The state of Indiana is located in the Midwest. Indiana has a
stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline to the north and is otherwise
bordered by Michigan,
Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south,
and Illinois to the west. Indiana is
one of the fifty states that, together with Washington, D.C.,
make up the United States. Its capital and most populated city
is Indianapolis. It is located in the Midwest region of the
country, Central Northeast division, bordered to the northwest
by Lake Michigan, to the north by Michigan, to the east by Ohio,
to the south by the Ohio River (which separates it from
Kentucky) and to the west by Illinois (part of this boundary is
formed by the Wabash River). It was admitted to the Union on
December 11, 1816, as the 19th state.
Indiana is mostly covered by plains. Much of the state has gentle terrain and fertile soil, which stimulated the practice of agriculture in the region. Today, Indiana is a major producer of U.S. wheat and corn.
The word Indiana means "Indian lands." Indiana's nickname is The Hoosier State (inhabitants of the State are known nationally as Hoosiers). The origin of this nickname is unknown, and there are various theories about its origin. One of them is that the word hoosier comes from Samuel Hoosier; a businessman who had the habit of hiring employees originally from Indiana. Other theories attribute the origin of the word to a local slang, possibly husher or hoozer.2
Indiana was originally part of the French colony of New France. In 1763, the region came under British control. After the end of the Revolutionary War in 1776, present-day Indiana passed into American hands, initially as part of the Northwest Territory and later as its own territory. On December 11, 1816, the Indiana Territory was elevated to statehood, becoming the 19th state of the United States. Its strategic location gave it much importance throughout the 19th century, during the movement of expansion westward towards the Pacific coast, which is why it adopted the official motto The Crossroads of America. ).
1 Indianapolis - capital.
2 Fort Wayne
4 South Bend
7 Terre Haute
Indianapolis International Airport (IATA: IND)
Fort Wayne International Airport (IATA: FWA)
I80: Joliet IL - La Porte IN - Toledo OH
I90: Chicago IL - Gary IN - Lake Station IN - Rossford OH
I94: Chicago IL - Gary IN - Lake Station IN - Marshall MI
I70: Effingham IL - Indianapolis IN - Dayton OH
I65: Louisville KY - Indianapolis IN - Gary IN
I74: Champaign IL - Indianapolis IN - Cincinnati OH
I64: St Louis MO - Evansville IN - Louisville KY
I69: Calvert City KY - Evansville IN - Angola IN - Marshall MI
Indiana is bordered to the north by Lake Michigan and Michigan, to
the east by Ohio, to the southeast and south by Kentucky, and to the
west by Illinois. Indiana is one of the Great Lakes states.
The Wabash River cuts Indiana for about 650 kilometers, running northeast-southwest. It is a tributary of the Ohio River, since it is a tributary of the Mississippi River. The latter's watershed covers most of the state. The Wabash has given its name and theme to two state songs: On the Banks of the Wabash and Wabash Cannonball. On the banks of the White River (a tributary of the Wabash, which zigzags through the center of the state) are located two large cities, which are Indianapolis and Muncie. Evansville, the third largest city in the state, is located on the banks of the Ohio River, which delimits the entire border of Indiana with Kentucky. Another important river is the St. Joe.
The northwest corner of the state is part of the Chicago metropolitan area (a city located in the neighboring state of Illinois), and is, therefore, densely populated, with more than one million inhabitants. Gary, along with the cities that make up the The northern half of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties are suburbs of Chicago. They are all in the Central Time Zone, as is Chicago. They are connected to the metropolis through a South Shore Electric railway line.
South Bend/North Central Indiana
South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart and Goshen in north central Indiana make up the region known as Michiana. These cities, which the U.S. Census Bureau has grouped into two metropolitan areas, have grown over the past 10 years into a single metropolitan area, encompassing both St. Joseph and Elkhart counties. .
The Kankakee River, which meanders through northern Indiana, serves as a dividing line between rural and suburban Indiana.
The state capital, Indianapolis, is located in the central part of the state. A nearby city is Columbus, known for its rich and modern architectural heritage.
Evansville is Indiana's third largest city, located in the southwest corner of the state.
Southern Indiana is a mix of farmland and forests. The Hoosier National Forest is a 200,000-acre nature preserve located in the south central part of the state. The topography of the southern part of the state is more varied and generally more rugged than the northern part. In this region are located the knobs, a series of hills about 300 m high, which run parallel to the Ohio River. The limestone geology of southern Indiana has allowed the natural excavation of numerous caves. Indiana is home to one of the largest limestone quarry regions in the US.
