casualties nor major forest fires were attributed to them. [70]

In 1940, Jeannette Rankin was again elected to Congress. In 1941, as she had in 1917, she voted against the United States' declaration of war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Hers was the only vote against the war, and in the wake of public outcry over her vote, Rankin required police protection for a time. Other pacifists tended to be those from "peace churches" who generally opposed war. Many individuals claiming conscientious objector status from throughout the U.S. were sent to Montana during the war as smokejumpers and for other forest fire-fighting duties. [70]

In 1942, the US Army established Camp Rimini near Helena for the purpose of training sled dogs in winter weather.

Other military Edit

During World War II, the planned battleship USS Montana was named in honor of the state but it was never completed. Montana is the only one of the first 48 states lacking a completed battleship being named for it. Alaska and Hawaii have both had nuclear submarines named after them. Montana is the only state in the union without a modern naval ship named in its honor. However, in August 2007, Senator Jon Tester asked that a submarine be christened USS Montana. [72] Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced on September 3, 2015, that Virginia Class attack submarine SSN-794 will become the second commissioned warship to bear the name. [73]

Cold War Montana Edit

In the post-World War II Cold War era, Montana became host to U.S. Air Force Military Air Transport Service (1947) for airlift training in C-54 Skymasters and eventually, in 1953 Strategic Air Command air and missile forces were based at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls. The base also hosted the 29th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Air Defense Command from 1953 to 1968. In December 1959, Malmstrom AFB was selected as the home of the new Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missile. The first operational missiles were in place and ready in early 1962. In late 1962, missiles assigned to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing played a major role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. When the Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba, President John F. Kennedy said the Soviets backed down because they knew he had an "ace in the hole", referring directly to the Minuteman missiles in Montana. Montana eventually became home to the largest ICBM field in the U.S. covering 23,500 square miles (61,000 km 2 ). [74]

Montana is one of the eight Mountain States, located in the north of the region known as the Western United States. It borders North Dakota and South Dakota to the east. Wyoming is to the south, Idaho is to the west and southwest, [ citation needed ] and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, are to the north, making it the only state to border three Canadian provinces.

With an area of 147,040 square miles (380,800 km 2 ), [1] Montana is slightly larger than Japan. It is the fourth-largest state in the United States after Alaska, Texas, and California [75] it is the largest landlocked state. [76]

Topography Edit

The state's topography is roughly defined by the Continental Divide, which splits much of the state into distinct eastern and western regions. [77] Most of Montana's hundred or more named mountain ranges are in the state's western half, most of which is geologically and geographically part of the northern Rocky Mountains. [77] [78] The Absaroka and Beartooth ranges in the state's south-central part are technically part of the Central Rocky Mountains. [79] The Rocky Mountain Front is a significant feature in the state's north-central portion, [80] and isolated island ranges that interrupt the prairie landscape common in the central and eastern parts of the state. [81] About 60 percent of the state is prairie, part of the northern Great Plains. [82]

The Bitterroot Mountains—one of the longest continuous ranges in the Rocky Mountain chain from Alaska to Mexico [83] —along with smaller ranges, including the Coeur d'Alene Mountains and the Cabinet Mountains, divide the state from Idaho. The southern third of the Bitterroot range blends into the Continental Divide. [84] Other major mountain ranges west of the divide include the Cabinet Mountains, the Anaconda Range, the Missions, the Garnet Range, the Sapphire Mountains, and the Flint Creek Range. [85]

The divide's northern section, where the mountains rapidly give way to prairie, is part of the Rocky Mountain Front. [86] The front is most pronounced in the Lewis Range, located primarily in Glacier National Park. [87] Due to the configuration of mountain ranges in Glacier National Park, the Northern Divide (which begins in Alaska's Seward Peninsula) [88] crosses this region and turns east in Montana at Triple Divide Peak. [89] It causes the Waterton River, Belly, and Saint Mary rivers to flow north into Alberta, Canada. [90] There they join the Saskatchewan River, which ultimately empties into Hudson Bay. [91]

East of the divide, several roughly parallel ranges cover the state's southern part, including the Gravelly Range, Madison Range, Gallatin Range, Absaroka Mountains, and Beartooth Mountains. [92] The Beartooth Plateau is the largest continuous land mass over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) high in the continental United States. [93] It contains the state's highest point, Granite Peak, 12,799 feet (3,901 m) high. [93] North of these ranges are the Big Belt Mountains, Bridger Mountains, Tobacco Roots, and several island ranges, including the Crazy Mountains and Little Belt Mountains. [94]

Between many mountain ranges are several rich river valleys. The Big Hole Valley, [95] Bitterroot Valley, [96] Gallatin Valley, [97] Flathead Valley, [98] [99] and Paradise Valley [100] have extensive agricultural resources and multiple opportunities for tourism and recreation.

East and north of this transition zone are the expansive and sparsely populated Northern Plains, with tableland prairies, smaller island mountain ranges, and badlands. [101] The isolated island ranges east of the Divide include the Bear Paw Mountains, [102] Bull Mountains, [103] Castle Mountains, [104] Crazy Mountains, [105] Highwood Mountains, [106] Judith Mountains, [106] Little Belt Mountains, [104] Little Rocky Mountains, [106] the Pryor Mountains, [105] Little Snowy Mountains, Big Snowy Mountains, [103] Sweet Grass Hills, [103] and—in the state's southeastern corner near Ekalaka—the Long Pines. [78] Many of these isolated eastern ranges were created about 120 to 66 million years ago when magma welling up from the interior cracked and bowed the earth's surface here. [107]

The area east of the divide in the state's north-central portion is known for the Missouri Breaks and other significant rock formations. [108] Three buttes south of Great Falls are major landmarks: Cascade, Crown, Square, Shaw, and Buttes. [109] Known as laccoliths, they formed when igneous rock protruded through cracks in the sedimentary rock. [109] The underlying surface consists of sandstone and shale. [110] Surface soils in the area are highly diverse, and greatly affected by the local geology, whether glaciated plain, intermountain basin, mountain foothills, or tableland. [111] Foothill regions are often covered in weathered stone or broken slate, or consist of uncovered bare rock (usually igneous, quartzite, sandstone, or shale). [112] The soil of intermountain basins usually consists of clay, gravel, sand, silt, and volcanic ash, much of it laid down by lakes which covered the region during the Oligocene 33 to 23 million years ago. [113] Tablelands are often topped with argillite gravel and weathered quartzite, occasionally underlain by shale. [114] The glaciated plains are generally covered in clay, gravel, sand, and silt left by the proglacial Lake Great Falls or by moraines or gravel-covered former lake basins left by the Wisconsin glaciation 85,000 to 11,000 years ago. [115] Farther east, areas such as Makoshika State Park near Glendive and Medicine Rocks State Park near Ekalaka contain some of the most scenic badlands regions in the state. [116]

The Hell Creek Formation in Northeast Montana is a major source of dinosaur fossils. [117] Paleontologist Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman brought this formation to the world's attention with several major finds. [118]

Rivers, lakes and reservoirs Edit

Montana has thousands of named rivers and creeks, [119] 450 miles (720 km) of which are known for "blue-ribbon" trout fishing. [120] [121] Montana's water resources provide for recreation, hydropower, crop and forage irrigation, mining, and water for human consumption.

Montana is one of few geographic areas in the world whose rivers form parts of three major watersheds (i.e. where two continental divides intersect). Its rivers feed the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay. The watersheds divide at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park. [122] If Hudson Bay is considered part of the Arctic Ocean, Triple Divide Peak is the only place on Earth with drainage to three different oceans.

