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Phoenix (Template:IPAc-en Template:Respell; O'odham: Ski:kigk; Yavapai: Wasinka or Wakatehe; Western Apache: Fiinigis; Navajo: Template:Spell-nv; Mojave: Hachpa 'Anya Nyava[1]) is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populous city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data.[2] It is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area (also known as the Valley of the Sun), and is the 14th largest metro area by population in the United States with about 4.2 million people in 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County, and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.Template:GR Phoenix is the largest capital city in the United States and the only state capital with over 1,000,000 people.

Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881, after being founded in 1861 near the Salt River, close to the confluence with the Gila River. The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians and other dignitaries, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O'Connor. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.

Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. In summer average high temperatures are typically over Template:Convert and over Template:Convert on occasion.[3]

HistoryEdit

American Indian periodEdit

For more than 1,000 years, the Hohokam peoples occupied the land that would become Phoenix.[4] The Hohokam created roughly 135 miles (217 km) of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable. Paths of these canals would later become used for the modern Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct. The Hohokam also carried out extensive trade with the nearby Anasazi, Mogollon and Sinagua, in addition to Mesoamerican civilizations. It is believed that a Hohokam witness of the supernova that occurred in 1006 CE, created a representation of the event in the form of a petroglyph that can be found in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park west of Phoenix. This has been interpreted as the first known North American representation of the supernova.[5]

It is believed that between 1300 and 1450, periods of drought and severe floods led to the Hohokam civilization's abandonment of the area.[4] Local Akimel O'odham settlements, thought to be the descendants of the formerly urbanized Hohokam, concentrated on the Gila River. Some family groups did continue to live near the Salt River, but no large villages existed. Yavapai also had settlements in the area. Later, Maricopa peoples fleeing enemy tribes, came from the lower Gila River near its confluence with the Colorado River, and settled alongside the Akimel O'odham.

Father Eusebio Kino (1645–1711) was among the few Europeans to travel here in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Spanish focused mostly on the Pima missions in southern Arizona; the Salt River Valley had almost no European inhabitants for several centuries before the 1860s.

Early United States periodEdit

American and European "Mountain Men" likely came through the area, while exploring what is now central Arizona during the early 19th century. They obtained valuable beaver and otter pelts; these animals, as well as deer and Mexican wolves, often lived in the Salt River Valley when water supplies and temperatures allowed.

When the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, most of Mexico's northern zone passed to United States control, and a portion of it was made the New Mexico Territory (including what is now Phoenix) shortly afterward. The Gadsden Purchase was completed in 1853. The land was contested ground during the American Civil War: both the Confederate Arizona Territory, organized by Southern sympathizers in 1861 with its capital in Tucson, and the United States Arizona Territory, formed by the United States Congress in 1863 with its capital at Fort Whipple (now Prescott), included the Salt River Valley within their borders. The valley was not militarily important, however, and did not witness conflict.

In 1863, the mining town of Wickenburg was the first to be established in what is now Maricopa County. At the time this county did not exist, as the land was within Yavapai County along with the other major town of Prescott.

The US Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to quell Native American uprisings. Hispanic workers serving the fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866, which was the first non-native settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. In later years, other nearby settlements would form and merge to become the city of Tempe,[6] but this community was incorporated after Phoenix.

FoundingEdit

The history of Phoenix as a city begins with Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War (1861–1865), who had come west to seek wealth in the 1850s, and worked primarily in Wickenburg. On an outing in 1867, he stopped to rest at the foot of the White Tank Mountains. Swilling observed the abandoned river valley and considered its potential for farming, much like that already cultivated by the military further east, near Fort McDowell. The terrain and climate were optimal; only a regular source of water was necessary. The existence of the old Hohokam ruins, showing clear paths for canals, made Swilling imagine new possibilities.

Swilling had a series of canals built, which followed those of the ancient Native American system. A small community formed that same year about 4 miles (6 km) east of the present city. It was first called Pumpkinville, due to the large pumpkins that flourished in fields along the canals. Later it was called Swilling's Mill in his honor, though later renamed to Helling Mill, Mill City, and finally, East Phoenix. Swilling, a former [[Confederate States Army|Confederate


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