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Arkansas State Guide

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The state of Arkansas is located in the Southern region of the United States. The term Arkansas is derived Flag of Arkansasfrom a name used by some Native Americans to describe the Quapaws, an early tribe in the area. The meaning of Arkansas is south wind. According to the 2000 census, the state ranked 33rd in size with 2.67 million residents. The Arkansas Territory was organized in 1819, and Arkansas was added to the Union as the 25th state in the year on June 15th, 1836[1]. Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas.

Arkansas Fast Facts
  • State capitol: Little Rock
  • Statehood: June 15th in 1836, as the 25th State
  • Largest city: Little Rock
  • Largest metro: Little Rock Metropolitan Area
  • Nickname: Natural State
  • Official Language: English
Arkansas State Symbols[2]
  • State Bird: Mockingbird
  • State Beverage: Milk
  • State Butterfly: Diana Fritillary
  • State American Folk Dance: Square dance
  • State Flower: Apple blossom
  • State Fruit and Vegetable: Vine Ripe Pink Tomato
  • State Gem: Diamond
  • State Grape: Cynthiana
  • State Grain: Rice
  • State Insect: Honeybee
  • State Mammal: White tail deer
  • State Mineral: Quartz crystal
  • State Nut: Pecan
  • State Rock: Bauxite

History of Arkansas


The history of Arkansas dates back to the time around 1686, when the French people established the first European settlement on the lower Mississippi. Spanish conqueror Hernando De Soto was the first to visit Arkansas and was also the first to lead the European expedition into Arkansas. In the year 1674, Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet visited Quapaw villages of “Akansae” or “Kappa” near the meeting point of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. In the year 1682, Sieur de La Salle and Rene Rober Cavelier claims the Mississippi valley for King Louis XIV of France. La Salle’s lieutenant, Italian mercenary soldier Henri de Tonty established the Arkansas Post, as a trading post in 1686. In the Year 1699, due to sluggish business Arkansas Post was abandoned.

In the year 1700, French Catholic missionaries visited the present-day Arkansas to turn local Natives to Christianity. Scottish land speculator John Law recruits French settlers in 1717 for a projected colony to be built in the wilds of present-day Arkansas. In 1713, Louisiana and Arkansas becomes a royal colony of France. French and Indian War broke out in Europe in the year 1753 pitting France against England. The Treaty of Fontainebleau (Paris) in 1762 concludes the French and Indian War. After several previous relocations in the year 1779, Arkansas Post moves once more to the Ecores Rouges (Red Bluffs) site where it is located today.

Arkansas State Capitol

The Treaty of Madrid in 1795 confirms the right of citizens of United States to navigate on the Mississippi River and to ship through the Spanish-held port of New Orleans. Campo del Esperanza, or Field of Hope in 1797 was established. French and Spanish diplomats sign the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso in the year 1800. According to the treaty Louisiana again was under French control. An Act of Congress was approved by President Thomas Jefferson in 1804 dividing the newly-acquired former French colony into two parts that is the Territory of Orleans and the District of Louisiana (which included the present-day Arkansas). On June 4, 1812 Congress created the Missouri Territory, including Arkansas. The Missouri Legislature in the year 1813 created the Arkansas County.

Arkansas became a territory in the year 1819, with Arkansas Post as its capital. The capital was moved to a central location after two years. Little Rock was established as the capital. Arkansas was admitted to the union on June 15th, 1836 as the 25th state with a population of just over 50,000.

A new Capitol was built, symbolizing progress of Arkansas since settlement and the future promise of the state, hosting its first legislative session in 1911. In the fall of 1957, Little Rock Central High School was established. Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd President of the United States in 1992. In the General Election of 2012, Republicans gain the majority in both the state House of Representatives and Senate for the first time.

