Arkansas

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Arkansas

, indigenous people of North America
Arkansas, Native North Americans: see Quapaw.

Arkansas

, state, United States

Arkansas (ärˈkənsôˌ, ärkănˈzŭs), state in the south-central United States. It is bordered by Tennessee and Mississippi, across the Mississippi River (E), Louisiana (S), Texas and Oklahoma (W), and Missouri (N).

Facts and Figures

Area, 53,104 sq mi (137,539 sq km). Pop. (2020) 3,011,524, a 3.5% increase since the 2010 census. As of the 2020 census, the state's population was: White alone, 79%; Black alone, 15.7%; Hispanic or Latino, 7.8%; American Indian and Alaska native alone, 1%; Asian alone, 1.7%; Two or More Races, 2.2%. Capital and largest city, Little Rock. Statehood, June 15, 1836 (25th state). Highest pt., Magazine Mt., 2,753 ft (840 m); lowest pt., Ouachita River, 55 ft (17 m). Nickname, Land of Opportunity. Motto, Regnat Populus [The People Rule]. State bird, mockingbird. State flower, apple blossom. State tree, pine. Abbr., Ark.; AK

Geography

The Arkansas River flows southeast across the state between the Ozark plateau and the Ouachita Mountains and runs down to the southern and eastern plains to empty into the Mississippi River. The other rivers of the state also flow generally SE or S to the Mississippi; these include the Saint Francis (which forms part of the E Missouri line), the White River, the Ouachita, and the Red River (which forms part of the Texas line). The state's transportation network is based on rivers as well as roads, railroads, and air travel. The 440 mi (708 km) Arkansas River Navigation System links Oklahoma and Arkansas to the Mississippi River.

The capital and largest city is Little Rock; other important cities are Fort Smith, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs, and West Memphis.

The climate of Arkansas is marked by long, hot summers and mild winters. The state's many lakes and streams and its abundant wildlife provide excellent hunting and fishing. The mineral springs at Hot Springs also attract many visitors to Arkansas, where tourism is an important industry.

Economy

A major cotton-producing state in the 19th cent., Arkansas has since diversified its agricultural production and overall economy. Cotton is still an important crop, but ranks below soybeans and rice. Arkansas has become a leading producer of poultry, raising over one billion broiler chickens a year; turkeys, dairy goods, and catfish are also important. The state's most important mineral products are petroleum, bromine and bromine compounds, and natural gas, and it is the nation's leading bauxite producer. Principal manufactures are food products, chemicals, lumber and paper goods, electrical equipment, furniture, automobile and airplane parts, and machinery. The Pine Bluff Arsenal is among military installations contributing to the Arkansas economy.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

The state constitution (1874) provides for an elected governor and bicameral legislature, with a 35-member senate and a 100-member house of representatives. Arkansas sends two senators and four representatives to the U.S. Congress and has six electoral votes. Democrats dominated control of the state until 1966, when Republicans gained the governorship for the first time since Reconstruction. The governor's office has switched hands between the two parties since then.

Among the institutions of higher education in the state are the Univ. of Arkansas, at Fayetteville; Arkansas State Univ., at Jonesboro; Hendrix College and the Univ. of Central Arkansas, at Conway; Ouachita Baptist Univ. and Henderson State Univ., at Arkadelphia; the Univ. of the Ozarks, at Clarksville; Lyon College, at Batesville; and Harding College, at Searcy.

History

Early History to Statehood

A people known as the Bluff Dwellers, who inhabited caves, probably lived in the Arkansas area before 500. They were followed by the Mound Builders, who received their name from the mounds they constructed, apparently for ceremonial purposes. The first Europeans to arrive in Arkansas (1541–42) were probably members of the Spanish expedition under Hernando De Soto. Later the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet came S along the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas River. A number of Native American groups, such as the Osage, Quapaw, and Caddo, lived in the vicinity.

In 1682, Robert La Salle's lieutenant, Henri de Tonti, established Arkansas Post, the first white settlement in the Arkansas area. La Salle claimed the Mississippi valley for France, and the region became part of the French territory of Louisiana. The French ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain in 1762 but regained it before it passed to the United States under the Louisiana Purchase (1803).

Arkansas became part of the Territory of Missouri in 1812. The cotton boom of 1818 brought the first large wave of settlers, and the Southern plantation system, moving west, fixed itself in the alluvial plains of S and E Arkansas. In 1819 the area was made a separate entity, and the first territorial legislature met at Arkansas Post. The capital was moved to Little Rock in 1821. Arkansas achieved statehood in 1836.

