The 14th State

Why did it take 14 years before Vermont became part of the United States?

In 1777, the thirteen colonies were fighting the Revolutionary War with England. They were too busy to stop Vermont from becoming an independent state. But the Continental Congress(the government of the United States during the Revolutionary War) was not ready to let Vermont become part of the new United States. New York did not want Vermont to join the United States and the other former(something that used to be) colonies agreed.

After 14 years, New York agreed that Vermont could become part of the United States. But first, Vermont had to pay $30,000 to New York. That was a lot of money in 1791, but Vermont wanted to join the United States. So Vermont paid the money to New York.

On March 4, 1791, Vermont became the 14th state! The new state was in the north. A year later, Kentucky became the 15th state. Kentucky is in the south. The United States stayed balanced.

The United States government wanted to know how many people were in Vermont and the other states. The census(a count of all the people living in a place) takers counted 85,425 people living in Vermont in 1791. After Vermont became a state, even more people came to start new towns and new farms. In 1805, Vermont picked Montpelier to be the capital city. That’s the story of how Vermont became the 14th state.

Thinking About History

Historians ask questions to think deeply about history.

Why is it important for the government to know how many people live in each state?

Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.

Vermont Historical Society. "The 14th State." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed July 23, 2024.

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