Arkansas History Timeline
  • 1541: Spanish conqueror Hernando De Soto was the first European to visit Arkansas.
  • 1673: Louis Jolliet, a trader and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette travel south of the Mississippi River.
  • 1686: Arkansas Post is established by La Salle’s lieutenant.
  • 1699: Due to sluggish business, Arkansas Post is abandoned,.
  • 1717: Scottish land speculator John Law recruits French settlers to build a colony in the wilds of present-day Arkansas.
  • 1731: Louisiana, and Arkansas, becomes a royal colony of France.
  • 1753: French and Indian War breaks out in Europe.
  • 1762: French: The Treaty of Fontainebleau (Paris) concludes the French and Indian War.
  • 1779: Arkansas Post once more shifted to the Ecores Rouges (Red Bluffs) site where it remains today.
  • 1800: French and Spanish diplomats sign the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso On October 1.
  • 1812: On June 4th, Congress creates Missouri Territory, including Arkansas.
  • 1813: Missouri Legislature created the Arkansas County.
  • 1819: President James Monroe signs an Act of Congress creating the Territory of Arkansas.
  • 1836: Arkansas becomes the twenty-fifth state of the Union on June 15;.
  • 1921: Oil is found near Smackover.
  • 1992: Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd President of the United States.
  • 2012: In the General Election, Republicans gain the majority in both the state House of Representatives and Senate.

Geography of ArkansasGeography of Arkansas


Arkansas is bounded by Mississippi River in the east, on the west by the plains of Oklahoma and Texas, on the north by Missouri and on the south by Louisiana. Arkansas is ranked 27th among the states in size. The total area of the state is 53,187 square miles. Of these, over 600,000 acres are lakes with 9,740 miles of streams. The state is also divided equally between lowlands and highlands, with the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain (Delta and Grand Prairie) on the east, the Gulf Coastal Plain on the south, and the Interior Highlands on the west and north. The hill regions of the state are also equally divided into two areas. To the south is the Ouachita province and to the north are the Ozark plateaus. Between them through a wide valley, flows the Arkansas River, included in the Ouachita subdivision.

Arkansas Land Regions


Arkansas is also divided into several geographical regions. Mentioned below are the land regions of Arkansas.

Ozark Plateau

The Ozark Plateau is located in the northwestern and north central part of Arkansas. It is area full of hills and deep valleys. Ozark Plateau is also sometimes referred to as the Ozark Mountains and is heavily forested. The Ozark Plateau is also known for Mammoth Springs, one of the largest springs in the United States.

Arkansas Valley

Arkansas Valley separates the Ozark Plateau in the north and the Ouachita Mountains in the south. Arkansas River, the largest river flows through the Arkansas Valley. Magazine Mountain, the highest point in Arkansas, is also located in the Arkansas Valley.

Ouachita MountainsLittle red river

Ouachita Mountains are one of the two major ranges in the United State that runs east to west. These mountain ranges consist of parallel ridges and valleys that run from eastern Oklahoma to central Arkansas. These mountain ranges are also well known for mineral and timber resources and for their hot springs.

Mississippi Alluvial Plain

The Mississippi River covers most of the eastern border of Arkansas between Tennessee and Louisiana. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain is located along the Mississippi River and envelops the eastern third of Arkansas. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain is also known as the Delta region.

West Gulf Coastal Plain

The West Gulf Coastal Plain covers the southeastern and south central regions of Arkansas, along the border of Louisiana. Coastal Plain region is characterized by pine forests and farmlands. Natural resources found in this region include petroleum, natural gas deposits and beds of bromine flats.

Climate


Arkansas is located between 36 30' North Latitude and and 94 42' West Longitude. The climate of the state is usually pleasant without extreme heat or cold. The average annual temperature of the regions varies from 58 to 65 degrees. Rainfall also varies from about 45 inches in the mountainous regions to 50 to 55 inches in the Delta regions annually. In the extreme northwest annual average snowfall ranges from 10.4 inches to 2.8 inches in the lowlands of the southeast. On the high plateau in the northwest, the growing season ranges from 180 days to 240 days in the southeastern part of the Arkansas.

