New Mexico (where my new series of western romances is set) was the 47th state to be brought into the Union. The battle to earn that status took decades and was not achieved until 1912. What took so long?
Racism and prejudice reared their ugly heads time and again. Washington politicians and powerful voices on the Eastern seaboard believed the citizens of New Mexico were lazy, illiterate and most of all far too ‘foreign’ (the population being predominantly of Mexican or Native American heritage). During the Civil War calls for statehood were defeated by those in Congress afraid of shifting the balance of power in the war. Following that war and in spite of a strong ranching and railroad industry and the advancement of tourism (thanks in part to the efforts of the Fred Harvey Company), bill after bill calling for statehood was rejected by the Congress. It wasn’t until President William Howard Taft visited the territory in the early 1900’s that New Mexico (and their neighbor,Arizona) finally saw serious movement in their fight to become the 47th star on the flag.
For a full history of the road to statehood, click here: https://www.canyonroadarts.com/new-mexicos-journey-from-colony-to-statehood/