Pacific Ocean drainage basin Edit

All waters in Montana west of the divide flow into the Columbia River. The Clark Fork of the Columbia (not to be confused with the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River) rises near Butte [123] and flows northwest to Missoula, where it is joined by the Blackfoot River and Bitterroot River. [124] Farther downstream, it is joined by the Flathead River before entering Idaho near Lake Pend Oreille. [90] [125] The Pend Oreille River forms the outflow of Lake Pend Oreille. The Pend Oreille River joined the Columbia River, which flows to the Pacific Ocean—making the 579-mile (932 km) long Clark Fork/Pend Oreille (considered a single river system) the longest river in the Rocky Mountains. [126] The Clark Fork discharges the greatest volume of water of any river exiting the state. [127] The Kootenai River in northwest Montana is another major tributary of the Columbia. [128]

Gulf of Mexico drainage basin Edit

East of the divide the Missouri River, which is formed by the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers near Three Forks, [129] flows due north through the west-central part of the state to Great Falls. [130] From this point, it then flows generally east through fairly flat agricultural land and the Missouri Breaks to Fort Peck reservoir. [131] The stretch of river between Fort Benton and the Fred Robinson Bridge at the western boundary of Fort Peck Reservoir was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1976. [131] The Missouri enters North Dakota near Fort Union, [132] having drained more than half the land area of Montana (82,000 square miles (210,000 km 2 )). [130] Nearly one-third of the Missouri River in Montana lies behind 10 dams: Toston, Canyon Ferry, Hauser, Holter, Black Eagle, Rainbow, Cochrane, Ryan, Morony, and Fort Peck. [133] Other major Montana tributaries of the Missouri include the Smith, [134] Milk, [135] Marias, [136] Judith, [137] and Musselshell Rivers. [138] Montana also claims the disputed title of possessing the world's shortest river, the Roe River, just outside Great Falls. [139] Through the Missouri, these rivers ultimately join the Mississippi River and flow into the Gulf of Mexico. [140]

Hell Roaring Creek begins in southern Montana, and when combined with the Red Rock, Beaverhead, Jefferson, Missouri, and Mississippi River, is the longest river in North America and the fourth longest river in the world.

The Yellowstone River rises on the Continental Divide near Younts Peak in Wyoming's Teton Wilderness. [141] It flows north through Yellowstone National Park, enters Montana near Gardiner, and passes through the Paradise Valley to Livingston. [142] It then flows northeasterly [142] across the state through Billings, Miles City, Glendive, and Sidney. [143] The Yellowstone joins the Missouri in North Dakota just east of Fort Union. [144] It is the longest undammed, free-flowing river in the contiguous United States, [145] [146] and drains about a quarter of Montana (36,000 square miles (93,000 km 2 )). [130] Major tributaries of the Yellowstone include the Boulder, [147] Stillwater, [148] Clarks Fork, [149] Bighorn, [150] Tongue, [151] and Powder Rivers. [152]

Hudson Bay drainage basin Edit

The Northern Divide turns east in Montana at Triple Divide Peak, causing the Waterton, Belly, and Saint Mary Rivers to flow north into Alberta. There they join the Saskatchewan River, which ultimately empties into Hudson Bay. [91]

Lakes and reservoirs Edit

Montana has some 3,000 named lakes and reservoirs, including Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. Other major lakes include Whitefish Lake in the Flathead Valley and Lake McDonald and St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park. The largest reservoir in the state is Fort Peck Reservoir on the Missouri river, which is contained by the second largest earthen dam and largest hydraulically filled dam in the world. [153] Other major reservoirs include Hungry Horse on the Flathead River Lake Koocanusa on the Kootenai River Lake Elwell on the Marias River Clark Canyon on the Beaverhead River Yellowtail on the Bighorn River, Canyon Ferry, Hauser, Holter, Rainbow and Black Eagle on the Missouri River.

Flora and fauna Edit

Vegetation of the state includes lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, larch, spruce, aspen, birch, red cedar, hemlock, ash, alder, rocky mountain maple and cottonwood trees. Forests cover about 25% of the state. Flowers native to Montana include asters, bitterroots, daisies, lupins, poppies, primroses, columbine, lilies, orchids, and dryads. Several species of sagebrush and cactus and many species of grasses are common. Many species of mushrooms and lichens [154] are also found in the state.

Montana is home to diverse fauna including 14 amphibian, [155] 90 fish, [156] 117 mammal, [157] 20 reptile, [158] and 427 bird [159] species. Additionally, more than 10,000 invertebrate species are present, including 180 mollusks and 30 crustaceans. Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states. [160] Montana hosts five federally endangered species–black-footed ferret, whooping crane, least tern, pallid sturgeon, and white sturgeon and seven threatened species including the grizzly bear, Canadian lynx, and bull trout. [161] [a] Since re-introduction the gray wolf population has stabilized at about 900 animals, and they have been delisted as endangered. [162] The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks manages fishing and hunting seasons for at least 17 species of game fish, including seven species of trout, walleye, and smallmouth bass [163] and at least 29 species of game birds and animals including ring-neck pheasant, grey partridge, elk, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, whitetail deer, gray wolf, and bighorn sheep. [164]

Protected lands Edit

Montana contains Glacier National Park, "The Crown of the Continent" and parts of Yellowstone National Park, including three of the park's five entrances. Other federally recognized sites include the Little Bighorn National Monument, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, and Big Hole National Battlefield. The Bison Range is managed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the American Prairie Reserve is owned and operated by a non-profit organization.

Federal and state agencies administer approximately 31,300,000 acres (127,000 km 2 ), or 35 percent of Montana's land. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service administers 16,800,000 acres (68,000 km 2 ) of forest land in ten National Forests. There are approximately 3,300,000 acres (13,000 km 2 ) of wilderness in 12 separate wilderness areas that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System established by the Wilderness Act of 1964. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management controls 8,100,000 acres (33,000 km 2 ) of federal land. The U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service administers 110,000 acres (450 km 2 ) of 1.1 million acres of National Wildlife Refuges and waterfowl production areas in Montana. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation administers approximately 300,000 acres (1,200 km 2 ) of land and water surface in the state. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks operate approximately 275,265 acres (1,113.96 km 2 ) of state parks and access points on the state's rivers and lakes. The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation manages 5,200,000 acres (21,000 km 2 ) of School Trust Land ceded by the federal government under the Land Ordinance of 1785 to the state in 1889 when Montana was granted statehood. These lands are managed by the state for the benefit of public schools and institutions in the state. [165]

Areas managed by the National Park Service include: [166]

Climate Edit

Montana is a large state with considerable variation in geography, topography and altitude, and the climate is equally varied. The state spans from below the 45th parallel (the line equidistant between the equator and North Pole) to the 49th parallel, and elevations range from under 2,000 feet (610 m) to nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 m) above sea level. The western half is mountainous, interrupted by numerous large valleys. Eastern Montana comprises plains and badlands, broken by hills and isolated mountain ranges, and has a semiarid, continental climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). The Continental Divide has a considerable effect on the climate, as it restricts the flow of warmer air from the Pacific from moving east, and drier continental air from moving west. The area west of the divide has a modified northern Pacific Coast climate, with milder winters, cooler summers, less wind, and a longer growing season. [167] Low clouds and fog often form in the valleys west of the divide in winter, but this is rarely seen in the east. [168]

Average daytime temperatures vary from 28 °F or −2.2 °C in January to 84.5 °F or 29.2 °C in July. [169] [ verification needed ] The variation in geography leads to great variation in temperature. The highest observed summer temperature was 117 °F or 47.2 °C at Glendive on July 20, 1893, and Medicine Lake on July 5, 1937. Throughout the state, summer nights are generally cool and pleasant. Extreme hot weather is less common above 4,000 feet or 1,200 meters. [167] Snowfall has been recorded in all months of the year in the more mountainous areas of central and western Montana, though it is rare in July and August. [167]

The coldest temperature on record for Montana is also the coldest temperature for the contiguous United States. On January 20, 1954, −70 °F or −56.7 °C was recorded at a gold mining camp near Rogers Pass. Temperatures vary greatly on cold nights, and Helena, 40 miles (64 km) to the southeast had a low of only −36 °F or −37.8 °C on the same date, and an all-time record low of −42 °F or −41.1 °C. [167] Winter cold spells are usually the result of cold continental air coming south from Canada. The front is often well defined, causing a large temperature drop in a 24-hour period. Conversely, air flow from the southwest results in "chinooks". These steady 25–50 mph (40–80 km/h) (or more) winds can suddenly warm parts of Montana, especially areas just to the east of the mountains, where temperatures sometimes rise up to 50–60 °F (10.0–15.6 °C) for 10 days or longer. [167] [170]

Loma is the site of the most extreme recorded temperature change in a 24-hour period in the United States. On January 15, 1972, a chinook wind blew in and the temperature rose from −54 to 49 °F (−47.8 to 9.4 °C). [171]

