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Indiana,midwestern state in the N central United States. It is bordered by Lake Michigan and the state of Michigan (N), Ohio (E), Kentucky, across the Ohio River (S), and Illinois (W).
Facts and Figures
Area, 36,291 sq mi (93,994 sq km). Pop. (2010) 6,483,802, a 6.6% increase since the 2000 census. Capital and largest city, Indianapolis. Statehood, Dec. 11, 1816 (19th state). Highest pt., 1,257 ft (383 m), Wayne co.; lowest pt., Ohio River, 320 ft (98 m). Nickname, Hoosier State. Motto, Crossroads of America. State bird, cardinal. State flower, peony. State tree, tulip poplar. Abbr., Ind.; IN
Northern Indiana is a glaciated lake area, separated by the Wabash River from the central agricultural plain, which is rich with deep glacial drift. The southern portion of the state is a succession of bottomlands interspersed with knolls and ridges, gorges and valleys. Limestone caves, such as the big Wyandotte Cave, and mineral springs, as at French Lick and West Baden Springs, are found there. The unglaciated soil is shallow in S Indiana, and the cutting of timber has caused erosion, but there is still extensive farming.
The capital and largest city is IndianapolisIndianapolis
, city (1990 pop. 731,327), state capital and seat of Marion co., central Ind., on the White River; selected 1820 as the site of the state capital (which was moved there in 1825), inc. 1847.
..... Click the link for more information. , in the central part of the state. Indiana Dunes national and state parks on Lake Michigan are noted for their beautiful shifting sand dunes. The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is in S Indiana. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the site of the famous 500-mi (800-km) auto race, held annually.
Although Indiana is primarily a manufacturing state, about three quarters of the land is utilized for agriculture. With a growing season of about 170 days and an average rainfall of 40 in. (102 cm) per year, Indiana farms have rich yields. Grain crops, mainly corn and wheat, are important and also support livestock and dairying industries. Soybeans and hay are also principal crops, and popcorn and widely varied vegetables and fruits are also produced. Hogs, eggs, and cattle are also important. Meatpacking is chief among the many industries related to agriculture. Although the urban population exceeds the rural, many towns are primarily service centers for agricultural communities.
There are, however, cities with varied heavy industries; prominent, besides Indianapolis, are EvansvilleEvansville,
city (1990 pop. 126,272), seat of Vanderburgh co., extreme SW Ind., a port on the Ohio River; inc. 1819. It is a rail and river shipping and commercial center for a coal, oil, and farm region.
..... Click the link for more information. , Fort WayneFort Wayne,
city (1990 pop. 173,072), seat of Allen co., NE Ind., where the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers join to form the Maumee River; inc. 1840. It is the second largest city in the state, a major railroad and shipping point, a wholesale and distribution hub, and a
..... Click the link for more information. , GaryGary,
city (1990 pop. 116,646), Lake co., NW Ind., a port of entry on Lake Michigan; inc. 1909. Gary was founded by the U.S. Steel Corporation, which purchased the land in 1905 and landscaped it for a city.
..... Click the link for more information. , KokomoKokomo
, city (1990 pop. 44,962), seat of Howard co., N central Ind., on Wildcat Creek; inc. 1865. Glass, motor vehicle parts, metal products, plastics, food and beverages, and plumbing fixtures are made in the city.
..... Click the link for more information. , South BendSouth Bend,
city (1990 pop. 105,511), seat of St. Joseph co., N Ind., on the great south bend of the St. Joseph River, in a farming and mint-growing region; inc. as a city 1865.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Terre HauteTerre Haute
, city (1990 pop. 51,483), seat of Vigo co., W Ind., on the Wabash River; inc. 1816. The commercial and trade center of a farm and coal-mining region, its diverse manufactures include foods and beverages, paper and aluminum products, farm and communications
..... Click the link for more information. . These cities were among the highest in the nation in unemployment during the recession of the early 1980s. Indiana's leading manufactures are iron and steel, electrical equipment, transportation equipment, nonelectrical machinery, chemicals, food products, and fabricated metals. Rich mineral deposits of coal and stone (the S central Indiana area is the nation's leading producer of building limestone) have encouraged construction and industry.
Throughout the state the products of farms and factories are transported by truck and by train. Indiana calls itself the crossroads of America, and its extreme northwest corner—where transportation lines head east after converging on nearby Chicago from all directions—is one of the most heavily traveled areas in the world in terms of rail, road, and air traffic. Waterborne traffic is also important; improvements on the Ohio River and the opening (1959) of the St. Lawrence SeawaySaint Lawrence Seaway,
international waterway, 2,342 mi (3,769 km) long, consisting of a system of canals, dams, and locks in the St. Lawrence River and connecting channels between the Great Lakes; opened 1959.
