The history of the state of Colorado





Colorado History

Colorado has a long history that dates as long as longer than 10,000 years. Like any other states, Colorado was home to several Native Americans. The state is located in the southern part of the country. The state has been under the authority of different leaders due to its availability of extensive minerals. Colorado has a strong Spanish background due to its colonization by during the 18th century. All the natives contributed significantly to the growth of the state. The state went through a number of changes until the United States conquered it from Mexico during the war. This made Colorado the 38th state to be recognized in the United States. Colorado joined the rest of the states in the hunt for all sorts of minerals during the gold and silver rush (Bird, p. 233).

The focus of the paper is to provide an analysis of the history of the state of Colorado. The paper answers the three of the four questions provided. The easy thus covers all the elements of the growth of the state from the time of its inception to present day. The paper further provides a concluding paragraph that summarizes the contents of the analysis.

The increasing importance of silver to Colorado’s history in the late 1800s

The 1800s was a monumental period in the history of the state of Colorado. Miners in the area discovered silver in a large part of the state. Silver was an essential mineral during that time due to the rise of the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution was marked by the phasing out of the agrarian economic system so as to pave way for technological inventions and innovations. Silver thus changed the dynamics of the country as a whole due to its value in all aspects of development. During this time, the gold rush had taken center stage forcing miners to head to California. Gold had become the standard of measuring value in that all forms of monetary measurement were converted to gold. Gold was in turn more valuable than silver making the entire country invest in the commodity. The presence of silver created a panic amongst the republic south who had invested highly in gold. This panic resulted in the hoarding of gold in all national storage places such as the bank and stores (Ubbelohde, p. 341).

The value of gold begun to reduce drastically which influenced the living standards of the miners involved in the trade. One of the areas that gained through the discovery of silver was Leadville. This was one of the areas to take part in the mining of silver. They took advantage of the situation by using the profit of the mining to invest in other areas. Leadville has thus risen to be one of the states influential areas due to its economic strength. Colorado was highly dependent on silver for all aspects of life.

The silver boom in the state is responsible for the fast economic development of Colorado compared to its neighboring states. The boom lasted longer than the gold rush giving the citizens essential time to take advantage of the benefits. The profits from the silver boom were so high to the extent that the government got involved in the trade. The state saw the purchasing of a significant amount of silver from the traders. This paved way for the migration of influential businessmen to the state (Bird, p. 203).

The discovery of silver enhanced the growth and sustainability of the community as a whole. A majority of the population were able to maximize on the benefits that came with the discovery of the mineral. A large population of the families in the state had a family member who worked in the mining industry. The increase in the level of employment created better living standards for the communities. This led to the increase in population due to the increase in income and economic security. The boost in population continued to rise until the repeal of the Sherman Silver purchase act which was marked by the decrease in silver prices (Ubbelohde, p. 251).

Colorado was highly dependent on silver mining to the extent that they did not develop alternative industries. Despite the fact that the state gained immensely from the investment in silver mining, it became one of the causes of their downfall. The disregard of the Sherman act confirmed the financial crisis of the members of the state. The lack of alternative industries led the state into a downward spiral making them feel the depression more compared to their counterparts. The state managed to survive the great depression due to the help of investors and the government involvement.

The impact of the discovery of silver can still be felt in the state of Colorado. Most of the infrastructure owes its existence to the mining and sale of silver. One of the observations can be seen through the presence of the railroad which is still used as a mode of transport. The creation of some of monumental buildings and structures makes the state an ideal tourist attraction thus improving its economic standards. Mining continues to take place in some parts of the states. This is however not on a large scale basis due to the depletion of the resources. Silver is responsible for shaping the development of the states making it a significant part of the country’s history (Bird, p. 198).

Changes and improvement in Colorado’s culture

Colorado’s history is dates back to the 1400s. As stated earlier, the state was occupied by different native communities. Most of the communities during this time were highly reliant on farming due to their lifestyle. Farming during this time was subsistence in that it was mainly reserved for the sustainability of the community. This was encouraged by the migration activities of the people who displayed a nomadic element. Farming is essential in any growing community due to the need for food, and trade (Ubbelohde, p. 301).

The existence of high scale farming was however realized on the arrival of the settlers. The state has experienced a number of settlers from different countries making it have a diverse population. Some of the countries that have ruled the state are Mexico, France and the English settlers. All these communities invested immensely in the practice of farming. The nationwide practice of farming is known as the agrarian revolution. This involves the adaptation of modern methods of farming. This was different from subsistence farming in that it was used to trade on a higher scale. The state invested highly in agriculture due to the environmental conditions that supported this lifestyle. During this time, a majority of the country’s states were reliant on faming due to the lack of alternative industries. Agriculture thus paved the way for the development of technology which in turn, led to the adoption of industries.

One of the farming methods that the state placed emphasis on was the open range cattle ranching. Open range cattle ranching involved rearing cattle in an open are ranch. This method does not restrict the movements of the cattle unlike other methods. Cattle are provided with a vast amount of land that gives them an alternative lifestyle compared to enclosed farming. This type of farming was adopted from the Spanish in the early 1800s. Colorado was one of the states that maximized on its terrain so as to practice this system of farming. The presence of the Rocky Mountains displays the large amount of land the state has. This land is thus ideal for the practice of open range farming (Bird, p. 247).

