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Arkansas () is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, United States * ''Our Sta ...
in the South Central region of the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the
Osage language Osage (; Osage: ''Wazhazhe ie'') is a Siouan language that was spoken by the Osage people of Oklahoma. Osage has an inventory of sounds very similar to that of Dakota, plus vowel length, preaspirated obstruents and an interdental fricative (lik ...
, a Dhegiha Siouan language, and referred to their relatives, the
Quapaw The Quapaw (or Arkansas and Ugahxpa) people are a tribe of Native Americans that coalesced in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The Dhegiha Siouan-speaking tribe historically migrated from the Ohio Valley area to the west side of the Mississippi River ...
people. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the
Ozark The Ozarks, also known as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the extreme southeastern corner of Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arka ...
and
Ouachita Mountains The Ouachita Mountains (), simply referred to as the Ouachitas, are a mountain range in western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. They are formed by a thick succession of highly deformed Paleozoic strata constituting the Ouachita Fold and Thrus ...
, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the
Arkansas Timberlands The Arkansas Timberlands (sometimes also called Southern Arkansas or Southwest Arkansas) is a region of the U.S. state of Arkansas generally encompassing the area south of the Ouachita Mountains, south of Central Arkansas and west of the Arkansas ...
, to the eastern lowlands along the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
and the
Arkansas Delta The Arkansas Delta is one of the six natural regions of the state of Arkansas. Willard B. Gatewood Jr., author of ''The Arkansas Delta: Land of Paradox'', says that rich cotton lands of the Arkansas Delta make that area "The Deepest of the Deep So ...
. Arkansas is the 29th largest by area and the 33rd most populous U.S. state. The capital and most populous city is
Little Rock (The "Little Rock") , government_type = Council-manager , leader_title = Mayor , leader_name = Frank Scott Jr. , leader_party = D , leader_title2 = Counc ...

Little Rock
, in the central part of the state, a hub for transportation, business, culture, and government. The northwestern corner of the state, including the
Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area Northwest Arkansas (NWA) is a metropolitan area and region in Arkansas within the Ozark Mountains. It includes four of the ten largest cities in the state: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville, the surrounding towns of Benton and Wash ...
and
Fort Smith metropolitan area The Fort Smith Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is a five-county area including three Arkansas counties and two Oklahoma counties, and anchored by the city of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The total MSA populatio ...
, is a population, education, and economic center. The largest city in the state's eastern part is Jonesboro. The largest city in the state's southeastern part is Pine Bluff. Previously part of
French Louisiana This map shows the Louisiana Purchase area, which corresponds with much of colonial French Louisiana, but the colony extended further into the Illinois Country.The term French Louisiana refers to two distinct regions: * first, to Louisiana (New ...
and the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane 'Sale of Louisiana') was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately eighteen dollars per s ...

Louisiana Purchase
, the
Territory of Arkansas The Arkansas Territory was a territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1819, to June 15, 1836, when the final extent of Arkansas Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas. Arkansas Post was the first territoria ...
was admitted to the Union as the 25th state on June 15, 1836. Much of the Delta had been developed for cotton plantations, and landowners there largely depended on enslaved African Americans' labor. In 1861, Arkansas seceded from the United States and joined the
Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was an unrecognized breakaway state in existence from February 8, 1861, to May 9, 1865, that fought against the United States of Ameri ...

Confederate States of America
during the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country. The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region or t ...
. On returning to the Union in 1868, Arkansas continued to suffer economically, due to its overreliance on the large-scale
plantation economy A plantation economy is an economy based on agricultural mass production, usually of a few commodity crops grown on large farms called plantations. Plantation economies rely on the export of cash crops as a source of income. Prominent crops includ ...
. Cotton remained the leading commodity crop, and the cotton market declined. Because farmers and businessmen did not diversify and there was little industrial investment, the state fell behind in economic opportunity. In the late 19th century, the state instituted various
Jim Crow laws Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. These laws were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Southern Democrat-dominated state legislatures to disenfranchis ...

Jim Crow laws
to disenfranchise and segregate the African-American population. During the 1950s, during the
civil rights movement#REDIRECT Civil rights movement#REDIRECT Civil rights movement {{Rcat shell, {{R from other capitalisation {{R from related ...
{{Rcat shell, {{R from other capitalisation {{R from related ...
, Arkansas and particularly Little Rock were major battlegrounds for efforts to integrate schools.
White White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of fresh snow, chalk and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. White on television and ...
interests dominated Arkansas's politics, with disfranchisement of African Americans and refusal to reapportion the legislature. Only after the
civil rights movement#REDIRECT Civil rights movement#REDIRECT Civil rights movement {{Rcat shell, {{R from other capitalisation {{R from related ...
{{Rcat shell, {{R from other capitalisation {{R from related ...
and federal intervention were more African Americans able to vote. The Supreme Court overturned rural domination in the South and other states that had refused to reapportion their state legislatures or retained rules based on geographic districts. In the landmark ruling of ''
one man, one vote One man, one vote (or one person, one vote) expresses the principle that individuals should have equal representation in voting. This slogan is used by advocates of political equality to refer to such electoral reforms as universal suffrage, proport ...
'', it held that states had to organize their legislatures by districts that held approximately equal populations, and that these had to be redefined as necessary after each decade's census. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
, Arkansas began to diversify its economy and see prosperity. During the 1960s, the state became the base of the
Walmart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansa ...
corporation, the world's largest retailer, headquartered in Bentonville. In the 21st century, its economy is based on service industries, aircraft, poultry, steel, and tourism, along with important commodity crops of cotton,
soybeans The soybean or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and tofu skin ar ...

soybeans
and
rice Rice is the seed of the grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', both wild and domesticated, a ...
. Arkansas's culture is observable in museums, theaters, novels, television shows, restaurants, and athletic venues across the state. Notable people from the state include politician and educational advocate William Fulbright; former president
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton (''né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his presidency, he served as governor of Arkansas ...

Bill Clinton
, who also served as the 40th and 42nd governor of Arkansas; general
Wesley Clark Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr. (born December 23, 1944) is a retired general of the United States Army. He graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1966 at West Point and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, where he obtained ...
, former
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. The ...
Supreme Allied Commander Supreme Allied Commander is the title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances. It originated as a term used by the Allies during World War I, and is currently used only within NATO - for Supreme Allied Comm ...
;
Walmart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansa ...
founder and magnate
Sam Walton Samuel Moore Walton (March 29, 1918 – April 5, 1992) was an American businessman and entrepreneur best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. grew to be the world's largest corporation by revenue as well ...
; singer-songwriters
Johnny Cash John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later s ...
,
Charlie Rich Charles Allan Rich (December 14, 1932July 25, 1995) was an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. His eclectic style of music was often difficult to classify, encompassing the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, soul, and gospel ...
,
Jimmy Driftwood James Corbitt Morris (June 20, 1907 – July 12, 1998), known professionally as Jimmy Driftwood or Jimmie Driftwood, was an American folk music songwriter and musician, most famous for his songs "The Battle of New Orleans" and "Tennessee Stud". ...
, and
Glen Campbell Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor and television host. He was best known for a series of hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting ''The Glen Campbell Goodti ...

Glen Campbell
; actor-filmmaker
Billy Bob Thornton Billy Bob Thornton (born August 4, 1955) is an American actor, filmmaker, and musician. He had his first break when he co-wrote and starred in the 1992 thriller ''One False Move'', and received international attention after writing, directing, an ...

Billy Bob Thornton
; poet C. D. Wright; and physicist William L. McMillan, a pioneer in superconductor research.


Etymology and pronunciation

The name ''Arkansas'' initially applied to the
Arkansas River The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States ...
. It derives from a
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, a French language which originated in France, and its various dialects ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Fr ...
term, ''Arcansas'', their plural term for their transliteration of ''akansa'', an Algonquian term for the
Quapaw The Quapaw (or Arkansas and Ugahxpa) people are a tribe of Native Americans that coalesced in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The Dhegiha Siouan-speaking tribe historically migrated from the Ohio Valley area to the west side of the Mississippi River ...
people. These were a Dhegiha Siouan-speaking people who settled in Arkansas around the 13th century. ''Akansa'' is likely also the root term for
Kansas Kansas () is a state in the Midwestern United States. Its capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska to the north; Missouri to the east; Oklahoma to the south; and Colorado to the west. Kansas is named af ...
. The name has been pronounced and spelled in a variety of ways. In 1881, the state legislature defined the official pronunciation of Arkansas as having the final "s" be silent (as it would be in French). A dispute had arisen between the state's two senators over the pronunciation issue. One favored (), the other (). In 2007, the state legislature passed a non-binding resolution declaring that the possessive form of the state's name is ''Arkansas's'', which the state government has increasingly followed.


