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Nevada (pronounced niv [email protected]; Spanish pronunciation: [ne’bada]), is a state located in the Western region. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th-most extensive, the 32nd-most populous, and the 9th-least densely populated of the U.S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada’s people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas-Paradise metropolitan area, including three of the state’s four largest incorporated cities. Nevada’s capital city is Carson City, while Las Vegas is the largest.
Nevada is officially known as the “Silver State” because of the importance of silver to its history and economy. It is also known by the “Battle Born State” for its Civil War statehood. The words “Battle Born”, “State of Battle” and “Sagebrush State” are also on the state flag. Its name means “snowy” (in Spanish), and refers to Nevada’s small overlaps with the Sierra Nevada mountain range. However, most of Nevada is desert and semi-arid, with much of it within The Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state’s land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U.S. federal government, both civilian and military.
Nevada is home to the Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe American Indians. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish. The snow that covered the mountains in winter was similar to that of Spain’s Sierra Nevada. They called the region Nevada. The area formed part of Alta California’s territory within the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which gained independence as Mexico in 1821. The United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican-American War, and it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War (the first being West Virginia).