..... Click the link for more information. have benefited the state. With the opening in 1970 of the Burns Waterway Harbor on Lake Michigan, Indiana gained its first public port and enhanced its shipping facilities.
Government, Politics, and Higher Education
Indiana's constitution dates from 1851 and provides for an elected executive and legislature. A governor serves as the chief executive for a term of four years. The legislature, called the general assembly, has a senate with 50 members and a house of representatives with 100 members. Indiana elects 9 representatives and 2 senators to the U.S. Congress and has 11 electoral votes.
During the 20th cent. Indiana has been generally conservative and Republican, although Democrats have had some successes in gubernatorial and congressional elections. Evan Bayh, elected governor in 1988 and 1992, was succeeded by another Democrat, Frank O'Bannon, elected in 1996 and reelected in 2000. Lt. Gov. Joseph E. Kernan, also a Democrat, succeeded O'Bannon when the latter died in 2003, but Kernan lost to Republican Mitch Daniels in 2004. Daniels was reelected in 2008, and Republican Mike PencePence, Mike
(Michael Richard Pence), 1959–, Vice President of the United States (2017–21), b. Columbus, Ind., grad. Hanover College, 1981, Indiana Univ. law school, 1986. A Republican, he twice ran unsuccessfully for the U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. was elected in 2012. Pence, picked by Donald TrumpTrump, Donald John,
1946–, 45th President of the United States (2017–21), b. New York City. Prior to his election as president in 2016, he was a business executive and television personality rather than a political leader. After attending Fordham Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. as his running mate, was elected vice president in 2016, and Republican Eric Holcomb was elected to succeed Pence as governor. Holcomb was reelected in 2020.
Among the institutions of higher learning in Indiana are Indiana Univ., at Bloomington; Purdue Univ., at West Lafayette; the Univ. of Notre Dame, near South Bend; Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ. at Indianapolis (IUPUI); Indiana State Univ., at Terre Haute; DePauw Univ., at Greencastle; Butler Univ., at Indianapolis; Valparaiso Univ., at Valparaiso; Wabash College, at Crawfordsville; Earlham College, at Richmond; and Goshen College, at Goshen.
From the Mound Builders to Tippecanoe
The Mound BuildersMound Builders,
in North American archaeology, name given to those people who built mounds in a large area from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mts.
..... Click the link for more information. were Indiana's earliest known inhabitants, and the remains of their culture have been found along Indiana's rivers and bottomlands. The region was first explored by Europeans, notably the French, in the late 17th cent. The leading French explorer was Robert Cavelier, sieur de La SalleLa Salle, Robert Cavelier, sieur de
, 1643–87, French explorer in North America, one of the most celebrated explorers and builders of New France.
He entered a Jesuit novitiate as a boy but later left the religious life.
..... Click the link for more information. , who came to the area in 1679. At the time of exploration, the area was occupied mainly by Native American groups of the Miami, Delaware, and Potawatamie descents. Vincennes, the first permanent settlement, was fortified in 1732, but for the first half of the 1700s, most of the settlers in the area were Jesuit missionaries or fur traders.
By the Treaty of Paris of 1763 ending the French and Indian WarsFrench and Indian Wars,
1689–1763, the name given by American historians to the North American colonial wars between Great Britain and France in the late 17th and the 18th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. , Indiana, then part of the area known as the Old Northwest, passed from French to British control. Along with the rest of the Old Northwest, Indiana was united with Canada under the Quebec Act of 1774 (see Intolerable ActsIntolerable Acts,
name given by American patriots to five laws (including the Quebec Act) adopted by Parliament in 1774, which limited the political and geographical freedom of the colonists.
..... Click the link for more information. ). During the American RevolutionAmerican Revolution,
1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence.
..... Click the link for more information. an expedition led by George Rogers Clark captured, lost, and then recaptured Vincennes from the British. By the Treaty of Paris of 1783 ending the Revolutionary War, Great Britain ceded the Old Northwest to the United States.
Indiana was still largely unsettled when the Northwest TerritoryNorthwest Territory,
first possession of the United States, comprising the region known as the Old Northwest, S and W of the Great Lakes, NW of the Ohio River, and E of the Mississippi River, including the present states of Ohio, Ind., Ill., Mich., Wis., and part of Minn.
