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Farming has always been central to the economy of Dorset and the county became the birthplace of the modern trade union movement when, in 1834, six farm labourers formed a union to protest against falling wages.
The labourers, who are now known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, were subsequently arrested for administering "unlawful oaths" and sentenced to transportation but they were pardoned following massive protests by the working classes.
Dorset experienced an increase in holiday-makers after the war.
First popularised as a tourist destination by George III's frequent visits to Weymouth, the county's coastline, seaside resorts and its sparsely populated rural areas attract millions of visitors each year.
The Romans arrived in Dorset during their conquest of Britain in AD 43.
Maiden Castle was captured by a Roman legion under the command of Vespasian, and the Roman settlement of Durnovaria was established nearby.
Over a five-day period in Dorchester, Judge Jeffreys presided over 312 cases: 74 of the accused were executed, 175 were transported, and nine were publicly whipped.The first recorded Viking raid on the British Isles occurred in Dorset during the eighth century, and the Black Death entered England at Melcombe Regis in 1348.