Colorado [kɑ: ləræʹdo u ], abbreviated CO, US
state; 270,000 km2, 5.5 million inhabitants (2016).Colorado is
counted as the Mountain States and is often called the Centennial State,
since it entered the Union in 1876, ie. exactly 100 years after the US
Declaration of Independence. The capital is Denver.
Colorado. State Map.
Colorado is characterized by a richly varied natural landscape, which can be
divided into three roughly equal natural regions.
To the east, the Great Plains spread with flat topography and dry grass
vegetation. The area is underlain by undisturbed layers of sandstone, slate and
limestone and rises from 1,100 m above sea level. at the eastern boundary to
1,830 m above sea level. at the foot of the mountains to the west.
The rocky mountains, with the Colorado Piedmont border to the east, make up
the middle part of Colorado and form water divisions for the state's
drainage. To the east, the Arkansas and South Platte rivers flow, while the
Colorado River with tributaries dominates the west. Several individual mountain
ranges form marked altitudes; the highest peak is Mount Elbert (4 399 m above
sea level) in the Sawatch Mountains. The area holds many attractions with
ridges, valleys and high, multi-colored sandstone cliffs, such as the Garden of
Gods and Red Rocks Park.
Western Colorado is met by parts of the Colorado Plateau, which has a
topography with wide valleys and deep canyon formation, mesas and other local
plateaus, such as the White River Plateau and Grand Mesa, both more than 3,000
meters above sea level.
The climate in Colorado is dry, with cold winters (−8 °C in the mountainous
regions and −3 °C in the plains) as well as hot summers (15–22 °C in the
mountains and 28 °C in the plains). Precipitation here averages 415 mm per year
but varies regionally from 175 to 1000 mm.
The soil is usually rich in nutrients but poor in humus and varies from
muddy, dark brown to sandy, light brown soil. It is especially fertile in the
river valleys but too thin for cultivation on the slopes.
Descendants of the original Native American population (for example, out and
cheyenne) make up only a small portion of Colorado's population. The percentage
of African Americans is also limited to a few percent. 88 percent are white.
Colorado has had a stable population growth for a long time. Of the
residents, 3/4 live in Colorado Piedmont (the area between the Great Plains and
the Rocky Mountains), most of them in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan
area (2.8 million inhabitants) as well as in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
The agricultural industries play a major role in Colorado's
economy. Agriculture is usually highly mechanized. Colorado is rainfall-poor,
and the cultivation is to a large extent by means of irrigation, partly through
single-use outlets and at the price of falling groundwater levels. The most
important crops are maize, wheat, sugar beet and grass plants. Animal production
is also important. Agricultural products form the basis of an extensive food
The world's largest molybdenum reserves are found in Colorado, but as a
business, mining has declined in importance. In addition to molybdenum, some
other ores, such as uranium, are mined. Furthermore, oil and natural gas are
extracted, and coal reserves are large.
The industry is Colorado's most important industry. In recent years, growth
has been strong. Pueblo (steel industry), Colorado Springs (electronics
industry, etc.) and Denver (versatile production) are the major industrial
areas. Most important is Denver, which has the oil refinery and chemical
industry as well as manufacturing machinery, electronic products and military
Federal authorities have made major investments in Colorado. Here are
military air bases and large combat management facilities, educational
institutions, centers for US atmospheric and solar research. This, in turn, has
given rise to extensive locations in Colorado by private companies in, among
other things. high-tech industry (Colorado Springs, Boulder). In addition to the
University of Colorado, headquartered in Boulder, there are several other major
Tourism is of great economic importance and is regarded as the most important
industry after industry and agriculture. Denver, Colorado Springs and Aspen are
well-known winter sports resorts. In the summertime, nature in the national
parks, with Rocky Mountain National Park, northwest of Boulder, attracts the
best known. Denver has one of the ten largest international airports in the
Tourism and gastronomy
Colorado is visited annually by many tourists. The conditions for winter
sports are excellent; there are many ski resorts with well-developed lift
systems. Several of these are located west of Denver, such as Vail and
Keystone. Another popular area is Aspen, which also attracts visitors in the
summertime, both for nature's sake and for the cultural activities in the
city. In southwest Colorado is Mesa Verde National Park with large,
1,000-year-old Native American rock villages. Other destinations are historical
monuments from pioneer mining operations, as well as the major cities of Denver
and Colorado Springs with the nearby US Air Force Acadamy.
The uncomplicated, traditional North American cuisine characterizes the food
attitude. Large chunks of meat, preferably grilled, or roast beef or sheep, are
the basis for dinner in this livestock-rich area. Fish - salmon and trout - are
found in the many rivers and are cooked or put on the grill. Often Mexican
features occur; a preference for chilli and red beans, garlic, cumin and
rosemary prevails, not only among the many residents of Mexican origin, but also
among the American in common.
An Native American culture around Mesa Verde died out in the 1300s. The area
was later populated by Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Colorado was disputed between Spain and
France. Part of eastern Colorado came to the United States through purchases
from France in 1803, western Colorado was conquered from Mexico in 1848, while
another part was separated from Texas in 1850.
In the 1840s, a colonization began, which increased sharply when in 1858 gold
was found. A massacre at Sand Creek in 1864 was the beginning of the end for the
Native American people of Colorado, who in the 1870s were relocated to the
Colorado gained territory as a territory in 1861 and became the state in
1876. Extensive mining operations grew, agriculture developed and during the
20th century industrialization accelerated. Since the 1950s, the population
increase has been strong and tourism has become economically important.
Politically, Colorado has always had a functioning bipartisan system, with
Democrats and Republicans alternately taking over.