Average annual precipitation is 15 inches (380 mm), but great variations are seen. The mountain ranges block the moist Pacific air, holding moisture in the western valleys, and creating rain shadows to the east. Heron, in the west, receives the most precipitation, 34.70 inches (881 mm). On the eastern (leeward) side of a mountain range, the valleys are much drier Lonepine averages 11.45 inches (291 mm), and Deer Lodge 11.00 inches (279 mm) of precipitation. The mountains can receive over 100 inches (2,500 mm), for example the Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park gets 105 inches (2,700 mm). [168] An area southwest of Belfry averaged only 6.59 inches (167 mm) over a 16-year period. Most of the larger cities get 30 to 50 inches or 0.76 to 1.27 meters of snow each year. Mountain ranges can accumulate 300 inches or 7.62 meters of snow during a winter. Heavy snowstorms may occur from September through May, though most snow falls from November to March. [167]

The climate has become warmer in Montana [ when? ] and continues to do so. [172] The glaciers in Glacier National Park have receded and are predicted to melt away completely in a few decades. [173] Many Montana cities set heat records during July 2007, the hottest month ever recorded in Montana. [172] [174] Winters are warmer, too, and have fewer cold spells. Previously, these cold spells had killed off bark beetles, but these are now attacking the forests of western Montana. [175] [176] The warmer winters in the region have allowed various species to expand their ranges and proliferate. [177] The combination of warmer weather, attack by beetles, and mismanagement has led to a substantial increase in the severity of forest fires in Montana. [172] [176] According to a study done for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science, parts of Montana will experience a 200% increase in area burned by wildfires and an 80% increase in related air pollution. [178] [179]

The table below lists average temperatures for the warmest and coldest month for Montana's seven largest cities. The coldest month varies between December and January depending on location, although figures are similar throughout.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Montana [180]
Location July (°F) Coldest month (°F) July (°C) Coldest month (°C)
Billings 89/54 32/14 32/15 4/–9
Missoula 86/51 30/11 31/16 −0/–8
Great Falls 83/51 28/11 34/15 1/–9
Bozeman 81/51 27/10 31/12 −0/–11
Butte 80/45 27/7 30/5 −1/–15
Helena 86/54 30/12 31/12 −0/–11
Kalispell 81/48 27/9 29/14 −1/–10

Antipodes Edit

Montana is one of only two contiguous states (along with Colorado) that are antipodal to land. The Kerguelen Islands are antipodal to the Montana–Saskatchewan–Alberta border. No towns are precisely antipodal to Kerguelen, though Chester and Rudyard are close. [181]

Cities and towns Edit

Montana has 56 counties and a total of 364 "places" as defined by the United States Census Bureau the latter comprising 129 incorporated places and 235 census-designated places. The incorporated places are made up of 52 cities, 75 towns, and two consolidated city-counties. [182]

Montana has one city, Billings, with a population over 100,000 and two cities with populations over 50,000: Missoula and Great Falls. These three communities are the centers of Montana's three Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The state also has five Micropolitan Statistical Areas, centered on Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Kalispell and Havre. [183]

Collectively all of these areas (excluding Havre) are known informally as the "big seven", as they are consistently the seven largest communities in the state (their rank order in terms of population is Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman, Butte, Helena and Kalispell, according to the 2010 U.S. Census). [184] Based on 2013 census numbers, they contain 35 percent of Montana's population, [185] and the counties in which they are located are home to 62 percent of the state's population. [186]

The geographic center of population of Montana is in sparsely populated Meagher County, in the town of White Sulphur Springs.

Historical population
Census Pop.
188039,159 90.1%
1890142,924 265.0%
1900243,329 70.3%
1910376,053 54.5%
1920548,889 46.0%
1930537,606 −2.1%
1940559,456 4.1%
1950591,024 5.6%
1960674,767 14.2%
1970694,409 2.9%
1980786,690 13.3%
1990799,065 1.6%
2000902,195 12.9%
2010989,415 9.7%
20201,084,225 9.6%
Source: 1910–2020 [187]

The United States Census Bureau the population of Montana was 1,085,407 on April 1, 2020, [5] an 9.7% increase since the 2010 United States census. [188] The 2010 census put Montana's population at 989,415. [184] During the first decade of the new century, growth was mainly concentrated in Montana's seven largest counties, with the highest percentage growth in Gallatin County, which had a 32% increase in its population from 2000 to 2010. [189] The city having the largest percentage growth was Kalispell, with 40.1%, and the city with the largest increase in actual residents was Billings, with an increase in population of 14,323 from 2000 to 2010. [190]

On January 3, 2012, the Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) at the Montana Department of Commerce estimated Montana had hit the one million population mark sometime between November and December 2011. [191]

According to the 2010 census, 89.4% of the population was White (87.8% non-Hispanic White), 6.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.9% Hispanics and Latinos of any race, 0.6% Asian, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 0.6% from some other race, and 2.5% from two or more races. [192] The largest European ancestry groups in Montana as of 2010 are: German (27.0%), Irish (14.8%), English (12.6%), Norwegian (10.9%), French (4.7%), and Italian (3.4%). [193]

Montana Racial Breakdown of Population
Racial composition 1990 [194] 2000 [195] 2010 [196]
White 92.7% 90.6% 89.4%
Native 6.0% 6.2% 6.3%
Asian 0.5% 0.5% 0.6%
Black 0.3% 0.3% 0.4%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
Other race 0.5% 0.6% 0.6%
Two or more races 1.7% 2.5%

Intrastate demographics Edit

Montana has a larger Native American population, both numerically and as a percentage, than most U.S. states. Ranked 45th in population (by the 2010 Census) it is 19th in native people, [197] who are 6.5% of the state's population—the sixth-highest percentage of all fifty. [197] Of Montana's 56 counties, Native Americans constitute a majority in three: Big Horn, Glacier, and Roosevelt. [198] Other counties with large Native American populations include Blaine, Cascade, Hill, Missoula, and Yellowstone Counties. [199] The state's Native American population grew by 27.9% between 1980 and 1990 (at a time when Montana's entire population rose 1.6%), [199] and by 18.5 percent between 2000 and 2010. [200]

As of 2009, almost two-thirds of Native Americans in the state live in urban areas. [199] Of Montana's 20 largest cities, Polson (15.7%), Havre (13.0%), Great Falls (5.0%), Billings (4.4%), and Anaconda (3.1%) had the greatest percentages of Native American residents in 2010. [201] Billings (4,619), Great Falls (2,942), Missoula (1,838), Havre (1,210), and Polson (706) have the most Native Americans living there. [201] The state's seven reservations include more than 12 distinct Native American ethnolinguistic groups. [192]

While the largest European-American population in Montana overall is German, pockets of significant Scandinavian ancestry are prevalent in some of the farming-dominated northern and eastern prairie regions, parallel to nearby regions of North Dakota and Minnesota. Farmers of Irish, Scots, and English roots also settled in Montana. The historically mining-oriented communities of western Montana such as Butte have a wider range of European-American ethnicity Finns, Eastern Europeans and especially Irish settlers left an indelible mark on the area, as well as people originally from British mining regions such as Cornwall, Devon, and Wales. The nearby city of Helena, also founded as a mining camp, had a similar mix in addition to a small Chinatown. [192] Many of Montana's historic logging communities originally attracted people of Scottish, Scandinavian, Slavic, English, and Scots-Irish descent. [ citation needed ]

The Hutterites, an Anabaptist sect originally from Switzerland, settled here, and today Montana is second only to South Dakota in U.S. Hutterite population, with several colonies spread across the state. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the state also had an influx of Amish, who moved to Montana from the increasingly urbanized areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania. [202]

Montana's Hispanic population is concentrated in the Billings area in south-central Montana, where many of Montana's Mexican-Americans have been in the state for generations. Great Falls has the highest percentage of African-Americans in its population, although Billings has more African-American residents than Great Falls. [201]

The Chinese in Montana, while a low percentage today, have been an important presence. About 2000–3000 Chinese miners were in the mining areas of Montana by 1870, and 2500 in 1890. However, public opinion grew increasingly negative toward them in the 1890s, and nearly half of the state's Asian population left the state by 1900. [203] Today, the Missoula area has a large Hmong population [204] and the nearly 3,000 Montanans who claim Filipino ancestry are the largest Asian-American group in the state. [192]