..... Click the link for more information. , of which it formed a part, was established in 1787. Native Americans in the territory resisted settlement, but Gen. Anthony Wayne's victory at Fallen TimbersFallen Timbers,
battle fought in 1794 between tribes of the Northwest Territory and the U.S. army commanded by Anthony Wayne; it took place in NW Ohio at the rapids of the Maumee River just southwest of present-day Toledo.
..... Click the link for more information. in 1794 effectively ended Native American resistance in the Old Northwest. U.S. forces led by Gen. William Henry HarrisonHarrison, William Henry,
1773–1841, 9th President of the United States (Mar. 4–Apr. 4, 1841), b. "Berkeley," Charles City co., Va.; son of Benjamin Harrison (1726?–1791) and grandfather of Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901).
..... Click the link for more information. also defeated the Native American forces in the battle of TippecanoeTippecanoe
, river, c.170 mi (270 km) long, rising in the lake district of NE Ind. and flowing SW to the Wabash River, near Lafayette. U.S. Gen. William Henry Harrison fought the Shawnees in the battle of Tippecanoe, Nov. 7, 1811, on the site of Battle Ground, Ind.
..... Click the link for more information. (1811) in the Wabash country.
Indiana Territory and Statehood
In 1800, Indiana Territory was formed and included the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and parts of Michigan and Minnesota. Vincennes was made the capital, which in 1813 was moved to Corydon. A constitutional convention met in 1816, and Indiana achieved statehood. Jonathan Jennings, an opponent of slavery, was elected governor. Indianapolis was laid out as the state capital, and the executive moved there in 1824–25.
Indiana was the site of several experimental communities in the early 19th cent., notably the Rappite (1815) and Owenite (1825) settlements at New HarmonyNew Harmony,
town (1990 pop. 846), Posey co., SW Ind., on the Wabash River; founded 1814 by the Harmony Society under George Rapp. In 1825 the Harmonists sold their holdings to Robert Owen and moved to Economy, Pa., where their sect survived into the early 1900s.
..... Click the link for more information. . In the 1840s the Wabash and Erie Canal opened between Lafayette and Toledo, Ohio, giving Indiana a water route via Lake Erie to eastern markets. Also in the 1840s the state's first railroad line was completed between Indianapolis and Madison. The Hoosier spirit of simplicity and forthrightness that developed during Indiana's early years of statehood figured in the writings of Edward EgglestonEggleston, Edward,
1837–1902, American author, Methodist clergyman, b. Vevay, Ind., educated in frontier schools. Before 1870 he was a Bible agent, a farm worker, a circuit rider in Minnesota and Indiana, and a journalist in Chicago.
..... Click the link for more information. in The Hoosier Schoolmaster and was represented in much later days by James Whitcomb RileyRiley, James Whitcomb,
1849–1916, American poet, b. Greenfield, Ind., known as the Hoosier poet. He was at various times a traveling actor, a sign painter, and a newspaperman. Under the name "Benj. F.
..... Click the link for more information. , George AdeAde, George,
1866–1944, American humorist and dramatist, b. Kentland, Ind., grad. Purdue Univ., 1887. His newspaper sketches and books attracted attention for their racy and slangy idiom and for the humor and shrewdness with which they delineated people of the Midwestern
..... Click the link for more information. , Gene Stratton Porter, and also in the nostalgic lyric by Paul Dresser (brother of Indiana-born novelist Theodore DreiserDreiser, Theodore
, 1871–1945, American novelist, b. Terre Haute, Ind. A pioneer of naturalism in American literature, Dreiser wrote novels reflecting his mechanistic view of life, a concept that held humanity as the victim of such ungovernable forces as economics,
..... Click the link for more information. ) for the song "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away."
The Civil War and Its Aftermath
The Civil War brought great changes in the state. In the elections of 1860, Indiana voted for Lincoln, who had spent his boyhood in the Hoosier state. Although there was some proslavery sentiment in Indiana, represented by the Knights of the Golden CircleKnights of the Golden Circle,
secret order of Southern sympathizers in the North during the Civil War. Its members were known as Copperheads. Dr. George W. L. Bickley, a Virginian who had moved to Ohio, organized the first "castle," or local branch, in Cincinnati in 1854 and
..... Click the link for more information. , Oliver P. MortonMorton, Oliver Perry,
1823–77, American political leader, b. Salisbury, Ind. He was admitted (1847) to the bar and began practice in Centerville, Ind. Morton helped organize the Republican party in Indiana and was its unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1856. When Gov.
