The first European explorer to come to Arizona was a Spanish Franciscan friar named Marcos de Niza. He was looking for the Seven Cities of Gold when he came to the area, which was in 1539.

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Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was another Spanish explorer, who came to the area in 1540. However, missionaries made up the majority of early Arizona settlers. Fort Tucson was established by the Spanish in 1775. The end of the Mexican War caused a large part of what was known as Arizona Territory to change hands and become part of the United States in 1848. Then, in 1853, the Gadsden Purchase secured the southern part of Arizona Territory for the United States as well.

Arizona Counties – The State of Arizona was organized as a Confederate Territory that existed officially from 1861 to 1863. It was organized as a U.S. Territory on February 24, 1863 and entered the union as a state on February 14, 1912 as the 48th state. It has 15 Counties. The State of Arizona is bordered by California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Mexico. The capital is Phoenix and the official state website is http://az.gov/.

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