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How the States of America got their names (2/5).

Updated on February 28, 2013

This is the second part of my article exploring where the Fifty current states of the United States of America names originated from. I have also added the state capitals of the states and a small amount of historic background. If you wish to read the first installment please click on the link " How the States of America got their names (1/5)". Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Location of the featured States

Georgia, USA

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Hawaii, USA

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Idaho, USA

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Illinois, USA

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Indiana, USA

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Iowa, USA

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Kansas, USA

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Kentucky, USA

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Louisiana, USA

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Maine, USA

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Georgia became the fourth state to join the United States in 1778, it had been one of the Thirteen colonies that revolted against the British. It joined the Confederate side of the American Civil War, and was the last Confederate state to rejoin the Union. The state capital of Georgia is Atlanta, and it originally was referred to as Atlantica-Pacificia until shortened to plain Atlanta. The indigenous tribes of the area numbered the Cherokee and the Creek Indians. The state of Georgia owes its name to King George of Britain, after the initial settlement ran into difficulties, the colony became a royal holding.


Hawaii joined the Union as the most recent state in 1959, and is the Unions most distant state from the White House. There was a heavy influence of European traders in the early Nineteenth century, and the British Union flag forms part of Hawaii state flag to this day. Hawaii became an oversea's territory in 1897 after a treaty of Annexation. Hawaii's state capital is Honolulu, which translates from the native tongue as " Sheltered Bay". The name Hawaii comes from its Polynesian natives and is thought to mean "Homeland". Hawaii as well as been a tourist hot spot is also famous for its Naval base of Pearl Harbour.


Idaho was admitted to the United States in 1890, until then it was part of an area called Washington territory and Oregon Country. Oregon Country was an area of disputed ownership between the British and American governments until the year 1846. The state capital of Idaho is Boise, before it was the capital the town of Lewiston served as the major settlement for much of the North West territories. How Idaho became the name of the state is uncertain to this day. Various theories exist to its origins, most believe it is a made up Indian name or an anglicized pronunciation of an Indian phrase.


Illinois became a member state of the USA in 1818, it was the Twenty first state to join. Illinois area was given over to the Native American tribes after the major influx of European powers into the area. The Illinois people were very pro-union and fought against the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The capital of Illinois state is Springfield and it's largest city is Chicago. The name Illinois is thought to come from the French adapting a Native American language to describe the people they were trading with.


Indiana achieved statehood in 1816, and became the Nineteenth state of the Union. Indiana was a Unionist state and supplied many soldiers to the Unionist cause. The state capital of Indiana is the city of Indianapolis, and has been so since 1820. The name Indiana relates to it's pre-statehood name of the " Indian territory", the land was given over by the British crown to the Native tribes to inhabit. Upon the Treaty of Paris at the end of the War of Independence, Britain gave up its territorial claims to the newly recognised United States government.


Iowa became a state in 1846 and before hand, had been known as the Iowa territory.It had previously been part of New France, one of the French colonies within the North America's. The state capital of Iowa is Des Moines, which owes its own name to the French name of the Monk river. Iowa supported the Unionist cause during the Civil War, but no battles took place within its borders. Iowa gains its name from the Ioway tribe which along with other native tribes, had utilised the area's resources and land.


Kansas was elevated to statehood in 1861, before then it was administered as the Kansas territory. Kansas became a hotbed of conflict over slavery, after the abolitionists won it became America's 34th state. The state capital of Kansas is Topeka,and its name has roots in the Kansa and Ioway language. Its name means " good to dig potatoes", and agriculture is still a big part of the states economy. Kansas as a name is attributed to the Kansa tribe which were widespread throughout the area.


The Commonwealth of Kentucky gained statehood in 1792, after it split from Virginia it became the 15th state of the Union. The state capital of Kentucky is Frankfort, although Louisville is probably more recognisable to most people. Kentucky is famous for its Bourbon and its Horse Racing events, The Kentucky derby is world famous. The state gets the name Kentucky from the Iroquois language, it means lands of meadow. Other tribes hunted the rich game in the area and they called the region Catawba, so it is possible the name evolved over time from this.


Louisiana has been a part of both the Spanish and French territories within North America. Before statehood it was part of the French territory of Orleans. Louisiana was sold to the US by the French as part of the Louisiana purchase. The acquisition of the territory doubled the size of the United States holdings in North America, and removed foreign claims on its Eastern coast. Louisiana was admitted as a state in 1812, and became the 24th state. The state capital is Baton Rouge and its largest city is New Orleans. The State is named after the former King of France Louis XIV, and its name means Louis land.


The state of Maine was admitted to the United States as it's 23rd member in 1820. Before its statehood it was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It's state capital is the city of Augusta and it's largest city is Portland. Portland was once the capital of the territory but was moved to Augusta to make it more central to the area. The name Maine is thought to relate to either an early colony in the French and British colonization of the area.


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