Part 1: Frontier Era of North Dakota

Part 1: In a Nutshell

  • A frontier is a region at the edge of a settled area of a country.
  • An era is a period of time.
  • Euro-Americans are Americans with European ancestors (“whites”).
  • People had been living in North Dakota for thousands of years before Euro-Americans came to the area.
  • The most powerful European nations (Great Britain, France, Spain) claimed possession of the land in North America.
  • France claimed all the land drained by the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
  • Louisiana was named after the king of France, Louis XIV.
  • The southwestern portion of North Dakota was part of the Louisiana Territory.
  • Fur became valuable because it was used in European fashions.
  • Pierre La Vérendrye was one of the first non-Indians to record a visit to present-day North Dakota.  He believed there was a water route leading to the Pacific Ocean.
  • David Thompson came to North Dakota about 50 years after La Vérendrye.
  • The British fought against the French in the “French and Indian War.” Indians helped the French.
  • The eastern and northern parts of North Dakota went to Great Britain after the French and Indian War.
  • David Thompson, a surveyor and map maker, has been called “The Greatest Land Geographer of All Time.”
  • Napoleon Bonaparte, leader of France, sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States for less than three cents an acre.
  • The size of the United States more than doubled with the addition of the Louisiana Territory.
  • Thirteen states or parts of states were created from the Louisiana Territory.
  • The southwestern portion of North Dakota was part of the Louisiana Purchase and became part of the United States.