Kansas is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. Kansas shares a border with Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska. It is a relatively large state (15th largest in the country) with a population of about 2.9 million people (34th largest). The name of Kansas comes from the Native American Kansa tribe and the region has been inhabited by Native American people for thousands of years. Let’s find out when Kansas became a state.
A brief history of Kansas
The first European history of the region occurred in 1571 when Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado came to the region during his expedition from Mexico. Part of the modern day state became a region of the United States as a part of the Louisiana Purchase from France and the remaining portion was ceded to the United States after the Mexican-American War in 1848. The first settlement of white Americans in the region was Fort Leavenworth in 1827. In the 1820s the US government decided to set aside Kansas as Indian territory and this meant the region was closed off to white settlers. However, many white land squatters illegally took up land in the region by 1850 and they wanted the area opened to settlement. Congress began process of creating Kansas Territory in 1852 and it was eventually established in 1854 under the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This officially opened up the Kansas border to white Americans and many settlers came to the region. Kansas became the battleground between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, which ended around 1859 when pro-slavery forces realised that they would not be successful in controlling the territory.
The eastern portion of Kansas Territory became the 34th state of the United States of America on January 29, 1861. Kansas was admitted to the union as a slave free state and it was the last state admitted to the union before the Civil War.