In the 2015 United States census estimates, Montana had the second-highest percentage of U.S. military veterans of another state. Only the state of Alaska had a higher percentage with Alaska having roughly 14 percent of its population over 18 being veterans and Montana having roughly 12 percent of its population over 18 being veterans. [205]

Native Americans Edit

About 66,000 people of Native American heritage live in Montana. Stemming from multiple treaties and federal legislation, including the Indian Appropriations Act (1851), the Dawes Act (1887), and the Indian Reorganization Act (1934), seven Indian reservations, encompassing 11 federally recognized tribal nations, were created in Montana. A 12th nation, the Little Shell Chippewa is a "landless" people headquartered in Great Falls it is recognized by the state of Montana, but not by the U.S. government. The Blackfeet nation is headquartered on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation (1851) in Browning, Crow on the Crow Indian Reservation (1868) [206] in Crow Agency, Confederated Salish and Kootenai and Pend d'Oreille on the Flathead Indian Reservation (1855) in Pablo, Northern Cheyenne on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation (1884) at Lame Deer, Assiniboine and Gros Ventre on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation (1888) in Fort Belknap Agency, Assiniboine and Sioux on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation (1888) at Poplar, and Chippewa-Cree on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation (1916) near Box Elder. Approximately 63% of all Native people live off the reservations, concentrated in the larger Montana cities, with the largest concentration of urban Indians in Great Falls. The state also has a small Métis population and 1990 census data indicated that people from as many as 275 different tribes lived in Montana. [207]

Montana's Constitution specifically reads, "the state recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity." [208] It is the only state in the U.S. with such a constitutional mandate. The Indian Education for All Act was passed in 1999 to provide funding for this mandate and ensure implementation. [209] It mandates that all schools teach American Indian history, culture, and heritage from preschool through college. [210] For kindergarten through 12th-grade students, an "Indian Education for All" curriculum from the Montana Office of Public Instruction is available free to all schools. [211] The state was sued in 2004 because of lack of funding, and the state has increased its support of the program. [209] South Dakota passed similar legislation in 2007, and Wisconsin was working to strengthen its own program based on this model—and the current practices of Montana's schools. [209] Each Indian reservation in the state has a fully accredited tribal college. The University of Montana "was the first to establish dual admission agreements with all of the tribal colleges and as such it was the first institution in the nation to actively facilitate student transfer from the tribal colleges." [210]

Birth data Edit

Note: Births in table do not add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Languages Edit

English is the official language in the state of Montana, as it is in many U.S. states. According to the 2000 Census, 94.8% of the population aged five and older speak English at home. [219] Spanish is the language next most commonly spoken at home, with about 13,040 Spanish-language speakers in the state (1.4% of the population) in 2011. [220] Also, 15,438 (1.7% of the state population) were speakers of Indo-European languages other than English or Spanish, 10,154 (1.1%) were speakers of a Native American language, and 4,052 (0.4%) were speakers of an Asian or Pacific Islander language. [220] Other languages spoken in Montana (as of 2013) include Assiniboine (about 150 speakers in the Montana and Canada), Blackfoot (about 100 speakers), Cheyenne (about 1,700 speakers), Plains Cree (about 100 speakers), Crow (about 3,000 speakers), Dakota (about 18,800 speakers in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), German Hutterite (about 5,600 speakers), Gros Ventre (about 10 speakers), Kalispel-Pend d'Oreille (about 64 speakers), Kutenai (about six speakers), and Lakota (about 6,000 speakers in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota). [221] The United States Department of Education estimated in 2009 that 5,274 students in Montana spoke a language at home other than English. These included a Native American language (64%), German (4%), Spanish (3%), Russian (1%), and Chinese (less than 0.5%). [222]

Top 14 non-English languages spoken in Montana
Language Percentage of population
(as of 2000) [223]
Spanish 1.5%
German 1.1%
French and Crow (tied) 0.4%
Scandinavian languages (including Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish) 0.2%
Italian, Japanese, Russian, Native American languages (other than Crow significantly Cheyenne), [224] Slavic languages (including Czech, Slovak, and Ukrainian) (tied) 0.1%

Religion Edit

According to the Pew Forum, the religious affiliations of the people of Montana are: Protestant 47%, Catholic 23%, LDS (Mormon) 5%, Jehovah's Witness 2%, Buddhist 1%, Jewish 0.5%, Muslim 0.5%, Hindu 0.5% and nonreligious at 20%. [225]

The largest denominations in Montana as of 2010 were the Catholic Church with 127,612 adherents, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 46,484 adherents, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 38,665 adherents, and nondenominational Evangelical Protestant with 27,370 adherents. [226]

As of 2020 [update] , the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated Montana's state product was $51.91 billion (47th in the nation) and per capita personal income was $41,280 (37th in the nation). "Personal Income for Montana". BEARFACTS. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. [ needs update ]

  • Total employment: 371,239 (As of 2018 [update] ) [227]
  • Total employer establishments: 38,720 (As of 2018 [update] ) [227]

Montana is a relative hub of beer microbrewing, ranking third in the nation in number of craft breweries per capita in 2011. [228] Significant industries exist for lumber and mineral extraction the state's resources include gold, coal, silver, talc, and vermiculite. Ecotaxes on resource extraction are numerous. A 1974 state severance tax on coal (which varied from 20 to 30%) was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Montana, 453 U.S. 609 (1981). [229]

Tourism is also important to the economy, with more than ten million visitors a year to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, the Missouri River headwaters, the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park. [230]

Montana's personal income tax contains seven brackets, with rates ranging from 1.0 to 6.9 percent. Montana has no sales tax*, and household goods are exempt from property taxes. However, property taxes are assessed on livestock, farm machinery, heavy equipment, automobiles, trucks, and business equipment. The amount of property tax owed is not determined solely by the property's value. The property's value is multiplied by a tax rate, set by the Montana Legislature, to determine its taxable value. The taxable value is then multiplied by the mill levy established by various taxing jurisdictions—city and county government, school districts, and others. [231]

In the 1980s the absence of a sales tax became economically deleterious to communities bound to the state's tourism industry, as the revenue from income and property taxes provided by residents was grossly insignificant in regards to paying for the impact of non-residential travel—especially road repair. In 1985, the Montana Legislature passed a law allowing towns with fewer than 5,500 residents and unincorporated communities with fewer than 2,500 to levy a resort tax if more than half the community's income came from tourism. The resort tax is a sales tax that applies to hotels, motels and other lodging and camping facilities restaurants, fast-food stores, and other food service establishments taverns, bars, night clubs, lounges, or other public establishments that serve alcohol as well as destination ski resorts or other destination recreational facilities. [232]

It also applies to "luxuries"- defined by law as any item normally sold to the public or to transient visitors or tourists that does not include food purchased unprepared or unserved, medicine, medical supplies and services, appliances, hardware supplies and tools, or any necessities of life. [233] Approximately 12.2 million non-residents visited Montana in 2018, and the population was estimated to be 1.06 million. This extremely disproportionate ratio of residents paying taxes vs. non-residents using state-funded services and infrastructure makes Montana's resort tax crucial in order to safely maintain heavily used roads and highways, as well as protect and preserve state parks.

