Name: Jordan Chan
School: Advanced Technologies Academy
Battle Born, Blow Your Horn
Imagine Halloween 149 years ago. Do images of small children running around collecting treats and little scares from neighbors and strangers alike come to mind? Do costumes and festivities and the colors orange and black and pumpkins and hayfields bear any resemblance to the sentiment of childhood? Now, would the idea of small children collecting only the memories they have of their slain parent or of fighting alongside or against a best friend or stranger come to mind? Would bloodied uniforms and funerals and the colors red, red, red and muskets and battlefields bear any resemblance to the visuals that were pictured? The former may be true, but the latter seems less likely to be. Nevada came to be a state during a time of utter peril for most of the country. Horrific battles were being fought between the Union and the Confederacy in the American Civil War (1861-1865) and it was not common speculation that some mutual agreement to end the fighting would arise. The existence of Nevada proved vital in aiding
the Union to succeed against the Confederacy. The circumstances surrounding the situation of Nevada being treated differently, in part, due to the Civil War, override the idea that the standard regulations were necessary to have been followed in order to grant statehood. Had a person be in a singular decision to endow Nevada with statehood, the original decision should not be reversed, even in the light of requirements for and circumstances surrounding statehood.
Before Nevada became a state, it bore the title of the Nevada Territory. Simple enough, until in 1863, people within the territory decided that statehood would be something to strive for. Subsequently, a meeting was called in which 39 delegates attended. Considering most were from California, a constitution was in the works basing off of the constitution for California. When presented to the people, they disagreed and shot down the constitution by an overwhelming majority. They disagreed with the issue of taxing mines. Instead, the national government took heightened interest in granting Nevada statehood. More specifically, the President at the time, Abraham Lincoln seized his opportunity to allow a strongly Republican territory into a country about to elect their next president in the year 1864. Especially in the midst of a civil war, President Lincoln did not want to give up his leadership of the country. The Nevada Territory had increased appeal compared to the other states awaiting statehood. It helped that the people of the territory also favored the Union. However, the Nevada Territory was not perfect. For one, its population was not nearly as high as other territories, which did not benefit it. Even the procedure to allow the territory to be a state was not regular. Instead of Congress being involved in the drafting of a new Constitution, the President alone worked with the people of the territory. The Nevada Territory was also moved up in order to be first on the list in creating statehood. Despite the circumstances and diluted requirements, the Nevada Territory became the 36th state. Appropriate enough, its nickname came to be known as “Battle Born.”
Nevada did not singlehandedly pull the American nation from one of its darkest hours, nor did Nevada demonstrate proper obedience of a standard protocol. Yet, the admittance ofNevada as a state aided in more ways than one. Not only did they assist in the reelection of former President Abraham Lincoln due to their strong Republican majority, they became another force on the side of the Union. There would be no hesitation had one person be given the responsibility of deciding whether or not
Nevada was entitled to statehood even after the consideration of the requirements for statehood at the time and the circumstances surrounding the situation. In light of the American Civil War, the transformation of Nevada was a positive outcome and much more a benefit than a detriment. In a more indirect perspective, allowing a great number of votes towards Lincoln guided him towards an opportunity to abolish slavery through the Thirteenth Amendment. Whichever perspective is used, there are always numerous clear and conclusive reasons as to why it was a valuable decision. So now, imagine Halloween 149 years later in the eyes of someone celebrating the arrival of statehood in 1864. They may not see bags of candy or last minutecostumes,buttheypresumablyseeexcitement,celebration,andprideforalandthatisfreeand peaceful. The relevance of Nevada has not yet faded since then, nor is it likely that it ever will.