History of Indiana

History of Indiana

The history of Indiana is an examination of the history, social activity, and development of the inhabitants and institutions within the borders of modern Indiana, a U.S. state in the Midwest. Indiana was inhabited by migratory tribes of Native Americans possibly as early as 8000 BCE. These tribes succeeded one another in dominance for several thousand years. The region entered recorded history when the first Europeans came to Indiana and claimed the territory for Kingdom of France during the 1670s. At the conclusion of the French and Indian War and one hundred years of French rule, the region came under the control of the Kingdom of Great Britain. British control was short-lived, as the region was transferred to the newly formed United States at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War only twenty years later.

At the time the United States took possession of the Northwest Territory, there were only two permanent European settlements in the region that would later become Indiana. The United States Congress immediately set to work to develop the Northwest. In 1800, the Indiana Territory was established and steadily settled until it was admitted to the Union in 1816 as the nineteenth state. Following statehood, the new government set out on an ambitious plan to transform Indiana from a wilderness frontier into a developed, well populated, and thriving state. The state's founders initiated a program that led to the construction of roads, canals, railroads, and state funded public schools. During the 1850s, the state's population grew to exceed one million and the ambitious program of the state founders was finally realized.

Indiana became politically influential and played an important role in the affairs of the nation during the American Civil War. As the first western state to mobilize for the war, Indiana's soldiers were present in almost every engagement during the war. After the Civil War, Indiana remained important nationally as it became a critical swing state in U.S. Presidential elections, and decided control of the federal government for three decades. During the early 20th century, Indiana developed into a strong manufacturing state, then experienced setbacks during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The state also saw many developments with the construction of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the takeoff of the auto industry in the state, substantial urban growth, and two major United States wars. Economic recovery began during World War II and the state continued to enjoy substantial growth. During the second half the of the 20th century, Indiana became a leader in the pharmaceutical industry due to the many innovations of companies like Eli Lilly.

Early civilizations

Following the retreat of the last glacial period, Indiana was dominated by Spruce and pine forests, and was home to animals such as mastodon, caribou, and Saber-toothed cat. [Justic, pg 13] Southern Indiana remained undamaged by glaciers, leaving plants and animals which could sustain human communities. [Justice, p. 16] Indiana's earliest known inhabitants were Paleo-Indians. Evidence exists that humans were in Indiana as early as the Archaic stage (8000–6000 BCE). [Barnhart, pp. 19–25] Hunting camps of the nomadic Clovis culture have been found in Indiana. [Justice, pg 12] Carbon dating of artifacts found in Wyandotte Caves shows that humans mined flint there as early 2000 BCE.Justice, p. 56] These nomads may have enjoyed the large supply of freshwater mussels in Indiana's streams, and could have started the shell mounds found throughout southern Indiana.

The Early Woodland period in Indiana is generally dated between 1000 BCE and 200 CE. The society of this time is known as the Adena culture, named for the estate in Ohio where it was first discovered. [Allison, p. iv] The Adena culture is noted for domesticating some plants and for using pottery—large cultural advances over the Clovis culture. The Early Woodland period also saw the introduction of early burial mounds, and some of the oldest mounds in Indiana, including the oldest in Mounds State Park, date from this era. [Allison, p. v]

Humans of the Middle Woodland period, of the Hopewell culture, may have been in Indiana as early as 200 BCE. The Hopewells were the first culture to create permanent settlements in Indiana. Around 1 CE, the Hopewells mastered agriculture and grew crops of sunflowers and squash, beginning their development into an agrarian civilization. Around 200 CE, the Hopewells began to construct mounds that are believed to have been used for ceremonial and burial purposes. Most modern knowledge of the Hopewells has come from the excavation of these mounds. The artifacts in the mounds show the Hopewells in Indiana were connected by trade to many other native tribes as far away as Central America. [Josephy, p. 108] At sometime around 400 CE, the Hopewell culture went into decline for unknown reasons and disappeared completely by 500 CE. []

World War I

Although the majority of Hoosiers supported the Entente Powers in the early years of World War I, a significant number of German-American and Irish-Americans supported neutrality or the Central Powers. Influential Hoosiers who opposed involvement in the war included Eugene V. Debs, Senator John W. Kern, and even Vice President Thomas R. Marshall. [Phillips, pp. 592, 605] Supporters of the Alliance and military preparedness included James Whitcomb Riley and George Ade. Most of the opposition dissipated when the United States officially declared war, but some teachers lost their jobs on suspicion of disloyalty, [Phillips, pp. 595, 600] and public schools could no longer teach in German. [Phillips, p. 388.] "By law all work in the elementary schools was to be done in English. Courses in the German language had been authorized by the General Assembly as early as 1869 in any public school in which twenty-five parents requested them."]

