Indiana claims to sit at the ‘crossroads of America’ which it does as it is surrounded on the north by the state of Michigan and Lake Michigan, the south by Kentucky, the east by Ohio, and the west by Illinois. The state is an important part and center of the American Midwest. Indiana is also the smallest state located to the west of the Appalachian Mountains, barring Hawaii. U.S. settlers had the pick of the lands in Indiana after the American Revolution. This migration of white immigrants enraged the tribes of Native Americans so that war was always waged against them. It was not until the Battle of Tippecanoe in the year 1811 that the Indians were defeated by William Henry Harrison, a future president and then general during that war. The name Indiana is said to mean ‘land of the Indians’, and it was the 19th union state that received its statehood on Dec. 11, 1816. Since the year 1825, Indianapolis has been the capital city of Indiana.

There are 92 counties in Indiana with each of them serving as the counterpart of local government within its jurisdiction. It was in 1787 that the Northwest Ordinance included Indiana into the United States as a part of the Northwest Territory, but settling on its lands was very difficult. It was only through Indian removals and land purchases from the Native Americans that the lands of Indiana were opened for settlement.

The highest judicial power in Indiana belongs to their Supreme Court which has a chief justice and four associate justices. These positions are by appointment, which is through the executive power of the Governor after he or she has been elected to office. This appointed post runs for two years, after which there will be a retention ballot of reappointment. Ten-year terms are given to the successful appointees.

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