The Making of the United States of America - When and How the States Came to be - Three More Came Before the Rebellion (Civil War)
Reprinted with permission of Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services
Admitted: May 11, 1858
Prior time as territory: 9 years
Journey to statehood: Resisted by some in congress who disliked a liberal state constitution that extended voting rights to illegal aliens and Indians. Others complained that carving a sixth state out of the so-called Northwest Territory - the others were Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin - violated a limit set by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Neither concern was enough to block statehood.
Admitted: February 14, 1859
Prior time as territory: 11 years
Journey to statehood: Zigzagged through the 1850s. The populace first rejected statehood in three plebiscites, then reversed its decision, drafted a constitution, elected representatives and proclaimed itself a state, Tennessee-style, with no enabling act. Congress eventually went along, after a fight over Oregon's discrimination against free blacks and Chinese.
Admitted: January 29, 1861
Prior time as territory: 7 years
Journey to statehood: The bloodiest in U.S. history. It started with an 1854 territorial act repealing the geographical restrictions of the Missouri Compromise and allowing settlers to decide the slavery question. As a result, both sides stocked the state with partisans, drafted conflicting constitutions and formed rival governments. A civil war broke out. The free-staters eventually prevailed, and "Bleeding Kansas" was admitted as a Tennessee-plan state.
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)