Kansas History - the history of Kansas
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Kansas   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Kansas History

   
 

Kansas History


The first Native American peoples arrived in what is today the state Kansas, approximately 9,000 years ago. Initially these people were hunter-gatherers, but around 3,000 years some converted to a largely settled agricultural lifestyle and developed permanent dwellings in larger settlements.

In 1541, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado visited the region. During this expedition, the horse was introduced to the Plains Indian, and this greatly altered their lifestyle and range. The Kansa and Osage peoples arrived in Kansas during the 17th century. Other Native American peoples who inhabited present-day Kansas included the Pawnees and the Otoe tribe of the Sioux.

In 1724, the French visited the Kansas river and established a trading post near the mouth of the river. At this time, the territory was part of the area claimed as New France. Kansas became an unorganized territory of the United States following the 1803 Louisana Purchase from France.

In 1806, the Zebulon Pike explored the area, and labelled it as the "Great American Desert". As a result, in the 1820s, the federal government "permanently" set aside the region as Indian territory and closed it to white settlement. Between the 1820s and 1840s, the federal government moved many Native American tribes into the region. Despite the prohibition on white settlement, the Santa Fe trail passed through Kansas, US Army forts were established inside the territory (starting with Fort Leavenworth in 1827), and by the 1850s, many white Americans were illegally squatting in the area and calling for the entire territory to be opened for settlement.

In the 1850s, white settlers began to push for territorial government, and by 1853, Congress had decided that eastern Kansas should be open to settlement. The treaties with Native Americans were renegotiated, and the U.S. Government regained nearly all the land that it had ceded to them "forever" only a few years before. The Indians were then largely relocated to Oklahoma.

In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law, and established the Nebraska and Kansas Territories. A controversial provision of the Act was that settlers in the territories would decide for themselves whether to allow slavery within the borders ("popular sovereignty"), rather than following the earlier Missouri Compromise which banned slavery North of 36°30'. The Kansas-Nebraska Act led to violence and chaos in Kansas with fighting between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, and four different competing constitutions for Kansas, earning the territory the nickname of "Bleeding Kansas". Eventually, Kansas was admitted as the 34th state of the Union on January 29th, 1861 as a free state.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), most Kansans strongly favored the Union. More than 20,000 men were enlisted from the state, a remarkable number considering the state had only 30,000 men of military age. These forces suffered over 8,500 casualties during the war. During the war, many guerilla raids and atrocities took place in the state, the worst of which occured at Lawrence which destroyed much of the city include the massacre of about 200 men and boys. The biggest battle in the state was the Battle of Mine Creek which involved around 25,000 men.

The 1860s also saw the Indian Wars in Kansas and Nebraska, between Cheyennes and Araphoes on one side, and white settlers and the US Army on the other. The worst incident was the massacre of a band of friendly Indians at Sand Creek near Fort Lyon, who were on their own reservation and had been ordered there as a place of safety.

Following the Civil War, many former slaves, known as "Exodusters", moved to Kansas, which was known as the land of John Brown. These Exodusters founded the town of Nicodemus.

Kansas led the way in the prohibition movement: On February 19th 1881, Kansas was the first US state to ban all alcoholic beverages.

Kansas contributed troops to guard the US-Mexico border during the Mexican Revolution (1916), and over 80,000 troops to the US military after the US entry into World War I in 1917.

After World I, there were several legal battles between the state of Kansas and the Ku Klux Klan, which eventually resulted from their explusion from the state. The region also suffered during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and many farmers left the state as a result.

In 1954, Kansas was at the center of controversy in the court case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka which concerned the Monroe Elementary School, one of four segregated elementary schools in Topeka. The US Supreme Court eventually ruled 9-0 that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" reversing the precedent set by the Court's previous (1899) decision in Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education.


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Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854-2000

By Craig Miner

Brand: University Press of Kansas
Paperback (528 pages)

Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854-2000
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Kansas is not only the Sunflower State, it's the very heart of America's heartland. It is a place of extremes in politics as well as climate, where ambitious and energetic people have attempted to put ideals into practice-a state that has come a long way since being identified primarily with John Brown and his exploits.