The areas under management of the National Park Service are:
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Vincennes;
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, near Porter;
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, in Lincoln City;
Hoosier National Forest, in Bedford.
We can divide Indiana into three physiographic regions:
The Great Lakes Plains occupy the northern region of Indiana. This region is characterized by its small and numerous lakes and low-lying mountains, composed of sediments left by glaciers. Its soil is very fertile, and most of the region is used for the practice of agriculture.
The Till Plains occupy the central region of Indiana. The altitudes of these plains gradually increase as one travels southward. These plains have few geographical features, and are characterized by their low, wide mountains. Its soil is fertile, although not as fertile as in the Great Lakes Plains. The highest point in Indiana is located in this region - Hoosier Hill -, 383 meters high, located in Wayne County.
The Southern Plains and Hills occupy the southern region of Indiana. It is the only one of the three regions that was not covered by glaciers during the Ice Age. For this reason, it has the most rugged terrain in the state. Much of this region is covered by forests. The lowest point of Indiana is located in this region, at its southwestern edge.
Indiana's climate is continental, in which four seasons are
distinguished, with warm summers and cold winters. Temperatures,
throughout the year, decrease as latitude increases — with the exception
of the extreme northwest of the State, where the presence of Lake
Michigan means that, in winter, the average temperature of the region is
slightly higher than in the rest from the north of the state. The
weather is relatively unstable, and can change suddenly especially in
winter. The main reason for this instability is the absence of
geographical obstacles in the State and in its vicinity, which allow the
rapid movement of air currents coming from any direction.
The average temperature in winter is –6 °C in the north of the State, –3 °C in the central region and 1 °C in the south. The average minimum is –9 °C in the north, –6 °C in the central region, and –3 °C in the south. For its part, the average maximum is 0 °C in the north, –3 °C in the central region and 8 °C in the south. The lowest temperature on record, –38°C, was measured in New Whiteland on January 19, 1994.
The average temperature in summer is 21 °C in the north, 23 °C in the central region, and 27 °C in the south. The average minimum is 15 °C in the north, 16 °C in the central region and 18 °C in the south. The average maximum temperature is 27 °C in the north, 30 °C in the central region and 32 °C in the south. The highest temperature recorded is 47°C, measured on July 14, 1936, in Collegeville. Average annual rainfall rates vary from less than 90 centimeters in the north to more than 110 centimeters in the south. Average annual snowfall rates, meanwhile, range from 100 centimeters in the north to 25 centimeters in southern Indiana.
It is believed that the first Native Americans in the region that
currently comprises the State of Indiana were the mound builders,
although they would eventually disappear from the region. The first
European explorers to arrive in the region, in 1679, encountered Native
Americans from the Miami tribe. Later, during the 18th and 19th
centuries, other tribes would settle (and leave) from Indiana, such as
the Delaware, the Mahican, the Munsee and the Shawnee, who came from the
east (they had emigrated after losing their lands to the white settlers)
and the Kickapoo, Piankshaw, Potawatomi and Wea, as well as Huron
tribes, who came from the north. The Pottawatomies would be the last
Native Americans to settle in the region, around 1795. All of these
native tribes were forced to sell or give up all their lands by the
white settlers who had settled in the region, and they had to migrate in
the direction of the west. When the Potawatomi were forced to leave
Indiana in 1838, few Native Americans remained in the state.
The first European explorer to explore present-day Indiana was the Frenchman René Robert Cavelier de La Salle, who explored part of the St. Joseph and Kankakee rivers. Cavelier would again explore the northern region of present-day Indiana in 1680. In 1682, he annexed the entire region around the Great Lakes (along with the Mississippi River watershed) to the French crown.
The French had little interest in populating the region, as they wanted to establish trading posts to barter with local Native Americans (mainly for furs). In 1732, the French founded Indiana's first permanent settlement, Vincennes. However, the British began to compete with the French for control of this trade, starting in the early 18th century. At first, the Native Americans traded with the French, but gradually they shifted to the British, who paid more for their furs, even with firearms.