Arkansas Forestry Commission


The Arkansas Forestry Commission is responsible to protect the forests of Arkansas and those who use them from natural hazards and wild land fire. The Commission is also responsible to promote stewardship, rural and urban forest health, development and conservation for all generations of Arkansans.

Poison Springs State Forest encompasses 21,439 acres in western Ouachita and eastern Nevada counties. The forest was named after a nearby spring of the same name and is the site of a significant Civil War battle. The commission manages the Poison Springs State Forest for several uses like for timber production, water quality protection, demonstration of good forest management practices, recreation, and research and wildlife habitat. The major recreational activities at Poison Springs is hunting.

Read more: Poison Springs State Forest

Arkansas National Forests

The three national forests in Arkansas cover more than 2.9 million acres. The three national forest in Arkansas are: the Ozark National Forest, the St. Francis National Forest and the Ouachita National Forest.

Ozark National ForestOzark National Forest

The Ozark National Forest located mostly in northwestern Arkansas and it covers more than one million acres. The southern part of the Forest passes along the Arkansas River Valley south to the Ouachita Mountains.

Contact Details
Supervisors Office
605 West Main Street
Russellville, AR 72801
Phone no: 479-964-7200
Read more: Ozark National Forest

St. Francis National Forest

The St. Francis National Forest lies on the east central edge of Arkansas. The forest received its name from the St. Francis River. The St. Francis National Forest is the only forest in the National Forest System where the visitors can enjoy the beautiful sight of the "Father of Waters," the mighty Misssissippi River, from the shoreline.

Contact Details
Supervisors Office
605 West Main Street
Russellville, AR 72801
Phone no: 479-964-7200
Read more: St. Francis National Forest

Ouachita National ForestOuachita National Forest

The Ouachita National Forest encompasses over 1.8 million acres in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. The headquarter of the forest is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The forest is managed for several uses for the habitat for wildlife and fish species, timber and wood production and watershed protection and improvement.

Contact Details
Ouachita National Forest
100 Reserve Street
P.O. Box 1270
Hot Springs, AR 71902
Phone no: (501) 321-5202
Fax: (501) 321-5305
Read more: Ouachita National Forest

Important Mountain ranges in Arkansas

Ouachita Mountain
  • The Ozark Mountains of Arkansas are the largest mountain range. This mountain range is located between the Appalachian Mountains in the East and the Rocky Mountains in the West.
  • The Ouachita Mountains are located in west central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. Mount Magazine is the highest peak in the Ouachita Mountain.
  • Mount Magazine is the tallest mountain in the state of Arkansas
  • Mount Nebo is located near Lake Dardanelle, and it gives a spectacular view of the Arkansas River, Lake Dardanelle and the surrounding mountain ridges.
Geography Quick Facts
  • Total area: 53,187 square miles
  • Longitude: 89 41' and 94 42' West
  • Latitude: 33 and 36 30' North
  • Highest elevation: Mount Magazine (2,753 feet)
  • Lowest elevation: Ouachita River (55 feet)
  • Major Rivers: Mississippi, Arkansas, White, St. Francis, Red, Ouachita
  • Major Mountain Ranges: Ozark Mountains, Ouachita Mountains
  • Major Rivers: Arkansas River, Mississippi River
  • Major Lakes: Lake Ouachita, Bull Shoals Lake

Economy of Arkansas


Several sectors play a major role in the economic growth of Arkansas. Agriculture, tourism and industries in Arkansas contribute to the economy of the state. The Economy of Arkansas covers & metropolitan areas which are: Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro,Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Memphis, Pine Bluff and Texarkana, TX-Texarkana.

Arkansas Economy Fast Facts[3]Economy of Arkansas

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) in (millions of current dollars) of all industry total in 2013 - $ 124,218
  • Arkansas’s per capita real GDP in 2013 - $ 39,111
  • Arkansas’s per capita personal income in 2014 - $ 37,751
  • Arkansas’s unemployment rate in 2015- 5.6%


Agriculture in Arkansas

  • Arkansas ranks first in the production of rice in the nation.
  • More than 30,000 farms in Arkansas raise cattle for both milk and beef.
  • The State is also one of the leading producers of cotton.
  • Arkansas ranks second in broiler production in the nation and third in turkeys and eighth in eggs.


