Kansas History

Kansas. It is one of the 50 states of the United States of America, located in the Midwest region of the country. The name Kansas originates from the Kansa Amerindian tribe, who lived in the region until the 18th century. Kansa means “people of the southern winds”.


During the 1850s, with the “Kansas-Nebraska Act,” large numbers of abolitionists and defenders of slave labor settled in Kansas. Many clashes between abolitionist militias and slavers took place in Kansas, as well as in the neighboring state of Missouri (where slave labor was allowed). These conflicts were so violent that Kansas was nicknamed Bleeding Kansas in the 1850s.

Another nickname for Kansas, which has its origins in this conflict, is Jayhawker State. Jayhawker is known as a common act of abolitionists, invading slave farms in Missouri, looting farms and freeing slaves. The 29 as January as 1861, Kansas became the 34th US state.

According to 800zipcodes, Kansas’ best known nickname is The Sunflower State. The sunflowers cover much of the vast plains of the state. The name Kansas originates from the Kansa Amerindian tribe, who lived in the region until the 18th century. Kansa means “people of the southern winds”.


Until 1861 the region that currently constitutes the state of Kansas was inhabited by four Amerindian tribes, prior to the arrival of the first European explorers of the region: the Kansa (hence the origin of the name of the state), the Osage, the Pawnee and the Wichita, who lived by hunting buffalo and growing corn and soybeans.


The first Europeans to explore present-day Kansas were members of a Spanish expedition led by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, in 1541. The expedition was looking for a region called Quivira, where, according to the expedition’s native guide, it had large gold mines. The Spanish expedition, finding no gold in present-day Kansas, left the region.

In 1682, Frenchman René Robert Cavelier claimed the entire Mississippi River watershed region for the French. Thus, most of Kansas became part of the French colony of New France, a colonial province of Louisiana (New France). French explorers landed in the region at the beginning of the 18th century, in search of furs.

In 1803, with the Louisiana Purchase, most of Kansas was annexed by the United States. The then President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to the newly acquired territory, with the aim of exploring these territories.

On June 26, Lewis and Clark, departing from St. Louis, Missouri, and following the Missouri River, reached the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers in present-day Kansas, exploring this region for three days before continuing west..

Another expedition, led by Zebulon Pike, would be carried out in 1806. Pike would cross Kansas in the east-west direction. After exploration, Pike claimed that the Great Plains region was uninhabitable, which prevented further settlement of population in the Kansas region. The Spanish Manuel de Lisa was the most active and successful man of his time who explored these Indian regions.

Kansas, until 1830, was part of the District of Louisiana, the Louisiana Territory, and the Missouri Territory. In 1825, the United States government, which had confiscated large areas of Native American tribal lands, decided to make the region that now constitutes Kansas – then a sparsely populated region by whites – an Indian reservation, to house whatever Native American tribes were. forced to give up their lands.

Between 1825 and 1845, 30 Native American tribes settled in Kansas. Meanwhile, Kansas, located in the central region of the present United States, became an important transportation center, thanks to the American expansion in a westward direction.

In 1827, Colonel Henry Leavenworth established the first fort in the region, FortLeavenworth. Initially, in the 1830s, most of the whites who settled in the region were abolitionists from the American North, who wanted to stop the expansion of slave labor in the country.

In the 1840s, however, the region began to attract more people interested in seeking better living conditions, mainly European, German, Irish, English, Swedish and Russian immigrants.

Settlement in Kansas by white settlers put pressure on the US government to make the Kansas region an independent territory, and forced the relocation of Native Americans from the region, during the early 1850s.

The American government negotiated with each of the Native American tribes settled in Kansas, and gradually, all Native American tribes were moved out of the region, with the last one leaving Kansas in 1854. Most of the Native Americans were sent to the region that now constitutes the US state of Oklahoma.

The 30 of maypole of 1854, through the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Kansas became a US territory. Until then, it was part of the so-called Indian Territory, along with Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The Kansas-Nebraska Law

It was the law promulgated in the United States, in 1854, for the creation of the states of Nebraska and Kansas, in territories of the old French Louisiana, but in which some Indian tribes remained. It was promoted by Senator and Democratic Party leader Stephen Arnold Douglas of Illinois.

The discussion of the law and the subsequent vote, provoked strong conflicts between the antislavery and the pro-slavery, especially in Kansas, and the disappearance of the Whig party (divided between the supporters of the Law in the south and those opposed to it in the South. north), and the creation of the Republican party.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act effectively nullified the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and while it failed to make Kansas a legal slave labor state, it further opened up the divisions of the nation that led to the Civil War of 1861. Kansas was admitted as a free state on January 29, 1861.

Abolitionism vs Slavery

Seeking to lessen the conflicts between defenders of abolitionism and slave labor, the United States Congress decided to allow the population of the territories to choose between allowing or prohibiting the use of slave labor. Most of the Kansas population was against the use of slave labor. This generated immense conflicts with the neighboring state of Missouri, where the use of slave labor was allowed.

During the remainder of the 1850s, Kansas received a large number of advocates of abolitionism and slave labor, who settled in Kansas seeking to increase the political strength of their respective group.

The territorial elections of 1855 were won by an abolitionist political party, the Free State Party. The 29 of January of 1861, after the secession of 11 states of the South American Union (which formed the Confederate States of America), Kansas became the 34 US state.

Civil war

After 1861 Kansas, during the Civil War, fought alongside Union forces against the Confederacy, as well as the neighboring state of Missouri. However, a good part of the population of the latter was in favor of the use of slave labor, and sympathized with the ideals of the Confederacy. This caused major conflicts between Confederate Missouri militias and the Kansas Union.

American militias in Kansas carried out various attacks on Confederate troops and villages in Missouri. Kansas was the state of the Union that sent more soldiers to the war fronts, in proportion to the total population of the state at the time. After the end of the Civil War, in 1865, thousands of ex-soldiers settled permanently in the state.

Economic development

Until the early 1870s, Kansas’ main source of income was the provision of rail transportation services. Various rail lines had been built between Kansas and other American states with the exception of Texas, throughout the 1860s and 1870s, connecting the state with the rest of the country.

The main product transported to other regions was cattle from Texas. With the construction of railroads between Texas and other states in the 1880s, rail transportation lost much of its importance in Kansas.

The importance of Kansas as a great agricultural center dates back to the 1870s. The main products grown in the state were corn and wheat. Both were grown during the spring and harvested in the vicinity of the fall. The very hot and dry summers characteristic of the state, as well as insects, destroyed many of the state’s plantations.

During the 1870s, large numbers of Mennonites from Russia settled in Kansas. The Mennonites brought a new type of wheat, which was grown in the fall and harvested in the early summer, which made it more resistant to pests, avoided the heat of the state’s summers, and was more resistant to droughts. The cultivation of this type of wheat quickly spread throughout Kansas, making the state the largest national producer of wheat since the beginning of the 20th century.

Kansas History