Early inhabitants dwell in Madison, WI even before the first Europeans set foot in the area. Originally, Madison was called Ho-Chunk Country in 1800. The early dwellers called the place Taychopera, which translates to “land of the four lakes.” The four lakes where Kegonsa, Mendota, Monona, and Waubesa. Sculptures, which were created for burial and other ceremonial activities, were rampant in the area.

In 1829, the city’s European roots began following James Duane City’s bought vast acres of land extending from the Lakes Mendota to Monona. The former federal judge had the intent to establish a city in the region of Four Lakes. With $1500, he was able to acquire more than a thousand acres of land. In 1836, the Wisconsin Territory was founded. During the convention that took place in Belmont, Wisconsin, they chose the permanent location for the area’s capital. James Duane Doty fought for Madison to be established as the territory’s capital. He even provided buffalo robes to the legislators. For those undecided, he offered discounted prices for Madison lots.

The city of Madison was named after the fourth President of the United States, James Madison. Doty also named the streets after the 39 legislators who signed the U.S. Constitution. While the city was not formally founded yet, the legislators voted in its favor on November 28. Most of the signers voted for Madison because of its strategic location between developing cities around it.

In 1837, the Pillars for the capital of the state of Wisconsin was established. The following year, the legislature had their first meeting in the capitol. Kintzing Prichett enlisted Madison in the formerly Dane County on October 9, 1839. In 1846, Madison was incorporated. It had total inhabitants of 626. In 1848, after Wisconsin formally became a state, Madison kept its place as the capital. A year after that, the University of Wisconsin was built in the city. In 1854, the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad was linked to the town of Madison. In 1854, with less than 7,000 residents, Madison was incorporated as a city. Parts of the town that were not included became a separate Town of Madison. The second capital that replaced the first one was engulfed in fire in  1904.

Madison emerged as a center of the Union Army at the time of the Civil War. The Union Corners, consist of Milwaukee, Winnebago, East Washington, and North Streets. Camp Randall was constructed and became a training camp, as well as a prison camp, and a hospital for the injured military personnel. When the war concluded, the University of Wisconsin acquired Camp Randall. In 1917, Camp Randall Stadium was established on the site.

Madison houses Wisconsin’s most prominent universities and is known to be the heart of its political and academic activities. During the Civil War, Camp Randall was the training ground for American soldiers. Radical reforms regarding various employment-related concerns such as Social Security and unemployment insurance were started in the early years of the 20th century.

Madison, WI became the venue for many protests in early 2011 opposing Governor Walker’s proposition to abolish negotiations for public workers done by various groups. Almost a hundred thousand individuals attended some of the rallies. The protests persisted for several months.