The Civil War

As the Civil War began, poorer farmers were generally indifferent to questions of slavery and states' rights. The slaveholding planters held the most political power, however, and after some hesitation, Arkansas seceded (1861) from the Union. In the Civil War, Confederate defeats at Pea Ridge (Mar., 1862), Prairie Grove (Dec., 1862), and Arkansas Post (Jan., 1863) led to Union occupation of N Arkansas, and General Grant's Vicksburg campaign separated states W of the Mississippi from the rest of the Confederacy. In Sept., 1863, federal troops entered Little Rock, where a Unionist convention in Jan., 1864, set up a government that repudiated secession and abolished slavery. Because the state refused at first to enfranchise former slaves, Arkansas was not readmitted to the Union until 1868, when a new constitution gave African Americans the right to vote and hold office.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction in Arkansas reached a turbulent climax in the struggle (1874) of two Republican claimants to the governorship, Elisha Baxter and Joseph Brooks. Baxter's apparent success in the election was not accepted by Brooks, and followers of the two men resorted to violence in what became known as the Brooks-Baxter War. After President Ulysses S. Grant declared Baxter to be governor, Baxter called a constituent assembly dominated by Democrats to frame a new state constitution. The convention adopted (1874) the constitution that, in amended form, still remains in force.

During Reconstruction the so-called carpetbaggers and scalawags were detested by most Arkansas whites, but their administrations brought advances in education and (at exorbitant costs caused by corruption) railroad construction. Because of high cotton prices and the failure to give the freed slaves any economic status, the broken plantation system was replaced by sharecropping and farm tenancy. The lives of the people of the Ozarks remained largely unchanged; they retained the customs, skills, and superstitions that have given the hill folk their distinctive regional characteristics. In the late 19th cent., as railroad construction proceeded, Arkansas's population grew substantially, and bauxite and lumbering industries developed. Oil was discovered in Arkansas, near El Dorado, in 1921.

Hard Times

Disaster struck in 1927 when the Mississippi River overflowed, flooding one fifth of the state. With the fortunes of the state pegged to the price of cotton, the depression of the early 1930s (see Great Depression) struck hard. Dispossessed tenants, black and white, formed (1939) the Southern Tenant Farmers Union; after trouble with the authorities, it moved its headquarters to Memphis, Tenn. A strike called in 1936 spread to other regions before its strength waned. Other impoverished farmers migrated west to California as “Arkies”—like the “Okies” from neighboring Oklahoma. After World War I, African Americans left the state in a steady stream to the industrial North. World War II brought further loss of population as workers left Arkansas for war factories elsewhere. The war, however, created a boom for new industries in the state, notably the processing of bauxite into aluminum.

The Postwar Era

The decline of industrial output after the war was offset by the vigorous efforts of a state development commission formed in 1955 to attract new industry to Arkansas. Gov. Orval Faubus of Arkansas became a center of national and world attention in 1957 when he resisted the desegregation of public schools in Little Rock (see integration). Arkansas has long been dominated by the Democratic party, but in 1966 Winthrop Rockefeller (see under Rockefeller, John Davison was elected the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. Although reelected in 1968, Rockefeller lost the governorship to a Democrat, Dale Bumpers, in 1970.

In 1971, Arkansas and Oklahoma joined in the Arkansas River Navigation System, a project that developed the Arkansas River basin to provide water transportation to the Mississippi. In the early 1990s, the Arkansas-based Wal-Mart merchandise chain, founded by Arkansan Sam Walton in 1962 as a small-town discount store, became the largest retailer in the United States. His daughter, Alice, established the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which opened in their hometown of Bentonville in 2011.

Bill Clinton served as the governor of Arkansas (1979–81, 1983–92), before being elected president of the United States in 1992. In the mid- to late 1990s national attention focused on Arkansas as Clinton associates, including Jim Guy Tucker, his successor as governor, were embroiled in Whitewater and other scandals; Tucker resigned following his conviction on fraud charges. Republican Mike Huckabee, the lieutenant governor, became governor, and was reelected in 1998 and 2002. In 2006, Mike Beebe, a Democrat, was elected to the post; he was reelected in 2010. Republican Asa Hutchinson was elected governor in 2014 and reelected in 2018, who pursued a conservative agenda, including limiting abortion rights and instituting work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

Bibliography

See L. J. White, Politics on the Southwestern Frontier: Arkansas Territory, 1819–1836 (1964); H. S. Ashmore, Arkansas (1984); I. J. Spitzberg, Racial Politics in Little Rock, 1954–1964 (1987); G. T. Hanson and C. H. Moneyhon, Historical Atlas of Arkansas (1989).