Geography


Boundaries

Arkansas borders
Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 19th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the s ...

Louisiana
to the south,
Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansa ...

Texas
to the southwest,
Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the no ...

Oklahoma
to the west,
Missouri Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the country. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capita ...
to the north, and
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest by area and the 16th most populous of the 50 states. It is bordered by eight states, with Kentucky to ...
and
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississi ...
to the east. The
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U. ...
classifies Arkansas as a
southern The name Southern may refer to: * South, a point in direction. * Southern (surname) Businesses * China Southern Airlines, airline based in Guangzhou, China * Southern Airways, defunct US airline * Southern Air, air cargo transportation company bas ...
state, sub-categorized among the
West South Central States The West South Central States form one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions of the United States that are officially designated by the United States Census Bureau. Four states compose the division: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and the state that ...
. The
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
forms most of its eastern border, except in
Clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil material containing clay minerals. Clays develop plasticity when wet, due to a molecular film of water surrounding the clay particles, but become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. ...
and Greene counties, where the St. Francis River forms the western boundary of the
Missouri Bootheel The Missouri Bootheel is the southeasternmost part of the U.S. state of Missouri, extending south of 36°30′ north latitude, so called because its shape in relation to the rest of the state resembles the heel of a boot. Strictly speaking, it is ...
, and in many places where the channel of the Mississippi has meandered (or been straightened by man) from its original 1836 course.


Terrain

Arkansas can generally be split into two halves, the highlands in the northwest and the lowlands of the southeast. The highlands are part of the Southern Interior Highlands, including
The Ozarks The Ozarks, also known as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the extreme southeastern corner of Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arka ...
and the
Ouachita Mountains The Ouachita Mountains (), simply referred to as the Ouachitas, are a mountain range in western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. They are formed by a thick succession of highly deformed Paleozoic strata constituting the Ouachita Fold and Thrus ...
. The southern lowlands include the
Gulf Coastal Plain The Gulf Coastal Plain extends around the Gulf of Mexico in the Southern United States and eastern Mexico. This coastal plain reaches from the Florida Panhandle, southwest Georgia, the southern two-thirds of Alabama, over most of Mississippi, weste ...
and the
Arkansas Delta The Arkansas Delta is one of the six natural regions of the state of Arkansas. Willard B. Gatewood Jr., author of ''The Arkansas Delta: Land of Paradox'', says that rich cotton lands of the Arkansas Delta make that area "The Deepest of the Deep So ...
. This split can yield to a regional division into northwest, southwest, northeast, southeast, and central Arkansas. These regions are broad and not defined along county lines. Arkansas has seven distinct natural regions: the Ozark Mountains, Ouachita Mountains,
Arkansas River Valley The Arkansas River Valley (usually shortened to River Valley) is a region in Arkansas defined by the Arkansas River in the western part of the state. Generally defined as the area between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, the River Valley is charac ...
, Gulf Coastal Plain,
Crowley's Ridge Crowley's Ridge (also Crowleys Ridge) is a geological formation that rises 250 to above the alluvial plain of the Mississippi embayment in a line from southeastern Missouri to the Mississippi River near Helena, Arkansas. It is the most promi ...
, and the Arkansas Delta, with
Central Arkansas Central Arkansas, also known as the Little Rock metro, designated by the United States Office of Management and Budget as the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area, is the most populous metro area in the U.S. state of ...
sometimes included as a blend of multiple regions. The southeastern part of Arkansas along the
Mississippi Alluvial Plain 150px, The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain is an alluvial plain created by the Mississippi River on which lie parts of seven U.S. states, from southern Louisiana to southern Illinois (Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, ...
is sometimes called the Arkansas Delta. This region is a flat landscape of rich alluvial soils formed by repeated flooding of the adjacent Mississippi. Farther from the river, in the southeastern part of the state, the Grand Prairie has a more undulating landscape. Both are fertile agricultural areas. The Delta region is bisected by a geological formation known as
Crowley's Ridge Crowley's Ridge (also Crowleys Ridge) is a geological formation that rises 250 to above the alluvial plain of the Mississippi embayment in a line from southeastern Missouri to the Mississippi River near Helena, Arkansas. It is the most promi ...
. A narrow band of rolling hills, Crowley's Ridge rises above the surrounding alluvial plain and underlies many of eastern Arkansas's major towns. Northwest Arkansas is part of the
Ozark Plateau The Ozarks, also known as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the extreme southeastern corner of Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arka ...
including the
Ozark Mountains The Ozarks, also known as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the extreme southeastern corner of Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arka ...
, to the south are the
Ouachita Mountains The Ouachita Mountains (), simply referred to as the Ouachitas, are a mountain range in western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. They are formed by a thick succession of highly deformed Paleozoic strata constituting the Ouachita Fold and Thrus ...
, and these regions are divided by the
Arkansas River The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States ...
; the southern and eastern parts of Arkansas are called the Lowlands. These mountain ranges are part of the U.S. Interior Highlands region, the only major mountainous region between the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch in straight-line distance from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the So ...
and the
Appalachian Mountains The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician Period. They once reached elevations similar to those ...
. The state's highest point is
Mount Magazine Mount Magazine, officially named Magazine Mountain, is the highest point of the U.S. Interior Highlands and the U.S. state of Arkansas, and is the site of Mount Magazine State Park. It is a flat-topped mountain or mesa capped by hard rock and rimm ...

Mount Magazine
in the
Ouachita Mountains The Ouachita Mountains (), simply referred to as the Ouachitas, are a mountain range in western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. They are formed by a thick succession of highly deformed Paleozoic strata constituting the Ouachita Fold and Thrus ...
, which is above sea level. Arkansas is home to many
caves A cave or cavern is a natural void in the ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word ''cave'' can also refer to much smaller openings such ...
, such as Blanchard Springs Caverns. The State Archeologist has catalogued more than 43,000 Native American living, hunting and tool-making sites, many of them Pre-Columbian burial mounds and rock shelters.
Crater of Diamonds State Park Crater of Diamonds State Park is a Arkansas state park in Pike County, Arkansas, in the United States. The park features a 37.5-acre (15.2 ha) plowed field, the world's only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public. Diamonds have continuously ...
near Murfreesboro is the world's only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public for digging. Arkansas is home to a dozen Wilderness Areas totaling . These areas are set aside for outdoor recreation and are open to hunting, fishing, hiking, and primitive camping. No mechanized vehicles nor developed campgrounds are allowed in these areas.


Hydrology

Arkansas has many rivers, lakes, and reservoirs within or along its borders. Major tributaries to the Mississippi River include the
Arkansas River The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States ...
, the White River, and the St. Francis River.Federal Writers' Project 1987, p. 8. The Arkansas is fed by the
Mulberry ''Morus'', a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae, consists of diverse species of deciduous trees commonly known as mulberries, growing wild and under cultivation in many temperate world regions. Generally, the plant has three main ...
and Fourche LaFave Rivers in the Arkansas River Valley, which is also home to
Lake Dardanelle Lake Dardanelle is a major reservoir on the Arkansas River in Arkansas, USA. and is an integral part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS), which allows barge transportation from the Mississippi River to the Tulsa Port of ...

Lake Dardanelle
. The , Little Red,
Black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness. Black and white have ofte ...
and Cache Rivers are all tributaries to the White River, which also empties into the Mississippi.
Bayou Bartholomew Bayou Bartholomew is the longest bayou in the world meandering approximately between the U.S. states of Arkansas and Louisiana.U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map, accessed June 3, 201 ...

Bayou Bartholomew
and the Saline, Little Missouri, and
Caddo River The Caddo River is a tributary of the Ouachita River in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The river is about long.Calculated in Google Maps and Google Earth Course The Caddo River flows out of the Ouachita Mountains through Montgomery, Pike, and Clark c ...
s are all tributaries to the Ouachita River in south Arkansas, Old River Control Structure, which empties into the Mississippi in Louisiana. The Red River of the South, Red River briefly forms the state's boundary with Texas. Arkansas has few natural lakes and many reservoirs, such as Bull Shoals Lake, Lake Ouachita, Greers Ferry Lake, Millwood Lake, Beaver Lake (Arkansas), Beaver Lake, Norfork Lake, DeGray Lake, and Lake Conway.