In 1754, the French and Indian War broke out between the French and the British in North America. It ended in 1763, and resulted in French defeat. Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, the French ceded control of the Indiana region—among other territories—to the British. Over the next few years, the population of the region would grow very slowly, thanks to settlers from the Thirteen Colonies, who settled mainly in Vincennes. In 1778, three years after the start of the American War of Independence, a troop of rebels, under the command of George Rogers Clark, took Vincennes from the British. They took control of the settlement again that same year, although Clark recaptured it permanently in 1779.
In 1787, Indiana became part of the Northwest Territory. Then, the white inhabitants settled in the region suffered constant attacks from Native Americans, which increased drastically after the end of the American Revolution in 1783. After this, the Miami tribe carried out various attacks against settlements inhabited by people of European Union, killing various targets and destroying such settlements. Only in 1794, the Miami were defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
In 1800, the Indiana Territory was created, with its capital in Vincennes. This territory – whose first governor was William Henry Harrison, who would later be the ninth president of the United States, in March 1841 – incorporated lands that are currently part of other States, especially the entire region that makes up the current State of Illinois. The Illinois region became its own territory in 1809, which caused the Indiana Territory to acquire borders similar to its current ones. The US government encouraged the settlement of the region by selling land at low prices to those willing to settle in the region.
That same year, Harrison purchased 1.17 million acres of land from Native Americans under the Treaty of Fort Wayne. This treaty was one of the causes of Tecumseh's War, which began in 1811, when various native tribes united against the rebels. That same year, Harrison defeated the Native Americans at the Battle of Tippecanoe. After the start of the War of 1812, the Native Americans allied themselves with the British. In 1813, Harrison again defeated the Native Americans at the Battle of Thames (in the present-day Canadian province of Ontario). The main leader of the Indian forces, Tecumseh, was mortally wounded in the battle, ending Indian attacks on white settlements in Indiana. In 1813, the capital of the territory passed to Corydon. On December 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th State of the United States.
The Indiana government faced a problem after being elevated to
statehood: the complete lack of economic resources, and the absence of
sources of income that would generate benefits for the State. The
government's only source of income was a small property tax, which was
quickly implemented as an emergency measure, and which met with great
resistance from the state's farmers, who were barely able to generate
enough profits for their self-sustenance—because of the isolated
location of the region, far from consumer markets, and the lack of
adequate means of transportation. The Indiana government would receive
financial aid from the federal government during the 1820s, which would
spend uncontrollably on various programs. Uncontrolled spending had put
the Indiana government deeply into debt in just two decades, and many of
these programs were never completed.
In 1818, Indiana acquired its current borders, when the United States purchased the west-central region of Indiana, which included the area where the city of Indianapolis is currently located, from Native Americans. In 1819, the first European settled permanently in the region where Indianapolis is currently located, a city that was officially founded in 1821, and which would officially become the capital of the State in 1824, thanks to its central location.
In 1825, a Scottish reformer, Robert Owen, founded New Harmony, planning to create a community, and the beginning of a new social system, as well as the installation of various rules and joint cooperation between its inhabitants. New Harmony would be governed by progressive ideas, which were unknown at that time. Although it had some success during its first months, the lack of cooperation among the inhabitants caused the end of the experiment in 1827.
The economic conditions of the State—difficult until then—began to gradually improve starting in the 1830s, with the construction of navigation canals, which connected the rivers of Indiana with the Great Lakes (until then, agricultural products were transported by Mississippi River to New Orleans. The construction of railroads in Indiana, beginning in the late 1840s, accelerated the economic growth of the State, and caused more immigrants and inhabitants of the American East to settle in the State. Indiana's first railroad, built between Indianapolis and Madison, opened in 1847.
During the 1850s, Indiana already had an extensive railroad network that connected it with the rest of the country, and a consolidated and rapidly growing agricultural industry. In 1852, the Studebaker brothers created an industrial plant for the manufacture of railroad cars in South Bend. The brothers' industrial company, Studebaker, would later become the largest manufacturer of railroad cars in the country.
In 1861, the American Civil War would break out. Indiana, whose population was overwhelmingly abolitionist, actively participated on the side of the Union, the United States proper, against the Confederate States of America. The only recorded conflict in Indiana was the Battle of Corydon, in 1863, which took place in Corydon.
