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The US state of Kansas, nicknamed the Sunflower State, is known for producing more wheat than any other state in the Union and thus earning the title of the breadbasket of the country. Home to the largest cattle market in the world, Kansas has an economy that is primarily based on agricultural produce.

However, before this place achieved statehood, the land of 'South Wind' had an extremely troublesome past. However, the Battleground of Freedom did indeed withstood the test of time and is culturally enriched to this day.

According to the detailed report of Kansas by the US Bureau Census, it is the 24th most populous state with a population of 2,913,314 as of July 1st, 2019. The majority of the population is white 86.3%, with 6.1% Black or African American and 12.2% Hispanic or Latino.

Total employment is around 1,203,434 as of 2018 and median household income of $57,422 and a population density of 34.9 people per square mile. With that out of the way, let's take a quick look at how Kansas as a state survived with its various cultures and traditions over the years.    

1.Bleeding Kansas 1854 & 1861

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Those who know about Kansas know for sure what the term 'Bleeding Kansas' refers to and the territory that became notorious for violent conflicts during the tense years leading up to the civil war. Between 1854 and 1861, a chain of vehement public skirmishes emerged over the administrative and sociopolitical debate over the legality of oppression.  

With around 200 people killed, the conflict's core was based on whether Kansas Territory would permit or forbid oppression. This was indefinitely a problem of countrywide significance because the decision would heavily impact the weighing scale of supremacy in the then bitterly divided US Senate.

The conflict soon transformed into ruthless mob fights and included paramilitary guerilla warfare tactics. On January 29th, 1861, just months before the American Civil War erupted, Kansas became part of the Union as an administration that opposed slavery.

While opinionated skirmishes kept on going alongside the Kansas and Missouri boundary for most of the confrontation, Kansas' Union control was on no occasion truly endangered. The Bleeding Kansas era holds a deep significance in the state's history as it showcases pressing social concerns and issues regarding the matter of oppression and up to sovereignty.

To this day, you can find various memorials and historic sites dedicated to this episode in history that later on openly predicted the American Civil War.  

2.Conduit for Civil Rights

To this day, many historians believe that Kansas and the events that folded around the region were actually a conduit for civil rights. In fact, as a state, Kansas was so much of influence that the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights (KCCR), formerly recognized as the Commission on Civil Rights (CCR), was brought into effect in 1961.

The commission was selected for the prevention of biased and unlawful acts of prejudice in opposition to the people in Kansas. The KCCR was soon then adopted by the Kansas Legislature and offered protections for people who grew with the passage of time to include people from different:

  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Disability / Handicap
  • Genetic testing
  • Familial / Marital status
  • National origin
  • & Sex

It is important to note here that Kansas was deeply supportive of diversity in people and lived in harmony for quite a long time. In fact, the KCCR was evolved from the state's Anti-Discrimination Commission of 1953 that was reorganized in 1991 as the Kansas Human Rights Commission (KHRC).   

3.John Brown & the Golden Rule

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The first person executed for treason in the United States history while soldiers celebrated him as a heroic martyr, John Brown was an American abolitionist. He considered violence as an unfortunate necessity if slavery in the United States was to be eradicated completely. While still considered a controversial figure today, he is still regarded by many as both a visionary and a madman terrorist.

Perhaps one of the most famous legacies of this man that you can visit today is the mural called the Tragic Prelude in Kansas State Capitol. There are several other books and paintings that you can find about John Brown.

He believed in the Golden Rule, which is the principle of treating others you want to be treated. Near Lake Placid, New York, there stands a larger-than-life statue of Brown escorting a black child to freedom o John Brown Road at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site.

Furthermore, Brown is mentioned on numerous historical markers according to the Historical Marker Database. There are many fan-made theories and fictional content also associated with Brown. In 1982 Stephen Vincent Benet wrote an American epic poem called the John Brown's Body, winning the Pulitzer Prize.

