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Vacation 2 USA   >   Iowa   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Iowa History

   
 

Iowa History


Iowa was originally home to at least 17 Native American tries, although today only the Meskwaki remain.

The first Europeans to reach Iowa were the French explorers, Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673. They recorded in their journals that the land was lush, green and fertile.

The United States gained control of the area from France in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. The first official American settlement began in 1833, and statehood was achieved in 1846.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), Iowa contributed greatly to the Union war effort, including more 60% of its eligible males serving (the highest proportion of any state).

Iowa was a popular destination for immigrants, and the state encouraged immigration with a booklet printed in 1869 in English, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish. Additionally, immigrants also arrived, particularly in coal mining areas from Italy and Croatia, and beginning in the 1880s, a significant number of African-Americans moved to the state, also to work in the mining industry. The coming of the railroads, also helped to encourage immigration, and, eventually, the establishment of the beginnings of a manufacturing sector.

World War One brought a brief agricultural boom to the state, but the 1920s and 1930s were a time of hardship after the elimination of the wartime agricultural subsidies. The state did not in fact fully recover until the 1940s.

After World War Two, Iowa's business and manufacturing sectors have continued to grow, and the state now produces a wide variety of manufactured products, as well the agricultural goods for which it is most famous.


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Iowa History Reader

Brand: University Of Iowa Press
Released: 2008-03-15
Paperback (470 pages)

Iowa History Reader
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In 1978 historian Joseph Wall wrote that Iowa was “still seeking to assert its own identity. . . . It has no real center where the elite of either power, wealth, or culture may congregate. Iowa, in short, is middle America.” In this collection of well-written and accessible essays, originally published in 1996, seventeen of the Hawkeye State’s most accomplished historians reflect upon the dramatic and not-so-dramatic shifts in the middle land’s history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Marvin Bergman has drawn upon his years of editing the Annals of Iowa to gather contributors who cross disciplines, model the craft of writing a historical essay, cover more than one significant topic, and above all interpret history rather than recite it. In his preface to this new printing, he calls attention to publications that begin to fill the gaps noted in the 1996 edition.

Rather than survey the basic facts, the essayists engage readers in the actual making of Iowa’s history by trying to understand the meaning of its past. By providing comprehensive accounts of topics in Iowa history that embrace the broader historiographical issues in American history, such as the nature of Progressivism and Populism, the debate over whether women’s expanded roles in wartime carried over to postwar periods, and the place of quantification in history, the essayists contribute substantially to debates at the national level at the same time that they interpret Iowa’s distinctive culture.

Iowa: The Middle Land

By Dorothy Schwieder

Brand: University Of Iowa Press
Paperback (398 pages)

Iowa: The Middle Land
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In this engrossing history of the Hawkeye State, Dorothy Schwieder brings her seasoned insight to the story of the Middle Land. Iowa emerges here as a place of fascinating grassroots politics, economic troubles and triumphs, surprising cultural diversity, and unsung natural beauty. Above all, this is the history of the people of Iowa and the lives they have led - the accomplishments of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary Iowans. The twenty-ninth state was admitted to the Union on December 29, 1846. After 150 years of statehood, The Middle Land gives a fresh perspective on what happened in Iowa and why. It also looks at where it happened. The underlying theme is Iowa's location in the center of the United States and the implications of that middle land status. From grasslands to factories, Black Hawk to Branstad, Schwieder takes the reader on a compelling journey. She presents the experience of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Native Americans in the Iowa region; the beginning of white settlement; and the subsequent development of social, educational, and economic institutions. In often arresting detail, Schwieder recounts recent episodes of Iowa's history, such as the farm crisis of the 1980s and the initiation of the lottery and casino gambling. She explores previously neglected areas and issues of social history - women, minorities, community, and Prohibition. Dorothy Schwieder has given us a most valuable addition to our understanding of America's "purest of prairie states." Iowa: The Middle Land is well suited for college history courses and senior-high courses. It is a fine library reference for all Iowans (and non-Iowans) wishing to know more about the state's history. The bookuniquely emphasizes Iowa's economic and social history and draws on manuscript sources not previously cited in general histories of Iowa.

Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl

By Carol Bodensteiner

Rising Sun Press
Paperback (208 pages)

Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl
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Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl delivers a treat as delicious as oatmeal cookies hot out of the oven - a memoir of a happy childhood. In charming and memorable vignettes, Carol Bodensteiner captures rural life in middle America, in the middle of the 20th Century. Bodensteiner grew up on a family-owned dairy farm in the 1950s, a time when a family could make a good living on 180 acres. In these pages you can step back and relish a time simple but not easy, a time innocent yet challenging. If you grew up in rural America, these stories will trigger your memories and your senses, releasing a wealth of stories of your own. If the rural Midwest is foreign territory to you, Carol s stories will invite you into a fascinating and disappearing world.

The Sacred Cause of Union: Iowa in the Civil War (Iowa and the Midwest Experience)

By Thomas R. Baker

University Of Iowa Press
Released: 2016-11-15
Paperback (272 pages)

The Sacred Cause of Union: Iowa in the Civil War (Iowa and the Midwest Experience)
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The Sacred Cause of Union highlights Iowans’ important role in reuniting the nation when the battle over slavery tore it asunder. In this first-ever survey of the state’s Civil War history, Thomas Baker interweaves economics, politics, army recruitment, battlefield performance, and government administration. Scattered across more than a dozen states and territories, Iowa’s fighting men marched long distances and won battles against larger rebel armies despite having little food or shelter and sometimes poor equipment. On their own initiative, the state’s women ventured south to the battlefields to tend to the sick and injured, and farm families produced mountains of food to feed hungry federal armies. In the absence of a coordinated military supply system, women’s volunteer organizations were instrumental in delivering food, clothing, medicines, and other supplies to those who needed them. All of these efforts contributed mightily to the Union victory and catapulted Iowa into the top circle of most influential states in the nation.