As of September 2020 [update] , the state's unemployment rate is 5.3%. [234]

Colleges and universities Edit

Tribal colleges in Montana include:

Four private colleges are in Montana:

Schools Edit

The Montana Territory was formed on April 26, 1864, when the U.S. passed the Organic Act. [235] Schools started forming in the area before it was officially a territory as families started settling into the area. The first schools were subscription schools that typically met in the teacher's home. The first formal school on record was at Fort Owen in Bitterroot valley in 1862. The students were Indian children and the children of Fort Owen employees. The first school term started in early winter and lasted only until February 28. Classes were taught by Mr. Robinson. [236] Another early subscription school was started by Thomas Dimsdale in Virginia City in 1863. In this school students were charged $1.75 per week. [237] The Montana Territorial Legislative Assembly had its inaugural meeting in 1864. [238] The first legislature authorized counties to levy taxes for schools, which set the foundations for public schooling. [239] Madison County was the first to take advantage of the newly authorized taxes and it formed the first public school in Virginia City in 1886. [237] The first school year was scheduled to begin in January 1866, but severe weather postponed its opening until March. The first school year ran through the summer and did not end until August 17. One of the first teachers at the school was Sarah Raymond. She was a 25-year-old woman who had traveled to Virginia City via wagon train in 1865. To become a certified teacher, Raymond took a test in her home and paid a $6 fee in gold dust to obtain a teaching certificate. With the help of an assistant teacher, Mrs. Farley, [240] Raymond was responsible for teaching 50 to 60 students each day out of the 81 students enrolled at the school. Sarah Raymond was paid $125 per month, and Mrs. Farley was paid $75 per month. No textbooks were used in the school. In their place was an assortment of books brought by various emigrants. [241] Sarah quit teaching the following year, but she later became the Madison County superintendent of schools. [240]

Many well-known artists, photographers and authors have documented the land, culture and people of Montana in the last 130 years. Painter and sculptor Charles Marion Russell, known as "the cowboy artist", created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Native Americans, and landscapes set in the Western United States and in Alberta, Canada. [242] The C. M. Russell Museum Complex in Great Falls, Montana, houses more than 2,000 Russell artworks, personal objects, and artifacts.

Pioneering feminist author, film-maker, and media personality Mary MacLane attained international fame in 1902 with her memoir of three months in her life in Butte, The Story of Mary MacLane. She referred to Butte throughout the rest of her career and remains a controversial figure there for her mixture of criticism and love for Butte and its people.

Evelyn Cameron, a naturalist and photographer from Terry documented early 20th-century life on the Montana prairie, taking startlingly clear pictures of everything around her: cowboys, sheepherders, weddings, river crossings, freight wagons, people working, badlands, eagles, coyotes and wolves. [243]

Many notable Montana authors have documented or been inspired by life in Montana in both fiction and non-fiction works. Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Earle Stegner from Great Falls was often called "The Dean of Western Writers". [244] James Willard Schultz ("Apikuni") from Browning is most noted for his prolific stories about Blackfeet life and his contributions to the naming of prominent features in Glacier National Park. [245]

Major cultural events Edit

Montana hosts numerous arts and cultural festivals and events every year. Major events include:

    was once known as the "Sweet Pea capital of the nation" referencing the prolific edible pea crop. To promote the area and celebrate its prosperity, local business owners began a "Sweet Pea Carnival" that included a parade and queen contest. The annual event lasted from 1906 to 1916. Promoters used the inedible but fragrant and colorful sweet pea flower as an emblem of the celebration. In 1977 the "Sweet Pea" concept was revived as an arts festival rather than a harvest celebration, growing into a three-day event that is one of the largest festivals in Montana. [246]
  • Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has been performing free, live theatrical productions of Shakespeare and other classics throughout Montana and the Northwest region since 1973. The organization is an outreach endeavor that is part of the College of Arts & Architecture at Montana State University, Bozeman. [247] The Montana Shakespeare Company is based in Helena. [248]
  • Since 1909, the Crow Fair and Rodeo, near Hardin, has been an annual event every August in Crow Agency and is the largest Northern Native American gathering, attracting nearly 45,000 spectators and participants. [249] Since 1952, North American Indian Days has been held every July in Browning. [250] hosts the annual Northern Cheyenne Powwow.

Sports Edit

Professional sports Edit

There are no major league sports franchises in Montana due to the state's relatively small and dispersed population, but a number of minor league teams play in the state. Baseball is the minor-league sport with the longest heritage in the state, and Montana is home to three Minor League Baseball teams, all members of the Pioneer League: the Billings Mustangs, Great Falls Voyagers, and Missoula Osprey.

College sports Edit

All of Montana's four-year colleges and universities field intercollegiate sports teams. The two largest schools, the University of Montana and Montana State University, are members of the Big Sky Conference and have enjoyed a strong athletic rivalry since the early twentieth century. Six of Montana's smaller four-year schools are members of the Frontier Conference. [251] One is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. [252]

Other sports Edit

A variety of sports are offered at Montana high schools. [253] Montana allows the smallest—"Class C"—high schools to utilize six-man football teams, [254] dramatized in the independent 2002 film The Slaughter Rule. [255]

There are junior ice hockey teams in Montana, three of which are affiliated with the North American 3 Hockey League: the Bozeman Icedogs, Great Falls Americans, and Helena Bighorns.

Olympic competitors Edit

    champion and United States Skiing Hall of Fame inductee Casper Oimoen was captain of the U.S. Olympic team at the 1936 Winter Olympics while he was a resident of Anaconda. He placed thirteenth that year, and had previously finished fifth at the 1932 Winter Olympics. [256][257]
  • Montana has produced two U.S. champions and Olympic competitors in men's figure skating, both from Great Falls: John Misha Petkevich, lived and trained in Montana before entering college, competed in the 1968 and 1972 Winter Olympics. [258][259]Scott Davis, also from Great Falls, competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics. [260]
  • Missoulian Tommy Moe won Olympic gold and silver medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics in downhill skiing and super G, the first American skier to win two medals at any Winter Olympics. [261] , also of Missoula, won an Olympic gold medal in freestyle aerial skiing at the 1998 Winter Olympics, also competing in 1994, 2002 and 2006 Olympics plus winning 13 World Cup titles. [262]

Sporting achievements Edit

Montanans have been a part of several major sporting achievements:

  • In 1889, Spokane became the first and only Montana horse to win the Kentucky Derby. For this accomplishment, the horse was admitted to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008. [263][264]
  • In 1904 a basketball team of young Native American women from Fort Shaw, after playing undefeated during their previous season, went to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis in 1904, defeated all challenging teams and were declared to be world champions. [265]
  • In 1923, the controversial Jack Dempsey vs. Tommy Gibbons fight for the heavyweight boxing championship, won by Dempsey, took place in Shelby. [266]

Outdoor recreation Edit

Montana provides year-round outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Hiking, fishing, hunting, watercraft recreation, camping, golf, cycling, horseback riding, and skiing are popular activities. [267]

Fishing and hunting Edit

Montana has been a destination for its world-class trout fisheries since the 1930s. [268] Fly fishing for several species of native and introduced trout in rivers and lakes is popular for both residents and tourists throughout the state. Montana is the home of the Federation of Fly Fishers and hosts many of the organization's annual conclaves. The state has robust recreational lake trout and kokanee salmon fisheries in the west, walleye can be found in many parts of the state, while northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass fisheries as well as catfish and paddlefish can be found in the waters of eastern Montana. [269] Robert Redford's 1992 film of Norman Mclean's novel, A River Runs Through It, was filmed in Montana and brought national attention to fly fishing and the state. [270] Fishing makes up a sizeable component of Montana's total tourism economic output: in 2017, nonresidents generated $4.7 billion in economic output, of which, $1.3 billion was generated by visitor groups participating in guided fishing experiences. [271]

Montana is home to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and has a historic big game hunting tradition. There are fall bow and general hunting seasons for elk, pronghorn antelope, whitetail deer and mule deer. A random draw grants a limited number of permits for moose, mountain goats and bighorn sheep. There is a spring hunting season for black bear and in most years, limited hunting of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park is allowed. Current law allows both hunters and trappers specified numbers ("limits") of wolves and mountain lions. Trapping of assorted fur-bearing animals is allowed in certain seasons and many opportunities exist for migratory waterfowl and upland bird hunting. [272] [273]

Winter sports Edit

Both downhill skiing and cross-country skiing are popular in Montana, which has 15 developed downhill ski areas open to the public, [274] including:

    near Havre in Big Sky near Lakeside near Bozeman near Philipsburg near Helena off Interstate 90 at the Montana-Idaho border near Darby near Dillon near Missoula near Red Lodge near White Sulphur Springs near Choteau near Libby near Whitefish

Big Sky Resort and Whitefish Mountain Resort are destination resorts, while the remaining areas do not have overnight lodging at the ski area, though several host restaurants and other amenities. [274]