4.Melting Pot of Cultural Heritages

Throughout Kansas, you will find various parks and historical sites that are kept under the National Park Service's protection, such as Fort Larned National Historic Site, Fort Scott National Historic Site, and some eight more historical sites. All of these essential venues and culture deeply rooted in the art of music, literature, film, television, and sports make Kansas the mother lode of traditions and heritage.

Take, for example, music, and you will find that Joe Walsh, a famous guitarist of the rock band, the Eagles, was born in Wichita. Likewise, we have Danny Carey, the drummer for the band Tool, raised in Paola. Then who can forget The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Smallville's fictional town, Clark Kent, aka Superman's childhood home?

Kansas is also notable for its list of film sets and has been the setting of many award-wining and popular American films along with the Fox Theater in Hutchinson, which has been a part of the National Register of Historic Places since 1989. In recent times we have popular movies like Man of Steel, Looper, and Thank You for Your Service that is primarily set in Kansas.

Furthermore, Kansas offers a diverse set of the population, including 83.8% white, 5.9% black, 2.4% Asian, 1% Native Americans, and people for other places, including Hawaiian and Pacific Islander ancestry. Even though with such a harsh timeline, cultures and traditions in Kansas have withstood the test of time and are a testimony towards how people can come together and live in harmony with another.  

5.Nicodemus

As an unincorporated community that was founded in 1877, Nicodemus is named after the Biblical figure and is located in Graham County. Here you can find the Nicodemus National Historic Site that commemorates the only enduring western settlement founded by African Americans in the course of the Reconstruction Period that resulted after the American Civil War.

Every year during the last weekend of July, residents, locals, and descendants from all over the place will return for celebrations and parades. The settlement at Nicodemus was fueled by the greater movement of westward migration that occurred in the latter half of the 19th century.

Many African Americans migrated to the place encouraged by abolitionists and other public figures, including Benjamin "Pap" Singleton.

According to some historians, the name 'Nicodemus' was also chosen because it was inspired by the legendary account of an African prince who was taken into slavery; however, later on, he was able to purchase his freedom.

For all those who want to see how cultures survive, the National Historic Site is a major tourist attraction along with the Visitor Center that offers you many entertaining and informative attractions for you and your family to enjoy.  

6.Farm Life & Agriculture

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Without question, both farm life and agriculture are incredibly a part of Kansas. What else can give you a better picture than informing you all that nearly 90% of Kansas land is devoted to agriculture, and in 2015 alone, 468,400 non-farm productions in Kansas only amounted to 40.9% of the state's GDP.

This is to state that farm-life rules in Kansas and the state's agriculture output includes cattle, wheat, soybeans, cotton, hogs, corn, salt, and you name it. As of 2018, there are over 59,600 farms in Kansas that are certified organic farms. The average farm in the state is a whopping 770 acres, which is more than a square mile, and by 2016 the cost of running such a farm alone was $300,000.

However, it would be extremely unfair to Kansas's people not to let you know that Kansas is also the top-eighth producer of petroleum and natural gas. Furthermore, the economy is also influenced heavily by the aerospace industry, and some of the biggest names out there have manufacturing facilities in Wichita.    

Conclusion

Kansas is probably one of the few places in the world that you cannot simply stop rooting for, and many have claimed it as the best to live in, while others may find it lacking in the entertaining venues department. Kansas is known for its gorgeous sunsets, and even in the absence of mountains and beaches, Kansas is blessed with sunflower fields, hills, and rivers instead. 

While Kansas is a major competitor against all other states in sports, education, and economy, there is no doubt the place has seen its fair bit of struggle over the years and has a history drenched with sacrifices, courage, and bravery. Long Live Kansas!

Author Bio

Samantha Kaylee currently works as an Assistant Editor at Crowd Writer UK, a perfect place for students to get professional support from experts. She likes to jam on her guitar with her close friends during her free time and tries out new popular tunes at gatherings.