History of Kansas

By | September 23, 2022

Located in the middle of America, it is nicknamed The Sunflower State. According to ablogtophone, Kansas has a total area of ​​213,283 km² and approximately 3 million inhabitants. Topeka is the state capital.

The name of the state already shows that Kansas used to be inhabited by Native American tribes. The name Kansas comes from the Sioux word kansa which means ‘people of the south wind’.

The area was first explored by whites in 1541. This by Spaniards led by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. Initially considered unsuitable for agriculture, the area was visited only by fur traders who traded with members of Native American tribes such as the Pawnees, Kansas, and Osages.

In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act went into effect. This law divided the entire prairie area north of latitude 37° north into two territories. From that moment on, the residents in these territories had to decide for themselves whether they wanted to allow slavery in their area. This led to quite a bit of unrest and discussion that eventually led to the founding of the Republicans party. People from all over the country came to the territories to defend their position on slavery. Some historians see this period as Bleeding Kansas as a harbinger of the American Civil War.

According to bestitude, Kansas eventually joined the Union of Northern States that opposed slavery during this Civil War.

Flag & Motto

Kansas Map

In the center of the blue flag of Kansas is a sunflower, the symbol of the state. Under the flower is a seal containing a scene that recalls the first period of colonization. There are 34 stars above this scene. This in reference to Kansas being the 34th state to join the United States. At the very top of the seal is the Kansas motto: Ad Astra per Aspera. This means as much as To the stars through difficulties. The Kansas flag has been in use since 1925.

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

In 1607, a Spanish settlement named Santa Fe was established in the state of New Mexico, which became the capital of the colony. Today, Santa Fe, located at the foot of the Sangre de Christo Mountains, is the capital of the state, and you can still see the old and original houses built from red clay, called adobe. The city thus partially resembles an old Indian pueblo. Although some of the houses are newly built, they still have their typical shape and appearance.

The Spanish colonizers tried to convert the local Indian population to the Christian faith. However, they did not succeed very well, some accepted it, but most of them rejected it and prepared a revolt. Under the leadership of leader Popé, the Indians eventually pushed the Spanish into Mexico. In 1680, the Indians even seized Santa Fé and killed around 3,500 settlers during the so-called Pueblo Revolt. The Spanish came to power again only 12 years later and remained here until 1821, when Mexico deprived them of the colony.

However, Santa Fe became famous in the past as the terminus of a trade route called the Santa Fe Trail. It stretched 800 miles between the states of New Mexico and Missouri. Since the city of Santa Fe was located far from other cities, moreover, it was separated by mountains and desert, this journey was very dangerous for its participants. They were often attacked by local Indian tribes. However, despite these problems, the route became an important trade route.

Around 1821, thousands of fully loaded wagons with a variety of American goods passed through here. Huge profits then rolled in the opposite direction. In 1846, the American-Mexican War broke out and the United States began to strictly control the economy of New Mexico. The Mexicans could not handle the onslaught of American expansion, and New Mexico became an American territory in 1848. In 1912, it was joined to the Union as the 47th state.

Tallgrass Prairie National Park

The unique natural ecosystem of the Tallgrass Prairie is located in central North America and covers part of the state of Kansas. In the past, these prairies covered much of the entire American Midwest, as far as the eastern Great Plains and the Canadian Prairies. Towards the east, due to the regular action of fire, the prairies gradually turn into vast savannahs. The northeast is only rarely affected by fires, the landscape then gradually changes and beech and maple stands occur. Prairies covered with short grass are typical for the Great Plains area, rainfall is not so frequent here and the soil is not so fertile.

The Tallgrass Prairies are part of the Flint Hills and can be divided into several parts. The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Osage County, Oklahoma covers 158 square kilometers, and the slightly smaller Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas is 44 square kilometers. The aim of these reservations is to maintain the local ecosystem in its original form and to return to the prairies again the herds of bison, which in the past roamed the vast plains covered with waving grass. Today, you can see around 2,500 animals roaming freely here. Tallgrass National Preserve protects the last of the prairies left on Earth.

Tallgrass prairies are covered with many different types of grasses, such as Indian grass, which grows between 1.5 and 2 meters tall, but can sometimes grow up to 3 meters tall. Furthermore, the prairie is covered by broad-leaved herbs, such as gray sedge or coneflower. Today, over 99% of the Tallgrass Prairies is agricultural land.