State of Nevada

State of Nevada

Nevada is located western and southwestern regions in the United States. It has an area of 109. 826 square miles with the highest point being Boundary Peak at 13, 140 ft and the lowest point is the Colorado River at 479 ft. Nevada is a Spanish name meaning “snow clad”. It is nicknamed ‘silver state’ because of the many silver mines. The state motto is “All for our country”, the state song is “Home means Nevada” and the state slogan is “The Battle Born State”. The state flower is the sagebrush and the state bird is the mountain (things to do, 2011). It has a population of close to three million people and it is the seventh largest state in the country (the US50, 2011). The capital city of Nevada is Carson City and it was established as such in 1861. Nevada was admitted to the union in 1864 as the 36th state.

The first occupants are believed to have been the Goshute, Mojave, Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe Indians. The region was later claimed by the Spanish Empire in the 1500s. Fray Francisco Graces was the first white man to enter the region in 1776. He forged a trail along the west coast between California and Monterey (destination360, 2010). The region remained unexplored until the early 1800s when trappers from Hudson Bay Company explored the Humboldt River. In 1821, Mexico gained control of Nevada from the Spanish. Jedediah Smith was the first American in Nevada. During the 1840s, John Fremont explored the Great basin and Sierra Nevada.

The Mexican-American war was fought between 1846 and 1848 and the US gained control of the southwest. Settlers began arriving in the region during the 1850s when the Utah territory was established. The Utah territory was ruled by a Mormon leader and some of the non-Mormon settlers in Carson City had issues with that. This led them to create their own territory without approval from the Congress. In 1859, thousands of people moved to the region after gold was discovered in the city of Virginia. In 1861, Congress created the Nevada territory. However, during this time, Nevada did not have enough population to create a state. The value of silver dropped in the 1870s and this lead to many people abandoning mining of the metal. Some of the miners left Nevada in search of work, while others turned to ranching. In the 1880s, Nevada experienced much suffering as severe cold winters killed much of the livestock (things to do, 2011).

In early 1900s, silver was discovered near Tonopah, Gold was discovered in Goldfield and copper was discovered near Ruth and Mountain City. This was good news to the people living in Nevada because it led to the creation of many jobs. The state’s economy began to look up after the devastating effects that were experienced in the 1870s and 1880s. The railroad was expanded and the people started farming after the Newlands Irrigation Project was started. The state’s prosperity and success did not continue for long. The value of copper dropped drastically during World War 1 and this caused the closure of many mines. In addition to this, the great depression left many jobless and many people suffered (things to do, 2011).

After the great depression, the war and the closure of the mines, the people had to look for ways to survive and they started gambling. Gambling was legalized in 1931 and once again, the economy started to look up. The cities of Reno and Las Vegas are considered sin cities because of gambling. Nevada is considered the gambling city of the world and it has the most slot machines worldwide. The economy was strengthened by the many casinos, which created jobs and the increasing number of tourists who came to gamble. This was especially the case in Las Vegas and Reno and tourist became the largest industry in the state. Gambling created a more stable income for the people than agriculture and mining did.



Destination360. (2010). The history of Nevada. Retrieved from

The US50. (2011). Nevada state symbols, facts & info. Retrieved from

Things to do. (2011). Nevada State History. Retrieved from


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