Flora and fauna

Arkansas's temperate deciduous forest is divided into three broad ecoregions; the ''Ozark, Ouachita-Appalachian Forests'', the ''Mississippi Alluvial and Southeast USA Coastal Plains'', and the ''Southeastern USA Plains''. The state is further divided into seven subregions: the Arkansas Valley, Boston Mountains,
Mississippi Alluvial Plain 150px, The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain is an alluvial plain created by the Mississippi River on which lie parts of seven U.S. states, from southern Louisiana to southern Illinois (Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, ...
, Crowley's Ridge, Mississippi Valley Loess Plain, Ozark Highlands, Ouachita Mountains, and the South Central Plains. A 2010 United States Forest Service survey determined of Arkansas's land is forestland, or 56% of the state's total area. Dominant species in Arkansas's forests include ''Oak, Quercus'' (oak), ''Hickory, Carya'' (hickory), ''Pinus echinata'' (shortleaf pine) and ''Pinus taeda'' (loblolly pine). Arkansas's plant life varies with its climate and elevation. The Arkansas Timberlands, pine belt stretching from the Arkansas delta to Texas consists of dense oak-hickory-pine growth. Lumbering and paper milling activity is active throughout the region. In eastern Arkansas, one can find ''Taxodium '' (cypress), ''Quercus nigra'' (water oaks), and hickories with their roots submerged in the Mississippi Valley bayous indicative of the deep south. Nearby Crowley's Ridge is the only home of the Liriodendron, tulip tree in the state, and generally hosts more northeastern plant life such as the beech tree. The northwestern highlands are covered in an oak-hickory mixture, with Juniperus ashei, Ozark white cedars, ''Cornus (genus), cornus'' (dogwoods), and ''Cercis canadensis'' (redbuds) also present. The higher peaks in the Arkansas River Valley play host to scores of ferns, including the ''Woodsia scopulina'' and ''Adiantum'' (maidenhair fern) on Mount Magazine.


Climate

Arkansas generally has a humid subtropical climate. While not bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Arkansas, is still close enough to this warm, large body of water for it to influence the weather in the state. Generally, Arkansas, has hot, humid summers and slightly drier, mild to cool winters. In
Little Rock (The "Little Rock") , government_type = Council-manager , leader_title = Mayor , leader_name = Frank Scott Jr. , leader_party = D , leader_title2 = Counc ...

Little Rock
, the daily high temperatures average around with lows around in July. In January highs average around and lows around . In Siloam Springs, Arkansas, Siloam Springs in the northwest part of the state, the average high and low temperatures in July are and in January the average high and low are . Annual precipitation throughout the state averages between about ; somewhat wetter in the south and drier in the northern part of the state. Snowfall is infrequent but most common in the northern half of the state. The half of the state south of Little Rock is more apt to see ice storms. Arkansas's all-time record high is at Ozark, Arkansas, Ozark on August 10, 1936; the all-time record low is at Gravette, Arkansas, Gravette, on February 13, 1905. Arkansas is known for extreme weather and frequent storms. A typical year brings thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, snow and ice storms. Between both the Great Plains and the Gulf Coast of the United States, Gulf States, Arkansas, receives around 60 days of thunderstorms. Arkansas is located in Tornado Alley, and as a result, a few of the most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history have struck the state. While sufficiently far from the coast to avoid a direct hit from a hurricane, Arkansas can often get the remnants of a tropical cyclone, tropical system, which dumps tremendous amounts of rain in a short time and often spawns smaller tornadoes.


History


Early Arkansas

Before European settlement of North America, Arkansas, was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Caddo, Osage Nation, Osage, and
Quapaw The Quapaw (or Arkansas and Ugahxpa) people are a tribe of Native Americans that coalesced in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The Dhegiha Siouan-speaking tribe historically migrated from the Ohio Valley area to the west side of the Mississippi River ...
peoples encountered European explorers. The first of these Europeans was Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto (explorer), Hernando de Soto in 1541, who crossed the Mississippi and marched across central Arkansas and the Ozark Mountains. After finding nothing he considered of value and encountering native resistance the entire way, he and his men returned to the Mississippi River where de Soto fell ill. From his deathbed he ordered his men to massacre all the men of the nearby village of Anilco, who he feared had been plotting with a powerful polity down the Mississippi River, ''Quigualtam''. His men obeyed and did not stop with the men, but were said to have massacred women and children as well. He died the following day in what is believed to be the vicinity of modern-day McArthur, Arkansas, in May 1542. His body was weighted down with sand and he was consigned to a watery grave in the Mississippi River under cover of darkness by his men. De Soto had attempted to deceive the native population into thinking he was an immortal deity, sun of the sun, in order to forestall attack by outraged Native Americans on his by then weakened and bedraggled army. In order to keep the ruse up, his men informed the locals that de Soto had ascended into the sky. His will at the time of his death listed "four Indian slaves, three horses and 700 hogs" which were auctioned off. The starving men, who had been living off maize stolen from natives, immediately started butchering the hogs and later, commanded by former aide-de-camp Moscoso, attempted an overland return to Mexico. They made it as far as Texas before running into territory too dry for maize farming and too thinly populated to sustain themselves by stealing food from the locals. The expedition promptly backtracked to Arkansas. After building a small fleet of boats they then headed down the Mississippi River and eventually on to Mexico by water. Later explorers included the French Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet in 1673, and Frenchmen Robert La Salle and Henri de Tonti in 1681. Tonti established Arkansas Post at a Quapaw village in 1686, making it the first European settlement in the territory.Arnold 1992, p. 75. The early Spanish or French explorers of the state gave it its name, which is probably a phonetic spelling of the Illinois language, Illinois tribe's name for the
Quapaw The Quapaw (or Arkansas and Ugahxpa) people are a tribe of Native Americans that coalesced in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The Dhegiha Siouan-speaking tribe historically migrated from the Ohio Valley area to the west side of the Mississippi River ...
people, who lived downriver from them. The name Arkansas has been pronounced and spelled in a variety of fashions. The region was organized as the Territory of Arkansaw on July 4, 1819, with the territory admitted to the United States as the state of Arkansas on June 15, 1836. The name was historically , , and several other variants. Historically and modernly, the people of Arkansas call themselves either "Arkansans" or "Arkansawyers". In 1881, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Arkansas Code 1-4-105 (official text):
Whereas, confusion of practice has arisen in the pronunciation of the name of our state and it is deemed important that the true pronunciation should be determined for use in oral official proceedings.
And, whereas, the matter has been thoroughly investigated by the State Historical Society and the Eclectic Society of Little Rock, which have agreed upon the correct pronunciation as derived from history, and the early usage of the American immigrants.
Be it therefore resolved by both houses of the General Assembly, that the only true pronunciation of the name of the state, in the opinion of this body, is that received by the French from the native Indians and committed to writing in the French word representing the sound. It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final "s" silent, the "a" in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of "a" in "man" and the sounding of the terminal "s" is an innovation to be discouraged.
Citizens of the state of Kansas often pronounce the
Arkansas River The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States ...
as , in a manner similar to the common pronunciation of the name of their state. Settlers, such as fur trappers, moved to Arkansas in the early 18th century. These people used Arkansas Post as a home base and entrepôt. During the colonial period, Arkansas changed hands between France and Spain following the Seven Years' War, although neither showed interest in the remote settlement of Arkansas Post. In April 1783, Arkansas saw its only battle of the American Revolutionary War, a brief Battle of Arkansas Post (American Revolutionary War), siege of the post by British Captain James Colbert with the assistance of the Choctaw and Chickasaw.


Purchase by the United States

Napoleon Bonaparte sold Louisiana (New France), French Louisiana to the United States in 1803, including all of Arkansas, in a transaction known today as the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane 'Sale of Louisiana') was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately eighteen dollars per s ...

