Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
State Historical Society of Iowa
Government and Elections graphic

Government and Elections

At-Home Expedition Activities
   + Innovative Iowans Activity: Great State Seal of Iowa
   + At-Home Expedition and Iowa State Capitol Word Searches
   + Videos and Other Resources about Iowa State Capitol and Old Capitol Building
   + Iowa State Capitol Tour Quiz
   + Iowa State Capitol and Grounds Flickr Album
   + Primary Source Sets
   + Additional videos, articles and more! 

The earliest inhabitants of this land relied on rules and laws, and this practice continued on throughout Iowa's development. Native nations, such as the Otoe-Missouria, Meskwaki and Sauk, formed tribal councils and treaties. White Europeans that settled in the territory were quick to set up laws and a form of government. Today, Iowans rely on the government to provide laws, courts and other public services such as health, transportation, education, utilities, fire protection and libraries. 

Explore the activities, videos and additional resources in this at-home expedition to discover more about the importance of government and elections in Iowa. Also, learn about two featured national historic sites – Iowa State Capitol and Old Capitol Building – that have deep ties to this expedition theme. 

Design a State Seal

Did you know that Iowa has a state seal? This Innovative Iowans activity has young historians creating and designing their own colorful Great State Seal of Iowa. What images would you pick to showcase the state?


Solve the Word Search

Find the listed words hidden in the grid of letters in this Goldie's word search puzzle. The words in this puzzle are inspired by former governors of the state and territory. You can also try to solve this Iowa State Capitol word search from the Legislative Information Office. 


Explore National Historic Sites in Iowa

Learn more about the Iowa State Capitol (Des Moines, National Register of Historic Places) and Old Capitol Building (Iowa City, National Historic Landmark), the two historic sites showcased in this at-home expedition.
     + Virtual Iowa State Capitol Tour
     + Video: History of the Iowa Capitol Building in Des Moines

     + Document: Constructing the Iowa State Capitol
     + Video: Restoring the Old Capitol
     + Website: Old Capitol Museum Timeline


View State Capitol Snapshots

View a digital album with a sampling of photographs related to Iowa's state capitol buildings in the collections of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Use these visual literacy instructions to help you look beyond an image to search for clues to better understand the historic photographs.


Take the State Capitol Quiz 

After you spend some time learning about the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, try your hand at this Iowa State Capitol tour quiz from the Legislative Information Office. 


Research with Primary Sources

Analyze primary source sets to view important photographs, documents and more cataloging the history of government and elections in Iowa.
     + Caucuses and Elections
     + Government, Democracy and Laws
     + Early American Political Parties


Discover Additional Resources

Check out kid-friendly videos, articles and other resources about the history of government and elections in the territory and the state of Iowa. 
     + Video: "The Great Law of Peace" about Iroquois Confederacy
     + Meskwaki Nation Tribal Constitution, Codes and Bylaws 

     + Iowa Legislature: Educational Publications
     + Iowa State Capitol Fire of 1904
     + The Goldfinch: Capitals and Capitols
     + Video: Iowa History 101 Series: "Iowa City and Des Moines: A Tale of Two Capitol Buildings"
     + Videos: Iowa State Capitol Building and Restoration from Iowa PBS
     + Video: C-SPAN Cities Tour - Des Moines: Iowa State Capitol