..... Click the link for more information. , governor during the war, held the state unswervingly to the Union cause even after constitutional government broke down in 1862. General John Hunt Morgan led a Confederate raid into Indiana in 1863, but otherwise little action occurred in the state.
Manufacturing, which had been stimulated in Indiana by the needs of the war, developed rapidly after the war. Factories sprang up, and the old rustic pattern was broken. However, Indiana's farmers continued to be an important force in the state, and in the hard times following the Panic of 1873 indebted farmers expressed their discontent by supporting the Granger movementGranger movement,
American agrarian movement taking its name from the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, an organization founded in 1867 by Oliver H. Kelley and six associates. Its local units were called granges and its members grangers.
..... Click the link for more information. and later the Greenback partyGreenback party,
in U.S. history, political organization formed in the years 1874–76 to promote currency expansion. The members were principally farmers of the West and the South; stricken by the Panic of 1873, they saw salvation in an inflated currency that would wipe out
..... Click the link for more information. in 1876 and the Populist partyPopulist party,
in U.S. history, political party formed primarily to express the agrarian protest of the late 19th cent. In some states the party was known as the People's party.
..... Click the link for more information. in the 1890s.
Industrialization and the Labor Movement
Industrial development came to the CalumetCalumet
, industrialized region of NW Ind. and NE Ill., along the south shore of Lake Michigan. Once a great heavy industry and steel manufacturing center, the area has become largely residential. The chief cities of the region are Gary, East Chicago, and Hammond (all in Indiana).
..... Click the link for more information. region along Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline in the late 19th cent. Marshy wastelands were drained and transformed into an area supporting a complex of factories and oil refineries. As the 19th cent. drew to a close, industry continued to expand and the growing numbers of industrial workers in the state sought to organize through labor unions. Eugene V. DebsDebs, Eugene Victor,
1855–1926, American Socialist leader, b. Terre Haute, Ind. Leaving high school to work in the railroad shops in Terre Haute, he became a railroad fireman (1871) and organized (1875) a local of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen.
..... Click the link for more information. , one of the great early labor leaders, was from Indiana, and the labor movement at Gary in the Calumet area figured prominently in the nationwide steel strike just after World War I. Indiana was an early leader in the production of automobiles. Before Detroit took control of the industry in the 1920s, Indiana boasted over 300 automobile companies.
Indiana society in the first half of the 20th cent. has been described in a number of studies and books. The classic sociological study by Robert S. LyndLynd, Robert Staughton,
1892–1970, American sociologist, b. New Albany, Ind.; grad. Princeton (B.A., 1914), Ph.D. Columbia, 1931. He taught at Columbia for 30 years (1931–61). With his wife, Helen Merrell Lynd, 1896–1982, b. La Grange, Ill.
..... Click the link for more information. and Helen M. Lynd of an American manufacturing town, Middletown (1929), was based on data from Muncie, Ind. Midwestern life and American boyhood were portrayed realistically, and often with humor and optimism, in the novels of Booth TarkingtonTarkington, Booth
(Newton Booth Tarkington), 1869–1946, American author, b. Indianapolis. His most characteristic and popular works were his genial novels of life in small Middle Western towns, including The Gentleman from Indiana (1899),
..... Click the link for more information. . Another Indiana author, Theodore Dreiser, wrote more generally of American society in a changing age. In the 1930s and 1940s, Wendell WillkieWillkie, Wendell Lewis,
1892–1944, American industrialist and political leader, b. Elwood, Ind. After graduating from Indiana Univ. law school (1916), he practiced law in Ohio and then New York (1923–33) before he became president (1933) of the Commonwealth and
..... Click the link for more information. and Ernie PylePyle, Ernie
(Ernest Taylor Pyle), 1900–1945, American journalist, b. Dana, Ind. After working (1923–32) as a reporter, an editor, and an aviation writer, he became managing editor of the Washington Daily News.
..... Click the link for more information. , both natives of Indiana, became nationally prominent figures in politics and journalism, respectively.
Although Indiana in the latter half of the 19th cent. was regarded as a "swing state" electorally, it has generally been conservative throughout the 1900s. Republican J. Danforth "Dan" QuayleQuayle, Dan
(James Danforth Quayle), 1947–, Vice President of the United States (1989–93), b. Indianapolis. He graduated from DePauw Univ. (1969) and served in the Indiana National Guard (1969–75).
..... Click the link for more information. , elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980 and 1986, was elected vice president of the United States in 1988. From the 1980s through the mid-1990s, the northern industrial portion of the state experienced a period of significant decline, along with the rest of the midwestern "rust belt." However, the area around Indianapolis experienced significant growth with a diversified economy.