Louisiana Purchase
. French soldiers remained as a garrison at Arkansas Post. Following the purchase, the balanced give-and-take relationship between settlers and Native Americans began to change all along the frontier, including in Arkansas. Following Missouri compromise, a controversy over allowing slavery in the territory, the
Territory of Arkansas The Arkansas Territory was a territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1819, to June 15, 1836, when the final extent of Arkansas Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas. Arkansas Post was the first territoria ...
was organized on July 4, 1819. Gradual emancipation in Arkansas was struck down by one vote, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Henry Clay, allowing Arkansas to organize as a slave territory. Slavery in the United States, Slavery became a wedge issue in Arkansas, forming a geographic divide that remained for decades. Owners and operators of the cotton
plantation economy A plantation economy is an economy based on agricultural mass production, usually of a few commodity crops grown on large farms called plantations. Plantation economies rely on the export of cash crops as a source of income. Prominent crops includ ...
in southeast Arkansas firmly supported slavery, as they perceived Slavery, slave labor as the best or "only" economically viable method of harvesting their commodity crops. The "hill country" of northwest Arkansas was unable to grow cotton and relied on a cash-scarce, subsistence farming economy. As European Americans settled throughout the East Coast and into the Midwest, in the 1830s the United States government forced the Indian Removal, removal of many Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribes to Arkansas and Indian Territory west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
. Additional Native American removals began in earnest during the territorial period, with final Quapaw removal complete by 1833 as they were pushed into Indian Territory. The capital was relocated from Arkansas Post to
Little Rock (The "Little Rock") , government_type = Council-manager , leader_title = Mayor , leader_name = Frank Scott Jr. , leader_party = D , leader_title2 = Counc ...

Little Rock
in 1821, during the territorial period.


Statehood

When Arkansas applied for statehood, the slavery issue was again raised in Washington, D.C.. Congress eventually approved the Arkansas Constitution after a 25-hour session, admitting Arkansas on June 15, 1836, as the 25th state and the 13th slave state, having a population of about 60,000. Arkansas struggled with taxation to support its new state government, a problem made worse by Holford Bonds, a state banking scandal and worse yet by the Panic of 1837.


Civil War and reconstruction

In early antebellum Arkansas, the southeast Arkansas slave-based economy developed rapidly. On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, enslaved African Americans numbered 111,115 people, just over 25% of the state's population. Plantation agriculture set the state and region behind the nation for decades. The wealth developed among planters of southeast Arkansas caused a political rift to form between the northwest and southeast.Bolton 1999, p. 22. Many politicians were elected to office from The Family (Arkansas politics), the Family, the Southern rights political force in antebellum Arkansas. Residents generally wanted to avoid a civil war. When the Gulf states seceded in early 1861, Arkansas voted to remain in the Union. Arkansas did not secede until Abraham Lincoln demanded Arkansas troops be sent to Fort Sumter to quell Battle of Fort Sumter, the rebellion there. On May 6, a state convention voted to terminate Arkansas's membership in the Union and join the
Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was an unrecognized breakaway state in existence from February 8, 1861, to May 9, 1865, that fought against the United States of Ameri ...

Confederate States of America
. Arkansas held a very important position for the Rebels, maintaining control of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
and surrounding Southern states. The bloody Battle of Wilson's Creek just across the border in Missouri shocked many Arkansans who thought the war would be a quick and decisive Southern victory. Battles early in the war took place in northwest Arkansas, including the Battle of Cane Hill, Battle of Pea Ridge, and Battle of Prairie Grove. Union general Samuel Ryan Curtis, Samuel Curtis swept across the state to Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, Helena in the Delta in 1862. Little Rock was captured the following year. The government shifted the state Confederate capital to Hot Springs, Arkansas, Hot Springs, and then again to Washington, Arkansas, Washington from 1863 to 1865, for the remainder of the war. Throughout the state, guerrilla warfare ravaged the countryside and destroyed cities. Passion for the Confederate cause waned after implementation of programs such as the draft, high taxes, and martial law. Under the Reconstruction era of the United States#Military reconstruction, Military Reconstruction Act, Congress declared Arkansas restored to the Union in June 1868, after the Legislature accepted the 14th Amendment. The Republican-controlled reconstruction legislature established universal male suffrage (though temporarily disfranchising former Confederate Army officers, who were all Democrats), a public education system for blacks and whites, and passed general issues to improve the state and help more of the population. The State soon came under control of the Radical Republicans and Unionists, and led by Governor Powell Clayton, they presided over a time of great upheaval as Confederate sympathizers and the Ku Klux Klan fought the new developments, particularly voting rights for African Americans.


End of the Reconstruction

In 1874, the Brooks-Baxter War, a political struggle between factions of the United States Republican Party, Republican Party shook Little Rock and the state governorship. It was settled only when President Ulysses S. Grant ordered Joseph Brooks (politician), Joseph Brooks to disperse his militant supporters. Following the Brooks-Baxter War, a new state constitution was ratified, re-enfranchising former Confederates. In 1881, the Arkansas state legislature enacted a bill that adopted an official pronunciation of the state's name, to combat a controversy then simmering. (See Law and Government below.) After Reconstruction, the state began to receive more immigrants and migrant worker, migrants. Chinese, Italians, Italian, and Syrian men were recruited for farm labor in the developing Delta region. None of these nationalities stayed long at farm labor; the Chinese especially quickly became small merchants in towns around the Delta. Many Chinese became such successful merchants in small towns that they were able to educate their children at college. Some early 20th-century immigration included people from eastern Europe. Together, these immigrants made the Delta more diverse than the rest of the state. In the same years, some black migrants moved into the area because of opportunities to develop the bottomlands and own their own property. Construction of railroads enabled more farmers to get their products to market. It also brought new development into different parts of the state, including the Ozarks, where some areas were developed as resorts. In a few years at the end of the 19th century, for instance, Eureka Springs in Carroll County, Arkansas, Carroll County grew to 10,000 people, rapidly becoming a tourist destination and the fourth-largest city of the state. It featured newly constructed, elegant resort hotels and spas planned around its natural springs, considered to have healthful properties. The town's attractions included horse racing and other entertainment. It appealed to a wide variety of classes, becoming almost as popular as Hot Springs, Arkansas, Hot Springs.


Rise of the Jim Crow laws

In the late 1880s, the worsening agricultural depression catalyzed Populist and third party movements, leading to interracial coalitions. Struggling to stay in power, in the 1890s the Democrats in Arkansas followed other Southern states in passing legislation and constitutional amendments that Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era, disfranchised blacks and poor whites. In 1891 state legislators passed a requirement for a literacy test, knowing it would exclude many blacks and whites. At the time, more than 25% of the population could neither read nor write. In 1892, they amended the state constitution to require a Poll tax (United States), poll tax and more complex residency requirements, both of which adversely affected poor people and sharecroppers, forcing most blacks and many poor whites from voter rolls. By 1900 the Democratic Party expanded use of the white primary in county and state elections, further denying blacks a part in the political process. Only in the primary was there any competition among candidates, as Democrats held all the power. The state was a Democratic one-party state for decades, until after passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 to enforce constitutional rights. Between 1905 and 1911, Arkansas began to receive a small immigration of Germans, German, Slovaks, Slovak, and Scots-Irish from Europe. The German and Slovak peoples settled in the eastern part of the state known as the Prairie, and the Irish founded small communities in the southeast part of the state. The Germans were mostly Lutheran and the Slovaks were primarily Catholic. The Irish were mostly Protestant from Ulster, of Scots and Northern Borders descent. Black sharecroppers began to try to organize a farmers' union after World WarI. They were seeking better conditions of payment and accounting from white landowners of the area cotton plantations. Whites resisted any change and often tried to break up their meetings. On September 30, 1919, two white men, including a local deputy, tried to break up a meeting of black sharecroppers who were trying to organize a farmers' union. After a white deputy was killed in a confrontation with guards at the meeting, word spread to town and around the area. Hundreds of whites from Phillips and neighboring areas rushed to suppress the blacks, and started attacking blacks at large. governor of Arkansas, Governor Charles Hillman Brough requested federal troops to stop what was called the Elaine massacre. White mobs spread throughout the county, killing an estimated 237 blacks before most of the violence was suppressed after October 1.Elaine Massacre, Arkansas Encyclopedia of History and Culture
accessed April 3, 2008.
Five whites also died in the incident. The governor accompanied the troops to the scene; President Woodrow Wilson had approved their use . Based on the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt given shortly after Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, nearly 16,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from the West Coast of the United States and incarcerated in two internment camps in the
Arkansas Delta The Arkansas Delta is one of the six natural regions of the state of Arkansas. Willard B. Gatewood Jr., author of ''The Arkansas Delta: Land of Paradox'', says that rich cotton lands of the Arkansas Delta make that area "The Deepest of the Deep So ...
. The Rohwer War Relocation Center, Rohwer Camp in Desha County operated from September 1942 to November 1945 and at its peak interned 8,475 prisoners. The Jerome War Relocation Center in Drew County operated from October 1942 to June 1944 and held about 8,000.