After the war, there would be an economic recession in the State's agricultural sector, caused mainly by the low prices of agricultural products and high transportation prices. All of this put many farmers into debt, many of whom moved to the cities. Indiana's agricultural sector would only recover during the 1890s. However, the creation of Studebaker and the Civil War had stimulated the construction of various industrial establishments, during and after the Civil War. In 1886, the discovery of natural gas sources in Indiana attracted various industrial companies. In 1889, the Standard Oil Company would found what was then one of the largest oil refineries in the world, in Whiting. That same year, Benjamin Harrison of Indianapolis, grandson of William Henry Harrison, would be inaugurated president of the United States. By the end of the 19th century, manufacturing was by far Indiana's largest source of income, and nearly 30 percent of the state's population lived in cities.
Indiana's industrial sector continued to grow rapidly during the
first decades of the twentieth century. Industrial companies were
installed in the State and various industrial cities were founded. One
of the most successful of these cities was Gary, founded in 1906 by the
United States Steel Corporation, which would be where the company would
install its main industrial complex. During the first decades of the
century, the state would adopt labor laws, such as the Workmen's
Protection Act of 1915, which required employers to pay compensation to
workers injured due to their errors or negligence. However, such laws
would later be modified, so much so that Indiana currently has some of
the least worker-friendly legislation in the country. The First World
War and the high demand for industrialized products during the 1920s
were two factors that stimulated the development of Indiana's industrial
sector during the beginning of the century, at the same time that the
agricultural sector suffered a great crisis due to low prices. prices.
In 1929, the Great Depression would break out, causing a major economic recession in Indiana, the closure of various industrial facilities, and high unemployment rates. This recession lasted throughout the 1930s. In 1933, in an attempt to better deal with the recession, Indiana reorganized its Executive Branch, giving the governor greater powers. Socioeconomic assistance programs and public works carried out by the federal and Indiana governments helped partially minimize the effects of the recession in the State.
In 1940, Democrat Henry F. Schricker was elected governor, although most of the elected members of the State Legislature were Republicans. That same year, they approved an act that diminished the powers of the governor, although the Supreme Court of the United States later annulled it, calling it unconstitutional. In 1941, the entry of the United States into World War II ended the effects of the economic recession that existed, due to the increase in demand for industrialized products. By the late 1940s, more than half of Indiana's population lived in cities.
Indiana prospered economically until the 1970s, with industry being its main source of income. Industrial cities such as Indianapolis and Gary continued to attract farmers, as well as people from the southern United States, mostly African Americans. Today, both Indianapolis and Gary are home to large African American communities. In 1970, Indianapolis and its home county, Marion, merged their governments, leading to the drastic expansion of Indianapolis, which took over almost the entire county.
Rising expenses forced the Indiana government to implement a sales tax in 1963. The state would increase the amount of this tax in 1973 and in the 1980s. During the 1970s, the increasing modernization of the industrial sector caused many workers will be left without jobs. During the 1980s, Indiana was hit by the economic recession that had occurred in the industrial sector of the Rust Belt States—causing mass layoffs and the closure of several factories—although the effects of the recession were significantly smaller than those suffered by other Rust Belt States. The State's economy and its industrial sector recovered rapidly during the 1990s, in contrast to the rest of the Rust Belt States.
Politically, it has been a state where Republicans have always won, but in the 2008 election, Barack Obama took a Democratic turn.
According to the 2005 census, Indiana had a population of 6,271,973,
an increase of 45,436 (or 0.7%) over the previous year and an increase
of 191,456 inhabitants (or 3.1%), compared to the year 2000. The
population increase since the last census is due to a natural increase
of 159,488 people (451,681 births minus 292,193 deaths) and a net
migration of 38,656 people in the state. External migrations have led to
a net gain of 55,656 people, while internal migrations have led to a net
loss of 17,000 people.
In 2005, 3.9% of the state's residents (242,281) were not born in the United States.
Indiana's population growth, since 1990, has been concentrated in the counties around Indianapolis, where four of the five counties with the highest population growth rates in the State are located: Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson and Hancock. The fifth county is Dearborn, located near Cincinnati. For its part, demographic decline is concentrated in a series of counties that geographically form a line between Logansport and Richmond. Three other counties that also experienced population decline, located along the Wabash and Ohio Rivers, were Vigo, Knox and Perry.
The largest ethnic groups in Indiana are Germans (comprising 22.7% of
the state's population), Americans (12.0%; the majority of Scottish and
English descent), Irish (10.8%), English (8.9%), African Americans
(8.4%) and Poles (3.0%). Only 91.9% of Hoosiers specified an ancestry in
the 2000 census.