See H. H. Peckham, Indiana, a History (1978); J. S. Blue, Hoosier Wit & Wisdom (1985); E. E. Lyon and L. Dillon, Indiana: The American Heartland (1986); J. H. Madison, The Indiana Way (1986); R. M. Taylor, Jr., et al., Indiana: A New Historical Guide (1989).
Indiana,industrial borough (1990 pop. 15,174), seat of Indiana co., W Pa.; inc. 1816. It is the principal supply and trading center for a bituminous-coal mining area in the Alleghenies and has factories that produce diesel engines, medical and rubber products, food, and laboratory equipment. Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania is there.
Indiana State Information
Area (sq mi):: 36417.73 (land 35866.90; water 550.83) Population per square mile: 174.90
Population 2005: 6,271,973 State rank: 0 Population change: 2000-20005 3.10%; 1990-2000 9.70% Population 2000: 6,080,485 (White 85.80%; Black or African American 8.40%; Hispanic or Latino 3.50%; Asian 1.00%; Other 3.10%). Foreign born: 3.10%. Median age: 35.20
Income 2000: per capita $20,397; median household $41,567; Population below poverty level: 9.50% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $27,132-$28,838
Unemployment (2004): 5.30% Unemployment change (from 2000): 2.40% Median travel time to work: 22.60 minutes Working outside county of residence: 29.00%
List of Indiana counties:
- US National Parks
- Urban Parks
- State Parks
- National Wildlife Refuges
- National Scenic Byways
- National Forests
a state in the northern USA, between Lake Michigan and the Ohio River. Area, 94,000 sq km. Population, 5.2 million (1970), 65 percent of which is urban. Indianapolis is the largest city and the administrative center. The state is slightly hilly, sloping gently to the southeast. The highest point is 378 m above sea level. The climate is moderately continental with hot summers; precipitation is about 1,000 mm a year.
Indiana is an industrial and agricultural state. Of the economically active sector of the population, 35 percent is in industry and 6 percent in agriculture. In 1969, 730,000 persons were involved in processing industries and 7,000 in mining. Machine building (aircraft engines and parts, rockets and automobiles, trucks, farm and road machines, refrigerators, and radio-electronic equipment) is centered in the Indianapolis area and iron metallurgy in Gary, a virtual suburb of Chicago on Lake Michigan; these are the major branches of industry. Chemical and pharmaceutical, rubber, and food-processing industries (meat, flour, and liquor distillation) are also highly developed. In 1970,8 million kilowatts of electricity were generated by the state’s power stations.
Indiana is on the eastern edge of the Corn Belt. The most important crops are corn and wheat. Animal husbandry accounts for 55 percent of the agricultural produce. In 1970, Indiana had 2 million cattle (including half a million dairy cattle), 4.5 million pigs, and half a million sheep. More than 75 percent of the state is farmed. The number of farms in Indiana has fallen from 185,000 in 1940 to 108,000 in 1964. There are 1,000 km of railroad and 150,000 km of paved road in the state. The Ohio River and the lower Wabash River are navigable.
Until the colonialization of the territory of Indiana by Europeans, the area supported many Indian tribes. The first European settlements and forts were built by the French in the late 17th and early 18th century. In 1763, Indiana came under the control of the British. After the War of Independence (1775-83) in North America, Indiana became part of the United States. The colonization of Indiana was accompanied by a series of bloody wars with the Indians, the last in 1811-12, resulting in the extermination of the majority of the Indians and the resettling of the surviving Indians on reservations. Indiana became a state in 1816.
V. M. QOKHMAN
Nineteenth state; admitted on December 11, 1816
Indiana Day, December 11, is not a legal holiday, but has been observed sporadically since Indiana’s General Assembly proclaimed the holiday in February 1925. Schools often hold commemorative programs. The sesquicentennial anniversary in 1966, however, was marked throughout that year with historical pageants and recreations of such notable events as the signing of the state’s constitution.
State capital: Indianapolis
Nickname: Hoosier State
State motto: The Crossroads of America
State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
State flower: Peony (Paeonia)
State language: English
State poem: “Indiana”
State river: Wabash
State song: “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”
State stone: Indiana limestone
State tree: Tulip tree (yellow poplar; Liriodendron tulipfera)
More about state symbols at:
More about the state at:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 825
AnnivHol-2000, p. 206
DictDays-1988, p. 59
State web site:
Office of the Governor
200 W Washington St Rm 206
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Secretary of State
200 W Washington St Rm 201
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indiana State Library
140 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46204