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Indian Territory Becomes the State of Oklahoma



Indian Territory Becomes the State of Oklahoma
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.19

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    unassigned, statehood, successor, enforcement, federal, tribute, homestead, leading, settlement, death, government, emblem, attempt, opening, state, population
     content words:    Indian Territory, Native Americans, East Coast, Great Plains, Civil War, United States, David Payne, William Couch, Native American, Five Civilized Tribes


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Indian Territory Becomes the State of Oklahoma
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Before Oklahoma was a state, it was Indian Territory. Native Americans who had been moved from their homelands in the East were relocated into an area of the Great Plains that included the current state of Oklahoma. Since the area was designated as Indian Territory, settlers were not allowed to claim land or settle there.
 
2     After the Civil War, parts of the Indian Territory were reclaimed by the United States government. These areas became known as unassigned lands. Right away, there were settlers who wanted to homestead there. But the government did not open up the unassigned lands to settlement right away.
 
3     A group known as the Boomers demanded the right to settle there. Led by David Payne, the Boomers settled more than once on the unassigned lands. More than once, the U.S. Army removed them.
 
4     After Payne's death, his successor, William Couch, took over where Payne had left off. Couch led settlers into the unassigned lands. Later, he tried another approach. He moved to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the opening of the unassigned lands to settlement.
 
5     Native American tribes from the area opposed opening the lands to settlers. These tribes included the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole. These tribes had become known as the Five Civilized Tribes because they had already adopted some of the ways of the white settlers. In their attempt to keep settlers out of Oklahoma, they had little success.

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Native Americans
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The United States Grows
(1865-1900)

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(1865-1900)



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