To shed light on how individual Iowans experienced the war, the book profiles six state residents. Three were well-known. Annie Wittenmyer, a divorced woman with roots in Virginia, led the state’s efforts to ship clothing and food to the soldiers. Alexander Clark, a Muscatine businessman and the son of former slaves, eloquently championed the rights of African Americans. Cyrus Carpenter, a Pennsylvania-born land surveyor anxious to make his fortune, served in the army and then headed the state’s Radical Republican faction after the war, ultimately being elected governor.

Three never became famous. Ben Stevens, a young, unemployed carpenter, fought in an Iowa regiment at Shiloh, and then transferred to a Louisiana African American regiment so that he could lead the former slaves into battle. Farm boy Abner Dunham defended the Sunken Road at the Battle of Shiloh, before spending seven grim months in Confederate prison camps. The young Charles Musser faced pressure from his neighbors to enlist and from his parents to remain at home to work on the farm. Soon after he signed on to serve the Union, he discovered that his older brother had joined the Confederate Army. Through the letters and lives of these six Iowans, Thomas Baker shows how the Civil War transformed the state at the same time that Iowans transformed the nation.
 

A History of Iowa (Iowa Heritage Collection)

By Leland L. Sage

Brand: Iowa State Pr
Paperback (388 pages)

A History of Iowa (Iowa Heritage Collection)
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Book by Sage, Leland L.

A Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites & More (American Palate)

By Darcy Dougherty Maulsby

The History Press
Released: 2016-08-01
Paperback (192 pages)

A Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites & More (American Palate)
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Iowa's delectable cuisine is quintessentially midwestern, grounded in its rich farming heritage and spiced with diverse ethnic influences. Classics like fresh sweet corn and breaded pork tenderloins are found on menus and in home kitchens across the state. At the world-famous Iowa State Fair, a dizzying array of food on a stick commands a nationwide cult following. From Maid-Rites to the moveable feast known as RAGBRAI, discover the remarkable stories behind Iowa originals. Find recipes for favorites ranging from classic Iowa ham balls and Steak de Burgo to homemade cinnamon rolls--served with chili, of course! Author Darcy Dougherty Maulsby serves up a bountiful history of tasty tradition.

Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression

By Mildred Armstrong Kalish

Brand: Bantam
Released: 2008-04-29
Paperback (292 pages)

Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression
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I tell of a time, a place, and a way of life long gone. For many years I have had the urge to describe that treasure trove, lest it vanish forever. So, partly in response to the basic human instinct to share feelings and experiences, and partly for the sheer joy and excitement of it all, I report on my early life. It was quite a romp.

So begins Mildred Kalish’s story of growing up on her grandparents’ Iowa farm during the depths of the Great Depression. With her father banished from the household for mysterious transgressions, five-year-old Mildred and her family could easily have been overwhelmed by the challenge of simply trying to survive. This, however, is not a tale of suffering.

Kalish counts herself among the lucky of that era. She had caring grandparents who possessed—and valiantly tried to impose—all the pioneer virtues of their forebears, teachers who inspired and befriended her, and a barnyard full of animals ready to be tamed and loved. She and her siblings and their cousins from the farm across the way played as hard as they worked, running barefoot through the fields, as free and wild as they dared.

Filled with recipes and how-tos for everything from catching and skinning a rabbit to preparing homemade skin and hair beautifiers, apple cream pie, and the world’s best head cheese (start by scrubbing the head of the pig until it is pink and clean), Little Heathens portrays a world of hardship and hard work tempered by simple rewards. There was the unsurpassed flavor of tender new dandelion greens harvested as soon as the snow melted; the taste of crystal clear marble-sized balls of honey robbed from a bumblebee nest; the sweet smell from the body of a lamb sleeping on sun-warmed grass; and the magical quality of oat shocking under the light of a full harvest moon.

Little Heathens offers a loving but realistic portrait of a “hearty-handshake Methodist” family that gave its members a remarkable legacy of kinship, kindness, and remembered pleasures. Recounted in a luminous narrative filled with tenderness and humor, Kalish’s memoir of her childhood shows how the right stuff can make even the bleakest of times seem like “quite a romp.”


From the Hardcover edition.

The Iowa

By William Harvey Miner

Released: 2012-12-18
Kindle Edition (150 pages)

The Iowa
 
Product Description:
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Iowa State History - In A Nutshell

By Cyndi Kinney

Knowledge Box Central
Released: 2015-06-08
Kindle Edition

Iowa State History - In A Nutshell
 
Product Description:
Do you want to study YOUR state's history in a concise, easy to understand format? This product includes a State History Study Guide and 15 Review Questions. There are no journal pages or lapbook booklets. Everything you need to know for studying your state's history is included in a format that will meet the needs of the public, private, or home school.

Carter Lake: A Slice of Iowa in Nebraska (Brief History)

By John Schreier

The History Press
Released: 2017-01-30
Paperback (128 pages)

Carter Lake: A Slice of Iowa in Nebraska (Brief History)
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When a flood redirected the Missouri River in 1877, a small patch of Iowa landed in Nebraska--and a new town was born. Carter Lake incorporated as an independent city in 1930 as Iowa's only community west of the Missouri River. But the town continued to face Nebraska's continued annexation attempts and floods. The Flood of 1952 covered the town in three feet of water. Meanwhile, uncertainty over the state lines led gamblers to flock to Carter Lake for illicit dogfighting, cockfighting, boxing matches and alcohol. Celebrated journalist John Schreier illustrates how the border town once known for its illicit nightlife has evolved into a growing bedroom community beneath the Omaha skyline.


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