The Making of the United States of America - When and How the States Came to Be
Two Came During The Rebellion (Civil War)
A Short Course in U. S. History
Reprinted with permission of Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services
West Virginia - 35
Admitted: June 20, 1863
Prior time as territory: Carved from state of Virginia
Journey to statehood: Rooted in long-standing intrastate political differences brought to a boil with the onset of the Civil War. when Virginia seceded from the Union, 35 counties west of the Shenandoah Valley responded by seceding from Virginia. To conform to the U.S. Constitution -- which required one state's consent before another could be formed within its boundaries -- a rump "Virginia" Legislature loyal to the North gave approval.
Nevada - 36
Admitted: October 31, 1864
Prior time as territory: 3 years
Journey to statehood: Supported by gold-and silver-hungry newcomers, despite concerns that maintaining a state government might be too costly. President Abraham Lincoln and Republicans in Congress were eager to admit another pro-Union state to ensure passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery.
Note: Population is at time of entry into the Union. Date of admission reflects the effective date of each state's admission, rather than the date of congressional passage. While the dates are the same in some cases, such as Florida's, the effective date typically followed the date of passage by several months.
Source: Knight-Ridder Tribune (1993)