What Is the History of Indiana?


Quick Answer

Indiana became the 19th state of the United States on Dec. 11, 1816, and made its capitol Indianapolis. Prior to statehood, Indiana was part of the initial western expansion following the American Revolution. Major Native American tribes in the territory during the colonial period included the Miami, Lenape and Pottawatomie nations. The first settlers in the area were French traders; however, Great Britain gained control of the territory following the French and Indian War.

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Full Answer

During the Civil War, Indiana remained part of the Union and supported the war effort with over 126 infantry regiments. During the war, many residents moved northward to the Great Lakes area of the state, as the economy near the Ohio River suffered.

Following the Civil War, industrial cities grew such as Gas City, Hartford City, Muncie and Gary, which became the United State Steel Corporation's headquarters in 1909. Along with steel, the state's gas fields supported the growing state economy.

During the Great Depression, the state suffered 25 percent unemployment, and in response, the state accepted the help of the Works Progress Administrations programs to help put residents back to work. The state's economy fully recovered in the lead-up to World War II. During World War II, the state supported the military campaigns with over 400,000 troops.

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