The Indiana National Guard was federalized during the War, and many units sent to Europe. To replace the missing Guard, Governor James P. Goodrich authorized a new state militia to be formed from men ineligible for the draft, mostly because of their age. The militia was called out several times to quell riots and disturbances in 1918 and 1919. Indiana provided 130,670 troops during the war; a majority of them were drafted. Over 3,000 of these died, many from influenza and pneumonia. [Phillips, p. 610–611] To honor the Hoosier veterans of the war the state began construction of the Indiana World War Memorial. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/iwm/2582.htm|publisher=IN.gov|author=Indiana Historical Bureau|title="Indiana World War II Memorial"|accessdate=2008-05-17] Hoosier soldiers were involved in operations on the German and Italian fronts. Major Samuel Woodfill, a native of Jefferson County, became the most decorated soldier of any nation to fight in the war, receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Croix de Guerre and admited to the Légion d'honneur by France, the Meriot di Guerra Cross from Italy, and the Cross of Prince Danilo from Montenegro, among numerous others. [cite web|url=http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/woodfil.htm|title=Samuel Woodfill|publisher=Arlington National Cemetery|accessdate=2008-08-09]

Twenties and the Great Depression

The war-time economy provided a boom to Indiana's industry and agriculture, which led to more urbanization throughout the 1920s. By 1925 Indiana had passed a great milestone: more workers were employed in industry than in agriculture. Indiana's greatest industries were steel production, iron, automobiles, and railroad cars. [cite web|url=http://www.centerforhistory.org/indiana_history_main9.html|publisher= Indiana Center for History|title= Indiana History Chapter Nine|accessdate=2008-05-17]

Scandal erupted across the state in 1925 when it was discovered that over half the seats in the General Assembly were controlled by the Klu Klux Klan. During the 1925 General Assembly session Grand Dragon D. C. Stephenson boasted "I am the law in Indiana." Stephenson was convicted for the murder of Madge Oberholtzer that year and sentenced to life in prison. After Governor Edward Jackson, who Stephenson helped elect, refused to pardon him, Stephenson began to name many of his co-conspirators leading to a string of arrests and indictments against leading Hoosiers including the governor, mayor of Indianapolis, the attorney general, and many others. The crackdown effectively rendered the Klan powerless. [Lutholtz, p. 43,83}]

John Dillinger, a native of Indianapolis, began his streak of bank robberies in Indiana and the Midwest during the 1920s. He was captured in 1924 and served a prison sentence in the Indiana State Prison until he was paroled in 1933. Returning to crime, he was returned to prison the same year, but escaped with the help of his gang. His gang was responsible for the theft of over $300,000 and multiple murders. He was eventually killed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 22, 1934 in Chicago. [cite web|url=http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/dillinger/dillinger.htm|publisher=Federal Bureau of Investigation|title=Famous Cases: John Dillinger|accessdate=2008-07-31]

During the 1930s, Indiana, like the rest of the nation, became caught up in the Great Depression. The economic downturn had a wide-ranging negative impact on Indiana. Much of the movement toward urbanization in the 1920s was lost. The situation was aggravated by the Dust Bowl which caused an influx of immigrants from the west. The administration of Governor Paul V. McNutt struggled to build from scratch a state funded welfare system to help the overwhelmed private charities. During his administration, spending and taxes were both cut drastically in response to the depression and the state government was completely reorganized. McNutt also ended prohibition in the state and enacted the state's first income tax. On several occasions, he declared martial law to put an end to worker strikes. [cite web|url=http://www.countyhistory.com/doc.gov/037.htm|title= Paul V. McNutt|publisher=County History Preservation Society|author=Ronald Branson|accessdate=2008-05-24]

