February 12, 2016

2284 UNITED STATES (Iowa) - Iowa map

Located in the Midwestern United States, between Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota, Iowa derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many Native American tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Its east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers, respectively the Mississippi River, the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River, and a part of its southern border is along the Des Moines River.

Most of the state consists of rolling hills. Several natural lakes exist, the largest being  Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake in northwest of the state. Iowa's natural vegetation is tallgrass prairie and savanna in upland areas, with dense forest and wetlands in flood plains and protected river valleys, and pothole wetlands in northern prairie areas. Most of Iowa is used for agriculture; crops cover 60% of the state, grasslands cover 30%, and forests cover 7%.

When American Indians first arrived in what is now Iowa more than 13,000 years ago, they were hunters and gatherers. By the time European explorers visited Iowa, American Indians were largely settled farmers with complex economic, social, and political systems. The arrival of European trade goods and diseases in the Protohistoric period led to dramatic population shifts and economic and social upheaval, with the arrival of new tribes and early European explorers and traders.

The first known European explorers to document Iowa were Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet (1673). The area was claimed for France and remained a French territory until 1763. The French transferred ownership to their ally, Spain, which practiced very loose control over the region. The Sauk and Meskwaki effectively controlled trade on the Mississippi in the late 18th century and early 19th century. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Iowa was placed under United States control.

During the War of 1812, many of the Native Americans allied with the British, but after the war the U.S. reestablished control of the region, encouraged settlement of the east side of the Mississippi and removal of Indians to the west. The first American settlers officially moved to Iowa in 1833. In 1838 was established the Territory of Iowa, which became in 1846 the 29th state in the Union. It supported the Union during the Civil War, and contributed proportionately with more men than any other state, but there were no battles in the state.

Following the war, Iowa's population continued to grow dramatically, and the introduction of railroads transformed it into a major agricultural producer. The transition from an agricultural economy to a mixed economy happened slowly. The Great Depression and WWII accelerated the shift away from smallholder farming to larger farms, and began a trend of urbanization that continues. According to the 2010 Census, 91.3% of the population was White. The capital and the most populous city is Des Moines.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the definitives series American Design, about which I wrote here. The second is part of the series Apples, about which I wrote here. The last stamp, issued on May 29, 2014, to celebrate Nevada’s 150th anniversary, is part of the series Statehood, about which I wrote here.

Iowa - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 24.10.2014

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