Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie

Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie


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Revised 3rd Edition.


In Iowa Past to Present, originally published in 1989, Dorothy Schwieder, Thomas Morain, and Lynn Nielsen combine their extensive knowledge of Iowa’s history with years of experience addressing the educational needs of elementary and middle-school students. Their skillful and accessible narrative brings alive the people and events that populate Iowa’s rich heritage. This revised edition brings the story into the twenty-first century and makes a paperback edition available for the first time.

Beginning with Iowa’s changing geological landforms, the authors progress to historical, political, and social aspects of life in Iowa through the present day. The chapters explore such topics as the native peoples of the region; pioneer settlements on the prairie; the building of the railroad; the Civil War; the influence of immigrants; the formation of the state government and development of the current politic system; education; the Great Depression; religion (including a separate chapter on Mennonites and the Old Order Amish); life on the farm; business, industry, and economics; and the turmoil caused by World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. A new chapter written specifically for this edition explains the impact of 9/11 on Iowa, discusses the roles played by Iowa soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and updates information on the newest immigrant populations of the state.

The authors have teamed with Iowa Public Television's Iowa Pathways project to create a new Iowa Past to Present teacher's guide available online at <>. This guide includes additional articles, videos, links, and curriculum resources to support the textbook.

Iowa Past to Present, its inviting format enhanced by hundreds of illustrations, is informed by three of the state’s most respected historians. The latest revision continues to be an important part of the curriculum for teachers and parents wanting their children to know all about Iowa history.


Iowa -- History;

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Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City, IA


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


History | United States History

Object Description

viii, 332 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm.

Date Digital



©2011 University of Iowa Press. Permission received to digitize and make available in the institutional repository a portion of the book - Cover, Front Matter, and Chapter 1.



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Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie