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Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette were the first European visitors to what is now Iowa. They came to the area in 1673. The area became U.S. property as a result of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, Indians and white settlers had many disputes in the area. Indian land was taken as a result of the 1832 Blackhawk War and more lands were again taken from them in 1836 and 1837. The capital of Iowa was Iowa City when it gained statehood, in 1846. However, since Des Moines was in a more reasonable central location, it became the new capital in 1857, at the same time that the boundaries of the state were drawn to be in their present-day form. See also Iowa History Page for more Details
The State of Iowa was organized as territory on June 12, 1838 and entered the union as the 29th state on Dec. 28, 1846 . It has 99 Counties. The capital is Des Moines and the official state website is http://www.iowa.gov/.
The State of Iowa is bordered by Illinois (east), Nebraska (west), Minnesota, Missouri (south), South Dakota (northwest), Wisconsin (northeast). It has a land area of 56,276 square miles making it the 26th largest state and the 2010 population was 3,046,355. The largest cities (2010) are Des Moines (Capital), 203,433; Cedar Rapids, 126,326; Davenport, 99,685; Sioux City, 82,684; Waterloo, 68,406; Iowa City, 67,862; Council Bluffs, 62,230; Ames, 58,965; Dubuque, 57,637; West Des Moines, 56,609.
The State of Iowa's name was taken from the Iowa River, which in turn was named for the Iowa people, the Native Americans who lived in the region during early European exploration. The state nickname is the Hawkeye State. The State Motto is "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain" .