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Arizona's History Makes It Worth a Visit

Jul 19, 2008
Arizona has a storied history that makes its study rather interesting. And it's this same history that has built it into what it is today, making finding an Arizona vacation rental and spending a few days there worth the effort.

Early History

It is believed that the first Native Americans arrived in what is modern-day Arizona around 15,000 BC during the tail end of the Upper Paleolithic (Stone Age) period in history. Known as Paleo-Americans, these early inhabitants were known to hunt large game such as large sloths, bison, mammoths, and even camels and horses.

However, climate changes resulted in warming weather, changes in precipitation that affected foliage and vegetation, and streams began drying up. This forced the migration of big game northward, thereby causing a disappearance of big game hunters in the region.

The ancient people of Arizona were forced to adapt, depending more on small game and wild plant life for survival. Tools to grind and chop plant life were developed, as were farming techniques, as the people adapted to the changing conditions.

Arrival of the Europeans

A Franciscan friar, Marco de Niza, was one of the first Europeans to come through Arizona. The discovery of large deposits of copper and silver led to an increased interest in the area. This resulted in a smallpox epidemic amongst the native inhabitants. Early Catholics set up several mission in the area to convert the Native American people that lived there.

Little else is known about this early time period, as Native American records of the Spanish explorers are rare.

Freedom from Spanish Rule

In the early 19th century, Mexico declared its freedom from Spain, and spent a decade at war to win it. At the time, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico were all part of the recently freed country. However, because of the war the new country was bankrupt. Funds that were used to provide rations to the Apache -- a method used to prevent them from raiding the local missions -- dried up resulting in the Apache returning to raiding. Mexico was forced to begin auctioning off land. A dispute over territory eventually led to the Mexican-American War resulted in the U.S. obtaining most of Arizona and other disputed regions in exchange for $15 million of compensation.

The Gadsden Purchase, needed to allow for the construction of an American transcontinental railroad, brought the acquisition of more land from Mexico. That land today makes up more than as quarter of the state of Arizona as well as part of New Mexico.

Arizona has a deep Native American heritage and history which makes up a large part of Arizonian culture in some parts. The reservations in Arizona continue to receive tourist traffic each year.

Arizona is also home to championship golf courses, bringing golf fans from around the country who fill up Arizona vacation homes during events such as the Phoenix Open.
About the Author
Scottsdale Luxury Suites (http://www.luxurysuites.com/vacationRentals.html) offers luxurious Arizona vacation rentals for your next Arizona vacation. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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