Germans are the largest ethnic group in Indiana. According to the 2000 census, out of every four whites, one was of primarily German ancestry. People of American (mostly whites of British ancestry) and British ancestry are also present throughout Indiana, especially in the southern and central regions of the state. Gary and other Indiana suburbs of Chicago, along with the city of Indianapolis, are home to large African American communities.
South Bend has a large Polish population, and in Mishawaka there are a reasonable number of people of Belgian descent. In South Bend, city residents celebrate Easter Monday, the Polish celebration of the end of Lent.
Elkhart County has a large Hispanic population, particularly in the city of Goshen. These areas, previously dominated by people of German and Dutch descent, now have a high concentration of Hispanic (mostly Mexican) business establishments, so much so that many city signs and license plates are bilingual.
The distribution of the population by age in 2004 was:
Less than 5 years: 6.9%
Less than 18 years old: 25.7%
Over 65 years: 12.4%
Females make up 50.8% of Indiana's population.
Religious affiliations of the population of Indiana:
Christianity 72% - 4,853,481
Protestants 54% - 3,640,111
Catholics 18% - 1,213,370
Other religions 2% - 134,818
No religion 26% - 1,112,646
In regards to religion, the population of Indiana is predominantly Protestant, although there is also a significant Catholic population, which is emphasized by the presence of the University of Notre Dame, as well as the growing system of parochial schools in major areas. metropolitan. Southern Indiana is home to a number of Catholic monasteries and one of the two archabbeys in the United States, Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Indiana is home to a large and influential proportion of Amish and Mennonites, especially in Elkhart and LaGrange counties to the north, and smaller numbers in Parke County to the west. The state has the largest population of members of the Church of Christ in the entire nation.
Catholic and Protestant (mainline) churches have a strong presence in cities, while rural areas tend to be dominated by evangelical and fundamentalist churches, as well as independent Baptist and Pentecostal churches. Two conservative denominations, the Free Methodist Church and the Wesleyan Church, are headquartered in Indianapolis.
The Islamic Society of North America is headquartered in Plainfield, west of Indianapolis. There are significant numbers of Jews in urban areas, especially in Indianapolis, South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Terre Haute.
Indiana's gross domestic product was $214 billion in 2005, ranking
5th in the nation. The per capita income in 2005 was $31,276. The
unemployment rate is 3.3%.
Indiana is located in the Corn Belt, as reflected in its agricultural products. The main one is corn, although soy also occupies an important place. The state's proximity to large urban centers, such as Chicago, ensures the production of milk, eggs and vegetables. Specialty crops include melons (in the southern Wabash Valley), tomatoes (cultivated in central Indiana), grapes, and mint. In addition, Indiana is a significant producer of tobacco. Most of the original land was not grassland and had to be cleared for cultivation. However, some patches of forest mass remain intact, and much of the state's mountainous south is also widely covered by forest (allowing for the existence of a local timber sector, which specializes in furniture production).
Much of Indiana's revenue comes from industry. The Calumet region, in the northwest, is the largest steel center in the United States, and this activity requires the generation of large amounts of electricity, making the electricity sector another of the State's main sources of income. Other industrial products from Indiana are automobiles, electrical equipment, transportation equipment, chemical products, rubber, oil and coal derivatives, and industrial machinery. Indianapolis is home to the main headquarters of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, as well as the headquarters of Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Elkhart, in the north, also had a strong pharmaceutical industry, although this has changed in recent times, with the closure of Whitehall Laboratories in the 1990s, and with the closure of the Bayer factory in the city, announced at the end of 2005.
Despite its dependence on the manufacturing industry, Indiana has been significantly less affected by the economic recession that occurred in the industrial sector in neighboring states, in the so-called Rust Belt. Certain factors in the labor market seem to have the explanation. First, much of heavy industry, such as machinery and steel production—traditional Indiana industries—requires a highly skilled workforce—which exists in abundance in the state—and companies are often willing to locate in Indiana. , due to the lack of qualified labor in other regions. Second, Indiana's workforce is primarily located in midsize cities, rather than large metropolises, where costs (like taxes, for example) are generally more expensive. This makes it possible for large companies—with workers' acceptance—to pay slightly lower wages than such workers would receive in other regions of the country. In other words, companies often see Indiana as an opportunity to obtain qualifications above the national average, while paying wages below the national average.
