The first Europeans who explored this territory were the Frenchmen Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, who entered the Mississippi Valley in 1673. In 1682, La Salle reclaimed for France the lands crossed by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, a territory not fully defined, at which he baptized with the name of Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV. In the 1700s, French missionaries founded a settlement near Saint Louis. This was followed by other enclaves such as Sainte Genevieve. In 1764, Pierre Liguest and René August Choutenau founded the city of Saint Louis.
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With the Treaty of Paris of 1763, the territory of Louisiana, west of the Mississippi passed to Spain and, consequently, Missouri was administered until 1800 by Spanish officials. During this period the colonization of the territory was encouraged, for this reason in the last decades of the XVIII century numerous colonists arrived from the southern colonies, many of them with their slaves. The War of Independence did not affect Missouri whose main enclaves were fortified by the Spaniards in anticipation of a possible British attack, which occurred without consequences, against the city of Saint Louis. In 1800, Napoleon asked Spain for his ancient colony of Louisiana, and Spain, invaded by French troops, he had no choice but to accept. Three years later, however, France had to sell the colony to the United States in the Thomas Jefferson-sponsored operation known as the Louisiana Purchase. After this acquisition, the government of the United States organized a series of expeditions to draw maps and to know the resources of the territories, both those annexed and those beyond these borders. Thus, in a few years Saint Louis became the starting point of numerous expeditions to the west, such as those of Lewis and Clark (1804-1806), ebulon Pike, 1805-1806, and Stephen Long (1819).
In 1812, the United States Congress reorganized the territories under his administration. At that time he created the territory of Missouri which included the present state of Arkansas until 1819. During those years there were frequent clashes between settlers and Indians, the latter encouraged by the British. The British had begun hostilities to try to recover their ancient colonies, and had found some indisputable allies in the discontented tribes. In this way, the Indians became an obstacle to colonization until 1836, when the Americans moved them to the reserves of the state of Oklahoma. In 1818, Missouri solicited its admission into the Union as a slave state, but this circumstance delayed its integration. In fact, to avoid unbalancing the system of power in the legislative chambers of the United States, he had to sign the Missouri Compromise by which it was established that the new members would be admitted two by two, one slave state and another free. Therefore, Missouri had to wait until the admission of a state with a non-slave constitution was approved, in this case Maine. Thus, in 1821, Maine and Missouri were simultaneously integrated as new states of the United States.
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The most important economic activities of Missouri were the trade in skins, the cultivation of cotton, the breeding and the mining exploitation, especially of lead and zinc. Saint Louis was for many years the economic center of the state, until the railway line that connected Santa Fe with Oregon was finished, for this reason the commercial center of the region became Kansas City.
During the Civil War, Missouri was in favor of the Union, but the governor of this region, Clairborne Fox Jackson, urged citizens to oppose federal troops that entered Missouri in 1861. Jackson was deposed, but this action exemplifies the great division that existed on the subject of slavery in Missouri, a state where 110,000 men fought for the Union and 40,000 opted to defend the Confederacy. The many battles that were fought in the Missouri territory helped to transform the state into the greatest example of barbarism and injustice. The conflict had such an influence in Missouri that twenty years after the end of the conflict, Missouri continued to live in a war environment,
The First World War brought great prosperity to the Missouri economy as its industrial, agricultural and mining production could hardly cover the demands of both the United States and the European countries involved in the conflict. Prosperity ended with the end of the war, as subsequent economic crises hit Missouri as well as the rest of the states that were heavily dependent on primary businesses. The Second World War allowed this state to emerge from the deep crisis, allowing Missouri to diversify its industries, production of electronic material, manufacture of aeronautical material and the treatment of uranium mainly.
Jefferson City, a city on the Missouri River, located in the central area of the state, the capital of Missouri. The city is a commercial and distribution center of the surrounding agricultural region, and has many manufacturing industries. Some of them are related to the production of cosmetics, metalworking, electrical appliances and printed materials.
Points of interest are the Capitol, erected in 1924 which contains famous murals by Thomas Hart Benton and Frank Branwyn, the great fountain of the Centaurs, designed by Adolph A. Weinman is located in the Capitol gardens, other interesting places are, the seat of the Governor and the County Historical Society Museum of Cole County. The city counts on the University of Lincoln, founded in 1866 by black veterans of the US Civil War (1861–1865). The Jefferson Landing State Histork Site retains many buildings from the original port, including the 1839 Lohman Building. Very close to the city is the Lake of the Ozarks, and Rockbridge State Park.
Members of the Lewis and Clark expedition explored the Jefferson City area in 1804, but a permanent colony was not formed until 1821, until the federal government granted land for the state capital. Daniel Morgan Boone, created a community that adopted the name of the president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. The first building of the capitol, finished in 1826, was destroyed by fire in 1837, and its replica was also destroyed by fire in 1911. Jefferson City remained in the Union during the US Civil War, despite the sympathies that the Confederacy aroused among its citizens. The city’s economy grew with the expansion of the state government in 1900.