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Nebraska State History

Nebraska is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States.

It borders South Dakota; Iowa; Missouri; Kansas; Colorado and Wyoming. The capital of Nebraska is Lincoln.

Nebraska State Seal

Related: Nebraska State Facts and other US State Facts

Nighttime Skyline Of Downtown Lincoln Nebraska Usa

The name Nebraska comes from the Otoe words, “Ni Brasge”. It means “flat water”, which is the name for the Platte River which runs through Nebraska.

Platte River


Before Europeans arrived, there were many indigenous peoples living in the region now known as Nebraska.

The Omaha, Missouria, Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe and the Lakota Sioux people all lived in that region.

Flag Of The Omaha Tribe Of Nebraska And Iowa

Nebraska was under both Spanish and French control.

In the 1690s, the Apache nation and Spain traded. French settlers had also established trade links with native peoples along the Missouri River by the 1700s.

War eventually broke out between the Spanish and the French. In 1720, under Lieutenant General Pedro de Villasur, a Spanish Army was sent out to Nebraska.

However, many Pawnee and Otoe peoples (who were allied with the French), attacked the Spanish army. This ended the Spanish presence in the area in the 1700s.

Pawnee Villasur

In 1762, Nebraska was once more controlled by Spain. Nebraska was then part of the Louisiana territory. France gave up Louisiana to Spain during the Seven Years War.

Britain and Spain were then fighting for control of the territories along the Mississippi.

In the 1860s, the U.S government forced many Native Americans in the region to give up their lands and move to reservations. There was a huge wave of migration to Nebraska.

Under the Homestead Act, the U.S. government decided to give away land for free to settlers.

Freeman Homestead Certificate

In 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state of the United States. In the 1870s and 1880s, Nebraska’s population grew.

In 1880, the population of Nebraska was 450,000 people. There were lots of vast tracts of land, ideal for grazing cattle.

Furthermore, there were lots of new technologies in farming that made farming in Nebraska much easier.

There were windmills, steel ploughs and barbed wire. All these factors meant that people really wanted to move to Nebraska.

The Official Symbol And Slogan For The State Of Nebraska

In the nineteenth-century, there was a large migration of African-Americans from the south.

This was part of the Great Migration, where six million people freed from slavery migrated to the northern states of America. African-Americans experienced a lot of racism when they arrived in the Nebraskan city of Omaha.

In reaction to their terrible treatment, African-Americans in Nebraska were very active in fighting for equal rights for black people and indigenous peoples.

In 1912, a group of African-Americans founded the Omaha branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to try to improve their rights.

Over the twentieth century, and especially after the 1960s, the civil rights movement and related activism has continued.


Quiz Time!

Who lived in Nebraska before the Europeans arrived?

When did Nebraska become the 37th state of the United States?

What was the population of Nebraska in 1880?

What new farming technologies were available in Nebraska?

What was founded in 1912?

Nebraska Grain Silo Raam

US State History

Downtown Omaha From The North At Night

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