Craig Miner has written a complete and balanced history of Kansas, capturing the state's colorful past and dynamic present as he depicts the persistence of contrasting images of and attitudes toward the state throughout its 150 years. A work combining serious scholarship with great readability, it encompasses everything from the Kansas-Nebraska Act to the evolution-creationism controversy, emphasizing the historical moments that were pivotal in forming the culture of the state and the diverse group of people who have contributed to its history.

Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State is the first new state history to appear in over twenty-five years and the most thoroughly researched ever published. Written to enlighten general readers within and well beyond the state's borders, it offers coverage not found in previous histories: greater attention to its cities-notably Wichita-and to its south central and western regions, accounts of business history, contributions of women and minorities, and environmental concerns. It presents the dark as well as the bright side of Kansas progressivism and is the first Kansas history to deal with the post-World War II era in any significant detail.

Craig Miner has spent almost forty years researching, teaching, and writing Kansas history and has dug deeply into primary sources-especially gubernatorial papers-that shed new light on the state. That research has enabled him to assemble a wider cast of characters and more entertaining collection of quotations than found in earlier histories and to better show how individual initiative and entrepreneurial aspirations have profoundly influenced the creation of present-day Kansas.

Ranging from the days of cattle and railroads to the era of oil and agribusiness, this history situates the state in its own terms rather than as a sidebar to a larger American epic. Miner brings to its pages an identifiable Kansas character to preserve what is distinctive about the state's identity for future generations, echoing what one Kansan said over half a century ago: "Kansas is simply Kansas. May she never be tempted to become anything else."

It Happened in Kansas: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)

By Sarah Smarsh

Brand: Globe Pequot
Released: 2010-08-17
Paperback (160 pages)

It Happened in Kansas: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)
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It Happened in Kansas features over 25 chapters in Kansas history. Lively and entertaining, this book brings the varied and fascinating history of the Sunflower State to life.

A History of Kansas

By Anna E B 1879 Arnold

Palala Press
Hardcover

A History of Kansas
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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob

By Frank Hayde

Barricade Books
Paperback (240 pages)

The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob
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The story of the American Mafia is not complete without a chapter on Kansas City. The City of Fountains has appeared in the The Godfather, Casino, and The Sopranos, but many Midwesterners are not aware that Kansas City has affected the fortunes of the entire underworld. In The Mafia and the Machine, author Frank Hayde ties in every major name in organized crime-Luciano, Bugsy, Lansky-as well as the city's corrupt police force.

Changing Times: Almanac and Digest of Kansas City's LGBTQIA History

By David W. Jackson

Orderly Pack Rat, The
Paperback (416 pages)

Changing Times: Almanac and Digest of Kansas City s LGBTQIA History
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Three years before NYC’s 1969 Stonewall Riots, the ‘gay liberation’ movement catapulted in Kansas City when 40 representatives from nearly 15 organizations met on February 19-21, 1966, at Kansas City’s Hotel State—formerly located at the northeast corner of 12th and Wyandotte. It was the first-ever national gathering of lesbian and gay rights activists. Missourian Harold Leland “Hal” Call spearheaded the event attended by Kansas Citians Drew Shafer, Al Greathouse, and Larry Hungerford. Other national equality visionaries Barbara Gittings, Forest Gunnison Jr, Frank Kameny, Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin, and Don Slater joined; they soon formed the ‘North American Conference of Homophile Organizations’ (NPCHO). This expanded, second edition, marks the 50th anniversary of Kansas City’s pivotal role in the early struggle for equal rights for LGBTQIA individuals, and coincides with the October 2016 unveiling of Kansas City’s first historical, interpretive LGBTQIA-related marker. In addition to a timeline almanac and digest of feature articles, this volume contains the first-ever, comprehensive census of 175 Kansas City lesbian and gay bars from the 1930s to present.

Roadside Kansas: A Traveler's Guide to its Geology and Landmarks Second Edition, Revised and Updated

By Rex Buchanan

Brand: University Press of Kansas
Paperback (392 pages)

Roadside Kansas: A Traveler s Guide to its Geology and Landmarks Second Edition, Revised and Updated
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Two decades after its first publication, Roadside Kansas remains the premier guide to the geology, natural resources, landmarks, and landscapes along nine of the Sunflower State's major highways. During that span, however, many aspects of the Kansas landscape changed: the growth of some towns and near disappearance of others, the expansion of highways, the development of industry. Even the rocks themselves changed in places as erosion took its relentless toll. More broadly, there have been changes in the science of geology. This new edition reflects all of these changes and thoroughly updates the previous edition in ways that reinforce its preeminent status.

