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History >> US Geography >> US State History

Arizona

State History

Native Americans

Prior to Europeans arriving, Arizona was settled by a number of Native American tribes including the Hopi, Pueblo, Zuni, Apache, Mohave, and Navajo. The Navajo lived in dome shaped homes called hogans and became famous for their woven blankets. The Pueblo lived in adobe clay buildings that were sometimes built into the side of a hill or cave. One Hopi village named Oraibi is thought to have been established as early as 1150 AD and is likely the oldest continuously inhabited town in the U.S.


Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
by Gary M. Stolz

Europeans Arrive

The first European to arrive in Arizona was Spanish priest Marcos de Niza in 1539. He was followed by explorers looking for gold as well as more priests looking to establish missions. Eventually the Spanish began to build permanent settlements including Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775.

Becoming Part of the United States

After the Mexican-American War, the United States gained control of much of the southwest including Arizona. They purchased the land for $15 million as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which was signed in 1848. Additional land was added in southern Arizona in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase.


Phoenix is Arizona's largest city
Phoenix, Arizona by John Sullivan

Civil War

At the start of the Civil War, Arizona was part of the Territory of New Mexico. When the war began, Arizona separated from the United States and joined the Confederacy. Arizona sent men and supplies to support the Confederate states. The westernmost battle of the Civil War was fought at the Battle of Picacho Pass between Union soldiers from California and Confederate soldiers from Tucson, Arizona.

Becoming a State

In 1863, President Lincoln signed a bill making the western half of the New Mexico Territory a separate territory named Arizona. On February 14th, 1912 Arizona was admitted as a state. It was the 48th state and the last of the 48 contiguous states to be admitted.

Wild West

Arizona's history is full of stories of the Wild West before much of the area was settled. Perhaps the most famous story is the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Coral which included gunfighters Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. It took place in Tombstone, Arizona and has been the subject of many Hollywood movies. Arizona was also the location of many battles between the settlers and Native Americans led by famous war chiefs such as Cochise and Geronimo.

Arizona Meteor Crater
Arizona Meteor Crater by D. Roddy

Timeline More US State History:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Works Cited

History >> US Geography >> US State History





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