Fall of segregation

After the Supreme Court of the United States, Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, ''Brown ''v.'' Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas'' (1954), some students worked to integrate schools in the state. The Little Rock Nine brought Arkansas to national attention in 1957 when the federal government had to intervene to protect African-American students trying to integrate a high school in the capital. Governor Orval Faubus had ordered the Arkansas National Guard to help segregationists prevent nine African-American students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School. After attempting three times to contact Faubus, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent 1,000 troops from the active-duty 101st Airborne Division to escort and protect the African-American students as they entered school on September 25, 1957. In defiance of federal court orders to integrate, the governor and city of Little Rock decided to close the high schools for the remainder of the school year. By the fall of 1959, the Little Rock high schools were completely integrated.


Prominent American figures from Arkansas

Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton (''né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his presidency, he served as governor of Arkansas ...

Bill Clinton
, the 42nd president of the United States, was born in Hope, Arkansas, Hope. Before his presidency, Clinton served as the 40th and 42nd governor of Arkansas, a total of nearly 12 years.


Cities and towns

Little Rock (The "Little Rock") , government_type = Council-manager , leader_title = Mayor , leader_name = Frank Scott Jr. , leader_party = D , leader_title2 = Counc ...

Little Rock
has been Arkansas's List of capitals in the United States, capital city since 1821 when it replaced Arkansas Post, Arkansas, Arkansas Post as the capital of the
Territory of Arkansas The Arkansas Territory was a territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1819, to June 15, 1836, when the final extent of Arkansas Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas. Arkansas Post was the first territoria ...
. The state capitol was moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, Hot Springs and later Washington, Arkansas, Washington during the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country. The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region or t ...
when the Union armies threatened the city in 1862, and state government did not return to Little Rock until after the war ended. Today, the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway metropolitan area is the largest in the state, with a population of 724,385 in 2013. The
Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area Northwest Arkansas (NWA) is a metropolitan area and region in Arkansas within the Ozark Mountains. It includes four of the ten largest cities in the state: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville, the surrounding towns of Benton and Wash ...
is the second-largest metropolitan area in Arkansas, growing at the fastest rate due to the influx of businesses and the growth of the University of Arkansas and
Walmart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansa ...
. The state has eight cities with populations above 50,000 (based on 2010 census). In descending order of size, they are
Little Rock (The "Little Rock") , government_type = Council-manager , leader_title = Mayor , leader_name = Frank Scott Jr. , leader_party = D , leader_title2 = Counc ...

Little Rock
, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Fayetteville, Springdale, Arkansas, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Arkansas, North Little Rock, Conway, Arkansas, Conway, and Rogers, Arkansas, Rogers. Of these, only Fort Smith and Jonesboro are outside the two largest metropolitan areas. Other cities in Arkansas include Pine Bluff, Crossett, Arkansas, Crossett, Bryant, Arkansas, Bryant, Lake Village, Arkansas, Lake Village, Hot Springs, Arkansas, Hot Springs, Bentonville, Texarkana, Arkansas, Texarkana, Sherwood, Arkansas, Sherwood, Jacksonville, Arkansas, Jacksonville, Russellville, Arkansas, Russellville, Bella Vista, Arkansas, Bella Vista, West Memphis, Arkansas, West Memphis, Paragould, Arkansas, Paragould, Cabot, Arkansas, Cabot, Searcy, Arkansas, Searcy, Van Buren, Arkansas, Van Buren, El Dorado, Arkansas, El Dorado, Blytheville, Arkansas, Blytheville, Harrison, Arkansas, Harrison, Dumas, Arkansas, Dumas, Rison, Arkansas, Rison, Warren, Arkansas, Warren, and Mountain Home, Arkansas, Mountain Home.


Demographics


Population

The
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U. ...
estimates that the population of Arkansas was 3,017,804 on July 1, 2019, a 3.49% increase since the 2010 United States Census. As of 2019, Arkansas has an estimated population of 3,017,804. From fewer than 15,000 in 1820, Arkansas's population grew to 52,240 during a special census in 1835, far exceeding the 40,000 required to apply for statehood. Following statehood in 1836, the population doubled each decade until the 1870 United States Census, 1870 Census conducted following the Civil War. The state recorded growth in each successive decade, although it gradually slowed in the 20th century. It recorded population losses in the 1950 United States Census, 1950 and 1960 United States Census, 1960 Censuses. This outmigration was a result of multiple factors, including farm mechanization, decreasing labor demand, and young educated people leaving the state due to a lack of non-farming industry in the state. Arkansas again began to grow, recording positive growth rates ever since and exceeding two million by the 1980 United States Census, 1980 Census. Arkansas's rate of change, age distributions, and gender distributions mirror national averages. Minority group data also approximates national averages. There are fewer people in Arkansas of Hispanic or Latino origin than the national average. The center of population of Arkansas for 2000 was located in Perry County, Arkansas, Perry County, near Nogal.


Ancestry

In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was 80.1% white (74.2% non-Hispanic white), 15.6% black or African American, 0.9% Native Americans in the United States, American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.3% Asian ethnicity, Asian, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 6.6% of the population. As of 2011, 39.0% of Arkansas's population younger than age1 were minorities. European Americans have a strong presence in the northwestern Ozarks and the central part of the state. African Americans live mainly in the southern and eastern parts of the state. Arkansans of Irish, English and German ancestry are mostly found in the far northwestern Ozarks near the Missouri border. Ancestors of the Irish in the Ozarks were chiefly Ulster Scots people, Scots-Irish, Protestants from Northern Ireland, the Scotland, Scottish lowlands and northern England part of the largest group of immigrants from Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland before the American Revolution. English American, English and Scots-Irish American, Scots-Irish immigrants settled throughout the backcountry of the South and in the more mountainous areas. Americans of English American, English stock are found throughout the state. A 2010 survey of the principal ancestries of Arkansas's residents revealed the following: * 15.5% African American * 12.3% Irish American, Irish * 11.5% German Americans, German * 11.0% American ethnicity, American * 10.1% English American, English * 4.7% Mexican American, Mexican * 2.1% French American, French * 1.7% Scottish American, Scottish * 1.7% Dutch American, Dutch * 1.6% Italian American, Italian * 1.4% Scots-Irish American, Scots-Irish Most of the people identifying as American are of English descent and/or Scots-Irish descent. Their families have been in the state so long, in many cases since before statehood, that they choose to identify simply as having American ancestry or do not in fact know their own ancestry. Their ancestry primarily goes back to the original 13 colonies and for this reason many of them today simply claim American ancestry. Many people who identify themselves as Irish descent are in fact of Scots-Irish descent. According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, 93.8% of Arkansas's population (over the age of five) spoke only English at home. About 4.5% of the state's population spoke Spanish at home. About 0.7% of the state's population spoke any other Indo-European languages. About 0.8% of the state's population spoke an Languages of Asia, Asian language, and 0.2% spoke other languages.


Religion

Arkansas, like most other Southern states, is part of the Bible Belt and is predominantly Protestantism, Protestant. The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 661,382; the United Methodist Church with 158,574; non-denominational Evangelical Protestants with 129,638; the Catholic Church with 122,662; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 31,254. There are some residents of the state who live by other religions such as Islam, Judaism, Wicca, Paganism, Hinduism, Buddhism or who claim no religious affiliation.


