Name: Jordan Nyitrai
School: Southern Highlands Preparatory School

On October 31, 1864, Nevada became the 36th state of the United States of America. Nevada is called the “battle-born state” because it became a state during the American Civil War. It is also called the “silver state” because in 1859, the first major discovery of silver was found in Nevada and made it very wealthy. Nevada becoming a state is important in U.S. history because it changed the nation by helping President Abraham Lincoln be reelected as President. Not only did Nevada become a state during the Civil War, it also happened just eight days before the 1864 presidential election. There are arguments as to whether the Union needed Nevada’s gold and silver to help pay for the war that was going on or President Abraham Lincoln wanted to make sure he was reelected and wanted another state that would vote for him. In my opinion, I believe Nevada became a state on October 31, 1864 so that President Lincoln could make sure he was reelected as President and get additional support for his 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Nevada becoming a state changed the nation because Nevada helped President Lincoln get reelected, which brought an end to the Civil War and slavery.

Before becoming a state, Nevada was made a territory of America on March 2, 1861. Before Nevada became a territory, Nevada used to be a part of Mexico. Mexico went to war with the soon to be states for independence, in the Mexican-American War. This war took place from 1846-1848. After the war, the Southwestern territories gained their freedom from Mexico and became territories of America. When Nevada was established as a territory, many settlers came to Nevada looking for gold and silver. In 1859, a major discovery of silver was found in Nevada, called the Comstock Lode. On April12, 1861 the Civil War began.

Many people say that Nevada became a state because President Lincoln needed the money from the gold and silver to help pay for the war. President Lincoln could already get the money from Nevada when it became a territory in 1861. Nevada did give the Union $400 million from silver mining to help pay for the Civil War, and 1200 men. The money given by Nevada did help the Union to win the Civil War, but it did not have to become a state to do so.

To President Lincoln, the reelection was coming soon and he thought he needed more votes to win. Adding Nevada as a state would help him do just that. Even though Nevada had the lowest population of any territory that became a state, it would help President Lincoln get more votes. To make sure that it became a state before the election on November 8,1864, the Nevada State Constitution was telegraphed really quickly instead of being delivered by train so that Nevada would become a state on time. The telegraph took two days to send and at the time it was the longest telegraph ever sent. This tells me that the most important reason that Nevada became a state when it did was because President Lincoln wanted Nevada to become a state before the election, and Nevada did help him get reelected.

After President Lincoln won the reelection, the Civil War ended on April 9,1865. The end of the war meant slavery was stopped and slaves were free. The 13th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, which was very important to President Lincoln and our nation. The 13th Amendment explains that slavery is over and is no longer allowed in the United States. All the slaves were free and President Lincoln was President again, until he was killed by John Wilkes Booth on April15, 1865, just 6 days after the South surrendered in the Civil War.

In conclusion, Nevada has great importance to our country and was very important to the history of the Civil War and ending slavery. The timing of when Nevada became a state is important because

President Lincoln believed it was needed for him to become President again. If President Lincoln was not reelected,the outcome of the war could have been changed and the 13th Amendment may have never of happened. It is hard to image what our country would have been like without those events.