During the Great Depression, unemployment exceeded 25% statewide. Southern Indiana was particularly hard hit where unemployment topped 50% during the worst years. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) began its operations in Indiana in July 1935. By October of that year, 74,708 Hoosiers were employed by the agency. In 1940, there were still 64,700 working for agency. The majority of these workers were employed to improve the state's roads, bridges, flood control projects, water treatment plants, some indexed libraries, and even create murals for post offices—every community had a project to work on. [cite web|url=http://www.centerforhistory.org/indiana_history_main9.html|publisher=Indiana Center for History|title="Indiana History Chapter Nine"|accessdate=2008-05-21]

During the 1930s many of Indiana's prominent businesses collapsed, several railroads went bankrupt, and numerous banks folded. [cite web|url=http://www.indianahistory.org/ihs_press/web_publications/railroad/keenan.html|title= "The Fight for Survival: The Cincinnati & Lake Erie and the Great Depression"|author=Keenan, Jack |publisher=Indiana Historical Society|accessdate=2008-05-23] [cite web|url=http://www.indianahistory.org/hbr/business_pdf/star_bank_eastern.pdf|title="Star Bank, National Association, Eastern Indiana"|publisher=Indiana Historical Society|accessdate=2008-05-21|format=PDF] Manufacturing came to an abrupt halt or was severely cut back due the dwindling demand for products. The depression continued to negatively affect Indiana until World War II, and the effects continued to be felt for many years thereafter.

World War II

The regional economy began to recover going into World War II. Although the WPA continued to employ many Hoosiers, unemployment steadily declined as the depression gave way to the war-time economy.

Indiana participated in the Total War mobilization of the nations economy and resources. Domestically, the state produced munitions in an army plant near Sellersburg. The P-47 fighter-plane was manufactured in Evansville at Republic Aviation. [cite web|url=http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=2213 |publisher=National Museum of the Air Force|title= Fact Sheet|accessdate=2008-05-17] The steel produced in northern Indiana was used in tanks, battleships, and submarines. Other war related materials were produced throughout the state. Indiana's military bases were activated, with areas such as Camp Atterbury reaching historical peaks in activity. An Air Force base was constructed near Seymour, Indiana and was the location of the Freeman Field Mutiny. The mutiny led to the racial integration of the United States military. [cite web|url=http://www.nps.gov/pwso/honor/tuskegee.htm|title=The Freeman Field Mutiny|publisher=NPS.gov|accessdate=2008-05-18]

The population was generally supportive of the war efforts and many men enlisted in the army and navy voluntarily. The state contributed many young men to fight abroad, nearly 400,000 Hoosiers enlisted or were drafted into the war. [cite web|url=http://www.centerforhistory.org/indiana_history_main10.html|publisher= Indiana Center for History|title="Indiana History Chapter Ten"|accessdate=2008-05-17] More than 11,783 Hoosiers died in the conflict and another 17,000 were wounded. Hoosiers served in all the major theaters of the war. [cite web|url=http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/ww2/navy-casualties/indiana.html|publisher= National Archives|title= Indiana Naval, Marine, & Coast Guard Casualties|author=United States Navy|accessdate=2008-05-17] [cite web|url=http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/ww2/army-casualties/indiana.html|title=Indiana Army & Air Force Casualties|United States Army|publisher=National Archives|accessdate=2008-05-21] Their sacrifice was honored by additions to the World War Memorial in Indianapolis, which was not finished until 1965. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/iwm/2582.htm|publisher=IN.gov|title=Indiana World War Memorial|accessdate=2008-05-17]

Modern Indiana

1940 = 3427796
1950 = 3934224
1960 = 4662498
1970 = 5193669
1980 = 5490224
1990 = 5544159
2000 = 6080485
estyear = 2007
estimate = 6345289
The end of World War II saw Indiana returned to the pre-depression levels of production. Industry again became the major employer, a trend that accelerated into the 1960s. The urbanization during the 1950s and 1960s years led to a large growth in the state's urban centers with towns and cities like Clarksville dramatically increasing in population. The auto, steel, and pharmaceutical industries topped Indiana's major businesses. Indiana's population continued to grow during the years after the war, passing five million by the 1970 census. [Haynes, pp. 319–333}] In the 1960s, there were several significant developments in the state. During the administration of Matthew E. Welsh the state adopted its first sales tax of two percent. The new sales taxed dramatically increased revenues to the state and spawned a host of state projects. Welsh also worked with the General Assembly to pass the Indiana Civil Rights Bill. [Gray, pp. 391–392]