Montana also has millions of acres open to cross-country skiing on nine of its national forests and in Glacier National Park. In addition to cross-country trails at most of the downhill ski areas, there are also 13 private cross-country skiing resorts. [275] Yellowstone National Park also allows cross-country skiing. [276]

Snowmobiling is popular in Montana, which boasts over 4,000 miles of trails and frozen lakes available in winter. [277] There are 24 areas where snowmobile trails are maintained, most also offering ungroomed trails. [278] West Yellowstone offers a large selection of trails and is the primary starting point for snowmobile trips into Yellowstone National Park, [279] where "oversnow" vehicle use is strictly limited, usually to guided tours, and regulations are in considerable flux. [280]

Snow coach tours are offered at Big Sky, Whitefish, West Yellowstone and into Yellowstone National Park. [281] Equestrian skijoring has a niche in Montana, which hosts the World Skijoring Championships in Whitefish as part of the annual Whitefish Winter Carnival. [282]

Montana does not have a Trauma I hospital but does have Trauma II hospitals in Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls. [283] In 2013, AARP The Magazine named the Billings Clinic one of the safest hospitals in the United States. [284]

Montana is ranked as the least obese state in the U.S., at 19.6%, according to the 2014 Gallup Poll. [285]

Montana has the highest suicide rate of any state in the US as of 2017. [286]

As of 2010, Missoula is the 166th largest media market in the United States as ranked by Nielsen Media Research, while Billings is 170th, Great Falls is 190th, the Butte-Bozeman area 191st, and Helena is 206th. [287] There are 25 television stations in Montana, representing each major U.S. network. [288] As of August 2013, there are 527 FCC-licensed FM radio stations broadcast in Montana, with 114 such AM stations. [289] [290]

During the age of the Copper Kings, each Montana copper company had its own newspaper. This changed in 1959 when Lee Enterprises bought several Montana newspapers. [291] [292] Montana's largest circulating daily city newspapers are the Billings Gazette (circulation 39,405), Great Falls Tribune (26,733), and Missoulian (25,439). [293]

Railroads have been an important method of transportation in Montana since the 1880s. Historically, the state was traversed by the main lines of three east–west transcontinental routes: the Milwaukee Road, the Great Northern, and the Northern Pacific. Today, the BNSF Railway is the state's largest railroad, its main transcontinental route incorporating the former Great Northern main line across the state. Montana RailLink, a privately held Class II railroad, operates former Northern Pacific trackage in western Montana.

Historically, U.S. Route 10 was the primary east–west highway route across Montana, connecting the major cities in the southern half of the state. Still, the state's most important east–west travel corridor, the route is today served by Interstate 90 and Interstate 94 which roughly follow the same route as the Northern Pacific. U.S. Routes 2 and 12 and Montana Highway 200 also traverse the entire state from east to west.

Montana's only north–south Interstate Highway is Interstate 15. Other major north–south highways include U.S. Routes 87, 89, 93 and 191.

Montana and South Dakota are the only states to share a land border that is not traversed by a paved road. Highway 212, the primary paved route between the two, passes through the northeast corner of Wyoming between Montana and South Dakota. [297] [298]

Constitution Edit

Montana is governed by a constitution. The first constitution was drafted by a constitutional convention in 1889, in preparation for statehood. Ninety percent of its language came from an 1884 constitution which was never acted upon by Congress for national political reasons. The 1889 constitution mimicked the structure of the United States Constitution, as well as outlining almost the same civil and political rights for citizens. However, the 1889 Montana constitution significantly restricted the power of state government, the legislature was much more powerful than the executive branch, and the jurisdiction of the District Courts very specifically described. [299] Montana voters amended the 1889 constitution 37 times between 1889 and 1972. [300] In 1914, Montana granted women the vote. In 1916, Montana became the first state to elect a woman, Progressive Republican Jeannette Rankin, to Congress. [301] [302]

In 1971, Montana voters approved the call for a state constitutional convention. A new constitution was drafted, which made the legislative and executive branches much more equal in power and which was much less prescriptive in outlining powers, duties, and jurisdictions. [303] The draft included an expanded, more progressive list of civil and political rights, extended these rights to children for the first time, transferred administration of property taxes to the counties from the state, implemented new water rights, eliminated sovereign immunity, and gave the legislature greater power to spend tax revenues. The constitution was narrowly approved, 116,415 to 113,883, and declared ratified on June 20, 1972. Three issues that the constitutional convention was unable to resolve were submitted to voters simultaneously with the proposed constitution. Voters approved the legalization of gambling, a bicameral legislature, and retention of the death penalty. [304]

The 1972 constitution has been amended 31 times as of 2015. [305] Major amendments include establishment of a reclamation trust (funded by taxes on natural resource extraction) to restore mined land (1974) restoration of sovereign immunity, when such immunity has been approved by a two-thirds vote in each house (1974) establishment of a 90-day biennial (rather than annual) legislative session (1974) establishment of a coal tax trust fund, funded by a tax on coal extraction (1976) conversion of the mandatory decennial review of county government into a voluntary one, to be approved or disallowed by residents in each county (1978) conversion of the provision of public assistance from a mandatory civil right to a non-fundamental legislative prerogative (1988) [306] a new constitutional right to hunt and fish (2004) a prohibition on gay marriage (2004) and a prohibition on new taxes on the sale or transfer of real property (2010). [305] In 1992, voters approved a constitutional amendment implementing term limits for certain statewide elected executive branch offices (governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction) and for members of the Montana Legislature. Extensive new constitutional rights for victims of crime were approved in 2016. [307]

The 1972 constitution requires that voters determine every 20 years whether to hold a new constitutional convention. Voters turned down a new convention in 1990 (84 percent no) [308] and again in 2010 (58.6 percent no). [309]

Executive Edit

Montana has three branches of state government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The executive branch is headed by an elected governor. The governor is Greg Gianforte, a Republican elected in 2020. There are also nine other statewide elected offices in the executive branch: Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor (who also serves as Commissioner of Securities and Insurance), and Superintendent of Public Instruction. There are five public service commissioners, who are elected on a regional basis. (The Public Service Commission's jurisdiction is statewide.)

There are 18 departments and offices which make up the executive branch: Administration Agriculture Auditor (securities and insurance) Commerce Corrections Environmental Quality Fish, Wildlife & Parks Justice Labor and Industry Livestock Military Affairs Natural Resources and Conservation Public Health and Human Services Revenue State and Transportation. Elementary and secondary education are overseen by the Office of Public Instruction (led by the elected superintendent of public instruction), in cooperation with the governor-appointed Board of Public Education. Higher education is overseen by a governor-appointed Board of Regents, which in turn appoints a commissioner of higher education. The Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education acts in an executive capacity on behalf of the regents and oversees the state-run Montana University System.

Independent state agencies not within a department or office include the Montana Arts Council, Montana Board of Crime Control, Montana Historical Society, Montana Public Employees Retirement Administration, Commissioner of Political Practices, the Montana Lottery, Office of the State Public Defender, Public Service Commission, the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind, the Montana State Fund (which operates the state's unemployment insurance, worker compensation, and self-insurance operations), the Montana State Library, and the Montana Teachers Retirement System.

Legislative Edit

The Montana Legislature is bicameral and consists of the 50-member Montana Senate and the 100-member Montana House of Representatives. The legislature meets in the Montana State Capitol in Helena in odd-numbered years for 90 days, beginning the first weekday of the year. The deadline for a legislator to introduce a general bill is the 40th legislative day. The deadline for a legislator to introduce an appropriations, revenue, or referenda bill is the 62nd legislative day. Senators serve four-year terms, while Representatives serve two-year terms. All members are limited to serving no more than eight years in a single 16-year period.

Judicial Edit

The Courts of Montana are established by the Constitution of Montana. The constitution requires the establishment of a Montana Supreme Court and Montana District Courts, and permits the legislature to establish Justice Courts, City Courts, Municipal Courts, and other inferior courts such as the legislature sees fit to establish.

The Montana Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the Montana court system. The constitution of 1889 provided for the election of no fewer than three Supreme Court justices, and one chief justice. Each court member served a six-year term. The legislature increased the number of justices to five in 1919. The 1972 constitution lengthened the term of office to eight years and established the minimum number of justices at five. It allowed the legislature to increase the number of justices by two, which the legislature did in 1979. The Montana Supreme Court has the authority to declare acts of the legislature and executive unconstitutional under either the Montana or U.S. constitutions. Its decisions may be appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. The clerk of the Supreme Court is also an elected position and serves a six-year term. Neither justices nor the clerk is term-limited.