Economy

Once a state with a cashless society in the uplands and Plantation economy, plantation agriculture in the lowlands, Arkansas's economy has evolved and diversified. The state's gross domestic product (GDP) was $119billion in 2015. Six Fortune 500 companies are based in Arkansas, including the world's #1 retailer,
Walmart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansa ...
; Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt, Dillard's, Murphy USA, and Windstream are also headquartered in the state. The List of U.S. states by GDP per capita (nominal), per capita personal income in 2015 was $39,107, ranking forty-fifth in the nation. The median household income from 2011 to 2015 was $41,371, ranking forty-ninth in the nation. The state's agriculture outputs are poultry and eggs, soybeans, sorghum, cattle, cotton, rice, hogs, and milk. Its industrial outputs are food processing, electric equipment, fabricated metal products, machinery, and paper products. Mines in Arkansas produce natural gas, oil, crushed stone, bromine, and vanadium. According to CNBC, Arkansas ranks as the 20th best state for business, with the 2nd-lowest cost of doing business, 5th-lowest cost of living, 11th best workforce, 20th-best economic climate, 28th-best educated workforce, 31st-best infrastructure and the 32nd-friendliest regulatory environment. Arkansas gained 12 spots in the best state for business rankings since 2011. As of 2014, Arkansas was the most affordable U.S. state to live in. As of October 2019, the state's unemployment rate is 3.5%.


Industry and commerce

Arkansas's earliest industries were fur trading and agriculture, with development of cotton plantations in the American South, plantations in the areas near the Mississippi River. They were dependent on slave labor through the American Civil War. Today only about three percent of the population are employed in the agricultural sector, it remains a major part of the state's economy, ranking 13th in the nation in the value of products sold. Arkansas is the nation's largest producer of rice, broilers, and turkeys, and ranks in the top three for cotton, pullets, and aquaculture (catfish). Forestry remains strong in the
Arkansas Timberlands The Arkansas Timberlands (sometimes also called Southern Arkansas or Southwest Arkansas) is a region of the U.S. state of Arkansas generally encompassing the area south of the Ouachita Mountains, south of Central Arkansas and west of the Arkansas ...
, and the state ranks fourth nationally and first in the South in softwood lumber production. Automobile parts manufacturers have opened factories in eastern Arkansas to support auto plants in other states. Bauxite was formerly a large part of the state's economy, mined mostly around Saline County, Arkansas, Saline County. Tourism is also very important to the Arkansas economy; the official state nickname "The Natural State" was created for state tourism advertising in the 1970s, and is still used to this day. The state maintains List of Arkansas state parks, 52 state parks and the National Park Service maintains seven properties in Arkansas. The completion of the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock has drawn many visitors to the city and revitalized the nearby River Market District (Little Rock, Arkansas), River Market District. Many cities also hold festivals, which draw tourists to Arkansas culture, such as The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival in Warren, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Ozark Folk Center, Ozark Folk Festival, Toad Suck Daze, and Tontitown, Arkansas, Tontitown Grape Festival.


Media

As of 2010 many Arkansas local newspapers are owned by WEHCO Media, Alabama-based Lancaster Management, Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group, Missouri-based Rust Communications, Nevada-based Stephens Media (newspapers), Stephens Media, and New York-based GateHouse Media.


Culture

The culture of Arkansas includes distinct cuisine, dialect, and traditional festivals. Sports are also very important to the culture of Arkansas, ranging from football, baseball, and basketball to hunting and fishing. Perhaps the best-known piece of Arkansas's culture is the stereotype of its citizens as shiftless hillbillies. The reputation began when the state was characterized by early explorers as a savage wilderness full of outlaws and thieves. The most enduring icon of Arkansas's hillbilly reputation is ''Edward Washburn, The Arkansas Traveller'', a painted depiction of a folk tale from the 1840s. Although intended to represent the divide between rich southeastern plantation Arkansas planters and the poor northwestern hill country, the meaning was twisted to represent a Northerner lost in the Ozarks on a white horse asking a backwoods Arkansan for directions. The state also suffers from the racial stigma common to former Confederate states, with historical events such as the Little Rock Nine adding to Arkansas's enduring image. Art and history museums display pieces of cultural value for Arkansans and tourists to enjoy. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville was visited by 604,000 people in 2012, its first year. The museum includes walking trails and educational opportunities in addition to displaying over 450 works covering five centuries of American art. Several historic town sites have been restored as Arkansas List of Arkansas state parks, state parks, including Historic Washington State Park, Powhatan Historic State Park, and Davidsonville Historic State Park. Arkansas features a variety of native music across the state, ranging from the blues heritage of West Memphis, Arkansas, West Memphis, Pine Bluff, Helena–West Helena, Arkansas, Helena–West Helena to rockabilly, bluegrass music, bluegrass, and folk music from the Ozarks. Festivals such as the King Biscuit Blues Festival and Bikes, Blues, and BBQ pay homage to the history of blues in the state. The Ozark Folk Festival in Mountain View, Arkansas, Mountain View is a celebration of Ozark culture and often features folk and bluegrass musicians. Literature set in Arkansas such as ''I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings'' by Maya Angelou and ''A Painted House'' by John Grisham describe the culture at various time periods.


Sports and recreation

Sports have become an integral part of the culture of Arkansas, and her residents enjoy participating in and spectating various events throughout the year. Team sports and especially collegiate football are important to Arkansans. College football in Arkansas began from humble beginnings, when the University of Arkansas first fielded a team in 1894 Arkansas Cardinals football team, 1894. Over the years, many Arkansans have looked to Arkansas Razorbacks football as the public image of the state. Although the University of Arkansas is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Fayetteville, the Razorbacks have always played at least one game per season at War Memorial Stadium (Arkansas), War Memorial Stadium in
Little Rock (The "Little Rock") , government_type = Council-manager , leader_title = Mayor , leader_name = Frank Scott Jr. , leader_party = D , leader_title2 = Counc ...

Little Rock
in an effort to keep fan support in central and south Arkansas. Arkansas State University became the second NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) (then known as Division I-A) team in the state in 1992 after playing in lower divisions for nearly two decades. The two schools have never played each other, due to the University of Arkansas's policy of not playing intrastate games. Two other campuses of the University of Arkansas System are Division I members. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, a league whose members all play football in the second-level Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a member of the FBS Sun Belt Conference, but is one of two conference schools that have List of NCAA Division I non-football programs, no football program. The state's other DivisionI member is the University of Central Arkansas, which is a full member (including football) of the FCS Southland Conference. Seven of Arkansas's smaller colleges play in NCAA Division II, with six in the Great American Conference and one in the Lone Star Conference. Two other small Arkansas colleges compete in NCAA Division III, in which athletic scholarships are prohibited. High school football also began to grow in Arkansas in the early 20th century. Baseball runs deep in Arkansas and has been popular before the state hosted Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Hot Springs from 1886 to the 1920s. Two Minor League Baseball, minor league teams are based in the state. The Arkansas Travelers play at Dickey–Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas, North Little Rock, and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals play in Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas, Springdale. Both teams compete in the Texas League. Related to the state's frontier past, hunting continues in the state. The state created the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1915 to regulate hunting and enforce those regulations. Today a significant portion of Arkansas's population participates in hunting duck in the Mississippi flyway and deer across the state.Sutherlin 1996, p. 164. Millions of acres of public land are available for both bow and modern gun hunters. Fishing has always been popular in Arkansas, and the sport and the state have benefited from the creation of reservoirs across the state. Following the completion of Norfork Dam, the Norfork Tailwater and the White River have become a destination for trout fishers. Several smaller retirement communities such as Bull Shoals, Arkansas, Bull Shoals, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, Hot Springs Village, and Fairfield Bay, Arkansas, Fairfield Bay have flourished due to their position on a fishing lake. The National Park Service has preserved the Buffalo National River in its natural state and fly fishers visit it annually.


Health

As of 2012, Arkansas, as with many Southern states, has a high incidence of premature death, infant mortality, cardiovascular deaths, and occupational fatalities compared to the rest of the United States. The state is tied for 43rd with New York (state), New York in percentage of adults who regularly exercise. Arkansas is usually ranked as one of the least healthy states due to high obesity, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle rates, but according to a Gallup poll, Arkansas made the most immediate progress in reducing its number of uninsured residents after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Affordable Care Act passed. The percentage of uninsured in Arkansas dropped from 22.5 in 2013 to 12.4 in August 2014. The List of smoking bans in the United States#Arkansas, Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act, a statewide smoking ban excluding bars and some restaurants, went into effect in 2006. Healthcare in Arkansas is provided by a network of hospitals as members of the Arkansas Hospital Association. Major institutions with multiple branches include Baptist Health, Community Health Systems, and HealthSouth. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock operates the UAMS Medical Center, a teaching hospital ranked as high performing nationally in cancer and nephrology. The pediatric division of UAMS Medical Center is known as Arkansas Children's Hospital, nationally ranked in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. Together, these two institutions are the state's only Level I trauma centers.


