A Concise History of Kentucky
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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If nature abhors a vacuum, so too do publishers and authors. Although one of us (James C. Klotter) had coauthored the standard full history of the state and edited a high school state history textbook, and we had recently coauthored an elementary school text, none fully met the need for a concise, readable, and affordable introductory history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky ...
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1 Frontiers--Then and Now
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One meaning of the word frontier is a border between places. But those borders can be very different at different times. ...
2 Starting a State
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In its early days, Kentucky became a middle ground. It served as a crossroads where different groups met. Native Americans hunted the land. From the north and west, small groups of French explorers came to the region. A few Spanish arrive ...
3 Different Kentuckys
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Kentucky is now home to more than 4 million people. That puts it exactly in the middle of all the states in terms of population. But that ranking has varied greatly over the years. Soon after Kentucky became a state, about 221,000 men, women, and children lived there. ...
4 The Government of Kentucky
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The treasurer of Kentucky receives the tax monies paid by Kentucky citizens to operate the state. In 1888, the treasurer left his office and did not return. People last recalled seeing him stuffing money in a sack. It turned out that he had been stealing the state’s money. He had been the state treasurer for twenty years ...
5 Living in Kentucky
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Over the years, Kentuckians have lived and worked in many different ways. Because the state has numerous regional variations and diverse peoples, not all places have had the same characteristics at the same time. Fifty years ago, the lives of people in some parts of the state differed little from those of people living at the time of statehood ...
6 From Statehood to the Civil War
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Between Kentucky’s statehood in 1792 and the start of the Civil War in 1861, the commonwealth grew rapidly. On the surface, visitors found the state a good place to live. They noted the many inventions, the good college in Lexington, the strong business growth of Louisville, the rich farms of western Kentucky, and more. ...
7 The Civil War and the End of a Century
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Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office as president of the United States in March 1861. By that time, it looked as if there might not be a united nation. Many southerners feared the actions President Lincoln might take on several issues, including slavery, and several southern states seceded from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy. Efforts at compromise had failed ...
8 Working in Kentucky
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Over the years, Kentucky has been known for producing coal, tobacco, bourbon, horses, and perhaps fried chicken, but is that a true picture of its present-day economy? ...
9 Words, Music, and More
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The value of a state can be judged by many things: its economy, its health care or educational system, its justice administration, or its historical or natural resources. But one of the most important things about a state is its culture. Has a state produced great writers ...
10 Kentucky in the Twentieth Century
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In addition to the changes in literature, the economy, and education mentioned in other chapters, several other major changes took place in twentieth-century Kentucky. ...
11 Going to School
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One historian wrote that frontier Kentucky “was a battlefield not a schoolground.” Frontier people had to fight for their lives, so setting up schools did not seem so important. Yet, almost from the first year of the settlements, teachers taught students in forts and then in rough schools. ... People valued education, even with danger all around them. ...
12 Today and Tomorrow in Kentucky
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One of the reasons people look at the past is to help them understand where they might be going in the future. History can help societies plan for what is to come in the years ahead. But to do that requires knowing about the present—in this case, Kentucky’s strengths and weaknesses. ...
Appendix One: Kentucky Counties
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Appendix Two: Kentucky's Governors
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Appendix Three: Kentuckians on the U.S. Supreme Court
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Appendix Four: Kentucky Facts
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Additional Sources for Research
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2008