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Sometime between 1540 and 1542 a Spanish explorer by the name of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado came to what later turned into New Mexico. He was looking for gold in the area. However, it wasn't until 1698 that a Spanish settlement was created by the Rio Grande River. Juan de Onate established that settlement. Then, in 1610, New Mexico's capital, Santa Fe, was established. Most of New Mexico became United States property because of the Mexican War, in 1848. However, some of it wasn't acquired until 1853, when it was included as part of the Gadsden Purchase.
New Mexico was organized as territory on September 9, 1850 and entered the union as the 47th state on Jan. 6, 1912 . It has 33 Counties.
New Mexico is bordered by Arizona (west), Colorado, Oklahoma (northeast), Texas (east), Utah (northwest). It has a has a land area of 121,593 square miles making it the 5th largest state. The capital is Santa Fe and the official state website is www.newmexico.gov/.
The 2010 population was 2,059,179 and the largest cities (2010) are Albuquerque, 545,852; Las Cruces, 97,618; Santa Fe (Capital), 70,631; Rio Rancho, 67,947; Roswell , 48,366; Farmington, 45,877; Clovis, 37,775; Hobbs, 34,122; Alamogordo, 30,403; Carlsbad, 26,138.
Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico, which didn't officially become a U.S. state until 1912, making it the 47th state to join the union. New Mexico is among the largest of the states in the U.S. In fact, it is fifth largest. It shares borders with several other states. For example, both Texas and Oklahoma border it to the east, while Colorado shares its northern border. Texas also shares part of its southern border, while the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua also share parts of its southern border. Arizona shares New Mexico's western border. In fact, it was part of New Mexico territory beginning in 1850 and ending in 1863. It's also worth nothing that the northwestern corner of New Mexico touches three other states. That is the only spot in the country where four states meet at one point. Those states are New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.
What is now New Mexico has changed hands several times. Spain claimed the region in the 1500s, but it didn't get incorporated into Mexico until 1821. Then, in 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was enacted, making New Mexico part of the United States. There have been continuing tensions among New Mexico's Anglo, Native American, and Spanish American populations throughout its history.
New Mexico, like most western states, has a long history of cowboys, pioneers, cattle drives and Native American struggles with white settlers. In fact, the state's mountain ranges and other landscapes look much the same as they did in frontier days.
New Mexico's bicentennial occurred before Brigham Young even stumbled upon the Great Salt Lake. Since it was settled so early, it has a rich history.
Coronado traveled from Arizona through new Mexico on his way to northern areas, including Kansas, as early on as 1540. In the 1580s, Rodriquez explored what is now New Mexico and later expeditions soon followed, including Onate and Espejo expeditions. In fact, Onate created a Spanish settlement in 1598 in the Rio Grande Valley, which was the first of its kind. In the early 1600s, Santa Fe was founded. Then, by 1680, the Spanish population of New Mexico reached 2,400. The Native Americans reclaimed the area that year, but by 1693 it had been reoccupied by settlers again.
In 1821, New Mexico decided to revolt against Spain. That led to the area becoming independent from Spain. The land in New Mexico was separated into three different districts in 1844. They were called the Southeastern, Central, and Northern districts. Then, in 1850, Santa Ana, Santa Fe, and San Miguel counties were formed in the Central District. Taos and Rio Arriba counties were established in the Northern District at the same time. The Southeastern District, meanwhile, was split into Bernalillo and Valencia counties.
General Kearny occupied Santa Fe in 1846, during the Mexican War, which was largely started due to the rapid expansion of the United States. That war lasted for two years and, at its end, New Mexico was ceded to the United States as part of the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty, along with a lot of southwestern land. Then Congress officially created New Mexico Territory, which occurred in 1850. What is now the southern border of the state was not established until 1854, when the Gadsden Purchase took place. When telegraph lines were run from San Diego, California to New Mexico, that added communication was enough to encourage more settlement in the area.
New Mexico was a prime stopping point for those traveling from Mexican and Spanish strongholds along the Rio Grande. That river was also helpful in establishing settlements because it could be used as a water source for crops. However, settlement was not without its problems, including Texans, Native Americans, and even lackluster handling of matters by public officials. It took 302 years from the time that Santa Fe was founded (1610) until New Mexico finally became a U.S. state.
The population of New Mexico was around 300,000 by the time it finally gained statehood, which was in 1912. Los Alamos County was established in 1949, as a result of celebrating the state's entry into the world of modern technological advancement. During World War II, the atom bomb was developed in New Mexico as a means of causing the end of the war.
These days, there are many cultures and political beliefs present in the state. It is also a center for new-age living, as well as technology, scientific research, and nuclear development.