The etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee (a part of the Upland South region of the United States) as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin.

In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade.

Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result.

Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed highly productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans.

During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces.

The Native American tribes of Indiana sided with the French Canadians during the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years' War).

With British victory in 1763, the French were forced to cede all their lands in North America east of the Mississippi River and north and west of the colonies to the British crown.

An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds.

In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods.

Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States; the state's northernmost tier was settled primarily by people from New England and New York, Central Indiana by migrants from the Mid-Atlantic states and from adjacent Ohio, and Southern Indiana by settlers from the Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns.

Indiana is the 38th largest by area and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. Before becoming a territory, varying cultures of indigenous peoples and historic Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years.