The eastern boundary of Arkansas is the west bank of the lower Mississippi River. The natural conditions of the area allow for successful agriculture, and among the minerals are oil and gas.
Arkansas is a state in the southern United States, bordering Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee. The state’s main city is Little Rock, the largest city in the state in terms of population.
The Natural State
Arkansas is called the “Natural State” for a reason. The low, forested mountains, rice and cotton fields, the abundance of rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and the beauty of the national parks are a joy to behold.
The hot springs of Hot Springs National Park at the eastern foot of the Washito Mountains have drawn many tourists to Arkansas for over 200 years. The 47 springs, which boast a temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit, are rich in mineral salts.
Arkansas is a state with no major cities. Even the state capital, Little Rock, is home to a little over 200,000 people, which is not much by U.S. standards. Maybe that’s why the state capital has a scaled-down replica of Washington’s Capitol in local marble. The old water mill in Little Rock was built in 1933 specifically for the filming of the famous movie “Gone with the Wind.
One of the main attractions of Arkansas is the “Diamond Crater”, a real crater of an ancient extinct volcano, where diamonds were found and which caused the appearance of diamonds on the state flag. Though, the diamonds are not of any jewelry value, but the tourists visiting the national park look for them for fun. There were several cases of finding decent crystals, for example, the largest diamond “Uncle Sam” weighs 40 carats.
The state of Arkansas is part of the former French colonies that were purchased by the United States of America in 1803.
Arkansas became part of the United States as a result of the so-called Louisiana Purchase, a deal made personally by Napoleon. The French emperor’s plans to invade Great Britain clearly prevented him from dealing with French territories in North America. At first it was supposed to sell only New Orleans to the United States for $10 million, but Napoleon made a sweeping gesture – for a sum only one and a half times as much, he offered to buy the entire Louisiana Territory.
The territory in question, from the Gulf of Mexico in the north to Rupert’s Land in the south and from the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west, covered more than 2 million square miles.
The third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, decided on this deal literally at his own risk, for the U.S. Constitution was silent on the possibility of acquiring “real estate” of this size from foreign nations. The main argument for the Louisiana Purchase was the need to control the port of New Orleans, through which trade was hindered by Spain and France. In 1803 the purchase agreement was signed.
The final price of the deal, including installment interest, was more than $23 million. Even considering that the value of the dollar at the time was many times higher than it is today, it was still a very profitable purchase for the United States.
- Official name: the state of Arkansas (since June 15, 1836, the 25th state of the United States).
- Territorial division: 75 counties.
- Capital city: Little Rock, population 204,370 (2006).
- Language: English.
- Religion: Protestantism (mostly Baptists and Methodists).
- Ethnicity: European Americans 42.6%, African Americans 15.7%, and natives of other continents 41.7%.
- Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group.
- Currency is the U.S. dollar.
- Largest cities: Little Rock, Fayetteville, Jonesborough.
- Major airports: Adams Field – Little Rock National Airport.
- Major rivers: Mississippi, Arkansas, Washito.
- Major lakes: Norfolk, Bull Shoals (reservoirs).
- Nearby states: Louisiana to the south, Texas and Oklahoma to the west, Tennessee and Mississippi to the east, and Missouri to the north.
- Area: 137,732 km2.
- Population: 2,673,000 (2000).
- Population density: 19.4 people/km2.
- The highest point: Mount Magazin, 839 m.
- GDP: $ 95 billion (2007). GDP per capita: $27.4 billion (2007).
- Per capita GDP: $27,781 (2007).
- Industry: food, electrical equipment, auto parts, bauxite, oil and gas.
- Agriculture: 2/5 of U.S. rice production, 10% of U.S. cotton production; leading U.S. state in soybeans, broiler chickens.
- Service sphere: tourism.
- Features of the economy: dominating light industry and tourism, excellent natural conditions for agriculture. Good business conditions have given the state the almost official nickname “The Land of Great Opportunity.
Climate and weather
- Subtropical, humid, with precipitation in excess of 1000 mm per year.
- Winters are mild and snowy, with an average temperature of +2 … +15ºC in January and +27ºC in July.
- The summer heat can reach +40 ºС.
- Little Rock: Capitol, Arkansas Center for the Arts, Museum of Science and Natural History
- Hot Springs National Park
- Diamond Crater National Park
- Buffalo River State Park
- Fort Smith National Historic Site
- Arkansas Post National Memorial
- Jean Petit National Park
- Arkansas Railroad Museum (Pine Bluff)
- Ozark Folk Center Park
- White River Preserve
- Arkansas has some of the oldest traces of human habitation in the United States. It is believed that as early as 12,000 to 10,500 years ago, ancient Native Americans were developing these lands.
- The first European to visit Arkansas was the Spaniard Fernando de Soto, who reached the area in 1539 with his army. According to legend, the soldiers lowered the phobe with the body of their commander into the river. Only a few members of the expedition managed to return to Mexico in 1543.
- De Soto’s expedition had decimated the local Indian tribes. When the French arrived in Arkansas in 1673, they encountered very few people – most of the Indians had died out from viruses introduced by the Spaniards a century and a half before.
- In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus refused to allow white and black children to study together. President Dwight Eisenhower had to send troops into Little Rock to restore legality.
- Arkansas is the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964 ), who accepted the Japanese surrender in 1945, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton (1946).