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Iowa History Daily: March 3 - The Path to Statehood

Iowa History Daily: On March 3, 1845, Congress mad provision by an act to pave the way for Iowa to enter the union as the 29th state of the United States of America. The first federal step toward statehood which officially followed in December 1846, the map approved by Congress looks very different from the one familiar to Iowans today.

Although the past of the land between two rivers stretches back well into pre-history, the area first came under European claim by France from 1673 until 1763. At that time, Spain gained claim and held the official rights until 1800 when France regained title during treaty proceedings overseen by Napoleon Bonaparte.

During this time, English traders made inroads with Indigenous peoples including the Sauk, Meskwaki, Dakota, and Báxoje (Ioway) who actually lived in and controlled the area. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Americans gained formal title but exercised little power. During the War of 1812, many Indigenous people allied with the British in the hopes of maintaining sovereignty over their lands.

Following a period of removal starting with the dubious 1804 treaty between the Sauk man Quashquame and future President William Henry Harrison, dispossession of native peoples and assertion of American control opened the lands to settlement. As the population climbed following the 1833 opening, a clamor for statehood soon followed, leading to the Constitutional Convention and Iowa’s eventually successful bid to gain status as a state. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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