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Vermont is a state in the New England region of the United States. It borders the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the only state in New England that does not border the Atlantic Ocean. Vermont is the second-least-populated U.S. state after Wyoming and the sixth-smallest by area of the 50 U.S. states with a recorded population of 643,503 according to the 2020 U.S. census. The state capital is Montpelier, the least-populous state capital in the United States. The most-populous city, Burlington, is the least-populous city to be the most-populous city in a state.
This area has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for approximately 12,000 years. The historically competitive tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk were active in the area at the time of European encounter. The territory was claimed by French colonists in the 17th century as part of the colony of New France, the Kingdom of France. The two countries competed in North America and Europe after the Kingdom of Great Britain established colonies to the south along Atlantic coast. France lost the Seven Years’ war in 1763 and ceded its territory east to Great Britain.
Thereafter, the nearby British Thirteen Colonies, especially the provinces of New Hampshire and New York, disputed the extent of the area called the New Hampshire Grants to the west of the Connecticut River, encompassing present-day Vermont. The New York provincial government sold land grants to settlers who lived in the area. This was contrary to earlier grants from New Hampshire. The Green Mountain Boys militia protected the interests of the established New Hampshire land grant settlers against the newly arrived settlers with land titles granted by New York. Ultimately, a group of settlers with New Hampshire land grant titles established the Vermont Republic in 1777 as an independent state during the American Revolutionary War. The Vermont Republic abolished slavery before any of the other states.