History of Oklahoma

Archaeological finds found in the territory now occupied by the state of Oklahoma, say that the region was already inhabited 15,000 years ago. The first Europeans who explored Oklahoma were Francisco Vazquez de Coronado and Hernando de Soto, in command of different expeditions in 1541. Since then, virtually all expeditions to Kansas and Nebraska have passed through the territory that today occupies the state. of Oklahoma, among them those of Friar Juan of Padilla, Juan of Oñate, Pedro de Villazur. In 1682, the Frenchman La Salle who left Canada sailed along the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. A little later he claimed the territory which included Oklahoma, in the name of Louis XIV of France and in his honor he baptized this extended province with the name of Louisiana. In 1763, with the Treaty of Paris, Louisiana was ceded to Spain until 1800 when Napoleon forced Spain to return it. However, in 1803, France sold this territory to the United States in an operation devised by Thomas Jefferson which was the first step in North American expansion westward.

Once the United States acquired Louisiana, Congress proceeded with the administrative organization of this vast province. Thus, in 1812 Oklahoma was included in the Missouri territory. Shortly thereafter, this region was assigned to the territory of Arkansas, and a part was returned to Spain to resolve disagreements over the definition of borders. In spite of these administrative changes, Oklahoma did not capture the interest of the settlers, so no settlements were built during most of the 19th century. This explains why this territory was designed in 1828 as a site to transfer the different Indian tribes, which were gradually moved from their territories of the East. Thus, between 1830 and 1842 Indians of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Chotaw, Creek and Seminola tribes (called “Five Civilized Tribes”) were brought to eastern Oklahoma and were granted ownership of these territories’ until the ‘grass and rivers run.’ The territory that had been granted to them was designated by the United States Congress as Indian territory. By the end of the 19th century, more than sixty different tribes were moved to Oklahoma.

  • See ejiaxing.org for Oklahoma state facts, including geography, climate, flora and fauna as well as major cities.

During the Civil War (1860-1865), some tribes allied themselves with the Confederates as some of them were slavers. Among the most famous personalities of this period was the Indian Cherokee Stand Watie who rose to the rank of general in the Confederacy army. Numerous battles took place in the region. In 1863, Union troops managed to control much of the territory by taking Fort Gibson. After the war, relations between the government of the United States and the tribes of the Indian territory changed drastically, as they were forced to give up much of the land granted in the treaties of 1824. The construction of the railway and the intensification of the presence of cattle being moved from Texas to Kansas explains the interest of the settlers in this area. In fact, the Chisholm Road, one of the most important roads in the cattle trade, crossed the Indian territory. Settlement settlements in Indian territories began in 1879, despite federal law forbidding it. In 1889, Congress authorized the expropriation of part of the Indian territory to be assigned to the settlers. The territory was divided into lots that the settlers had to occupy and register in order to be able to claim their property. West Oklahoma, after this rapid colonization, organized itself as a territory in 1889. The next step, the admission as a state of the Union, had to face several problems as the Indians wanted to create an independent state, while the white settlers wanted to unite the two territories, the territory of Oklahoma and the Indian territory. Once again, the wishes of the Indians were not fulfilled and in 1907 Oklahoma was admitted as a state in the federation.

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Oklahoma has economically depended on its agricultural and mineral resources, particularly oil and natural gas whose commercial exploitation began in 1897. During the decade of 1930, the great drought and the effects of the financial crisis caused massive emigration, mainly directed to the state of California. The beginning of the Second World War, as happened in the rest of the United States, managed to activate the Oklahoma economy thanks to the conversion towards industrial activities such as electronics and the manufacture of components for the aeronautical industry. The construction of a complex system of canals made it possible to carry out an ancient project, navigation between the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. This has contributed to the development of the industrial fabric of the state and to the improvement of its commercial capacity. In spite of all these improvements, there is still an excessive dependence on the oil sector in Oklahoma that the state authorities try to address with plans and incentives for greater industrial diversification.

Oklahoma: places to visit – what to see

Tourist and Cultural Places – Many of Oklahoma’s cultural institutions are dedicated to Indian cultures and pioneer history. These include the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, the Southeast Prairie Indian Museum, the Philbrook Art Center, the Oklahoma Historical Society Museum, the Will Rogers Museum, the Oklahoma Art Center, the Cherokee Museum, the Woolaroc Museum, the University of Oklahoma Museum of Art, the Stovall Museum of Science and History and the Tom Mix Museum.

Tulsa – Although Tulsa is still primarily an oil center, it has numerous man-made ponds, parks, and bike paths along the Arkansas River. One of the main points of interest is the Thomas Gilcrease Institute, a large art museum founded by a wealthy oilman from the city. The most visible elements of the city are the Prayer Tower Visitor Center and the 25m high bronze sculpture depicting a pair of hands joined in prayer.

Tahlequah – The town retains 19th-century buildings, including the prison and the Cherokee National Capitol Building. Of great interest is the Cherokee Heritage Center. It includes a village from 1875-90, the Indian Territory era, and a reconstruction of a 17th-century camp in the area originally inhabited by the Cherokee, the Appalachian Mountains. Sections of the ‘Cherokee National Museum retrace the tribe’s forced march along the “Trail of Weeping” from North Carolina to Oklahoma in the 1830s

. National Wildlife Refuges are, Optima, Salt Plains, Sequoyah, Tishomingo, Washita and the Wichita Mountains, with a total area of ​​56,938 hectares.

Oklahoma State Flag

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