Please email or share this article!

Arizona State History Facts

The area of Arizona was originally settled by many Native American tribes: the Hopi, Pueblo, Zuni, Apache, Mohave, and Navajo.

Related: Arizona State Facts

It is thought that some of the tribes had lived in the area since 1150 AD.

Flag Of Arizona

Some tribes lived in clay buildings or caves dug into the sides of hills and others lived in dome-shaped houses. Because clay was plentiful, some tribes became adept at making pottery.

Others, like the Navajo, became expert blanket weavers using unique and intricate patterns and colours.

Great Seal Of The Navajo Nation

Spanish Settlements

In the 1500s, explorers from Spain began arriving looking for gold. Priests from Spain also established several missions attempting to convert the natives.

By the mid-1700s, permanent Spanish settlements were established, such as Tubac and Tucson.


Arizona at War

The Mexican-American War (1846 – 1848) was fought over the U.S. claiming Texas and where the southern boundary of Texas was at the Nueces River in Mexico or the Rio Grande.


The U.S. gained more and 500,000 square miles of Mexican territory which included the land north of the Rio Grande to the Pacific Ocean.

The U.S. also purchased the land that is now Arizona in two land purchases, one in1848 and the other in1853.

Equirectangular Projection

The U.S. Civil War began a year after Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.

In 1861, seven southern states seceding from the United States because they were against Lincoln’s call for the abolishment of slavery.

Seal of New Mexico

These states formed a union called the Confederate States of America and soon after, four more states joined them.

One of those that joined the Confederacy was The Arizona Territory of New Mexico.

Abraham Lincoln

One of the western battles was the Battle of Picacho Pass where Union soldiers from California fought the Confederate soldiers from Arizona.

The Confederates finally surrendered and the war ended in 1865.

Ten Dollars

The Old West

There are many stories about the early days of Arizona before and during the time the area was being settled by farmers, ranchers, and miners.

Conflicts were common between the white settlers and the Native American Indians.

Copper Smelter Miami AZ

Two Chiricahua Apache leaders, Geronimo and Cochise, were feared warriors who led their people on raids against white settlers and the U.S. and Mexican soldiers.

Geronimo Agn

In the 1800s, gunfighters plagued the towns and settlers. Wyatt Earp became a legendary figure for a gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881.

Wyatt and his brother Virgil, and Doc Holiday met and killed Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton in a shootout.

Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday were tried for murder but were acquitted.

Wyatt Earp

The State of Arizona

Arizona was part of the New Mexico Territory, but President Lincoln made the western half of the territory a separate area called Arizona.

It was not until 1912 that Arizona became an official state of the United States, the 48th state.



  1. Name six Native American tribes that occupied the land now known as Arizona.
  2. Why did Spain send explorers to Arizona in the 1500s?
  3. Name two cities that were established settlements in Arizona in the mid-1700s.
  4. What two wars involved Arizona?
  5. What side did the men of Arizona territory fight on during the Civil War?



  1. The original inhabitants of the Arizona area were the Hopi, Pueblo, Zuni, Apache, Mohave, and Navajo tribes.
  2. Spanish people came to Arizona in search of gold.
  3. Two cities in Arizona that were established in the mid-1700s are Tubac and Tuscon.
  4. Arizona was involved in the Mexican-American War of 1846 and the Civil War of 1861.
  5. The men of Arizona joined the Confederate States of America to fight against the United States of America.

US State History


Leave a Comment