The practice of mining complimented the practice of farming in the area. Most of the workers were in need for a diet rich in protein due to their lifestyle. This enhanced the construction of farms that supported agriculture. One of the established cattlemen at the time was Charles Goodnight. He embraced the trade to the extent that he dedicated a large part of his life in the building of ranches. One of the ranches that Goodnight formed is the Rock Canyon Ranch in the river of Arkansas. Another cattle rancher who contributed significantly to the growth of open range farming is Eugene Rourke. He imported cattle form Texas which was more established in this type of farming (Ubbelohde, p. 291).

Farming became widespread due to the migration of different communities. As stated earlier, farming was the preferred method of earning a living due to the efficiency of the practice. Farming continued to grow as a result of the growth of the population. The increase in the population led to the need for more food. This in turn reflected on the levels of production of the produce at the time. The states had to cater for the rising number of people making most individuals invest in large scale farming as opposed to subsistence farming.

The introduction of modern ways of farming created the need for the invention and innovation of the new farming methods and equipment. Framing equipment made it possible to harvest a high amount of produce for personal consumption and trade. Machines assisted in the improvement of the framing conditions. The communities could now store their produce for a longer period of time. This made it cheaper for the farmers who could practice farming at large scale to cater for the entire year (Townshend, p. 285).

There was a significant connection between the lands and the farms and the water in the state. Colorado is blessed with a vast terrain that embodies all sorts of natural resources. The resources range from rivers, mountains and forest. All these factors support the existence and sustainability of water in the state. Water has played a pivotal role in the practice of agriculture in the state. Water is essential for a majority of the farming activities in any agricultural state. The presence of the river lakes enhanced the easy adaptation to large scale farming. This as a result improved the community’s sustainability of their environment. Natural resources continue to become subject of destruction by a number of communities. Colorado has however realized the effectiveness of a healthy environment. This has led to the states observation of a pollution free environment.

Discuss the tumultuous 1890s in Colorado

The 1890s were a trying time for the state of Colorado. The country went through a number of factors that changed the dynamics of the state. Before this time, the state had recorded a high amount of success due to the discovery of silver and large scale farming. The states had experienced a number of activities that contributed to its countrywide recognition. This was however put to rest due to the unforeseeable occurrences during the late 1890s (Townshend, p. 324).

One of the factors that led to the decline of the growth of the economy was the death of the farm animals. The environment is an essential aspect in the growth of any farm. During this time, the climatic conditions were not ideal for the sustainability of the animals and crops. A majority of the members of the state had invested in farming as their principle way of earning a living. This set the state back by a milestone due to the loss of millions worth of property and animals. Colorado used this experience to improve on the maintenance of the environment so as to avoid the previous conditions that they experienced (Bird, p. 213).

One of the main factors that led to the depression of the state is the dependency of silver as a major source of income. Silver is part and parcel of the history of the state of Colorado due to its role in the growth of the economy. The discovery changed the dynamics of the state in relation to its neighbors. One of the changes was seen in the growth of the state’s economy and that of its citizens. The advantages of the silver boom led to the complete investment of the communities resources. More than 50% of the population dedicated a part of their financial property to the practice of mining. This reduced the chances of the development of other industries in the country. Silver mining however played a vital role in the livelihoods of the members of the state. The dependency of the state on silver mining reduced the ambition of its citizens in that they placed their whole livelihood in the mining industry. The state managed to distract the rest of the country on the ongoing political and social crisis. During this time, most of the factories and the businesses closed due to the activities of corrupt officials.

Colorado is famous for its pastime activities due to the availability of the different cultures in the state. Most of these cultural activities date from the 16th century making the history of the state rich. One of the activities that the state takes part in is the festival of the mountain and plain. This festival is aimed at united the members of the state so as to commemorate the social cultural history which has been subject to a number of changes. The economic depression took place from1895-1900s causing the entire population to panic. The festival played a significant role in distracting the communities from the difficult time. The festival of the mountain is a celebration that lasts for three days. It consists of parades that showcase the different cultures present in the state. The parade celebrates the life and wellbeing of the members of the state in relation to the existence of the founding fathers. This form of celebration acted as a therapeutic way of forgetting the current situation of the state. It also served as a method of saving face the reputation of the citizens. The rest of the country was inclined to believe that the problem the state of Colorado was going through was temporary (Bird, p. 211).

The activities were essential in raising the spirits of the people in that they consisted of fun activities that made the citizens think positive. This positive reaction to their economic situation changed the attitude of the state and the rest of the country. The state managed to get back its lost glory though hard work and perseverance. The early 1900s saw the change of the social economic state of Colorado from critical to stable. The population managed to turn the situation around giving it a second chance (Townshend, p. 345).

In conclusion, the state of Colorado has a rich history due to the presence of different occupants in the past. All these communities have contributed to the growth and sustainability of the state. The state has gone through a number of highs and lows over the years. This has improved the determination of its citizens. This factor continues to motivate the population in achieving their goals. The success of the state is reflective of the success of the entire nation. America is made up of hard working states; these states have long histories that date from as far as the 15th century. The study of the country’s history should thus be encouraged so as to learn about the factors that contributed to the growth of the country.

Works Cited

Bird, Isabella L. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains. S.l.: Book Jungle, 2010. Print.

Townshend, R B. A Tenderfoot in Colorado. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2008. Print.

Ubbelohde, Carl, Maxine Benson, and Duane A. Smith. A Colorado History. Boulder, Colo: Pruett Pub. Co, 2006. Print.

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