Arkansas

, river, United States
Arkansas (ärkănˈzəs, ärˈkənsôˌ), river, c.1,450 mi (2,330 km) long, rising in the Rocky Mts., central Colo., and flowing generally SE across the plains to the Mississippi River, SE Ark.; drains 160,500 sq mi (415,700 sq km). The Canadian and Cimarron rivers are its main tributaries. It is the chief waterway for the state of Arkansas, where it drains a broad valley. The upper course of the Arkansas River has many rapids and flows through the Browns Canyon National Monument and Royal Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the United States. More than 25 dams on the river provide flood control, power, and irrigation. During the warm months, because of its extensive use for irrigation, the middle course of the Arkansas is reduced to a trickle. The John Martin dam and reservoir in Colorado is one of the largest water-storage and flood-control units in the river basin. The Arkansas River Navigation System, opened in 1971, makes the river navigable to Tulsa, Okla., 440 mi (708 km) upstream. The Spanish explorers Coronado and De Soto probably traveled along portions of the river in the 1540s. In 1806, Zebulon Pike, an American army officer, explored the river's upper reaches in Colorado. The Arkansas River was an important trade and travel route in the 19th cent.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Arkansas State Information

Phone: (501) 682-3000
www.arkansas.gov


Area (sq mi):: 53178.62 (land 52068.17; water 1110.45) Population per square mile: 53.40
Population 2005: 2,779,154 State rank: 0 Population change: 2000-20005 4.00%; 1990-2000 13.70% Population 2000: 2,673,400 (White 78.60%; Black or African American 15.70%; Hispanic or Latino 3.20%; Asian 0.80%; Other 3.60%). Foreign born: 2.80%. Median age: 36.00
Income 2000: per capita $16,904; median household $32,182; Population below poverty level: 15.80% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $21,925-$24,384
Unemployment (2004): 5.60% Unemployment change (from 2000): 0.70% Median travel time to work: 21.90 minutes Working outside county of residence: 23.40%

List of Arkansas counties:

  • Arkansas County
  • Ashley County
  • Baxter County
  • Benton County
  • Boone County
  • Bradley County
  • Calhoun County
  • Carroll County
  • Chicot County
  • Clark County
  • Clay County
  • Cleburne County
  • Cleveland County
  • Columbia County
  • Conway County
  • Craighead County
  • Crawford County
  • Crittenden County
  • Cross County
  • Dallas County
  • Desha County
  • Drew County
  • Faulkner County
  • Franklin County
  • Fulton County
  • Garland County
  • Grant County
  • Greene County
  • Hempstead County
  • Hot Spring County
  • Howard County
  • Independence County
  • Izard County
  • Jackson County
  • Jefferson County
  • Johnson County
  • Lafayette County
  • Lawrence County
  • Lee County
  • Lincoln County
  • Little River County
  • Logan County
  • Lonoke County
  • Madison County
  • Marion County
  • Miller County
  • Mississippi County
  • Monroe County
  • Montgomery County
  • Nevada County
  • Newton County
  • Ouachita County
  • Perry County
  • Phillips County
  • Pike County
  • Poinsett County
  • Polk County
  • Pope County
  • Prairie County
  • Pulaski County
  • Randolph County
  • Saint Francis County
  • Saline County
  • Scott County
  • Searcy County
  • Sebastian County
  • Sevier County
  • Sharp County
  • Stone County
  • Union County
  • Van Buren County
  • Washington County
  • White County
  • Woodruff County
  • Yell County
  • Counties USA: A Directory of United States Counties, 3rd Edition. © 2006 by Omnigraphics, Inc.

    Arkansas Parks

    Parks Directory of the United States, 5th Edition. © 2007 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
    The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

    Arkansas

     

    a state in the south of the USA. Area, 137,500 sq km. Population in 1967, 1,969,000; 43 percent urban (1960). Capital, Little Rock. In the east, Arkansas occupies the lowlands cut out by the Arkansas River on the right bank of the Mississippi; to the northwest are the Ouachita (about 863 m) and Boston (about 823 m) mountains. The climate is subtropical and humid (more than 1,000 mm of rain yearly). Yellow, red, and alluvial soils predominate. Subtropical forests (cypress, gum trees, and so on) grow in the valleys and floodlands; pine and oak, in elevated regions. The area of cultivated forests is 8.6 million hectares (ha). Arkansas has the South’s second largest reserves of hardwood. The value of agricultural commodity production and the relative net production of manufactured goods are approximately equal. Agriculture is highly developed. The main crops are cotton (area 286,000 ha, 118,000 tons in 1967, mainly in the Mississippi Valley), soybeans, and rice; Arkansas is fourth nationally in the production of cotton. Broilers (365 million in 1967) are the principal commodity in animal breeding.

    Other industries are petroleum (slightly over 4 million tons in 1965), building materials, and bauxite (1,618,000 tons in 1965, more than nine-tenths of the US output). Among the manufacturing industries (129,000 employees) the food industry (packaging, preserving, and freezing chickens, fruits, berries, and so on), lumbering, and woodworking are most important. There are also radio and electronics and chemical industries (including production related to chemical warfare). There are aluminum factories in Jones Mill and Arkadelphia. Electric power plants provided 2.47 million kilowatts in 1966.

