Nevada History and Geography


The most prominent Indian tribes that inhabited the Nevada area before the arrival of the Europeans were the Shoshone, the Paiute, the Bannock, and the Washoe. Although claimed by Spain and later by Mexico, the region remained largely unknown to the outside world until the early 19th century.

Peter Skene Orden led an expedition south from Canada, and in 1825 he explored the Humboldt River. Two years later, trapper Jedediah Smith crossed Nevada on his way from California to Saint Louis. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War, the territory of which Nevada was a part passed to the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The following year, Mormon settlers from Salt Lake City built a factory in the Carson River Valley.. Most of Nevada was incorporated into the Utah Territory, established in 1850. In 1858 Carson City was founded. With the discovery in 1859 of silver and gold in the Virginia area, thousands of prospectors arrived. In 1861the Nevada Territory was created.

President Abraham Lincoln, who needed Nevada’s support in Congress, pushed for his admission to the Union, making it the thirty-sixth state in 1864. Around 1881, the exploitation of gold and silver was paralyzed, which had favored the opulent development of some cities of the state such as Virginia. From the moment the Central Pacific Railroad crossed the state in 1869, cattle and sheep farming became essential to its economy.

A new mining boom occurred in the early years of the 20th century, when gold and silver were discovered in the southwestern desert, in Tonopah, Goldfield and Rhyolite. In the 20th century, in an attempt to counteract the effects of the Great Depression, the state legislature authorized rapid divorce proceedings in 1931 (especially in Reno) and legalized gambling; The consequence of these measures was the arrival of numerous visitors to the state, which favored its tourist development. Although its growth began in the 1940s, the small town of Las Vegas, in the southern part of Nevada, experienced rapid expansion and became one of the major tourism and vacation centers in the country.


Geographic location

Abbreviated as NV, Nevada is bordered to the north by Oregon and Idaho, to the west by California, to the southeast by Arizona and to the east by Utah. The Arizona border includes the Colorado River and the Hoover Dam. The state is crossed by several mountain ranges that go from north to south. Between most of them are drainage valleys. Its territory occupies an area of ​​286,352 km², whose extension can be compared with that of Ecuador.

Territorial expansion

With an area of ​​286,352 km², Nevada is the seventh largest state in the United States. Its altitude varies between 146 m, along the Colorado River, to 4,005 m at Boundary Peak, on the border with California. Almost all of Nevada is within the Great Basin (or Great Basin) region.


Its topography is characterized by numerous mountain ranges, among which a series of elongated valleys spread out in parallel, as well as occasional tables and witness hills.


Nevada’s biodiversity includes among its plant species creosote, mesquite, cacti, and yucca in the south, and junipers and stone pines on the mountain slopes. The most common crops are: hay, potatoes, wheat, barley, vegetables, fruit trees, nuts and cotton.


Among the larger mammals are the deer with big ears, the antelope, the lynx, the ramor bighorn sheep, the coyote, the fox, the badger, the porcupine, the rat muskrat and groundhog. In the desert there are several species of lizards, turtles and snakes, among which is the rattlesnake. In the northeast, the breeding of cattle and sheep is especially important.


Nevada has a continental climate and is the driest state in the entire United States; Average annual rainfall varies from just 102 mm in the southeast to 610 mm in some parts of the Sierra Nevada and in the northeast mountains.


Nevada had 2,565,382 residents in 2007. The vast majority of the state’s population is concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Las Vegas and Reno. Whites make up 75.2% of the population, while blacks make up 6.8%. Of Hispanic origin, especially Mexican, there are 393,970 people (19.7% of the population).


The Nevada government began planning a state public school system in 1861, when Nevada was still a territory. Four years later, in 1865, already elevated to the category of [state, the Legislative Power of Nevada established a state system of public schools, and the first school districts of the State began to be defined.

Currently, all educational institutions in Nevada must follow certain rules and patterns dictated by the Nevada State Board of Education. This council directly controls the State’s public school system, which is divided into several school districts. Schooling is compulsory for all children and adolescents over seven years of age, until the conclusion of secondary education or up to fifteen years of age.

Nevada state