When it comes to mining, Indiana is well known for its decorative limestone from the southern part of the state, especially Lawrence County. One of the many public buildings clad with this stone is The Pentagon (after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Indiana mining industry made a special effort to replace the damaged walls with a coating almost identical to the original in terms of materials and cutting). There are also large coal mines in the southern part of the state. Like most Great Lakes states, Indiana has small and medium-sized operating oil fields. They are mainly concentrated in the far southwest, although it is possible to see operating derricks in the suburbs of Terre Haute.
Indiana's economy is considered one of the most employer-friendly in the United States. This is due in part to its conservative business and industrial climate, low taxes charged on commercial and industrial establishments, and many labor laws that have not changed since the mid-19th century, which emphasize the supremacy of the employer and disadvantage workers. For example, employers can fire workers at any time, without just cause. Indiana labor unions have a weak presence, and it is difficult to organize one. Indiana is said to be a post-industrial state with a pre-industrial mind when it comes to workers' rights. With isolated exceptions in university areas, such as Bloomington and Lafayette, Indiana is not very receptive to innovations and technological advances. Most Indiana political leaders continue to emphasize the state's traditional economic base, agriculture and industry.
The government of the state of Indiana has a division of powers:
executive, legislative and judicial.
The chief executive branch official in Indiana is the governor. This is elected by the voters of the state for a term of up to four years, and may hold this position without a term limit. The governor of Indiana has several powers that governors of other states do not have, such as the power to not only appoint the leaders of most of the various departments of the State Executive, but also the power to adjust the salaries of these people and to remove such persons from office at any time. The current governor of Indiana is Eric Holcomb, elected in November 2020.
The Legislative Branch of Indiana—officially called the General Assembly—is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has a total of 50 members, while the House of Representatives has 100. Indiana is divided into 100 legislative districts. The voters of each district elect one senator and two representatives, who will represent said district in the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively. Senators have a term of up to four years, while the term of office of representatives is two. There is no limit to the number of terms a given person can serve.
The highest courts of the Indiana Judicial Branch are the Indiana Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of Indiana. The Supreme Court consists of four judges and a chief justice (the latter cannot have political affiliation), while the Court of Appeals consists of 15 judges. With the exception of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, all judges of the two aforementioned courts are elected by the governor for terms of up to two years. Such judges may continue to serve in the event that the population of the State, in a vote, decides to continue having such judge in office. In that case, the judge's term is extended to 10 years, and can be extended again after the end of this period.
About half of Indiana's government budgets are generated by state taxes, while the remainder comes from federally provided budgets and borrowing. In 2002, the State government spent 22,205 million dollars, having generated another 20,116 million. Indiana's public debt is $9.456 billion. The debt per capita is $1,536, the value of state taxes per capita is $1,657, and the value of government expenditures per capita is $3,606.
The current Indiana Constitution was adopted in 1851, while its first constitution was approved in 1816. The Indiana Legislature can propose amendments to the Constitution, and to be approved, they need to obtain 51% of the votes of both chambers of the Legislature in two successive votes, and then be ratified by at least 51% of the electoral population, in a referendum. This is the only way to make amendments to the Constitution, as Indiana does not allow constitutional petitions or conventions.
Indiana is divided into 92 counties. Of these, 91 are governed by a council of commissioners, made up of three members, elected by the population of the county in question for a term of up to four years. The other county, Marion, has adopted a joint management program with the city of Indianapolis. Currently, Marion County is administered by a mayor and a 29-member city council, along with the city of Indianapolis. In addition to counties, there are other administrative divisions, such as main cities (cities) and secondary cities (towns), and municipalities. The political administration format of these divisions is set by the government, and all these divisions must follow these patterns. Currently, all cities in the State are governed by a mayor and a municipal council.
Historically, Indiana has been dominated politically by the
Republican Party since the American Civil War, although the influence of
the Democratic Party has been slowly growing since the Great Depression
of the 1930s. Since voting for Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater in
1964 , Indiana has not sided with any Democratic presidential candidate,
with the exception of Barack Obama in 2008. Indiana polls are the first
to close on Election Day, and it is almost invariably the first state to
During presidential campaigns, candidates often pay little attention to Indiana, although for different reasons. The Republicans are certain that they will win the state, while the Democrats do not want to make an effort to win votes in a state dominated by the Republicans.
However, half of Indiana's governors of the 20th century have been Democrats, although their policies have been considerably more right-oriented than those of Democrats in other parts of the country.
