Arizona celebrates 110th anniversary of statehood

TUCSON, Arizona – Arizona’s state history begins in 1848.

With the end of the Mexican-American War, America acquired part of the lands that would constitute the territory of New Mexico.

About half of this territory was part of what would later become Arizona.

In 1854, the United States would purchase the southern portion of Arizona, including Tucson, in the Gadsden Purchase.

Arizona became its own territory in 1860, but the sparse population at the time, with the exception of Tucson, left statehood during the Civil War a pipe dream.

Another obstacle was Arizona’s role in that war, according to Jaynie Adams, curator of education at the Arizona Historical Society.

“So there’s this idea of ​​something called joiner,” Adams said. “Jointer was a way for the United States government to bring Arizona into the union as part of New Mexico, which presents logistical problems.

“Tucson and Mesia and New Mexico. People say they were Confederate strongholds, which I think exaggerates the Confederate presence, but the Confederate flag flew very frequently over the Presidio of Tucson,” a said Adams.

And yet another issue was East Coast anti-Mexican racism — part of which stemmed from strong anti-Catholic sentiments at the time.

“I think as ideas changed and people became more interested in learning about other people and other cultures, those ideas grew,” Adams said. “And now our Mexican heritage is something that we’re really, really proud of and our Confederate past is not something that we’re as proud of. But it’s something that we have to consider and remember. “

As the 20th century approached, the five Cs would define Arizona in many ways.

Copper, cotton, citrus, cattle and climate.

Adams also supplements the five Cs with what she calls the three A’s.

Air conditioning, automobiles and airplanes. All the inventions that made the state what it is today.

“I think historical records show that air conditioning was invented like in Ohio,” Adams said. “But Arizonans have really perfected air conditioning, and air conditioning has allowed us to do the things we want to do.”

But why did it take so long for Arizona to become a state?

The population was one of the reasons. Creating infrastructure for any kind of growth in the desert environment was another.

Those three A’s really helped solve those problems, but one more got in the way.

In late 1911, President William Howard Taft vetoed Arizona statehood based on the state constitution.

He allowed the recall of the judges. Something he believed was “so destructive of the independence of the judicial system” that it could subject Arizonans to tyranny.

The state belatedly removed this part of the constitution – and Taft signed Arizona as a state on February 14, 1912.

From Spain to Mexico. From a territory favorable to confederation to its place as a state of national importance. Arizona has maintained a diverse and vibrant history.

“If you don’t find yourself in the historical narrative, if you don’t find people who act like you or look like you or have the same past you start to dig a little deeper,” Adams said. “Think about your own history and how you and all the things you do impact the history of the earth. We have millions of objects from the historical society. We have millions of records. Find your history. .. it’s here.”


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