History

State of Colorado’s History

The earliest civilization in Colorado were Basketmakers. According to the records,they populated the southwestern territory of Colorado, starting from around 1500 BC.

The Basketmaker culture lasted until about AD 500. They were mostly hunters and gatherers. They were remembered for their specific technique of basket weaving. The name came from a large number of baskets that were found at the archeological findings. The estimates say that they are 2–3,000 years old.

The Pueblo I Era started with the colonization of the Anasazi around AD 500 . The name Anasazi comes from Puebloans, and it means “ancient ones.” To make buildings, these people used an odd mixture of clay and sand.

They even created their homes into the sides of the cliffs. These fantastic constructions were home for the entire community and had many chambers. 

Native Americans

The population found by the first Europeans upon arrival consisted of Native American tribes. 

The western mountains were the home of the tribe called the Ute. They lived in wickiups and brush shelters. Ute were gatherers, hunters, and skilled warriors. 

The eastern plains were home of the Comanche, Apache, Arapaho, and Cheyenne. They were mainly buffalo hunters who lived in temporary dwellings called tepees. 

All these people lived in sync with nature. Natural resources and materials in their surroundings provided Colorado Indians with food, clothing, and housing.

Europeans

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján was the governor in Mexico. He explored the southwest of the USA in 1541, and explored the entire are in search for gold. As he didn’t find any, Coronado soon left.

In 1682, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier put claims to the Mississippi River and its watershed for the Kingdom of France. He decided to name this territory La Louisiane in honor of King Louis XIV. As a part of Louisiana, he also claimed eastern Colorado. 

All this broad territory, home to native people, had previously been claimed by Spain, England, and France. This Louisiane claim would set up the rivalry and battles among native tribes, Spain, France, and eventually, the USA.

The Famous Louisiana Purchase

According to the Louisiana Purchase Treaty from 1803, the States obtained La Louisiane territory from France. The treaty enclosed the area that would later become the State of Colorado, east of the Sangre De Cristo Divide and south of the Arkansas River. 

Following the Arkansas River in 1806, American trailblazer Zebulon Pike charted out the region. The map included an exceedingly high mountain, later named Pikes Peak. 

During the exploration of Colorado, Pike was arrested along with his companions, and then sent to serve time in Mexico by the Spanish. In July 1807, they were released.

First Settlers

In the early 1800s, Colorado mostly attracted fur traders and trappers. Then, thanks to Santa Fe railway that travelled between Missouri and New Mexico starting from 1821, more people wished to come and visit the region. Fort Bent became the first permanent settlement in Colorado in 1833. It was near the railway and became a trading post.

State of Colorado

Once the war between Mexicans and Americans in 1848 ended, the States re-established control over western Colorado. When wein-gold was struck near Pike Peak in 1858, millions of diggers hurried to Colorado causing sudden increase in number of inhabitants. 

This meant that the government of the U.S. had to recognize and officially create the young and new state, in 1861. Further expansion had occurred once the the Denver Pacific Railway was built, in 1870.

Finally, on August 1, 1876, the United States granted Colorado statehood, and thus, this officially made Colorado the 38th state.