Nevada Essay

Topics: Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas metropolitan area, Nevada Pages: 5 (1702 words) Published: December 1, 2011
In population Nevada is one of the smallest states of the fifty states in the Union, but it invites and receives more intense national publicity than many others. “It is a testing ground for unorthodox social theories and an outpost of solid American conservatism” (313). Because the state is so large and its centers of population is so widely scattered, no single generalization about it will suffice for a historical summary. Nevada, with its 110,000 square miles, would cover more than half of Spain. Nevada is not the largest state in the Union, but it is big enough to inspire awe in its visitors” (2). About 86 percent of the land in Nevada was still under the control of the federal government as the year 2000 opened (3). It was mainly managed by Washington because it had been largely unpopulated and unclaimed since the days of the pioneers. “The land has been utilized by Indians, miners, livestock and tourists with special interests” (3). Most Nevadans seldom stray from their valley cities, when they do, they usually follow the roads east-west crossing the mountains and valleys. Because of its vast, semi-arid expanses, Nevada has often been described as a “desert waste.” Within decades they developed cities and had some natural changes. “There was a much higher, more serene Native American civilization living in the Great Basin province and northeastern Mojave Desert regions in 1810 than there was in the 1840s when the Pathfinder, John Fremont described these bands” (26). Before the arrival of European descendants, a dozen of Southern Paiutes lived north and west of the middle Colorado basin, which one of them was Las Vegas. Las Vegas was given its name by the Spaniards in the Antonio Amijo party, who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. The areas of the Las Vegas valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas therefore came the name Las Vegas, Spanish for “The Meadows.” “There was a more or less established route between central Utah and southern California known as the Old Spanish Trail” (40). The southwestern portion became known as the Mormon Trail, it followed approximately the same route as Interstate Freeway 15 across the Las Vegas valley. Gambling and Tourism was the number one motivator for the Las Vegas growth from the 1960s to the 1990s. “Governor Henry G. Blasdel, the first elected chief executive, was not a man to mince his words on the subject” (262). Gambling was not legalized in Nevada, even though miners gambled on the side, until Blasdel was ready to leave office by 1870. Gambling was legalized and remained legal until 1910. The progressive movement in the early twentieth century was normally conservative and looked down upon gambling as an ugly vice. The progressivism began to weaken in the 1920s and the need to bolster the tourist industry began to increase, Nevada legislators re-legalized gambling in 1931. But in the 1930s, gambling was still relegated to small back-street gambling dens in the downtown area and a few Boulder Highway outposts catering to the Hoover Dam workers. “The woman’s clubs of Reno and President Joseph Stubbs of the University of Nevada revived the long-dormant sentiments of Governor Blasdel” (263). With gambling legalized, Las Vegas started its rise to world fame as the gambling capital of the world. Gambling only became the primary driving force in the Las Vegas economy because the Corporate Gaming Act. Corporations were now allowed to invest in the casino industry. In the 1940’s, Las Vegas gambling underwent a major transformation. It took its move away from the central downtown location. In 1941, Thomas Hull built the El Rancho right outside the Las Vegas City next to Circus Circus at the Las Vegas Boulevard juncture. Thomas deliberately built outside city limits to avoid higher taxes and cramped land lots. “The 1945 bill, like several other fateful proposals in the...
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