The United States’ state of Indiana is located in the country’s northern region in the Great Lakes and Midwestern area. Nicknamed the Hoosier State, Indiana’s capital city, which is also the largest, is Indianapolis. With an area of around 36,418 square miles, Indiana is the 38th largest state out of all the 50 states in the US. As of 2018, the state had a population of about 6.7 million, which makes it the 17th most populated state. The state of Indiana, as we know it today, was established back on December 11, 1816, which is the year when it was admitted to the Union. Prior to the admission, it was simply known as the Indiana territory.
Paleo-Indians were the first people to inhabit Indiana around 8000 BC after the end of the Ice Age. After this group, the Archaic Age, which lasted between 5000 and 4000 BC, came with a different set of indigenous cultures. These cultures were more advanced in their ways of life than the previous ones. Other periods that saw different cultures were the Woodland Period, which started around 1500 BC and the Mississippian Era, which started around 1000 AD all the way to the 15th century.
The Arrival of the Europeans
The first time Europeans set foot in Indiana was back in 1679 after the arrival of French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. A year later, he went back to Indiana and soon after, there were more Europeans arriving in the region and established trade. Some of the products traded included jewelry, whiskey, fur, and others.
The French went on to establish a number of trading posts due to the booming fur trade. The trade was what prompted the British to war with the French in the 1750s. By 1763, the British finally won the territory and kicked out the French. Eventually, the American Revolutionary finally kicked the British out and saw the establishment of the United States.
The Indiana Territory
The Congress of the newly formed United States established the Indiana Territory back in 1800 with Vincennes as its capital. Present-day Indiana was formed after the formation of the Illinois Territory in 1809. In the coming years, the US managed to remove rebel resistance in the form of native fighters during the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.
Ascension to Statehood
In 1815, the state made a formal request to be admitted to the Union. The request was approved and an Enabling Act created for the establishment of the state’s constitution. The constitution was written in 19 days from June 10, 1816. On December 11 of the same year, President James Madison formally admitted Indiana into the Union. The state capital was changed to Indianapolis from Corydon a few years later in 1825.
After the induction into the Union, Indiana embarked on a building path to establish the state as a major state in terms of development. The Indiana Mammoth Internal Improvement Act was probably the most influential development project. The project saw the development of roads, public schools, railroads, and other things. Despite bankrupting the state, the act paid off fourfold through things like increasing land value.