History of Arizona

Picture of Navajo Native Indians

Names of the Arizona Indian Tribes
Arizona is a state in the southwestern United States. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Arizona. The names of the Arizona tribes included the Yuma. Pima, Papago, the Pueblo, the Navajo and Apache.

Fast Facts about the History of Arizona Indians
The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Arizona resulted in the adoption of the Southwest culture. Discover facts and information about the history of the State of Arizona Indians.

  • Name of State: Arizona
  • Meaning of State name: From the Papago or Pima word, Arizonac, which means “small springs.”
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Arizona: Large desert areas, also mountain and plateau areas, pine forests and the the Grand Canyon
  • Culture adopted by Arizona Indians: Southwest Cultural Group Cultural Group
  • Languages: Southern Athabaskan (Apachean) language
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Farmers and some Nomadic hunters
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Farmers lived in Adobe (pueblo) houses. Hunters lived in Hogans

History Timeline of the Arizona Indians

  • 10,000 BC: The first indigenous people were of the Paleo-Indian culture who lived in caves or were Nomadic Hunters using stone weapons
  • 9000 BC: Clovis Culture (named after artefacts found at Clovis, New Mexico. These people used a distinctive type of fluted arrow point
  • 7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools
  • 2500 BC: Gulf Formational Period with development of ceramics and pottery
  • 1000 AD: Woodland period with permanent houses and farming
  • 1539: Father Marcos de Niza claims Arizona for Spain.
  • 1540: Francisco Vasquez de Coronado of Spain searches for the Seven Cities of Gold (Cibola) he fails but also claims Arizona for Spain
  • 1700: San Xavier del Bac mission is founded
  • 1752: The first permanent Spanish settlement was established in Tubac, after many revolts from the Pima and Papago Native Americans tribes
  • 1763: Treaty of Paris
  • 1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution
  • 1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
  • 1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land
  • 1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence
  • 1821: Mexico gains military control of Arizona
  • 1830: Indian Removal Act
  • 1832: Department of Indian Affairs established
  • 1848: United States win the Mexican War and gain all of Arizona north of the Gila River
  • 1849: 1846 - 1863 The Navajo conflicts in New Mexico and Arizona
  • 1853: The Gadsden Purchase - the rest of Arizona becomes part of United States
  • 1858: Gold is discovered on Gila River
  • 1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.
  • 1862: The Apache tribe, led by Cochise, attack soldiers at Apache Pass, beginning a ten year war with settlers.
  • 1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers
  • 1863: Territory of Arizona is created by Congress
  • 1864: Kit Carson captures 7,000 Navajo Indians in Canyon de Chelly and forces them to leave Arizona
  • 1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
  • 873: Campaign against Apache Indians in Arizona and New Mexico
  • 1886: September 4 - The Apache Chief Geronimo surrenders
  • 1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers
  • 1893: Navajo war against white settlers. Northwestern New Mexico and Northeastern Arizona
  • 1896: Yaqui Uprising - conflict that took place in the Mexican state of Sonora and the American state of Arizona
  • 1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.
  • 1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History of Arizona Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Arizona had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Arizona Indians.

History of Native Americans
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