Education

Arkansas has 1,064 state-funded kindergartens, elementary, junior and senior high schools. The state supports a network of public university, universities and colleges, including two major university systems: Arkansas State University System and University of Arkansas System. The University of Arkansas, flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System in Fayetteville was ranked #63 among public schools in the nation by ''U.S. News & World Report''. Other public institutions include University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Central Arkansas across the state. It is also home to 11 private colleges and universities including Hendrix College, one of the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report. In the 1920s the state required all children to attend public schools. The school year was set at 131 days, although some areas were unable to meet that requirement. Generally prohibited in the Western world, West at large, school corporal punishment is not unusual in Arkansas, with 20,083 public school students paddle (spanking), paddled at least one time, according to government data for the 2011–12 school year. The rate of corporal punishment in public schools is higher only in
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississi ...
.


Educational attainment

Arkansas is one of the least educated U.S. states. It ranks near the bottom in terms of percentage of the population with a high school or college degree. The state's educational system has a history of underfunding, low teachers' salaries and political meddling in the curriculum. Educational statistics during the early days are fragmentary and unreliable. Many counties did not submit full reports to the secretary of state, who did double duty as commissioner of common schools. But the percentage of whites over 20 years old who were illiterate was given as: :1840, 21% :1850, 25% :1860, 17% In 2010 Arkansas students earned an average score of 20.3 on the ACT (examination), ACT exam, just below the national average of 21. These results were expected due to the large increase in the number of students taking the exam since the establishment of the Academic Challenge Scholarship. Top high schools receiving recognition from the U.S. News & World Report are spread across the state, including Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville, KIPP Delta Collegiate High School, KIPP Delta Collegiate in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, Helena-West Helena, Bentonville High School, Bentonville, Rogers High School (Arkansas), Rogers, Rogers Heritage High School, Rogers Heritage, Valley Springs High School, Valley Springs, Searcy High School (Arkansas), Searcy, and McCrory High School, McCrory. A total of 81 Arkansas high schools were ranked by the U.S. News & World Report in 2012. Arkansas ranks as the 32nd smartest state on the Morgan Quitno Smartest State Award, 44th in percentage of residents with at least a high school diploma, and 48th in percentage of bachelor's degree attainment. Arkansas has been making strides in education reform. ''Education Week'' has praised the state, ranking Arkansas in the top 10 of their Quality Counts Education Rankings every year since 2009 while scoring it in the top5 during 2012 and 2013. Arkansas specifically received an A in Transition and Policy Making for progress in this area consisting of early-childhood education, college readiness, and career readiness. Governor Mike Beebe has made improving education a major issue through his attempts to spend more on education. Through reforms, the state is a leader in requiring curricula designed to prepare students for postsecondary education, rewarding teachers for student achievement, and providing incentives for principals who work in lower-tier schools.


Funding

As an organized territory, and later in the early days of statehood, education was funded by the sales of federally controlled public lands. This system was inadequate and prone to local graft. In an 1854 message to the legislature, Governor Elias N. Conway said, "We have a common-school law intended as a system to establish common schools in all part of the state; but for the want of adequate means there are very few in operation under this law." At the time, only about a quarter of children were enrolled in school. By the beginning of the American Civil War, the state had only twenty-five publicly funded common schools. In 1867, the state legislature was still controlled by ex-Confederates. It passed a Common Schools Law that allowed public funded but limited schools to white children. The 1868 legislature banned former Confederates and passed a more wide-ranging law detailing funding and administrative issues and allowing black children to attend school. In furtherance of this, the postwar 1868 state constitution was the first to permit a personal-property tax to fund the lands and buildings for public schools. With the 1868 elections, the first county school commissioners took office. In 2014, the state spent $9,616 per student, compared with a national average of about $11,000 putting Arkansas in nineteenth place.


Timeline

* 1829 Territorial legislature permits townships to establish schools * 1868 State law requires racial segregation of schools * 1871 University of Arkansas established * 1873 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff established as a school to train black teachers * 1877 Philander Smith College established as a school for black students * 1890 Henderson State University established (as a private school, becoming Henderson ''State'' Teachers ''College'' in 1929) * 1885 Arkansas School for the Deaf and Arkansas School for the Blind established * 1909 Arkansas Tech University, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas at Monticello and Arkansas State University established as schools offering high school diplomas and vocational training * Schooling made compulsory * 1925 University of Central Arkansas established (as Arkansas State Normal School) * 1948 University of Arkansas School of Law admits a black student * 1957 Governor Orval Faubus uses National Guard troops to oppose racial integration of Little Rock Central High School * 1958 United States Supreme Court Cooper v. Aaron, overrules the governor * 1983 Arkansas State Supreme Court rules that the state's funding of education is Constitutionally deficient


Transportation

Transportation in Arkansas is overseen by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT), headquartered in
Little Rock (The "Little Rock") , government_type = Council-manager , leader_title = Mayor , leader_name = Frank Scott Jr. , leader_party = D , leader_title2 = Counc ...

Little Rock
. Several main corridors pass through Little Rock, including Interstate 30 in Arkansas, Interstate30 (I-30) and Interstate 40 in Arkansas, I-40 (the nation's 3rd-busiest trucking corridor). Arkansas first designated a state highway system in 1924, and first numbered its roads in 1926. Arkansas had one of the first paved roads, the Dollarway Road, and one of the first members of the Interstate Highway System. The state maintains a large system of List of Arkansas state highways, state highways today, in addition to eight List of Interstate Highways in Arkansas, Interstates and 20 List of U.S. Routes in Arkansas, U.S. Routes. In northeast Arkansas, Interstate 55 in Arkansas, I-55 travels north from Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis to
Missouri Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the country. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capita ...
, with a new spur to Jonesboro (Interstate 555, I-555). Northwest Arkansas is served by the segment of Interstate 49 in Arkansas, I-49 from Fort Smith to the beginning of the Arkansas Highway 549, Bella Vista Bypass. This segment of I-49 currently follows mostly the same route as the Interstate 540 (Arkansas)#History, former section of I-540 that extended north of I-40. The state also has the 13th largest List of Arkansas state highways, state highway system in the nation. Arkansas is served by of railroad track divided among twenty-six railroad companies including three Class I railroads. Freight railroads are concentrated in southeast Arkansas to serve the industries in the region. The Texas Eagle, an Amtrak passenger train, serves five stations in the state Walnut Ridge (Amtrak station), Walnut Ridge, Little Rock (Amtrak station), Little Rock, Malvern (Amtrak station), Malvern, Arkadelphia (Amtrak station), Arkadelphia, and Texarkana (Amtrak station), Texarkana. Arkansas also benefits from the use of its rivers for commerce. The
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
and
Arkansas River The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States ...
are both major rivers. The United States Army Corps of Engineers maintains the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, allowing barge traffic up the Arkansas River to the Port of Catoosa in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There are four airports with commercial service: Clinton National Airport (formerly Little Rock National Airport or Adams Field), Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, Fort Smith Regional Airport, and Texarkana Regional Airport, with List of airports in Arkansas, dozens of smaller airports in the state. Public transit and community transport services for the elderly or those with developmental disabilities are provided by agencies such as the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and the Ozark Regional Transit, organizations that are part of the Arkansas Transit Association.


Law and government

As with the federal government of the United States, political power in Arkansas is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Each officer's term is four years long. Office holders are term-limited to two full terms plus any partial terms before the first full term.


Executive

The governor of Arkansas is Asa Hutchinson, a Republican Party (United States), Republican, who was inaugurated on January 13, 2015. The six other elected executive positions in Arkansas are Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, lieutenant governor, Secretary of State of Arkansas, secretary of state, Arkansas Attorney General, attorney general, Arkansas State Treasurer, treasurer, Arkansas State Auditor, auditor, and Arkansas Land Commissioner, land commissioner. The governor also appoints the leaders of various state boards, committees, and departments. Arkansas governors served two-year terms until a referendum lengthened the term to four years, effective with the 1986 election. In Arkansas, the lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor and thus can be from a different political party.


