Hyundai Oregon, OR. Information Page
Oregon is a state located on the United States' northwest, and bordering the Pacific Ocean, California, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada. Its northern border lies along the Columbia River and the east along the Snake River. Two north-south mountain ranges - the Coastal Range and the Cascade Mountain Range - form the two boundaries of the Willamette Valley, one of the most fertile and agriculturally productive regions in the world. Oregon is known for its abundant rainfall, but only the western 35% of the state and a bit of northeastern Oregon is notably rainy; east of the Cascades the climate is much more arid. Nonetheless, 40% of the state is or was forested.
The state's name is properly pronounced /ˈɔr.ə.g(ə)n/. The pronunciation /ˈɔr.ə.ˌg¨»n/ is also common, but considered incorrect by residents, who have been known to sport T-shirts and bumper stickers spelling the name "Orygun" in order to educate visitors.
Its population in 2000 was 3,421,399, a 20.4% increase over 1990; as of July 2004, the population had grown to an estimated 3,594,586.
Oregon's earliest residents were several Native American tribes, including the Bannock, Chinook, Klamath, and Nez Perc¨¦. James Cook explored the coast in 1778 in search of the Northwest Passage. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the region during their expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase. They built their winter fort at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia River. Exploration by Lewis and Clark (1805-1806) and Britain's David Thompson (1811) publicized the abundance of fur in the area. In 1811, New York financier John Jacob Astor established Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River with the intention of starting a chain of Pacific Fur Company trading posts along the river. Fort Astoria was the first permanent white settlement in Oregon. In the War of 1812, the British gained control of all of the Pacific Fur Company posts.
By the 1820s and 1830s, the British Hudson's Bay Company dominated the Pacific Northwest. John McLoughlin, who was appointed the Company's Chief Factor of the Columbia District, built Fort Vancouver in 1825.
In 41 the Ewing Young died with considerable wealth, no apparent heir, and no system to probate his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral at which a probate government was proposed. Doctor Ira Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected Supreme Judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg - half way between Lees Mission and Oregon City, to discuss wolves and other and other vermin. These meetings were precursors to an all citizen meeting in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an executive council - made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale.
The Oregon Trail infused the region with new settlers, starting in 1842¨C43, after the U.S. agreed to jointly settle the Oregon Country with the United Kingdom. The border was resolved in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty after a period where it seemed that the United States and the United Kingdom would go to war for a third time in 75 years. In 1844, the Democrat James Polk ran for President on the slogan "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight," referring to the northern border of the Oregon Country at latitude 54¡ã40¡ä. Cooler heads prevailed, and the boundary between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel. The Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848.
Settlement increased due to the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, in conjunction with the forced relocation of the native population to Indian Reservations in Oregon. The state was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859.
In the 1880s, railroads enabled marketing of the state's lumber and wheat, as well as the more rapid growth of its cities.
Industrial expansion began in earnest following the construction of the Bonneville Dam in 1943 on the Columbia River. The power, food, and lumber provided by Oregon have helped fuel the development of the west, and the periodic fluctuations in the nation's building industry has hurt the state's economy on multiple occasions.
The state has a long history of polarizing conflicts: Native Americans vs. British fur trappers, British vs. settlers from the U.S., ranchers vs. farmers, wealthy growing cities vs. established but poor rural areas, loggers vs. environmentalists, white supremacists vs. anti-racists, supporters of social spending vs. anti-tax activists, and native Oregonians vs. Californians (or outsiders in general). Oregonians also have a long history of secessionist ideas, ranging from varying parts of the population on all sides of the political spectrum attempting to form other states and even other countries. (See: State of Jefferson, State of Klamath, State of Shasta and Cascadia.) State ballots frequently illustrate the extremes of the political spectrum¡ªanti-gay, pro-religious measures on the same ballot as liberal drug decriminalization measures.