state of Missouri has played an important role
in the history of the United States and in
particular westward expansion. While the modern
history of Missouri owes much to early pioneers,
early settlers in Missouri also owe much to the
Native American tribes living in the area when
the settlers arrived. From Lewis and Clark to
Daniel Boone, many well-known public figures
have made their mark on Missouri history.
One of the unique aspects of early Missouri
history are the so-called Mound Builders living
in the area prior to 1673. The name Mound
Builders refers to Native American people who
built mounds of dirt to serve the purposes of
burial, residential and ceremonial activities.
Although the mounds have by now all been
destroyed, the city of St. Louis is sometimes
still referred to as the Mound City.
Although first a part of the Louisiana Purchase,
Missouri history goes on to reflect the many
European settlers that came to Missouri
beginning in the 17th century and progressing on
through the 19th. The history of Missouri as a
state began in 1821, when Missouri was admitted
into the United States. In these early days, the
history of Missouri was that of a state that was
referred to as the Gateway to the West. This was
because it was for many years the final stop for
pioneers headed west.