Beginning in 1970 a series of amendments to the state constitution was proposed, several were adopted and the the Indiana Court of Appeals was created and the method of selecting justices on the courts was altered. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/judiciary/supreme/history.html| title=History and Origins|author=Indiana Historical Bureau| publisher=IN.gov|accessdate=2008-06-02] The amendments created the Judicial Nominating Commission] Term limits were adjusted for the Governor, allowing him to serve consecutive terms. The 1973 oil crisis created a recession that hurt the automotive industry in Indiana. Companies like Delco Electronics and Delphi began a long series of downsizing that contributed to high unemployment rates in manufacturing in Anderson, Muncie, and Kokomo. The trend continued until the 1980s when the national and state economy began to recover. [cite web|url=http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/1992/02/art2exc.htm|title=Auto industry jobs in the 1980's: a decade of transition|author=Singleton, Christopher J. |publisher=Unites State Bureau of Labor Statistics|accessdate=2008-05-23]

In 1988, Senator Dan Quayle was elected Vice-President under George H. W. Bush. He was the 5th Vice-President from Indiana, and served one term. Quayle was the third U.S. Vice-President whose hometown was on Indiana State Road 9, and the highway gained the nickname "Highway of Vice Presidents."

Central Indiana was struck by a major flood in 2008 leading to widespread damage and the evacuations of hundreds of thousands of residents, making it the costliest disaster in the history of the state.

ee also

*History of Indianapolis
*Indiana Territory
*Indiana Historical Society
*Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures
*List of battles fought in Indiana
*List of Governors of Indiana
*List of National Historic Landmarks in Indiana
*List of Registered Historic Places in Indiana
*List of State Historic Sites in Indiana







*cite book|author=Cleaves, Freeman|title= Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time|location New York|publisher= Scribner's|year= 1939

*cite book|author=Dowd, Gregory Evans|title= A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815|publisher=Johns Hopkins UniversityPress|location= Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University|year= 1992|isbn=0801842360

*cite book|author= Dunn, Jacob Piatt|title=Indiana and Indianans| year=©1919|publisher=The American Historical Society|location=Chicago & New York|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=GmcPryCCxFIC&|volume=V.I

*cite book|author=English, William Hayden|title=Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 1778–1783, and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark|Volume= 2 volumes|location= Indianapolis|publisher= Bowen-Merrill|year= 1896

*cite book|title=Indiana: A Guide to the Hoosier State|author= Federal Writers' Project |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=8iFZ90Uw3jEC|isbn=160354013X|publisher=Oxford University Press|location=New York|pages=p. 290|year=1941

*cite book|author=Findling, John ed.|title="A History of New Albany, Indiana"|publisher= Indiana University Southeast|year= 2003

*cite book|title=The Civil War; a Narrative, Red River to Appomattox|author=Foote, Shelby|publisher=Random House|year=1974|volume=III


*cite book|title="Hoosiers In The Civil War"|author=Funk, Arville L. |year=1967|isbn= 0962329258|publisher=Adams Press


*cite book|title=An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=YDIUAAAAYAAJ|author=Goodrich, De Witt C. & Tuttle, Charles Richard |year=1875|publisher=R. S. Peale & co.

*cite book|author=Gray, Ralph D|title=Gentlemen from Indiana: National Party Candidates,1836-1940|year=1977|isbn=1-885323-29-8|publisher=Indiana Historical Bureau


*cite book|title=Life of Walter Quintin Gresham 1832-1895|url=Life of Walter Quintin Gresham 1832-1895|author=Gresham,Matilda |publisher=Rand McNally & company|year=1919

*cite book|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=LxgVAAAAYAAJ&, |title=An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana|author= Haymond, William S|year=1879|publisher=S.L. Marrow & Co.|pages=181

*cite book|author=Haynes, Kingsley E. & Machunda , Zachary B. |title="Economic Geography"|volume= 63, No. 4|year=1987|month=October}

