History of South Dakota

Louisiana (and therefore the territory of South Dakota) came under the control of Spain in 1763, following the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years War and the Indian wars. In 1800, Napoleon forced Spain to return Louisiana which was then sold to the United States in 1803. This operation was supported by Thomas Jefferson and was the first step in the expansion of the United States to the west. With US control of the territory, Congress organized the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806, to learn about the geography and resources of the new territories. Thus, the two explorers sailed along the Missouri River and entered the region that now occupies South Dakota. Shortly thereafter, groups of hunters and traffickers established camps in the region whose activities were facilitated by the navigation of steamships along the upper reaches of the Missouri River. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that colonization of the lands of South Dakota began. So it was then that the settlers began to purchase land and establish settlements where today the cities of Sioux Falls, Medary, Flandreau, Yanktown, Vermillion and Bon are located.

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The colonization and prosperity of a region was, according to the guidelines of the United States Congress, a precondition for the creation of a Territory, that is to say an administrative unit of government with extensive powers. The creation of the Dakota Territory was completed in 1861 and included the current states of the two Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming. the settlement of new settlers increased steadily, despite the opposition of the Sioux who fought against the settlers and the army, until the signing of the Treaty of Laramie, in 1868, which created the Great Sioux Reservation. The discovery of gold in 1874 in the Black Hills caused the arrival of thousands of miners and adventurers, this caused the conflict with the Sioux to explode again. In fact it was then that Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull began the opposition to the occupation of their lands. Many of the Indians were taken to reservations west of the Missouri River in 1876, but the problem was never resolved with these measures. Thus, in 1881, the United States Army, which feared an armed siuox robellion in the Standing Rock Reservation, attempted to arrest the Sitting Bull chief, but during this operation the Indian chief died. His followers continued the revolt and joined the leader of the Big Foot. The group was eventually massacred by federal troops at Wounded Knee Creek.

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The Dakota became an example of a frontier land, where authorities had serious difficulties in controlling the activities of outlaws, including Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Along with the arrival of the settlers, many of them peasants from Europe, the railway also arrived. The main railway line was completed around 1880 and served to support the development of agriculture in this region.The great distance between settlements in the original Dakota territory explains why settlers from both the northern and southern areas asked to Congress admission to the Union as two states. Thus, the two Dakotas were admitted as members of the United States in 1889.

Its strong dependence on the agricultural sector has made the economy of this state very vulnerable to climatic and market conditions. In fact, while the great drought of 1911 caused a massive emigration of impoverished farmers, the First World War was able to reactivate its activities thanks to the great demand for agricultural and livestock products for export to Europe. However, the crisis that followed the war hit South Dakota farmers hard, many of whom had gone into debt in previous years, buying new land on credit to cover the huge market demand. The impact of the crisis, along with the subsequent plagues and droughts that swept the state in the 1930s, it was of such magnitude that the federal government was forced to approve special aid to help South Dakota’s ailing economy. World War II again succeeded in creating an epoch. prosperity for South Dakota farmers and ranchers, even as the gradual mechanization of agricultural work has led to job losses and, consequently, a new wave of emigration westward. The federal government, meanwhile, approved some projects to facilitate the diversification of the economies of states with such problems.

South Dakota places to visit

Tourist and Cultural Places – The most important cultural institutions in South Dakota are: the Sioux Heritage Museum, the State Historical Society Library, the Sioux Museum, the South Dakota Art Center, the WH Over Museum, the Museum Robinson and the Museum of Geology. Other places of historical and cultural interest are the House of the Prairie, in the drylands region; Prairie Town and Fort Pierre, in Yankton. The most notable artistic association in this state is the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, based in Sioux Falls. But undoubtedly the most visited place in this state is Mount Rushmore, where between 1927 and 1941 the sculptor Gutzon Borglum carved in the granite of the mountain the faces of four presidents of the United States: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

Places of naturalistic interest in South Dakota are; Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument are located in the Black Hills region, and Badlands National Monument. The desolate landscape of Badlands National Park can leave a stunned traveler who does not expect such a harsh and arid environment after the rolling grass-covered hills of South Dakota. The Badlands Loop Road, a scenic route that follows the northern edge of the Badlands Wall escarpment, and leads to viewpoints and trails that allow a view of the gorges below.

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is the second largest Native American reserve in the USA. The Oglalas and their leader Red Cloud were brought here in 1876. On December 29, 1890, the Seventh Army Cavalry massacred some 300 Lakota men, women and children at Wounded Knee. An isolated stone monument about 9 miles east of Pine Ridge village marks the site of the massacre. The Red Cloud Heritage Center, near Pine Ridge, contains the Red Cloud tomb.

South Dakota State Flag

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