    M. E. POLOVITSKAIA

    The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Arkansas

    Twenty-fifth state; admitted on June 15, 1836 (seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861, and was readmitted in June 1868)

    The state was named for Ohio Valley Indians’ name for the Quapaw Indians who lived in northern Arkansas.

    State capital: Little Rock

    Nickname: The Natural State

    State motto: Regnat populus (Latin “The people rule”)

    State beverage: Milk

    State bird: Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

    State flower: Apple blossom (Malus sylvestris)

    State folk dance: Square dance

    State fruit and vegetable: South Arkansas vine-ripe pink tomato

    State gem: Diamond

    State insect: Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    State mammal: White-tail deer

    State mineral: Quartz crystal

    State musical instrument: Fiddle

    State rock: Bauxite

    State songs: “Arkansas,” “Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me),” “Oh Arkansas,” and “The Arkansas Traveler”

    State tree: Pine (Pinus palustris)

    More about state symbols at:

    www.soskids.arkansas.gov/k-4-history-state-symbols.html

    SOURCES:

    AmerBkDays-2000, p. 448 AnnivHol-2000, p. 101

    STATE OFFICES:

    State web site: www.arkansas.gov

    Office of the Governor State Capitol Bldg Little Rock, AR 72201 501-682-2345 fax: 501-682-1382 www.arkansas.gov/governor

    Secretary of State State Capitol Bldg Rm 256 Little Rock, AR 72201 501-682-1010 fax: 501-682-3510 www.sosweb.state.ar.us

    Arkansas State Library 1 Capitol Mall 5th Fl Little Rock, AR 72201 501-682-1527 fax: 501-682-1529 www.asl.lib.ar.us

    Legal Holidays:

    Christmas EveDec 24
    Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday and Robert E. Lee's BirthdayJan 17, 2011; Jan 16, 2012; Jan 21, 2013; Jan 20, 2014; Jan 19, 2015; Jan 18, 2016; Jan 16, 2017; Jan 15, 2018; Jan 21, 2019; Jan 20, 2020; Jan 18, 2021; Jan 17, 2022; Jan 16, 2023
    Washington's Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates DayFeb 21, 2011; Feb 20, 2012; Feb 18, 2013; Feb 17, 2014; Feb 16, 2015; Feb 15, 2016; Feb 20, 2017; Feb 19, 2018; Feb 18, 2019; Feb 17, 2020; Feb 15, 2021; Feb 21, 2022; Feb 20, 2023
    Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.

    Arkansas

    1. a state of the southern US: mountainous in the north and west, with the alluvial plain of the Mississippi in the east; has the only diamond mine in the US; the chief US producer of bauxite. Capital: Little Rock. Pop.: 2 725 714 (2003 est.). Area: 134 537 sq. km (51 945 sq. miles)
    2. a river in the S central US, rising in central Colorado and flowing east and southeast to join the Mississippi in Arkansas. Length: 2335 km (1450 miles)
    Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
    References in periodicals archive ?
    Different kinds of evidence have been used to support the interpretation that this formation is the fossilized remains of Noah's ark. Its length is 515 feet (157 meters), which circumstantially is the same length as 300 Egyptian cubits and the same dimensions as given by Genesis 6:15 for the ark.
    In short, there was not even one human stowaway in the ark. God made sure there was no stowaway because he was the one who personally shut/closed the ark before it sailed.
    * Sam Walton opens a 32,500-square-foot store in Siloam Springs, Ark.
    There he examined claims of a Papuan tribe, the Gogodala, who--like the Lemba--believed they were descended from the Israelites, and offered to show him the hiding place of the Ark. This turned out to be a dead end, but research on the coast of East Africa proved more fruitful.
    AERT operates manufacturing facilities in Springdale, Ark.; Lowell, Ark.; Tontitown, Ark.; Junction, Texas; and Alexandria, La.
    But not just any ark. want it 20 decks high and this time I want it filled with fish.
    Craighead County;, Ark.,Judge Dale Haas (2nd from left) presents a check for $5,000 to DAV Chapter Commander and volunteer driver Paul Calkin, DAV Chapter 26, Jonesboro, Ark.
    Arrangeonline.com, Jonesboro, Ark., has formed an alliance with America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, and Digital City, AOL's local guide, that will provide AOL members and Digital City visitors easy access to family and genealogy information as well as a national database of current and historic obituaries.
    Ark. Highway and Transporation Jensen Construction Co.
    Kenneth Lombard, executive vice president of Economic Resources Corp., a Lynwood, Calif-based black-owned venture capital fund management firm, is one of many firms eagerly awaiting an invitation to invest with Ark. "It is crucial that we have the assistance of these fund-of-funds to gain access to pension fund investments," says Lombard.