Arizona History

Abbreviated as AZ by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Arizona is one of the 50 states that make up the United States of America, located in the southwest of the country. It is well known for its desert landscape, its cacti and the cosmopolitan city of Phoenix. The nickname of Arizona is the state of the Grand Canyon(The Grand Canyon State), because the north of the state is home to one of the best known natural tourist attractions in the United States and the world, the Grand Canyon.

At first, Arizona was colonized by Spain, passing to Mexican control in 1821, when Mexico gained independence from Spain. In 1848, with the end of US intervention in Mexico, most of Arizona (north of the Gila River) passed into US hands.

President Santa Anna of Mexico sold the southern part of the state at the La Mesilla Sale in 1853. The 14 of February of 1912, Arizona became the last American territory within the 48 contiguous states (ie those of the continent, except Alaska) in acquiring the state statute.

Today, Arizona has been at the center of controversy since it passed Arizona SB1070.5 in May 2010, the most comprehensive and stringent law against illegal immigration in decades. This law has received national and international attention and has caused considerable controversy. Important representatives of the Government of the United States of America have described it as “a violation of civil rights”, “a type of apartheid” and have affirmed that “its application may force differentiation based on ethnic reasons”


In Arizona there are archaeological sites of human remains that date back 12,000 years. A millennium ago, the main groups that inhabited this territory were the Anasazi Indians (ancestors of the Pueblo Indians), the Hohokam (ancestors of the Tohono O’odham and Pima Indians) and the Mogollón Indians. The Apaches and Navajos, with whom the Spanish fought since the 16th century, arrived in these lands shortly before the arrival of the first Europeans in Arizona.

The first European to enter the territory, which today is administered by the state of Arizona, was the Franciscan monk Marcos de Niza in 1539. This friar was looking for the Seven Cities of Cíbola, a place of immense wealth according to a legend that had spread throughout New Spain.

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado explored Arizona in search, like Marcos de Niza and with equal success, of legendary cities. A century and a half later, in 1692, Father Eusebio Kino founded twenty-four missions in Arizona.

Missionary fervor was followed by mining, since in 1736 the discovery of silver near the city of Nogales attracted a new population.

As a result of these discoveries, the Spanish established forts in Tubac and Tucson to defend themselves against hostile Indians, who were threatened by the arrival of new settlers.

The importance that this territory was acquiring and the new political orientation of the Spanish Crown towards the peripheral territories of its empire, caused them to reorganize: administratively it was part of the province of Sonora, and in 1776 it was integrated into the Internal Provinces of the West, which in turn formally depended on the Viceroyalty of New Spain, an administrative entity with capital in Mexico City.

Mexican Territory

After the Independence of Mexico in 1821, Arizona was part of the territory of Alta California. In 1846, shortly after the US invasion began, US troops entered the territory. Arizona was after the Mexican defeat, part of the immense territory that the United States despoiled from Mexico, officially forced to give up by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo signed in 1848.

Incorporation into the United States

The United States created the Territory of New Mexico as an administrative unit to reorganize its enormous territorial expansion. Despite the American colonists’ attempt to declare themselves an independent state, Arizona and the rest of New Mexico continued for years to be administered by the United States Congress.

Partly because of this discontent, during the Civil War (1860 – 1865) the settlers established in Arizona declared themselves supporters of the Confederacy. Confederate troops tried to occupy Arizona and New Mexico but failed to control the area of ​​this zone. During the war, Congress finally agreed to satisfy the settlers and created the Arizona Territory in 1863, as an independent unit, a first step towards its future admission as a state of the Union.

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Arizona, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Arizona.

Colonists kept coming, thanks in part to the arrival of the railroad in 1877 that linked Arizona to the California coast to establish farms and mine for gold, silver, and copper. The invasion of the colonists provoked the fight between these and the Navajo and Apache Indians, a confrontation that marked the final third of the 19th century.

Indeed, in 1864 Kit Carson organized a campaign against the Navajo Indians whom he defeated, but the campaigns against the Apache, led by Cochise and Geronimo, continued until 1886, when the latter’s surrender was achieved.

Arizona’s admission as a state of the United States was finally approved in 1912. The first governor was George WP Hunt who was elected seven times and who stood out for the development of dams and irrigation systems, built with the resources of the Salt, Gila, Verde and Colorado rivers.

These works and the benign climate of the Phoenix area allowed a rapid colonization of certain areas of the state. The mining wealth (copper above all) and the development of the agricultural sector meant that even during the Great Depression that followed Black Thursday 1929 (see Crisis of 1929), Arizona continued to grow demographically and economically. The Second World War allowed a new acceleration of its economy, thanks to the fact that this state became a supplier of raw materials from mining and the field.

Arizona History