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The Birth of the Buckeye State: An Early History of Ohio and its Beginning


The Birth of the Buckeye State: An Early History of Ohio and its Beginning
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   11.07

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    controversy, diverse, diversity, settling, statehood, tribal, westward, yearly, commonly, opening, possibility, therefore, directly, distinct, wealthy, northeast
     content words:    North American, Western Hemispheres, United States, Lake Erie, Lake Plains, Central Till Plains, Ohio-the Allegheny Plateau, Ice Age, Ohio River, Prehistoric People


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The Birth of the Buckeye State: An Early History of Ohio and its Beginning
By Melissa S. Hoffman
  

1     Most of us know our own addresses. But have you ever really thought about the fact that your home address contains much more than your street, your city, your state, and your zip code? If you were asked to precisely locate where it is you live, would you even think about including such things as "the world," "Earth," or even "the North American continent"? Most of us would not. But the truth of the matter is...these defining locators help us to determine where in the world we are!
 
2     If you were trying to give someone directions as to where in the world Ohio was, you might begin by stating that Ohio is a part of the world; found on the planet Earth; located on the Northern and Western Hemispheres; on the North American continent; in the United States; in the Midwestern region of the U.S., and is the state directly south of Lake Erie, resembling the shape of a heart, hence the nickname for this state, "the heart of it all." From there, you would be able to describe for others which particular part of the state you resided in. For some, it might be the Lake Plains region, which is the whole southern border of Lake Erie; for others, it might be the Central Till Plains, which is also known as the "Corn Belt," located in the central part of our state; or even yet, you might describe your part of the state as the lower half of Ohio-the Allegheny Plateau, which was the only part of the state not originally covered by glaciers during the Ice Age.
 
3     The natural features of the state of Ohio have distinct references to her history. "OYO" (Oh-HEE-oh), meaning "beautiful/great river," as defined by the early Indians and referring to the Ohio River, was the name chosen for the state. Ohio is surrounded by many lakes, rivers, flat plains, rugged hills, diverse plateaus, and varieties of plants and animals. It is a state also known as the "land of many waters," with Lake Erie to the north and the mighty Ohio River to the south.
 
4     With a climate as extreme as its diversity of people, Ohio celebrates its vast and rich temperature changes with each of the seasons. Summers are hot and humid. Heavy rains are common in the fall and spring, and tornados are typically endured each year somewhere in the state. The yearly amount of rainfall averages 38 inches; however more rain falls in the southern part of Ohio. Flooding is common in and around low-lying areas (usually the southern portions) after large rainfalls or the melting of wintertime snows, which can range anywhere from 16 inches along the Ohio River to as much or more than 100 inches of snow along the shores of Lake Erie. Blizzards and below zero temperatures are not so uncommon. Yearly temperatures average 46.9 degrees in the northeast of the state to 56.9 degrees in the southern part of the state. Because of the massive glaciers which dominated the northern half of the state during the Ice Age, a wealth of sediment and substantial natural resources have provided a bounteous supply of assets for all Ohioans. From dolomite, gypsum, sand, and salt, to limestone, flint, clay, sandstone, coal, and oil, Ohio is also a warehouse of excellence due to its soil, deemed to be some of the best farmland in all the world.
 
5     There is evidence to support the lives of a Prehistoric People, namely the Paleo-Indians and the Archaic Indians. These first people to come to North America, namely the Ohio country, hunted huge wild animals for their food sources, such as caribou, mammoths, wolves, and oxen. As the Earth warmed and the Ice Age disappeared, much of the large animal population moved elsewhere for their next meals, therefore moving these early "Ohioans" onto other places, leaving the rich land void of humans. That is, until the early Mound Builders, the Adena Indians, the Hopewell Indians, and the Fort Ancient Indians arrived and settled upon our land. They stayed in permanent or semi-permanent homes and villages. They built "mounds," signifying their name, and used them for religious ceremonies, protection, and burial sites. Although trading and exploration eventually took these groups onward after hundreds of years, historians have reason to believe that they may have been driven out by fighting tribal groups, warring over the lands themselves. Others blame sickness and disease.

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