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Part 1 of 2 Montana Followed Meandering Path to Statehood

This is Montana


Rick and Susie Graetz

When Montana became a territory on May 26, 1864, Bannack, now a state park, became the first territorial capital.

From "Montana A History of Two Centuries" by Michael P. Malone, Richard R. Roeder and William L. Lang. Reprinted by permission of the University of Washington Press

Each of the United States of America – except the original 13, Texas and California – was first organized as a territory before achieving admittance to the Union as a state. Originating with the Ordinances of 1785 and 1787, the territorial system provided the expanding U.S. with a method to govern frontier areas until they gained sufficient population and economic maturity to qualify for equality with the states. Territorie...

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