*cite book|title="Historic Indiana"|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=ja-tjo3-FtwC|author=Levering, Julia Henderson|year=1909|publisher=G. P. Putnam's sons

*cite book|author=Jennings, Francis|title=The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire|year=1990|publisher=W. W. Norton & Company|isbn= 0393303020

*cite book|title="The Indian Heritage of America"|author=Josephy, Alvin M. |publisher=Houghton Mifflin Books|year=1991|isbn=0395573203

*cite book |author=Justice, Noel D. |title=Looking at Prehistory: Indiana's Hoosier National Forest Region, 12,000 B.C. to 1650 |publisher=United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service |date=November 2006, Government Printing Office

*cite book| author=Law, Judge | title="A Colonial History of Vincennes"|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=VGYaAAAAMAAJ|publisher=Harvey, Mason & Co.|year=1858

*cite book|publisher=Harlow Pub. Corp|author=Lockridge, Ross F.|title="The Story of Indiana"|year= 1951

*cite book|author=Lutholtz, M. William|year=199| title=Grand Dragon: D. C. Stephenson and the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana| location=West Lafayette, Indiana|publisher= Purdue University Press|isbn= 1557530467

*cite book| author=Miller, Harold V.|other=Industrial Development of New Albany, Indiana|title= "Economic Geography"|year= 1938|publisher=Wiley


*cite book|author=Peckham, Howard Henry| title=Indiana: A History| year=©2003 |publisher=University of Illinois Press |isbn=0252071468| location=Indiana| url=http://books.google.com/books?id=s63ox8jH2hIC

*cite book|author= Phillips, Clifton J.|title=Indiana in Transition. The Emergence of an Industrial Commonwealth, 1880-1920|year= ©1968|publisher= Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Historical Society|location= Indianapolis


*cite book|title=Stories of Indiana|author=Thompson, Maurice| year=1898| publisher=American Book Company|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=WeEXAAAAIAAJ}

*cite book|title="Indiana in the Civil War Era: 1850-1880"|author=Thornbrough, Emma |year=1991|isbn=0871950502|publisher=Indiana Historical Society

*cite book |author=Troyer, Byron L. |title=Yesterday's Indiana |year= ©1975 |publisher=E.A. Seemann Publishing, Inc., Miami, Florida |ISBN=0-9124-5855-0


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Indiana in the American Civil War — Indiana played a critical role during the American Civil War. Despite significant Copperhead activity in the state and southern Indiana s ancestral ties to the Southern Confederacy, it did not secede from the Union. During the course of the war,… …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana World War Memorial Plaza — Historic District U.S. National Register of Historic Places U.S. National Historic Landmark District …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana — • One of the United States of America, the nineteenth in point of admission Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Indiana     Indiana     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Indiana bat — Conservation status Endangered (IUCN 3.1) …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana Jones in Revenge of the Ancients — is a computer game developed by Angelsoft released by Mindscape in 1987, for the Apple II and PC DOS computer platforms.Based on the Indiana Jones series, this is a text adventure game that is not based on any of the films; it is rather a whole… …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana University Art Museum — HistoryEstablished in 1941 the Indiana University Art Museum has become known as one of the foremost university art museums in the country . Designed by I.M. Pei Partners, the museum is currently holding collections including internationally… …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana — This article is about the U.S. state of Indiana. For other uses, see Indiana (disambiguation). Hoosier State redirects here. For the passenger train, see Hoosier State (train). State of Indiana …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana Territory — Infobox Former Subdivision width = 260 native name = conventional long name = Territory of Indiana common name = Indiana Territory nation = the United States subdivision = Organized incorporated territory| event start = date start = July 4 year… …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana — Indianan, Indianian /in dee an ee euhn/, adj., n. /in dee an euh/, n. 1. Robert (Robert Clarke), born 1928, U.S. painter of pop art. 2. a state in the central United States: a part of the Midwest. 5,490,179; 36,291 sq. mi. (93,995 sq. km). Cap.:… …   Universalium

  • Indiana General Assembly — Infobox Legislature name = Indiana General Assembly coa pic = Indiana state seal.png coa pic = session room = Indiana State House 2.jpg house type = Bicameral houses = Senate House of Representatives leader1 type = President of the Senate leader1 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.