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Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State

Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State

Kevin F. Kern, Gregory S. Wilson

ISBN: 978-1-118-54832-5

Aug 2013, Wiley-Blackwell

544 pages



Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State explores the breadth of Ohio’s past, tracing the course of history from its earliest geological periods to the present day in an accessible, single-volume format.

  • Features the most up-to-date research on Ohio, drawing on material in the disciplines of history, archaeology, and political science
  • Includes thematic chapters focusing on major social, economic, and political trends
  • Amply illustrated with maps, drawings, and photographs

Receipient of the Ohio Geneological Society's Henry Howe Award in 2014

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List of Figures viii

Acknowledgments xii

1 Ohio Before Ohio: State Geology and Topography 1

Geology 2

Topography 7

Importance of Ohio Geology and Topography 13

2 The First Ohioans: Prehistoric Ohio 20

Paleo-Indian Period (c. ?–c. 11,000 years ago) 22

The Archaic Period (c. 11,000–c. 2,800 years ago) 24

The Woodland Period (c. 3,000–c. 1,000 years ago) 29

Late Prehistoric Period (c. 1,100–c. 400 years ago) 42

3 The Middle Ground: European and Native American Interaction in Ohio 47

Early Effects of European Contact 49

Ohio as “The Middle Ground” 52

Colonial Wars and Life in Middle Ground Ohio 54

4 War and Peace: The End of “Middle Ground” Ohio 67

The Resistance of 1763 68

Lord Dunmore’s War 75

The American Revolution 79

The Western Confederacy and the End of the Middle Ground 87

5 The Ohio Experiment: Formation of the Northwest Territory, Early American Settlements, and Statehood 100

Clearing Title and Related Problems 101

Organizing Ohio and the Birth of the Public Land System 102

Early Ohio Settlements 113

From Territory to State 117

6 A Community of Communities: Early Ohio Society 125

Demographics 126

Social Conflict 138

Reform 141

7 Revolutions: Early Ohio Economic Developments 160

Early Ohio’s Economy 161

Economic Revolutions 166

8 From Periphery to Center: Early Statehood and National Politics 185

Early Statehood Politics 186

The War of 1812 192

State and National Politics, 1815–36 200

Political Ascendance and its Problems 206

Sectional Politics and the End of the Second Party System 208

The Constitution of 1851 210

9 Ohio Must Lead! The Civil War and Reconstruction 214

Ohio and Sectional Conflict 216

Ohio and the Civil War 222

Ohio’s Civil War Contribution: A Summary 234

The Reconstruction Period, 1865–77 240

10 Why Ohio? Late Nineteenth-Century Politics and Presidents 247

Why Ohio? 247

State Politics 249

Ohio’s Presidents from Hayes to McKinley 256

11 The Making of an Industrial State: 1865–1920 280

Industrialization 281

Location and Transportation 283

Natural Resources 287

Finances, Entrepreneurs, and Innovation 288

People 294

Industrial Work and the Rise of Organized Labor 307

12 Urban Life, Leisure, and Political Activism: 1880–1920 316

Urban Life and Leisure 317

Urban Political Reform 324

Women’s Activism 331

Education 336

Conclusion 338

13 Reform and the Great War: 1912–1920 340

The 1912 State Constitution 341

The 1912 Elections 343

The Flood of 1913 347

Ohio and the Great War 349

The 1920 Election 358

Summary 359

14 Boom, Bust and War: 1920–1945 361

The Economy and Politics in the 1920s 363

Social and Cultural Conflict 366

Literary Critics of Ohio 370

The Great Depression and the New Deal 376

World War II 387

At War’s End 393

15 Affluence and Anticommunism 396

The Postwar Boom 397

Migration and the Changing Cities 404

The Cold War and Ohio Politics 411

Conclusion 424

16 Rebellion and Reaction: The 1960s 426

The Struggle for Black Equality 427

Carl and Louis Stokes 434

Resurgence of Women’s Activism 436

Emerging Environmental Issues 440

Escalation: Vietnam and Politics 444

Campus Unrest and the Kent State Shootings 451

17 Ohio since 1970 457

Stagnation and Decline 458

Politics in the 1970s and 1980s 467

Towards the Future: Ohio since the 1990s 476

Summing Up: Ohio as America 485

Index 490

2014 receipient of the Henry Howe Award, presented by the Ohio Genealogical Society

“Kevin F. Kern and Gregory S. Wilson have produced a very readable and accessible text.”  (Akron Beacon Journal, 6 October 2013)