Most Hoosiers identify as "conservative," and right-leaning talk radio shows, like Rush Limbaugh's, have a wide audience. Gun policy, unions, gay marriage or workers' rights are not popular issues among many Hoosiers, which explains their adherence to the Republican Party. However, attempts by political pressure groups or even state legislators to make the state “more conservative” have had little success.
Indiana was the first State to institute a public state education
system—schools and institutions of higher education—in the United
States, in 1816. The necessary budgets for this public system would come
from the creation of new taxes. However, many Indiana residents were
against paying taxes for educational services, and this public system
was quickly canceled in a large part of the State (it could only operate
in the main urban centers). In 1851, Indiana again created a state
public school system, this time, successfully.
Currently, all educational institutions in Indiana must follow certain rules and standards dictated by the Indiana State Board of Education. This board directly controls the state's public school system, which is divided into several school districts. The council is made up of eleven members. One of them is the superintendent of education, who leads the council, and is chosen by the governor for a term of up to four years. The remaining ten members are elected by the population of the State, also for a term of up to four years.
Each major city (city), various secondary cities (towns), and each county consists of at least one school district. In cities, the responsibility for managing schools falls to the municipal school district, while in less densely populated regions, this responsibility falls to the school districts operating in the county. Indiana allows the existence of charter schools — independent public schools, which are not managed by school districts, but which depend on public budgets for their support. Schooling is compulsory for all children and adolescents over seven years of age, until the completion of secondary education or until the age of seventeen, although they can leave at sixteen if they have the permission of the school director and from his parents.
In 1999, the State's public schools served approximately 988,700 students, employing approximately 58,900 teachers. For their part, private schools served approximately 105,500 students, employing approximately 7,400 teachers. The State's public school system used about $6.697 million, and public school spending was approximately $7,200 per student. About 86.4% of the state's inhabitants over 25 years of age have a high school diploma.
The first state library was founded in 1807, in Vincennes. Indiana currently has thousands of libraries, managed by 239 different public library systems, moving an average of 11.1 books per capita annually.
The first institution of higher education in Indiana was the Indiana Seminar – now the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington – founded in 1820. Currently, the state has 99 institutions of higher education, of which 29 are public and 70 are private. The most recognized universities in Indiana are: Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.
Indiana is a national crossroads and a major transportation hub. The
main railway, road and airport center of the State is Indianapolis,
while its main port is Gary. The main airports are Indianapolis,
Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend.
In 2002, Indiana had 6,861 kilometers of railroads and 152,239 kilometers of highways, of which 1,881 kilometers were interstate highways, considered part of the United States federal highway system. The main Interstates that pass through the state are: I-69, I-65, I-94, I-70, I-74, I-64, I-80, and I-90.
Indiana's first newspaper, the Indiana Gazette, was first printed in 1804, in Vincennes. Currently, about 270 newspapers are published in the State, of which approximately 72 are daily newspapers. Indiana's first radio station was founded in 1921, in Bloomington, and the first television station, in 1949, in Indianapolis. In 2002, Indiana had about 219 radio stations (of which 79 were AM and 140 were FM) and 36 television stations.
Indiana has two major league sports teams: the Indiana Pacers of the
National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the
National Football League.
The state has a long tradition in college basketball. The Indiana Hoosiers have achieved five NCAA and 21 Big Ten Conference national championships. The Purdue Boilermakers reached an NCAA national final, but they surpass their rivals in Big Ten championships with 22 and in direct meetings with 57% of victories. High school championships are also very popular.
In college football, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have achieved multiple national championships and have won the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Meanwhile, the Purdue Boilermakers won ten Big Ten Conference championships and won the Rose Bowl and the Peach Bowl.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an oval where the Indianapolis 500 has been held since 1911, one of the most famous motorsports races in the world and the epicenter of the AAA, USAC, CART and currently the IndyCar Series single-seater championships. The circuit began hosting other races in the 1990s, including the NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400, the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix and the Indianapolis Grand Prix of the World Motorcycle Championship.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis Raceway Park has hosted the U.S. Races. Nationals, the National Hot Rod Association's premier drag race.
Crooked Stick Golf Club has hosted the PGA Championship, US Open, US Women's Open, US Veterans Open, Solheim Cup and the BMW Championship.
The state has a professional soccer team, the Indy Eleven of Indianapolis, which competes in the North American Soccer League, the second division of soccer in the United States.