Legislative

The Arkansas General Assembly is the state's bicameral bodies of legislators, composed of the Arkansas Senate, Senate and Arkansas House of Representatives, House of Representatives. The Senate contains 35 members from districts of approximately equal population. These districts are redrawn decennially with each US census, and in election years ending in "2", the entire body is put up for reelection. Following the election, half of the seats are designated as two-year seats and are up for reelection again in two years, these "half-terms" do not count against a legislator's term limits. The remaining half serve a full four-year term. This staggers elections such that half the body is up for reelection every two years and allows for complete body turnover following redistricting. Arkansas voters elected a 21–14 Republican majority in the Senate in 2012. Arkansas House members can serve a maximum of three two-year terms. House districts are redistricted by the Arkansas Board of Apportionment. In the 2012 elections, Republicans gained a 51–49 majority in the House of Representatives. The Republican Party majority status in the Arkansas State House of Representatives after the 2012 elections is the party's first since 1874. Arkansas was the last state of the old Confederacy to never have Republicans control either chamber of its house since the Civil War. Following the term limits changes, studies have shown that lobbyists have become less influential in state politics. Legislative staff, not subject to term limits, have acquired additional power and influence due to the high rate of elected official turnover.


Judicial

Arkansas's judicial branch has five court systems: Arkansas Supreme Court, Arkansas Court of Appeals, Circuit Courts, District Courts and City Courts. Most cases begin in district court, which is subdivided into state district court and local district court. State district courts exercise district-wide jurisdiction over the districts created by the General Assembly, and local district courts are presided over by part-time judges who may privately practice law. 25 state district court judges preside over 15 districts, with more districts created in 2013 and 2017. There are 28 judicial circuits of Circuit Court, with each contains five subdivisions: criminal, civil, probate, domestic relations, and juvenile court. The jurisdiction of the Arkansas Court of Appeals is determined by the Arkansas Supreme Court, and there is no appeal, right of appeal from the Court of Appeals to the high court. The Arkansas Supreme Court can review Court of Appeals cases upon application by either a party to the litigation, upon request by the Court of Appeals, or if the Arkansas Supreme Court feels the case should have been initially assigned to it. The twelve judges of the Arkansas Court of Appeals are elected from judicial districts to renewable six-year terms. The Arkansas Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the state, composed of seven justices elected to eight-year terms. Established by the Arkansas Constitution in 1836, the court's decisions can be appealed to only the Supreme Court of the United States.


Federal

Both Arkansas's U.S. senators, John Boozman and Tom Cotton, are Republicans. The state has four seats in United States House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives. All four seats are held by Republicans: Rick Crawford (politician), Rick Crawford (Arkansas's 1st congressional district, 1st district), French Hill (politician), French Hill (Arkansas's 2nd congressional district, 2nd district), Steve Womack (Arkansas's 3rd congressional district, 3rd district), and Bruce Westerman (Arkansas's 4th congressional district, 4th district).


Politics

Arkansas governor
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton (''né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his presidency, he served as governor of Arkansas ...

Bill Clinton
brought national attention to the state with a long speech at the 1988 Democratic National Convention endorsing Michael Dukakis. Some journalists suggested the speech was a threat to his ambitions; Clinton defined it "a comedy of error, just one of those fluky things". He won the Democratic nomination for president in 1992. Presenting himself as a "New Democrat" and using incumbent George H. W. Bush's Read my lips: no new taxes, broken promise against him, Clinton won the U.S. presidential election, 1992, 1992 presidential election with 43.0% of the vote to Bush's 37.4% and independent billionaire Ross Perot's 18.9%. Most Republican strength traditionally lay mainly in the northwestern part of the state, particularly Fort Smith, Arkansas, Fort Smith and Bentonville, as well as North Central Arkansas around the Mountain Home, Arkansas, Mountain Home area. In the latter area, Republicans have been known to get 90% or more of the vote, while the rest of the state was more Democratic. After 2010, Republican strength expanded further to the Northeast and Southwest and into the Little Rock suburbs. The Democrats are mostly concentrated to central Little Rock, the Mississippi Delta, the Pine Bluff area, and the areas around the southern border with Louisiana. Arkansas has elected only three Republicans to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction era of the United States, Reconstruction: Tim Hutchinson, who was defeated after one term by Mark Pryor; John Boozman, who defeated incumbent Blanche Lincoln; and Tom Cotton, who defeated Pryor in 2014. Before 2013, the General Assembly had not been controlled by the Republican Party since Reconstruction, with the GOP holding a 51-seat majority in the state House and a 21-seat (of 35) in the state Senate following victories in 2012. Arkansas was one of just three states among the states of the former Confederate States of America, Confederacy that sent two Democrats to the U.S. Senate (the others being Florida and Virginia) for any period during the first decade of the 21st century. In 2010, Republicans captured three of the state's four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2012, they won election to all four House seats. Arkansas held the distinction of having a U.S. House delegation composed entirely of military veterans (Rick Crawford (politician), Rick Crawford, United States Army, Army; Tim Griffin, United States Army Reserve, Army Reserve; Steve Womack, Army National Guard of the United States, National Guard; Tom Cotton, Army). When Pryor was defeated in 2014, the entire congressional delegation was in GOP hands for the first time since Reconstruction era of the United States, Reconstruction. Reflecting the state's large evangelical population, the state has a strong social conservative bent. Under the Arkansas Constitution Arkansas is a right to work state, its voters passed a ban on same-sex marriage with 75% voting yes, and the state is one of a handful with legislation on its books banning abortion in the event ''Roe v. Wade'' is ever overturned.


Military

The Strategic Air Command facility of Little Rock Air Force Base was one of eighteen silos in the command of the 308th Armament Systems Wing#Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, 308th Strategic Missile Wing (308th SMW), specifically one of the nine silos within its 374th Strategic Missile Squadron (374th SMS). The squadron was responsible for Launch Complex 374–7, site of the 1980 Damascus Titan missile explosion, 1980 explosion of a Titan (missile), TitanII Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in Damascus, Arkansas.


Taxation

Taxes are collected by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.


Attractions

Arkansas is home to many areas protected by the National Park System. These include: * Arkansas Post National Memorial at Gillett, Arkansas, Gillett * Blanchard Springs Caverns * Buffalo National River * Fort Smith National Historic Site * Hot Springs National Park * Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site * Pea Ridge National Military Park * President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site * Arkansas State Capitol Building * List of Arkansas state parks


See also

* * Index of Arkansas-related articles * Outline of Arkansas


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Blair, Diane D. & Jay Barth ''Arkansas Politics & Government: Do the People Rule?'' (2005) * Deblack, Thomas A. ''With Fire and Sword: Arkansas, 1861–1874'' (2003) * Donovan, Timothy P. and Willard B. Gatewood Jr., eds. ''The Governors of Arkansas'' (1981) * Dougan, Michael B. ''Confederate Arkansas'' (1982), * Duvall, Leland. ed., ''Arkansas: Colony and State'' (1973)
Hamilton, Peter Joseph. ''The Reconstruction Period''
(1906), full length history of era; Dunning School approach; 570 pp; ch 13 on Arkansas * Hanson, Gerald T. and Carl H. Moneyhon. ''Historical Atlas of Arkansas'' (1992) * Key, V. O. ''Southern Politics'' (1949) * Kirk, John A., ''Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940–1970'' (2002). * McMath, Sidney S. ''Promises Kept'' (2003) * Moore, Waddy W. ed., ''Arkansas in the Gilded Age, 1874–1900'' (1976). * Peirce, Neal R. ''The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States'' (1974). * Thompson, Brock. ''The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South'' (2010) * Thompson, George H. ''Arkansas and Reconstruction'' (1976) * Whayne, Jeannie M. ''Arkansas Biography: A Collection of Notable Lives'' (2000) * White, Lonnie J. ''Politics on the Southwestern Frontier: Arkansas Territory, 1819–1836'' (1964) * Williams, C. Fred. ed. ''A Documentary History Of Arkansas'' (2005)


External links


Arkansas.gov
Official State Website
Arkansas State Facts from USDA

Official State tourism website

''Encyclopedia of Arkansas''

Energy & Environmental Data for Arkansas



2000 Census of Population and Housing for Arkansas
U.S. Census Bureau
USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Arkansas

Arkansas Summer Camps

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre
* * *
Arkansas State Code (the state statutes of Arkansas)

Arkansas State Databases
Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Arkansas state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association. {{coord, 34.8938, -92.4426, dim:300000_region:US-AR_type:adm1st, name=State of Arkansas, display=title Arkansas, 1836 establishments in the United States South Central United States Southern United States States and territories established in 1836 States of the Confederate States States of the United States