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Indiana has long been inhabited by Native American peoples, and was part of the Mississippian cultural area.
The territory was claimed as part of the French empire until 1763. Following the Seven Years' War (generally known in the US as the "French and Indian War"), control of the area passed to Britain. In 1783, after the American Revolution, the area became part of the United States' Northwest Territory.
In 1816, Indiana was the 19th state admitted to the Union. As no slavery was allowed, it made an attractive destination for immigrants from Kentucky who disapproved of slavery.
At the outset of the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), Indiana was an enthusiastic contributor to the Union cause: more than three times as many men as Lincoln had called for volunteered. As the war went on with heavy casualties, war weariness did gradually begin to set in, and it was eventually necessary to introduce recruitment bounties and finally a draft (although 95% of Hoosiers who fought in the civil war were volunteers). over all Indiana supplied about 200,000 men to the Union army (about 15% of the state's entire population), and more than one in eight of these lost their lives during the war.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, industry began to arrive in Indiana which had previously been an agricultural state. This new industry included U.S. Steel and a number of automobile manufacturers. A testing facility for automobiles, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909, and from 1911 it has been the site of the famous Indianopolis 500.
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