History of Iowa

Archaeological remains show that human presence in Iowa dates back to 12,000 years ago. The Indian tribes that inhabited this region when the first Europeans arrived were the Iowa, the Illinois and the Sioux. In 1673, the Frenchmen Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored Iowa on their voyage to the Mississippi Basin. In 1680, La Salle claimed the territory for France as part of the colony of Louisiana. In 1763, France ceded the territories west of the Mississippi to Spain. However, it was the French-Canadian Julien Dubuque, in 1788, who founded the first European settlement in the territory of the Fox Indians for the exploitation of lead mines. In 1800, Spain returned Louisiana to France, and three years later Napoleon agreed to sell this colony to the United States. In 1805, the federal government created the Louisiana Territory which included Iowa. When Louisiana became a state in 1812, Iowa was incorporated into the Missouri Territory.

The admission of Missouri as a state in 1821 resulted in a new reorganization of the territory administered by the federal government. Most of the present state of Iowa remained a region closed to settlers for years, until in 1832 the Indians were expropriated of their lands, and moved to Illinois, and the western Iowa region. In 1834, this region was integrated into the territory of Michigan, and two years later into that of Wisconsin. Finally, Iowa managed to have its own jurisdiction in 1838; the first step towards joining the Union, which took place in 1846.

Most of the early settlers of Iowa were American farmers of British and Protestant descent from Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, New York, Carolina, and New England. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Iowa declared its loyalty to the Union. The construction of the railway in 1867 between the Mississippi River and Council Bluffs, and of three other railway lines in 1870, allowed for a remarkable development of the agricultural economy of the state.

World War I had a huge impact in Iowa. On the one hand, it allowed for an enormous expansion of the agricultural sector during the war years and those of reconstruction in Europe, given the great demand for agricultural products. This led to the indebtedness of many farmers, who bought new land during the boom years in order to cover the growing demand. The economic crisis that began in the 1920s coincided with a saturation of the markets, of Iowa agricultural products, once European farmers had normalized production, and Europe was no longer dependent on American imports. As a result, many Iowa farmers lost their properties,

The Second World War succeeded in reviving the economy of the state (as happened in most of the United States), which diversified with the development of industries operating mainly in the sector of the processing of agricultural products and the construction of machinery for the activities of the main sector of the state economy, agriculture.

Iowa: what to see, places to visit

Family farms and small villages seem to be haphazardly amidst the vast tracts of wheat and maize.

Iowa, which the Indians called the “Wonderful Country”, hides one of the most attractive places in the United States. The small town of Anamosa, in Wapsipinicon National Park, has retained all of its rustic grace. Against a backdrop of hills, with the river plowing through a valley, full of trees and adorned with wild flowers, this unassuming hamlet has an admirable scenery that almost seems to belong to another world.

It was the Iowa Indians who revealed the secrets of corn cultivation to the first settlers. Since then, the state has become one of the regions that produce this grain the most. Its fame is such that foreign growers come here to learn the most advanced methods of cultivation. Iowa, on the other hand, has always had a taste for experiments, as evidenced by the existence of the settlers of Amana. This group of seven villages was founded in 1859 by German Lutheran settlers and their descendants continue to lead a community life according to the religious principles of their ancestors.

In this state of boundless prairies, industry was born from the mechanization of agriculture, which remains, with the breeding of livestock, the essential activity. It is true that there are cities where life flows at a faster pace, but only during fairs does the heart of this rural town seem to beat faster. All the activity of the state is transformed into a spectacle. There are young men in jeans who wear the inevitable hats and observe the demonstrations of agricultural machinery or admire thousands of pigs, cattle, rams, chickens, rabbits, horses as connoisseurs, while the women show off the clothes they they are made up and participate in the competitions for the election of the “queens”, dear to the heart of the Midwesterners.

Tourist and cultural places– Many of the most important cultural centers in this state are located in universities or university cities, such as Iowa City, Des Moines, Cherokee and Decorah. Some of the state museums are: the Des Moines Art Center; the Davenpor Art Gallery; the Putmam Museum; the Sioux City Public Museum; the University of Iowa Art and Natural History Museums; the Sanford Museum and Planetarium and the Grout Museum of History and Science. In the West Branch is the Herbert Hoover Library, founded by the 31st President of the United States (Herbert Clark Hoover,) an institution that keeps the official documents of his mandate.

Popular tourist attractions include, the Effigy Mounds National Monument and the scenic Okoboji and Spirit Lakes region in the northwest of the state.

Curiosity – Basketball, American football and wrestling are the most followed and practiced sports in this state. The University of Iowa has a team that usually competes successfully in college leagues.

In Iowa, various festivals are held each year that celebrate and keep alive some of the traditions of the early settlers. For example, descendants of German settlers in Amana, northwest of Iowa City, hold Oktoberfest every year, while Dutch-born families celebrate their roots with the Tulip Festival.

Iowa State Flag

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