Montana District Courts are the courts of general jurisdiction in Montana. There are no intermediate appellate courts. District Courts have jurisdiction primarily over most civil cases, cases involving a monetary claim against the state, felony criminal cases, probate, and cases at law and in equity. When so authorized by the legislature, actions of executive branch agencies may be appealed directly to a District Court. The District Courts also have de novo appellate jurisdiction from inferior courts (city courts, justice courts, and municipal courts), and oversee naturalization proceedings. District Court judges are elected and serve six-year terms. They are not term-limited. There are 22 judicial districts in Montana, served by 56 District Courts and 46 District Court judges. The District Courts suffer from excessive workload, and the legislature has struggled to find a solution to the problem.

Montana Youth Courts were established by the Montana Youth Court Act of 1974. They are overseen by District Court judges. They consist of a chief probation officer, one or more juvenile probation officers, and support staff. Youth Courts have jurisdiction over misdemeanor and felony acts committed by those charged as a juvenile under the law. There is a Youth Court in every judicial district, and decisions of the Youth Court are appealable directly to the Montana Supreme Court.

The Montana Worker's Compensation Court was established by the Montana Workers' Compensation Act in 1975. There is a single Workers' Compensation Court. It has a single judge, appointed by the governor. The Worker's Compensation Court has statewide jurisdiction and holds trials in Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. The court hears cases arising under the Montana Workers' Compensation Act and is the court of original jurisdiction for reviews of orders and regulations issued by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Decisions of the court are appealable directly to the Montana Supreme Court.

The Montana Water Court was established by the Montana Water Court Act of 1979. The Water Court consists of a chief water judge and four district water judges (Lower Missouri River Basin, Upper Missouri River Basin, Yellowstone River Basin, and Clark Fork River Basin). The court employs 12 permanent special masters. The Montana Judicial Nomination Commission develops short lists of nominees for all five Water Judges, who are then appointed by the Chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court (subject to confirmation by the Montana Senate). The Water Court adjudicates water rights claims under the Montana Water Use Act of 1973 and has statewide jurisdiction. District Courts have the authority to enforce decisions of the Water Court, but only the Montana Supreme Court has the authority to review decisions of the Water Court.

From 1889 to 1909, elections for judicial office in Montana were partisan. Beginning in 1909, these elections became nonpartisan. The Montana Supreme Court struck down the nonpartisan law in 1911 on technical grounds, but a new law was enacted in 1935 which barred political parties from endorsing, making contributions to, or making expenditures on behalf of or against judicial candidates. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Montana's judicial nonpartisan election law in American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock , 567 U.S. ____ (Sup.Ct. 2012).Although candidates must remain nonpartisan, spending by partisan entities is now permitted. Spending on state supreme court races exponentially increased to $1.6 million in 2014, and to more than $1.6 million in 2016 (both new records).

Federal offices and courts Edit

The U.S. Constitution provides each state with two senators. Montana's two U.S. senators are Jon Tester (Democrat), who was reelected in 2018, and Steve Daines (Republican), first elected in 2014. The U.S. Constitution provides each state with a single representative, with additional representatives apportioned based on population. From statehood in 1889 until 1913, Montana was represented in the United States House of Representatives by a single representative, elected at-large. Montana received a second representative in 1913, following the 1910 census and reapportionment. Both members, however, were still elected at-large. Beginning in 1919, Montana moved to district, rather than at-large, elections for its two House members. This created Montana's 1st congressional district in the west and Montana's 2nd congressional district in the east. In the reapportionment following the 1990 census, Montana lost one of its House seats. The remaining seat was again elected at-large. Matt Rosendale is the current officeholder.

Montana's Senate district is the fourth largest by area, behind Alaska, Texas, and California. The most notorious of Montana's early senators was William A. Clark, a "Copper King" and one of the 50 richest Americans ever. He is well known for having bribed his way into the U.S. Senate. Among Montana's most historically prominent senators are Thomas J. Walsh (serving from 1913 to 1933), who was President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt's choice for attorney general when he died Burton K. Wheeler (serving from 1923 to 1947), an oft-mentioned presidential candidate and strong supporter of isolationism Mike Mansfield, the longest-serving Senate majority leader in U.S. history Max Baucus (served 1978 to 2014), longest-serving U.S. senator in Montana history, and the senator who shepherded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through the Senate in 2010 and Lee Metcalf (served 1961 to 1978), a pioneer of the environmental movement.

Montana's House district is the largest congressional district in the United States by population, with just over 1,023,000 constituents. It is the second-largest House district by area, after Alaska's at-large congressional district. Of Montana's House delegates, Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to hold national office in the United States when she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916. [312] Also notable is Representative (later Senator) Thomas H. Carter, the first Catholic to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee (from 1892 to 1896). [313]

Federal courts in Montana include the United States District Court for the District of Montana and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana. Three former Montana politicians have been named judges on the U.S. District Court: Charles Nelson Pray (who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1907 to 1913), James F. Battin (who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969), and Paul G. Hatfield (who served as an appointed U.S. Senator in 1978). Brian Morris, who served as an associate justice of the Montana Supreme Court from 2005 to 2013, currently serves as a judge on the court.

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2020 56.92% 343,602 40.55% 244,786
2016 56.17% 279,240 35.75% 177,709
2012 55.35% 267,928 41.70% 201,839
2008 49.49% 243,882 47.11% 232,159
2004 59.10% 266,063 38.60% 173,710
2000 58.40% 240,178 33.40% 137,126
1996 44.11% 179,652 41.23% 167,922
1992 35.12% 144,207 37.63% 154,507
1988 52.07% 190,412 46.20% 168,936
1984 60.47% 232,450 38.18% 146,742

Elections in the state have been competitive, with the Democrats usually holding an edge, thanks to the support among unionized miners and railroad workers. Large-scale battles revolved around the giant Anaconda Copper company, based in Butte and controlled by Rockefeller interests, until it closed in the 1970s. Until 1959, the company owned five of the state's six largest newspapers. [314]

Historically, Montana is a swing state of cross-ticket voters who tend to fill elected offices with individuals from both parties. Through the mid-20th century, the state had a tradition of "sending the liberals to Washington and the conservatives to Helena". Between 1988 and 2006, the pattern flipped, with voters more likely to elect conservatives to federal offices. There have also been long-term shifts in party control. From 1968 through 1988, the state was dominated by the Democratic Party, with Democratic governors for a 20-year period, and a Democratic majority of both the national congressional delegation and during many sessions of the state legislature. This pattern shifted, beginning with the 1988 election when Montana elected a Republican governor for the first time since 1964 and sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate for the first time since 1948. This shift continued with the reapportionment of the state's legislative districts that took effect in 1994, when the Republican Party took control of both chambers of the state legislature, consolidating a Republican party dominance that lasted until the 2004 reapportionment produced more swing districts and a brief period of Democratic legislative majorities in the mid-2000s. [315]

In more recent presidential elections, Montana has voted for the Republican candidate in all but two elections from 1952 to the present. [316] The state last supported a Democrat for president in 1992, when Bill Clinton won a plurality victory. Overall, since 1889 the state has voted for Democratic governors 60 percent of the time and Republican governors 40 percent of the time. In the 2008 presidential election, Montana was considered a swing state and was ultimately won by Republican John McCain, albeit by a narrow margin of two percent. [317]

Everything you wanted to know about the Sen-Bhagwati debate

The debate between two of the finest Indian economists—Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati—reflects the deeper question facing India’s political leaders

The debate on economic policy has never been as riveting as it is today, with two giants from the world of academic economics, Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati, tackling each other on what India’s governance priorities should be. Sen is a Nobel Prize winner in economics and a professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University. Bhagwati is a Columbia University professor of economics, who has been nominated for the top honour several times. Along with Sen and Avinash Dixit, he is considered to be among the three greatest Indian economists ever.

