Brief History of Iowa

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 3,062.309 thousand people (2011)
Area: 145743.0 sq. km

Iowa, Hawkeye State, lies between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. This is part of the Great Prairies of North America, so the terrain here is rather monotonous – endless steppes, only in the north of the state turning into hilly hills, where the highest point is Mount Hawkeye (509 meters). The state is named after the Iowa tribe, who lived mainly in Nebraska.

Fertile soils, a temperate continental climate, and a high amount of rainfall contribute to the development of agriculture, the main activity of the people of Iowa. Especially a lot of land corn, which is why Iowa was also nicknamed the Corn State. Coal is also mined here. Natural disasters periodically occur here: tornadoes, floods, hurricanes.

According to, the territory of Iowa was inhabited by several ethnic groups of Indians: Meskwok, Sok, Iowa, Potawatomi, Sioux and others. By the middle of the 17th century, when the first Europeans appeared here, the Indians were engaged in settled agriculture. In 1673, the French J. Marquette and L. Jolie described these lands and local tribes, declaring them the property of France. In 1763 Iowa was ceded to Spain, in 1800 to France .. In 1803, the United States bought Iowa. Fort Madison was the first permanent European settlement to survive to this day. During the Anglo-American War (1812-15), the Iowa Indians supported the British, as the American authorities implemented a policy of ousting the Indians. In 1846, the Iowa Territory, founded eight years earlier, became a state. During the Civil War, Iowa supported the North.

Iowa is classic “one-story” America. There are no megacities in the state, the cities are small, quiet, with measured provincial life. Tourists can visit several museums (science, arts, history) and exhibitions here, Fort Madison, the Botanical Center in Des Moines. Ethnic excursions to German (Aman), Dutch (Amish) villages are also popular, where the traditions of the first settlers have been preserved. In Iowa, outdoor recreation and fishing are popular. Ballooning competitions are also held here.


Population: 203.433 thousand people (2010)
Area: 213.9 sq. km
Founded: 1843
City status since: 1851
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 291 m

Iowa ‘s capital, Des Moines, is located right in the middle of it. The city is located on a flat area near the place where the Enotovaya River falls into the Des Moines River. The name is of French origin and means “city of monks”.┬áSee Iowa counties.

The Meskwok and Sauk tribes inhabited these lands before the arrival of Europeans. In 1843, the military built Fort Des Moines in these places to control the Indians and prevent them from alcohol dealers. A few years later, the natives were forced out to the west, and the fort fell into disrepair. In 1846, Des Moines is repopulated, and already in 1866 it becomes the capital of Iowa. From the mid-1860s, the rapid development of Des Moines began, associated with the construction of a railway here, the development of agriculture and the development of coal mines (worked out by 1908).

After the economic decline of the second half of the 20th century, the city is now a major center of the so-called “Fodder and Livestock Belt”, as well as the insurance business.

The sights of Des Moines include the Capitol building (1884), a system of elevated sidewalks with a total length of 6 kilometers, several museums, including the Historic Farm open-air museum of agriculture.


Population: 126.396 thousand people (2006)
Founded: 1849
City status since: 1879
Time zone: UTC-6

In Lynn County, on the banks of the Cedar River, lies the city of Cedar Rapids. It is famous for museums, theaters and celebrities. Famous artists, writers, photographers, journalists live here. Cedar Rapids, named after the river, is colloquially referred to as the City of the Five Seasons. This is explained by the fact that in addition to the main seasons, there is another one that combines the signs of traditional ones in stages. In his honor, a sculpture was erected in the city – a symbol of the five seasons.

Before the advent of the first Europeans, the area occupied by the modern city belonged to the Sack and Fox Indian tribes. The settlement was originally named Columbus, later renamed to its modern name. Its economic growth in 1871 was due to the development of a meat-packing company. Modern Cedar Rapids combines 4 districts. Among its attractions are the Paramount Theatre, the City Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Wood Studio, the Museum of Art, the African American Museum, a large newspaper archive, which stores printed publications produced in the country over the past 230 years.

Brief History of Iowa