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

Updated on February 15, 2013

This is the final part on the reasons how the American states got their names we know them as now. There are links within the article to go to the previous parts of the hub, just in case you have found this article by accident. Feel free to comment at the end of the article, as to its usefulness or any other points of interest. Without any further delay, let us continue....

Locations of the states within the USA

South Carolina:
South Carolina, USA

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South Dakota:
South Dakota, USA

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Tennessee, USA

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Texas, USA

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Utah, USA

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Virginia, USA

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Washington :
Washington, USA

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West Virginia:
West Virginia, USA

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Wisconsin, USA

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Wyoming, USA

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South Carolina

The province of South Carolina was the 8th state to join the union in 1788. The Southern state split from the Northern Carolina in 1729, they split over who held political power. The state capital is the city of Columbia, which was almost called Washington but beat it in the vote. Carolina gets its name from King Charles the Second of Great Britain who gave the land to loyal supporters after the monarchy was reestablished. South Carolina was the first state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy.

South Dakota

South Dakota became the 40th state in 1889 after its admittance to the United States. Like its Northern state it had been part of the Dakota territory. Many European powers had laid claim to it's territory since the French and Spanish had explored its lands. The state capital is Pierre and Sioux Falls its largest city. The name Dakota refers to the Native American tribe which had lands in the state.


Originally known as the South West Territory, it became the 16th state in 1796. The land was settled by mainly Scottish and Irish colonists. The state capital of Tennessee is the city of Nashville, and the state also has Memphis as its largest city. The state was a major battleground for the American Civil War and although a member of the Confederacy had many Unionist supporters. The state gets its name from an Indian village called " Tanasqui ", over time the names spelling and pronunciation evolved.


The Republic of Texas was once a Spanish and French possession and a state of the Mexican republic. After the American-Mexico War the Texan Republic became the 28th state of the United States, having joined in 1845 it left to join the Confederacy in 1861. The state capital is Austin and the major cities of Houston and Dallas are major cities in the State. The name Texas comes from a Caddo word " Tejas ", and translates as Allies/ or friends.


The Utah Territory became the 45th state in 1896, the state is predominately a Mormon state and has been since 1847. The state capital of Salt lake City, other large cities are West Jordan and Sandy. The name Utah is taken from the mountain dwelling tribe the " Utes ", who laid claim to much of the area before European expansion.


The Vermont Republic was the 14th territory to be made a state in 1791, The state was originally a French colonial area. After the French- Indian War, the French settlements fell under British control by the Treaty of Paris. The state capital is Montpelier and its largest city is Burlington. The state of Vermont was on the Unionist side in the American Civil War. Vermont takes it's name from the French for Green Mountains, " Vers Monts ".


The colony of Virginia became the 10th state in June 1788, it was one of the first British colonial area's of the New World. Virginia was instrumental in forming the Declaration of Independence and many Virginians became important leaders of the new nation. The state capital of Virginia is the city of Richmond, and it took over as capital from Williamsburg. The state joined the Confederacy in 1861, and Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy. The states name is thought to honour the " Virgin Queen" Elizabeth the First of England.


Washington Territory achieved statehood in 1889, making it the 42nd state to be admitted. The area had been settled and explored by the Spanish, British, Russians and French. The state capital is Olympia, and the largest city is Seattle. The states name is in honour of the first President of the United States George Washington. Washington is the only state named after a President.

West Virginia

West Virginia was part of Virginia until it broke off from the former Crown Colony. West Virginia became the 35th state in 1863, at a time when Virginia was in the Confederacy. West Virginia supported the Unionist cause, and after the Civil War they never rejoined. The state capital is Charleston and was effectively Charles Town, it was shortened over time. West Virginia is also a name taken from Queen Elizabeth the First of England.


The Wisconsin Territory was added to the Union as the 30th state in 1838. The state has strong ties to France and Britain through their colonists. The state capital of Wisconsin is Madison and it's largest city is Milwaukee. The state sent many troops to the Union Army to fight against the Confederacy. The state gets its name from an Anglicization of a French interpretation of a Native American name. The French called the river area " Ouisconsin ", which was a mistaken version of the tribal name for the area.


Wyoming was added to the Union in 1890, until then it was administered as the Wyoming territory. Wyoming was once part of Spain's American colonial possessions, and was also a Mexican territory after their independence. The state capital is the city of Cheyenne, and it was named after the Native American tribe. The name Wyoming comes from the Munsee tribe which translates as to the big river flat.


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