Industries in Arkansas

  • Arkansas ranks third in terms of channel catfish aquaculture in the nation.
  • Today production in Arkansas includes television sets, furniture, clothing, prepared foods, aircraft components, chemicals, boats, communications equipment, , machine tools, electric motors, pulp and paper products.
  • The primary exporting partners of Arkansas in 2011 included Canada, Mexico , China , Japan , South Korea, France and Singapore.

Tourism in Arkansas

Arkansas is also called the Natural state. Its scenic beauty appeals to travelers from all over the world. The tourism also contributes to the economy of the state. Arkansas’s travel and tourism expenditures amount to over $5.7 billion every year. The Tourism sector contributes over $400 million in state and local taxes.

Major tourist places in Arkansas are: Mammoth Spring State Park
Business Quick Facts
  • Private nonfarm establishments, 2013: 64, 7721
  • Private nonfarm employment, 2013: 978, 0941
  • Private nonfarm employment, percent change, 2012-2013: 0.0%1
  • Non employer establishments, 2012: 192,746
  • Total number of firms, 2007: 238,994
  • Manufacturers’ shipments, 2007 ($1000): 60,735,582
  • Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000): 29,659,789
  • Retail sales, 2007 ($1000): 32,974,282
  • Retail sales per capita, 2007: $11,602
  • Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000): 3,559,795
  • Building permits, 2013:7,481

Demographics of Arkansas


The population of Arkansas as of 2014 estimation by the U.S. Census Bureau was 2,966,369.[4] The 2014 census reflected a hike of 1.73% since the year 2010.

Arkansas Population Quick facts
  • Population, 2014 estimate: 2,966,369
  • Population, 2013 estimate: 2,958,765
  • Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base: 2,915,958
  • Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014: 1.7%
  • Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013: 1.5%
  • Population, 2010: 2,915,918
  • Persons under 5 years, percent, 2013: 6.5%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2013: 24.0%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2013: 15.4%
  • Female persons, percent, 2013: 50.9%
Arkansas Racial Groups
  • White alone, percent, 2013 (a): 79.9%
  • Black or African American alone, percent, 2013 (a):15.6%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2013 (a): 1.0%
  • Asian alone, percent, 2013 (a): 1.5%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2013 (a): 0.3%
  • Two or More Races, percent, 2013: 1.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013 (b): 6.9%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013: 73.7%

Transportation in Arkansas


The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department maintains the existing infrastructure of Transportation in the state and develops an integrated transportation network that includes air, rail, road systems designed to provide an efficient and safe aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sound intermodal transportation system for the people of Arkansas.Transportation in Arkansas

The road transportation in Arkansas consists of several state routes, interstate highways, bridges and tunnels. The transportation department is responsible for safe, convenient, and excellent transportation throughout the state. The department also provides easy connectivity to various nearby cities and states. The Department looks after16, 398 miles of State and US highways. One can enjoy the natural beauty and diversity of Arkansas while traveling through the Arkansas Scenic Byways. Bicycle and Pedestrian are also a very common mode of transportation in Arkansas. Apart from transportation bicycling and pedestrian activities also contributes to the recreational and health benefits.

Air transportation is an essential gateway of Arkansas that serves the tourists and locals from around the globe. It is an important means of transport that offers all round efficient and easy connectivity. The primary airport of Arkansas are: Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, Fort Smith Regional Airport, Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport and Texarkana Regional Airport.

Rail Transportation is also an important means of transportation in Arkansas. Rail transportation in Arkansas includes both the movement of people (passenger rail) and movement of goods (freight rail). Amtrak or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation is a publicly funded railroad service which started operations on May 1, 1971. The rail freight network of Arkansas is a major driver of economic activity. Every year thousand tons of rail freight is shipped to different destinations.

