Montana is a state located in the western United States, bordered by Idaho to the west, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan to the north. It is the fourth largest state in the United States, with an area of 147,042 square miles, and the third least populous state, with a population of just over one million people. Montana is known for its rugged beauty, its vast open spaces, and its rich history.

The history of Montana dates back to the time of the first Native American inhabitants, who lived in the area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. The first Europeans to explore the area were French fur traders, who arrived in the late 1700s. They were followed by American explorers, who began to settle the area in the early 1800s. The first permanent settlement in Montana was established in 1805, when the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived in the area.

The area that is now Montana was part of the Louisiana Purchase, and was part of the Oregon Territory until 1864, when it became part of the Idaho Territory. In 1864, the Montana Territory was created, and in 1889, it became the 41st state in the Union.

The early history of Montana was dominated by the fur trade, which was the main source of income for many of the early settlers. The fur trade was eventually replaced by mining, which became the main industry in the state. Gold was discovered in the area in 1862, and by the late 1800s, Montana was one of the leading gold-producing states in the country.

The early 1900s saw the development of the state's agricultural industry, as well as the growth of its timber industry. The state also saw the development of its tourism industry, as people began to visit the area to take advantage of its natural beauty.

Montana has a long and rich history, and its people have played an important role in the development of the state. From the early fur traders to the miners and ranchers of the late 1800s, to the modern-day tourists and entrepreneurs, Montana has a long and varied history that has shaped the state into what it is today.