The History of Iowa, HIST 370, Section W5

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Illustration of Bellevue, Iowa from the Mississippi River facing west. Created by Henry Lewis on his expedition and documentation of the Upper Mississippi River in 1848 and published in Das illustrirte Mississippitha in 1857.

The History of Iowa begins with the Sauk, Fox and Ioway, and concludes with the crises of the 1980s. In between, we see how prominent and ordinary Iowans have influenced the Hawkeye state and how white settlement transformed it. By examining political, economic and social history, we come to understand how its citizens struggled to settle the nineteenth-century frontier, endure the Civil War, survive the Great Depression and World War Two, and prosper in a competitive and rapidly changing agricultural economy. We see how industrialization, immigration and globalization changed Iowa in the twentieth century and finish with the farm crisis and the meth epidemic. Along the way, stories of women, soldiers, runaway slaves, civil rights protesters, farmers, and immigrants illustrate the course of Iowa history.