From Ohio History Central
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Below is a list of 21 topics that have been significant in Ohio's history. To browse the entries in Ohio History Central related to any of these topics, click on the topic of your choice.
African Americans were among the first residents of Ohio. Most of these people were free, but undoubtedly, a small number of them were slaves. Ohio's first constitution, the Ohio Constitution of 1803, outlawed slavery.
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American Indian is a term applied to a person descended from the original inhabitants of the land that is now the continental United States of America. Christopher Columbus, encountered the Americas and brought news of his explorations to Europe in 1492. He named the people whom he met "Indians," believing that he had reached India. Columbus was mistaken, but his designation of the land's native people remained.
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The American Revolution was fought between Great Britain and thirteen of its North American colonies. Most historians maintain that the war began on April 19, 1775, with the battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, although the colonies did not officially approve and issue a Declaration of Independence until July 4, 1776.
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Arts and Entertainment
Many Ohioans have excelled in the arts and in the entertainment industry. Some of Ohio's first white residents were skilled craftspeople, whose work remains avidly sought by collectors today.
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Business and Industry
Ohio has been at the forefront of business and industry for much of its history. With the arrival of the earliest settlers, agriculture quickly arose as the dominant business in what is now Ohio. Between the 1780s and the 1870s, most Ohioans earned their living off of the land. By the late nineteenth century, Ohio underwent tremendous change economically, as industrialization erupted in the state.
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Although most of the American Civil War was fought outside of Ohio's borders, the Buckeye State played a huge role in determining the outcome. Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans fought for the Union, and many of the North's leading generals were from Ohio. Few would dispute that Ohio's contributions were vital in determining the Union victory.
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Climate and Weather
Ohio's climate, which is generally mild, has played a major factor in the rich agricultural heritage of the state.
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Communities and Counties
Entries in this category provide readers with information on various communities and counties within Ohio.
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Education has always been important to Ohioans. The Land Ordinance of 1785 set aside land for the support of a public school in every township. The Ohio Constitution of 1803 did not establish a public school system, but it encouraged residents to provide educational opportunities to the state's children.
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Europeans viewed Ohio as the frontier even before they began to explore the area in the seventeenth century. The first explorers were French, but British ones soon followed their earlier counterparts.
View the Frontier Ohio entries.
Government and Politics
For most of its history, Ohio has proven to be a microcosm of government and politics in the rest of the Midwest.
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Ohioans have long recognized the importance of history. Thus, they have sought to preserve many of the state's important buildings, landmarks, and other sites.
View the Historic Sites entries.
Ohioans have participated in every military conflict involving the United States of America from the American Revolution until present day. Numerous prominent military leaders have ties to the state.
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Even before Ohio became a state in 1803, Ohioans actively sought to reform their society and government. Among the area's first white residents were Moravian missionaries, who sought to convert the Delaware Indians to Christianity.
Ohioans have always been a very religious people. In the prehistoric period, Ohio's native people constructed earthworks. Both modern-day scholars and American Indians contend that these mounds, in all likelihood, held some religious meaning to their builders.
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Science and Medicine
For two hundred years, Ohioans have been at the forefront of scientific and medical advances. During the 1830s and 1840s, Dr. William Awl convinced the Ohio legislature to establish a school for the blind and a hospital for the mentally ill.
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Sports and Recreation
Ohioans are very fortunate to have many sporting and recreational activities at their disposal. Ohio boasts several professional and semi-professional sports teams. The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, originated in the state in 1869. The Cleveland Indians baseball club was a charter member of the American League. The National Football League has its roots in northeastern Ohio.
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States commonly select symbols to represent life within their respective borders. These symbols provide residents with a sense of identity and belonging to their respective states. Symbols help to connect a state's diverse population together, creating a united people.
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In the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolution, Great Britain relinquished all land that it had formally claimed in modern-day Ohio. The Confederation Congress and, then, the United States government arranged for the surveying and sale of this land.
View the Statehood entries.
At the start of the nineteenth century, Ohio was isolated geographically. The Appalachian Mountains on the east, Lake Erie to the north, and the Ohio River to the south, isolated the state from its neighbors. During the nineteenth century, new transportation systems formed, granting Ohioans easier access to all parts of the United States of America.
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Women have played a major role in the development and evolution of Ohio. They have contributed immensely to the survival of their families and their people. This was evident with native women and continued to be so as the first white women arrived in what would be Ohio during the 1770s.
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View the World Wars entries.