Idaho is a state located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is completely landlocked and is bordered by Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Idaho is the 14 largest state by area, but has a relatively small population of about 1.6 million. This means that the state has one of the lowest population densities in the country. Idaho was the last state to be explored by people of European descent, which meant that it was one of the last states admitted to the Union. Let’s take a brief look at the history of this state.
A brief history of Idaho before statehood
The area now known as Idaho was first officially discovered by European-Americans on August 12, 1805, when the Lewis and Clark expedition reached Lemhi Pass. The region became an important fur trading region and it wasn’t long before parts of Idaho were settled. The region was claimed by both the British, who called it Columbia District, and the United States, who called it Oregon Country. The United States officially gained the region in 1846 with the Oregon Treaty. Idaho became part of Oregon Territory and later Washington Territory where Idaho was split in two. However, the entire region became part of Washington Territory after Oregon was made a state. In 1863 President Lincoln signed the act to create Idaho Territory and between 1864 and 1868 the boundaries of the territory aligned with the future boundaries of the state.
Many valuable natural resources were discovered in Idaho territory and this led to a population boom. The territory moved closer to statehood, but there was controversy about the location of the capital. This controversy almost led the state to be split up in 1887 between the state of Nevada and Washington Territory. However, President Cleveland refused to sign the bill. On July 3, 1890, President Harrison officially admitted Idaho as the 43rd state of the United States.