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History of the Midwest Region, Part 2



History of the Midwest Region, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.84

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    disc-jockey, swedish, port, interstate, phrase, settled, schools, valuable, jazz, lines, however, connect, traveled, steamboat, goods, faster
     content words:    Early French, Mississippi River, Lake Michigan, United States, Transcontinental Railroad, Civil War, African Americans, Great Migration, Midwest Region, O'Hare Airport


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History of the Midwest Region, Part 2
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     The Midwest was a busy region in the 1800's. Pioneers traveled to the region for the open land and new opportunities. The region became the home of twelve new states. The chart below lists when each state became part of our country.

          

Many of the Midwest's cities also grew during this time.
 
2     St. Louis, Missouri, began as a French fort and trading post in 1682. Early French settlers and explorers traded fur and other goods with the Indians. By the 1800's, St. Louis was becoming a very large city. Why? Well, it was the invention of the steamboat. Steamboats used steam as fuel for their engines. In the 1820's, St. Louis became an important port city. Steamboats would travel along the Mississippi River to the city. Merchants and fur traders would send their goods on these steamboats. Goods like fur could now be sold to states in the east and the south.
 
3     Steamboats were also valuable to farmers. The Midwest was becoming a land of farms. Farmers would send their crops by steamboat to St. Louis. These crops could then be sold in the city's markets. Imagine a highway on water! That is what you would have seen if you were in St. Louis during the late 1800's.

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