This Is How Your State Was Founded

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16. Kansas
> Founding date: January 29, 1861 (34th state to join)
> First capital city: Topeka
> First governor: Charles Lawrence Robinson

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, allowed Kansas residents to determine whether or not the state would allow slavery.This legislation led to violence between abolitionists and anti-abolitionists known as “Bleeding Kansas.”

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17. Kentucky
> Founding date: June 1, 1792 (15th state to join)
> First capital city: Lexington
> First governor: Isaac Shelby

Kentucky became the first state west of the Appalachian Mountains and the second state that wasn’t one of the 13 original colonies in 1792. The state started as part of Virginia, but its residents grew upset with Virginia’s government for failing to protect them from Native Americans. Those residents petitioned for independence and received statehood in 1792.

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18. Louisiana
> Founding date: April 30, 1812 (18th state to join)
> First capital city: New Orleans
> First governor: William Charles Cole Claiborne

Louisiana’s statehood marked a new chapter for U.S. expansion. It was America’s first state outside of the borders agreed upon in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The area, bought from France in 1803’s Louisiana Purchase, was regarded as different from the rest of the country. It was known for gambling, drinking, and a large Catholic population, practices not often seen in the rest of the Union.

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19. Maine
> Founding date: March 15, 1820 (23rd state to join)
> First capital city: Portland
> First governor: William King

Maine was crucial in keeping the balance between slave states and free states in the antebellum period. Maine separated from Massachusetts to offset the addition of Missouri to the Union. Maine had no slavery while Missouri did.

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20. Maryland
> Founding date: April 28, 1788 (7th state to join)
> First capital city: Annapolis
> First governor: John Eager Howard

When Maryland ratified the U.S. Constitution in April 1788 it signaled a turning point for the U.S. as a new country. The first six colonies to become states did so quickly, in a matter of a few months. Representatives from the other seven colonies had some reservations about signing, but Maryland pushed through those and became the seventh state, meaning more than half of the colonies had signed.