Vermont was initially settled in the early 18th century by both the British and French,and conflicts between the two nations continued until the French defeat in the French and Indian War, after which the land was ceded to England. During the American Revolution, Vermont declared independence separately from the original 13 colonies, although the Continental Congress refused to recognize it. Vermont was finally admitted to the union as the 14th state in 1790, after 14 years as an independentrepublic. The name of the state is derived from”montagne verte,” French forgreen mountain, giving rise to the state’s “Green Mountain State” nickname. Today, Vermont’s mountains are a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. It is the country’s leading producer of maple syrup and is the home of the popular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.