The 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.

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Last Edited: 05/23/18

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