The Arkansas Waterways Commission is the only state agency responsible for promoting, developing, and protecting waterways in Arkansas. The Commission also is responsible for promoting economic development for ports on the five commercially navigable rivers of the Arkansas. There are several ports in Arkansas.

Read more: Transportation in Arkansas

Government of Arkansas


The Government of Arkansas is divided into three branches the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judiciary branch.

The Executive Branch of Arkansas consists of The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State, Commissioner of State Lands and State Treasurer. The Governor is the head of the Executive Branch. The Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas is the second highest elected official in the State. The Lieutenant Governor presides also serves as the President of the SenateGovernment seal of Arkansas

The Arkansas House of Representatives, along with the Arkansas Senate, comprises the legislative branch of government of Arkansas.The House of Representatives of Arkansas comprises of 100 members that are elected from 100 districts. The Speaker is the presiding officer of the house who is elected every two years by the membership.The state Senate comprises of 35 members and each represents a district of about 83,000 people.
The Judiciary branch of Arkansas applies law and regulations and also ensures justice in the state.

Judicial Branch of Arkansas consists of the Arkansas Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Arkansas Circuit Courts and District courts. The Supreme Court of Arkansas is the highest court in the state.

Taxation


The Department of Finance and Administration of Arkansas is responsible to collect tax in order to support the provisions of public services. Major Taxes administered by the Department of Finance and Administration of Arkansas are: Individual Income tax, Property Tax, State Sales and Use Tax, State Reduced Food Tax, Liquor Excise Tax, Parks and Tourism Tax and many more.

Read more: Government of Arkansas

Health Care in Arkansas


The Arkansas Department of Health is one of the executive agencies in Arkansas. The primary aim of the department is to improve and protect the health and well-being of the people of Arkansas. The department’s vision is to provide optimal health for the people of the state. Health Care in Arkansas

Hospitals in Arkansas are well equipped with all the modern facilities, efficiently staffed and provide 24-hour inpatient care, including nursing, medical, surgical, laboratory, anesthesia, radiology, child care, pharmacy services, mental well being, maternity care and many more services. Several organizations in Arkansas are dedicated to provide organ and blood to those in need. The organizations are committed and striving to meet the transplant needs of the people of Arkansas

The Health Insurance Programs not only protects physical health, but also financial health and peace of mind. Health insurance programs provide services to the eligible people free of cost. Health insurance program provides routine check-ups, medicines, special checkups and many more. Arkansas has initiated many programs that assist the people of the state to pay for the entire or part of their health care or medical costs. Medicaid is a government health insurance program for the people of Arkansas.

The Health Statistics Branch (HSB) of Arkansas looks after a variety of data that concerns the health of Arkansans. The section of Vital Statistics reports information on all vital events like birth, death, marriage, divorce, fetal deaths, and induced terminations of pregnancies.

Read more: Health Care in Arkansas

Education in Arkansas


The Arkansas Department of Education is a dedicated service agency that gives resources, leadership and technical support to educators, school districts and schools. The aim of the Department is to provide comprehensive, innovative education system that focuses on the outcomes that makes sure that every Arkansas student is prepared for post-secondary education and careers.

Contact DetailsEducation in Arkansas
Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone no: 501-682-4475
Website: Arkansas Department of Education

Mentioned below are names of some universities and colleges in Arkansas:
Arkansas Interesting Facts
  • Located in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains, Mount Ida is known as the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World.
  • None of the streets cross at right angles and there are no stoplights in town, in the northwest Arkansas hamlet of Eureka Springs.
  • Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs ranks as the fourth most significant American architectural structure.
  • Every floor of the seven-story Basin Park Hotel is ground level, in Eureka Springs.
  • The State Songs of Arkansas are: Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me), Oh, Arkansas, Arkansas and The Arkansas Traveler.

References:
  1. Arkansas Statehood
  2. Arkansas State Symbols
  3. Arkansas Economy Facts
  4. Arkansas Population

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