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Kansas Becomes a State


Kansas Becomes a State
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   10

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bloodshed, prior, prosperity, statehood, transcontinental, traveler, violent, slavery, surrounding, travelers, motto, military, heavily, dreams, founded, settled
     content words:    Francisco Vasquez, Native Americans, Indian Removal Bill, President Andrew Jackson, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Hays, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Kansas Territory, Continental Divide, US Government


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Kansas Becomes a State
By Susan Karnes
  

1     On January 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state to be admitted into the Union. However, the history of Kansas dates back more than 300 years prior to its statehood. Kansas history is a story of turmoil and bloodshed as its people fought for what they believed; of triumph as they lived their dreams; and of prosperity as the state of Kansas today.
 
2     The first traveler to Kansas is believed to have been Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who explored the "new world" in search of gold. The Spaniards expected to find cities with gold-paved streets and inhabitants wearing ornaments made of marvelous metals. Instead, they found Native Americans living in huts made of grass and mud. Although they found no gold or silver, they did find fertile soil, perfect for growing crops and roaming herds of buffalo as far as the eye could see.
 
3     During the years from 1541 to the early 1800's, many other explorers discovered in Kansas the farmable land, many rivers and streams, as well as a land rich with deposits of coal, lead and zinc. As the heavily populated east coast became overcrowded, pioneers found the wide open, farmable land of Kansas a perfect place to settle and live a peaceful, stationary life with their families.

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