History of Colorado

Archaeological remains in Colorado indicate that groups of hunters lived in this territory at least 20,000 years ago. Already in our era, the tribe known as the Cesteros, and then the Pueblo Indians, who emigrated to Arizona, lived in Colorado. By the time the Europeans arrived in the Americas, the main Indian tribes had settled in Colorado, and were: Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, Pawnee, and Ute.

The first European who explored Colorado was Juan de Onate, in 1601. A century later, in 1706, Juan de Uribarri claimed the territory of New Mexico, which included Colorado, for Spain. Later, (the eastern part of Colorado, the eastern section of the Rocky Mountains), it passed to France. This sector of the present state of Colorado passed back to Spain after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Three years later Father Francisco Escalante explored the region of the Dolores and Gunnison rivers. In 1800 the part of Colorado that was part of the Louisiana Territory was returned to France. In 1803, Napoleon sold the territory to the United States.

The US takeover of Louisiana involved negotiations between the new owner and Spain in order to delineate the New Mexico border. Zebulón Pike was the American commissioned in 1806 to explore the area and obtain information to draw future boundaries. The border disputes were not resolved until 1819, when the new frontier divided the territory of the United States and Mexico which became an independent state in 1821, thus having the administration of New Mexico, and therefore of the western part of Colorado. During this era, some North American settlers settled in US Colorado, and based their economy on hunting and trading in hides. Starting in 1842, the United States showed enormous interest in the southern part of the territory. Therefore, John C. Frémont led various expeditions between that year and 1853 to the southern plateau, which explored the Rocky Mountains.

The growing interest in the current southern and southwestern regions of the United States culminated in the Mexican-American War, after the war the United States forced Mexico to accept the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. The southwestern part of Colorado was part of the huge territory that the United States began to administer after that treaty. The discovery of gold in Cherry Creek, near the cities of Denver, Golden, Boulder and Colorado City, resulted in the massive arrival of miners and new settlers. In 1861 the United States Congress authorized the creation of the Colorado Territory, the first step in its admission into the Union. Since that time, Colorado has maintained its current borders. To consolidate the territory, it was necessary to campaign against the Indian tribes, who rebelled against the occupation of their territories. This conflict ended with the battles of Beecher Island (1868) and Summit Spring (1869) and with the transfer of many of the indigenous peoples of Colorado to the Oklahoma reservations.

During the Civil War (1861-65), this state declared itself a supporter of the Union. Years after the war, Colorado became the 38th state of the United States (1876); the state’s admission coincided with the first centennial of the United States, and thus Colorado acquired the nickname of Centennial State. The arrival of settlers and miners continued between the 1870s and 1890s. It should be noted that in this period, one of the most important industries in the state, tourism, began to develop timidly, thanks to its spas. With the fall in the price of silver starting in 1893, Colorado suffered an economic recession, however it soon recovered when deposits of silver were discovered in Cripple Creek.

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During the twentieth century, the economy of the state was reoriented towards agriculture, thanks to new irrigation and cultivation techniques, and tourism. Despite this, the mining sector continued to be a fundamental pillar of the Colorado economy. World War I had a positive influence on the development of this state as an important supplier of mineral and agricultural resources. The crisis and droughts that followed after the war affected the Colorado economy which did not recover until World War II. The conflict produced a fundamental change in Colorado. On the one hand, as in the previous war, the economy grew thanks to the great demand for its products, then during those years the US military authorities decided to turn Colorado into a military center, with the founding of the Air Force Academy, and the creation of the North American Air Defense Command, in Colorado Spring. This decision attracted several companies related to the war industry, and this sector has become one of the backbones for the development of Colorado.

Colorado: what to see, places to visit

Many of the state’s tourist attractions pay homage to the ancient inhabitants, explorers and settlers of the area. Some of them are: Pike’s Stockade, built in 1807 and later rebuilt in Sanford, the birthplace of the men of the rocks, and the villages of Mesa Verde National Park.

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The Colorado mountains, its extensive parks, numerous lakes and streams offer ideal conditions for practicing outdoor activities. The spas, located near the hot springs, are equally famous. Colorado is the country’s premier winter sports area, with over twenty ski areas, including Aspen and Vail.

Aspen, chosen by the rich and famous, has more than 200 trails spread across four mountains. Beautiful restaurants and boutiques in Victorian buildings complement the beautiful slopes. Vail, the largest resort in the whole of the United States with slopes on a single mountain, is popular with skiers and snowboarders. It has more than 2000 slopes and an altitude difference of 1052m.

Colorado Springs sits beneath the bulk of Pikes Peak. First tourist resort in the western United States, it was initially called “Little London” due to the strong presence of British tourists. The Garden of the Gods in the west of the city attracts hikers and climbers with its beautiful red sandstone formations. The Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site is also located here, a well-preserved 1880 ranch. The Renaissance-style Broadmoor Resort on Lake Circle opened in 1918 and well represents the area’s tourist boom. More culturally conservative than Denver, today’s Colorado Springs is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with rows of dwellings extending to the hills to the west and the vast plains to the east. The spirit of the Far West is kept alive in the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, which bears witness to the origins of the rodeo and the stories of the biggest stars over the years. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum presents the history of the region in the restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse.

Thanks to its geographic location and the clarity of its skies, there are three large astronomical observatories in Colorado.

Colorado Cultural Tourist Spots – The most notable museums in Colorado are the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Colorado State Museum (Denver), the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Natural History Museum, the State Historical Society of Colorado, and the Museum of Mines and Industry of the West. There are also interesting parks, buildings and monuments such as Fort Vasquez, a replica of an 1830 fortress, the Opera House building, built in Denver in 1878, and museums and parks dedicated to indigenous cultures, such as the Ute Indian Museum., of Montrose, and the El Pueblo Museum.

Curiosity – The favorite sports in Colorado are skiing, thanks to its ski resorts, basketball, American football and baseball. Colorado’s professional teams are the Denver Nuggets (basketball), the Denver Broncos (American football), and the Colorado Rockies (baseball).

Colorado State Flag

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