Economy and Infrastructure
According to a2zcamerablog, Colorado is one of the most economically successful states in the USA with an impressive density of companies that are active in scientific research and the high-tech industry. The state of the century is rich in mineral resources, some of the largest oil and gas fields are located there, it is rich in shale gas and the state is also the largest molybdenum producer on earth. Sheep and cattle are raised in the mountains. The cultivation of maize, wheat, potatoes, alfalfa, fruit, wine and sugar beet also play a role. The largest universities include the three locations of the University of Colorado System.
The state of the century has a good infrastructure. The road network with a length of around 140,000 kilometers has been expanded for long-distance traffic over a distance of almost 15,000 kilometers. This is particularly true of the interstate highways that connect the major centers of Colorado. The highway ring around the Denver area is the most important traffic junction. From there, interstate highways start in five directions.
The Colorado rail network is 4,800 kilometers long and is served daily by two pairs of long-distance Amtrak trains. Rides on the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief are particularly recommended.
Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the USA in terms of area and the aviation hub for United Airlines. From Colorado Springs there is also a connection to the hubs in the direction of Los Angeles, Dallas and Minneapolis. Other major regional airports are Gran Junction, Gunnison, Durango and Aspen.
Colorado was once considered the Republican catchment area, but as the state capital Denver began to urbanize, it became more of a swing state over time. The most conservative and main source of Republican strength in the century-old state is Colorado Springs, while the Democrats dominate around Denver. Colorado currently has three Republicans and a majority of four Democrats in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Colorado is represented for the current term by a Senior Senator from the Democrats and a Junior Senator from the Republicans. The current governor is the Democrat Jared Polis. His predecessor, John Hickenlooper, will run for Democrats in the 2020 presidential election.
Along with Washington, Colorado is a US state that has legalized cannabis as a stimulant and allows the cultivation, sale and possession of marijuana in small quantities.
A trip into the history of the state
The first known settlement of today’s Colorado dates back to around 400 AD. At that time, the western foothills of the Indian Fremont culture settled as far as eastern Colorado. Members of the Anasazi culture lived 1,000 years before the arrival of the first Europeans in what is now the Mesa Verde National Park and erected impressive structures there, such as the Cliff Palace.
It is not known exactly when the first European set foot in what is now Colorado and began exploring it. It is believed that it was the Spaniards at the beginning of the 17th century. The southeastern part of the state of the century was claimed in 1706 by Juan de Uribarri for the Spanish kingdom. The western parts of Colorado also remained the territory of the Spaniards (New Spain), even if the Americans acquired parts of Colorado in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase from France and from 1806 penetrated into the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains as part of the Pike Expedition.
Permanent settlement on a larger scale did not take place until 1830, when Bent’s Fort was built on the Santa Fe Trail. The fort was an important trading post between the whites and Native Americans. San Luis was the first permanent settlement in what is now the state in 1851.
The gold rush created tension between Indians and whites
The relationship between the Indians and the whites was initially friendly in the High Plains. That changed, however, in the mid-19th century when gold was found in California and more and more settlers flocked to the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains in search of wealth. Tensions heightened when gold was found at the confluence of South Platte and Cherry Creek in what is now Denver in 1858.
Settlers established larger settlements on the river and in the surrounding mountains, and the Black Hawk, Central City, Nevadaville and Idaho region became the center of the gold rush in 1860. Denver City was founded in 1858 and was finally renamed Denver in 1865. The establishment of the first Colorado Territory occurred in 1861. After the rail network for the railroad company was expanded in 1870, Colorado finally became the 38th state of the USA in 1876. The silver boom reached Colorado in 1879.
The incorporation into the Union caused disputes with the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who had originally been granted the area in the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851. They defended themselves against this and attacked stagecoaches and also murdered individual settlers. In retaliation, the Colorado Cavalry penetrated an unfortified Indian village on November 29, 1864 and murdered 133 men, women and children there. The slaughter went down in history as the Sand Creek Massacre and resulted in five more years of armed conflict that ended with the defeat and resettlement of the Indians on reservations. Then came the economic crisis. It severely affected Colorado, many cities became ghost towns, others like the popular winter sports resorts Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail found new sources of income in tourism. Rocky Mountain National Park, a major Colorado tourist attraction, opened in 1915.
Colorado has landed in international headlines time and again for the past twenty years due to shooting sprees. Colorado gained notoriety on April 20, 1999 when fifteen people died and 24 injured during the rampage at Columbine High School near Littleton. In 2004, a resident of the town of Granby destroyed thirteen houses with a self-armored and armed bulldozer, causing more than seven million dollars in damage. Another rampage occurred on July 12, 2012 in the city of Aurora during a theatrical screening of the film “The Dark Knight Rises”. Twelve people were shot dead and 58 others injured in the Aurora rampage.