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Indiana’s motto, “The crossroads of America,” says it all. It is situated on Lake Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south, and Illinois to the west. Indianapolis is its capital, and the Hoosier State is its nickname. French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the region in the 1670s and claimed what would later become Indiana for the Kingdom of France. After the Seven Years’ War, the victor, England, claimed the territory for itself. Twenty years later, after the American Revolution, England ceded the land, called the Northwest Territory, to the fledgeling United States of America. In 1800, the Indiana Territory was carved out of the Northwest Territory, and settlers began migrating into the area. This caused disturbances with the native Indians, and in 1811, the Battle of Tippecanoe, in which General William Henry Harrison led the U.S. troops to victory, is what propelled the General into the White House, where he served as for one month before succumbing to pneumonia. After the Battle of Tippecanoe, in an effort to minimize the thread of more Indian raids, a second capital was established in Corydon, which was in southernmost portion of the Indiana Territory in 1813. Indiana was admitted to the Union on December 11, 1816, making it the 19th state, and in 1825, the state capital was transferred from Corydon, Indianapolis. Settlers soon began pouring steadily into the state, the largest groups of which were German, Irish, and English. During the War Between the States, only one battle was fought in Indiana, the Battle of Corydon, which was during Morgan’s Raid. In the 1900s, during the Industrial Revolution, the so-called Indiana Gas Boom, a period of active drilling and production of natural gas. The 1930s brought the Dust Bowl, affecting states to the west of Indiana and spurring people from those areas to move to Indiana.

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