While Sen believes that India should invest more in its social infrastructure to boost the productivity of its people and thereby raise growth, Bhagwati argues that only a focus on growth can yield enough resources for investing in social sector schemes. Investing in health and education to improve human capabilities is central to Sen’s scheme of things. Without such investments, inequality will widen and the growth process itself will falter, Sen believes. Bhagwati argues that growth may raise inequality initially but sustained growth will eventually raise enough resources for the state to redistribute and mitigate the effects of the initial inequality.

Here are some of the best reads that capture the essence of the Sen-Bhagwati dispute:

In a 10 July story, Mint’s executive editor, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha outlined the contours of this debate and its significance in the national discourse. Rajadhyaksha pointed out that what appears to be an academic debate at first glance has a deeper political undertone. While Sen and his collaborator Jean Dreze are supporters of the entitlement-based public schemes launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, Bhagwati and his long-time collaborator are unabashed admirers of what they call the Gujarat model of development. The Bhagwati-Sen fight thus underpins the contest between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi for the spoils of 2014.

The debate between Bhagwati and Panagariya on the one side, and Sen and Dreze on the other has sharpened after the two sets of researchers released their new books on India. In Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries, Bhagwati and Panagariya hold up growth as the panacea for all of India’s ills. The book came out a little before An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions, where Sen and Drèze prescribe state-led redistributive efforts as the solution to India’s problems.

Till recently, Sen had refused to be drawn into a direct battle with Bhagwati on the issue but it seems he is shedding his reticence now. After the Economist carried a review of Sen and Dreze’s latest book, Bhagwati and Panagariya wrote a letter to them, pointing out that Sen had only belatedly learned to offer lip service to growth. In a surprising counter-attack, Sen wrote back to the Economist, blaming Bhagwati and Panagariya for having “misdescribed" his past work as well as the latest book.

The latest turn in the great war of words comes in the form of a Mint opinion piece penned by Bhagwati. Bhagwati rubbishes Sen’s embrace of growth by citing instances where Sen has chided others for focusing too much on growth. Bhagwati argues that by providing the intellectual foundations for populist excesses and fiscal profligacy that stoke inflation, Sen is actually hurting the life chances of the poor. By arguing for redistribution to precede growth, Sen is putting the cart before the horse, Bhagwati says.

In a Mint interview, Sen said that both growth and welfare programs are needed, and not at the cost of each other. Subsidies that don’t aid the poor must go, says Sen. “What I don’t like is that when people talk about fiscal responsibility, they do it while sitting in their AC rooms, powered by subsidized electricity, eating food cooked by subsidized gas and travelling in subsidized diesel cars."

Sen also questions Bhagwati’s argument that growth must precede redistributive efforts to improve human capabilities. “That’s not how things have happened in the world. They’ve all done it through increasing capability. I know of no example of unhealthy, uneducated labour producing memorable growth rates!," said Sen, in an interview to Prospect.

Bhagwati says his ideas should be acceptable to both Modi and Gandhi, refusing to take sides in the political battle. Sen acknowledges some of Gujarat’s achievements but makes it clear that he does not want Modi as the prime minister, as he has ‘not done enough to make minorities feel safe.’

The origins of the current exchange of words and barbs lay in a December 2010 speech delivered by Jagdish Bhagwati to Indian parliamentarians. Bhagwati argued that it is the reforms of 1991 that have made even the lowest social classes greatly more prosperous today. Hence, those reforms must be strengthened. Critiquing the critics of India’s growth experience, Bhagwati argued that a low rank on the human development index (HDI) did not mean much. HDI owes its origins to the efforts of Sen and the renowned Pakistani economist, Mahbub ul Haq. Bhagwati questioned the widespread use of HDI, saying there was very little science behind the index.

Speaking to students and reporters a few days later, Sen attacked Bhagwati’s arguments by saying that in an under-nourished country such as India, it was very stupid to focus obsessively on growth.

The war of words triggered the growth versus development debate which continues to this day, drawing several other economists into the fight. The Consumer Unit and Trust Society published a book on it, with contributions from both sides of the great divide.

The battle between the two sets of researchers cannot be easily described as one between the left and the right. Still, admirers of the Sen-Dreze duo tend to lean on the left while those on the right tend to admire the Bhagwati-Panagariya worldview. Panagariya’s demolition of the ‘Kerala model’ that left leaning economists including Sen and Dreze had held up as a successful example of state-led redistribution efforts is central to the Bhagwati-Panagariya duo’s arguments. Panagariya argued that Kerala’s success in improving social outcomes had little to do with state led efforts.

Panagariya’s arguments have not gone unchallenged though. In a sharp rebuttal of Panagariya’s thesis, R Ramakumar, an associate professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences argued that Panagariya was selectively quoting statistics to drive his case and ignoring the regional variations within Kerala, while arriving at his conclusions.

The battle between economic ideas, such as the one between the great twentieth century economists, John Maynard Keynes and Joseph Schumpeter, often has profound and long-lasting influence on policy. Practical men, who believes themselves exempt from the influence of philosophers and economists are usually the slaves of some defunct economists, Keynes had warned. In a column for a special Mint series on the Bhagwati-Sen debate, Vivek Dehejia, an economics professor at Carleton University reinforces that Keynesian message to drive home the importance of the fight between today’s giants.

Writing for the same series on the debate, Planning Commission member Arun Maira argues that a focus on job creation will be the best resolution of this debate between growth and development. Quality jobs can help drive inclusion with growth, Maira says.

Ajit Ranade, the chief economist of the Aditya Birla Group AV considers the debate between Sen and Bhagwati to be overplayed. The debate is not about an embrace versus outright rejection of the market mechanism as much as it is about the sequencing of economic policies.

Mint’s deputy managing editor, Anil Padmanabhan also argues that the differences between Bhagwati and Sen may be less than what many observers think.

In a Mint column, Himanshu, an assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) points out that there is indeed a consensus among economists across the ideological spectrum that growth is desirable. But the process of growth --- whether it enriches crony capitalists more or the masses --- is as important as the growth number itself. Himanshu argues that welfare schemes rather than just growth have pulled people out of poverty in India.

Himanshu’s argument that redistributive efforts can be more effective in removing deprivations among the least well off finds support from two of his JNU colleagues, Amaresh Dubey and Sukhadeo Thorat. Research by the duo shows that poverty among lower castes and agricultural labourers fell faster in the period between 2004-05 and 2009-10 than before. Dubey and Thorat ascribe the faster poverty decline to the government’s redistributive efforts.

Others question the view that redistributive welfare schemes work best in aiding the poor. The faster rise in farm wages in the past few years compared to earlier years was primarily due to the ‘pull’ effect of growth, according to the economist and chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Ashok Gulati. The agricultural sector as well as the overall economy grew much faster in the second half of the past decade than in the first. In a recent research paper, Gulati points out higher growth and consequent increases in construction wages had a greater role in driving up farm wages in recent years than the government-sponsored right to employment law, operational in rural areas. Evidently, the last word on what works to fight poverty best in India has not been said yet.

If there is any other economist of nearly equal stature to the triumvirate of Sen-Bhagwati-Dixit among Indian economic greats, it has to be Sir Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University. Dasgupta has made pioneering contributions in the fields of nutrition and natural resource economics, and spent a lifetime analyzing poverty. Dasgupta therefore has the last word in this compilation on the Sen-Bhagwati saga.

Dasgupta reviews the books written by Sen-Dreze and Bhagwati-Panagariya for Prospect and finds that both Sen and Bhagwati have failed to take a holistic view of the Indian growth experience, and hence offer faulty prescriptions. The constraints posed by depleting natural resources and high population growth are missing from the worldview of both economists, drawing Dasgupta’s ire.

“Bhagwati and Panagariya see government restrictions everywhere, while Drèze and Sen can’t take their eyes off poverty and inequality. But there are some of us who can’t help also noting the importance of “externalities," which are the unaccounted consequences for others (including future generations) of decisions made by each one of us about reproduction, consumption, and use of the natural environment."

Dasgupta mildly chides Bhagwati and Panagariya for their ‘self-adulatory style’ and dismisses the discussion of environmental problems in Sen and Dreze’s latest book as mere ‘banalities’ in this entertaining review.

Download a Readlist of all the links and documents in this round up here . Compatible with most tablets and ebook readers."

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