The History of Kentucky
The history of Kentucky begins with Native American hunting grounds in the fashion of many of the American states. Shawnee, Cherokee, and Iroquois tribes used the land all the way up to 1768 as a place to hunt and search for game. They did not settle permanently on the land, however, since that was not in keeping with their style of living. The beginning of settlement by European nations began in 1750, when Dr. Thomas Walker explored the area. Much of the land was purchased from the Native American tribes in the following years through a series of treaties.
Expansion occurred rapidly during the American Revolution. Settlers began coming to the land by the thousands in the time during and after the war. Some of this displacement was due to the war itself, but some of it was just due to the natural expansion of the coastal states when they became a country of their own. One of the most famous people to come to the area, who is now considered a founder of the state itself, was Daniel Boone. He was always on the move, however, and did not stay in Kentucky for the rest of his life.
When it began, Kentucky was actually a part of Virginia. However, due to the size of the area and the separation of people in Kentucky from people in the rest of the state, many meetings were called to consider statehood. It was even suggested during these meetings by a man named James Wilkinson, a general that Kentucky should drop out of the United States completely. He wanted the state to be controlled by the country of Spain instead. This idea did not find the support that it needed to pass, however, and Kentucky became a state in the year 1792. It became the fifteenth state in the Union.
One of the most important natural disasters to happen in Kentucky was the series of earthquakes that began in 1811. These were so powerful that they even caused the Mississippi river to move to a new course through the area — today, this is known as the Kentucky Bend. This did not impact the growth of Lexington as one of the most important cities in the state, however. It was a cultural center for the growing movement to the west, since the American West was at this time seen to start in Kentucky.
Kentucky was what was known as a border state during the Civil War. It started the war — and lasted until 1861 — as a neutral state. It would not take a side. However, the Confederate army invaded the state anyway. This angered the residents and the lawmakers alike. They took a vote and decided to fly a Union flag over their capital, which was Frankfort. When this flag went up, the state could no longer be considered neutral. Kentucky joined the side of the Union until the close of the war.
Kentucky settled into life in the United States as the frontier moved to the west. It was rebuilt in the wake of the Civil War and continued to be an agricultural center. Even more recent, Kentucky has gained traction in the real estate boom. There are now many properties that are up for sale in which were not in demand at one point. You can find yuppies beginning to make a name for themselves out in KY. It is now common to see houses for sale in Louisville KY and many other cities around the area.
Currently, its fate has been tied largely to the fate of the rest of the United States; Kentucky today still celebrates this rich history.