Covering more than 2,600 miles, Buchanan and McCauley organize their book by highway and milepost markers, so that modern-day explorers can follow the road logs easily, learning about the land as they travel through the state. Featuring more than 100 photographs, drawings, and maps, the book also provides deft descriptions of fascinating contemporary and historical features to be seen all across Kansas.

Especially in an economic era that has encouraged all of us to travel closer to home, the new edition is sure to be a hit with families from Kansas and the region who decide to explore and learn more about the state and its distinctive wonders. They'll discover what Buchanan and McCauley have known for a long time: Kansas highways provide much more than passage to Colorado or some other state. They are destinations in their own right.

Published for the Kansas Geological Survey.

Kansas : A Bicentennial History

By Kenneth S.Davis

WW Norton
Hardcover

Kansas : A Bicentennial History
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A biographical history of central Kansas

By Lewis Publishing Company Chicago

Released: 2014-07-01
Kindle Edition

A biographical history of central Kansas
 
Product Description:
A biographical history of central Kansas. 970 Pages

The Last Wild Places of Kansas: Journeys into Hidden Landscapes

By George Frazier

University Press of Kansas
Released: 2017-02-10
Paperback (232 pages)

The Last Wild Places of Kansas: Journeys into Hidden Landscapes
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Winner of the Midwest Book Award, Kansas Notable Book Award, Hamlin Garland Prize, and the Ferguson Book Award

Since the last wild bison found refuge on the back of a nickel, the public image of natural Kansas has progressed from Great American Desert to dust bowl to flyover country that has been landscaped, fenced, and farmed. But look a little harder, George Frazier suggests, and you can find the last places where tenacious stretches of prairie, forest, and wetland cheat death and incubate the DNA of lost, wild America. Documenting three years spent roaming the state in search of these hidden treasures, The Last Wild Places of Kansas is Frazier's idiosyncratic and eye-opening travelogue of nature's secret holdouts in the Sunflower State.

These are places where extirpated mammalian species are making comebacks; where flying squirrels leap between centuries-old trees lit by the unearthly green glow of foxfire; where cold springs feed ancient watercress pools; where the ice moon paints the Smoky Hill with memories of the buffalo wolf and the lonesome rattle of false indigo; where the blue lid of the sky forms a vacuum seal over treeless pastel hills, orange in winter; where bluestem rises. Some are impossible to find on maps. Most are magnificently bereft of anything beneficial to 99.9 percent of modern America. True wildernesses they may not be, but at the correct angle of light, when the wind blows pollen carrying biological memories of the glaciers, these places are a crack between the worlds, portals to the lost buffalo wilderness.

En route Frazier takes us from the unexpected wilds of the Kansas City suburbs to the Cimarron National Grassland in the far southwestern corner of the state. He visits ancient springs, shares a beer with prairie dog hunters, and fails in his mission to canoe the upper Marais des Cygnes--a trip that requires permission from every landowner on the route. Along the way we encounter a host of curious characters--ranchers, farmers, Native Americans, explorers, wildlife experts, and outdoor enthusiasts--all fellow travelers in a quest to know, preserve, and share the last wild places of Kansas.

Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier

By Joanna Stratton

Stratton, Joanna L.
Released: 1982-09-17
Paperback (320 pages)

Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier
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From a rediscovered collection of autobiographical accounts written by hundreds of Kansas pioneer women in the early twentieth century, Joanna Stratton has created a collection hailed by Newsweek as “uncommonly interesting” and “a remarkable distillation of primary sources.”

Never before has there been such a detailed record of women’s courage, such a living portrait of the women who civilized the American frontier. Here are their stories: wilderness mothers, schoolmarms, Indian squaws, immigrants, homesteaders, and circuit riders. Their personal recollections of prairie fires, locust plagues, cowboy shootouts, Indian raids, and blizzards on the plains vividly reveal the drama, danger and excitement of the pioneer experience.

These were women of relentless determination, whose tenacity helped them to conquer loneliness and privation. Their work was the work of survival, it demanded as much from them as from their men—and at last that partnership has been recognized. “These voices are haunting” (The New York Times Book Review), and they reveal the special heroism and industriousness of pioneer women as never before.


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