The land that makes up the current state of Arizona was first “discovered’ and explored when Spain’s explorers ventured north from the country of present day Mexico; the earliest documented occurrence of this event took place in 1539 when Franciscan priest Marcos de Niza. Settlers first tried to inhabit the land that would eventually become Arizona through the formation of missions (“Arizona Chronology”). In 1821, when Mexico gained its independence from Spain, the state of Arizona belonged to the newly independent country of Mexico. The state of Arizona was formed from land that was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the conclusion of a war that took place between Mexico and the United States, the Mexican War. (“Arizona”, 2009). The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which was signed to put an end to the war, turned over the current state of Arizona to the United States as well as New Mexico and California (“Arizona Chronology”). The land that was ceded was that which lay north of the Gila River; in 1853, the Gadsden Purchase added to this land. All of this territory was originally part of the state of New Mexico. Once part of the United States, the territory that is today part of the United States attracted many fortune seekers who dreamed of striking it rich with the abundance of natural resources that lay in the earth of Arizona including: gold, silver, copper, and other minerals (“Arizona History”). In addition, many saw the land that would soon become Arizona as an ideal place to raise cattle and sheep. This led to a different way of life being present in Arizona which often included gun battles and ‘wild west’ type behavior (“Arizona History”).
As early as 1856, those who lived in western New Mexico petitioned Congress to create a separate territory of Arizona (“Arizona Chronology”). However, this territory was not formed until the midst of the civil war in 1863 when it was established by Abraham Lincoln who appointed the territorial officials (“Arizona Chronology”).
Arizona was the 48th state to join the United States; this occurred on February 14, 1912 when Arizona officially became a state. Like the rest of the states of the union, the state of Arizona was affected significantly by the Great Depression which began in 1929 and lasted until near the end of the 1930 (“Arizona Chronology”). The population growth and prosperity that the state had seen for the previous few decades dissipated throughout the Great Depression, however, the state rebounded well as the country progressed toward World War II (“Arizona Chronology”). The industries within the state experienced significant prosperity during this time or war.
Following the war, the state’s population continued to grow, reaching over the 1 million mark in 1960 (“Arizona Chronology”). Today, the state of Arizona has a population of approximately 6, 392,017 people and an area of 113,990 square miles (“Arizona”, 2009). The state is a common tourist attraction with a number of destinations to visit which include: the Grand Canyon, the Phoenix Zoo, Meteor Crater, and Chapel of the Holy Cross. In addition, the state of Arizona is home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona Cardinals. It is the sixth largest state in the United States in terms of total area and its capital is Phoenix, Arizona. Its governor is Doug Ducey.
- “Arizona Chronology: The Period Before Written History.” Office of the Arizona Governor Doug
Ducey. Web. 29 April 2015.
- “Arizona History.” Office of the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Web. 29 April 2015.
- History.com Staff. “Arizona.” History.com. Web. 29 April 2015.