Indiana is a state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States of America. The capital, and largest, city of the state is Indianapolis and this is located close to the geographical center of the state. The region now known as Indiana has a long history of Native American habitation, and the name of the state means “Land of the Indians.” Let’s take a brief look at the history of the region and find out when it officially became a state.
The European history of the region began in 1679 when French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first to cross into the area. It wasn’t long before French-Canadian fur traders entered the region and began trading with the Native Americans. The French-Canadians and British colonists fought for control of the region and this area was eventually surrendered to the British after the French and Indian War in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris. The Iroquois people sold the territory to several of the British colonies in 1768 and the company created for this purpose was known as the Indiana Land Company.
The region officially became a part of the United States at the conclusion of the American Revolution. However, the Native American tribes in the area resisted the Americans and the British were not fully removed from the area until the conclusion of the War of 1812.
In 1787 the Northwest Territory was established and this included all of the modern day states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota. In 1798 the Indiana Land Company claim to the region was dissolved by Congress. On July 4, 1800 the Indiana Territory was established and this contained present day Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota. The territory was split in 1805 and again in 1809 to adopt the modern day borders.
In 1812 the newly elected representative to Congress, Jonathan Jennings, began pushing for statehood by introducing legislation to grant the territory statehood. However, the War of 1812 prevented this from ever being passed. In February 1815 the House of Representatives began to debate the issue of statehood for Indiana. A census was taken and the population of the territory was sufficient for admission to the union. Indiana officially became the 19th U.S. state on December 11, 1816.