Statehood: November 11, 1889
Area: 184,827 km2
Largest City: Seattle
Crops: Wheat, potatoes, fruit
Resources: Lumber, hydroelectricity
Industry: Software, electricity, aerospace
The state of Washington was carved from the northwestern sector of the portion of the Oregon Country that the United States acquired in 1849. The lands west of the Columbia River were lost in 1885 to Canada following the disastrous Third Anglo-American War. The remained of the state was admitted to the Union in 1889 with its capital at Ritzville. Washington served as a staging area just before the Great War for crossing the Columbia River and invading British territory. Following the Peace Treaty with the British, the lands between the Columbia River and the 49th Parallel were rewarded to the state. In 1919, the capital was moved to a more central location in Ellensburg.
During the 1930s, public works and private industry invaded the state. The Columbia and Snake Rivers were dammed, provided water supply for the Columbia Basin Project and electricity for the state and beyond. Boeing built two assembly plants in Seattle and Everett and its corporate offices moved to Seattle. Shipyards were opened at Bremerton and Everett, both served the war cause during World War II. Convair and North American followed suit, opening their own plants at Moses Lake and Lynnwood respectively.
During the 1980s, a second economic boom occurred with the rise of software companies. Microsoft, the largest software making in the world, is based in Redmond, Washington. Dozens of other software makers sprang up around Seattle during the Information Revolution. The third big industry in Washington is the production of electricity. The Gorge Dam and Grand Coulee Dam produce enough electricity to power most of the Pacific Northwest. Additional dams produce power that is exported as far away as Salt Lake City.
On the negative side, Washington has the second highest tax rate in the nation, behind California. Though it has no state income tax, property and sales taxes more than make up for it. This income is used to fund the infrastructure, education and various social programs. Washington has the highest standard of education in the United States, partially thanks to the efforts of the Gates Foundation.