Arkansas Facts and History

Abbreviated as AR on, Arkansas is one of the United States of North America, which was part of Louisiana sold by France in 1803; it was established in a separate territory in 1819 and became a state of the Union in 1836. Arkansas is located between 33 ° and 36 ° 30 ‘of lat. N. and between 89 ° 45 ‘and 94 ° 4’ long. O., and extends from north to south and from east to O., for 400 km., With an area of ​​136,000 square kilometers. The state is divided into 75 counties and these into districts, which at the beginning of 1920 were 1443; 349 municipalities (1920) are also included in it, ranging from small villages of less than 100 inhabitants. up to the major cities. Arkansas has a 35-member Senate and a 100-member House of Representatives. At the National Congress of the Union he is represented by two senators and seven deputies.

Geology and mineral products. – An imaginary line crossing the state from northeast  to southwest  it would divide the territory into two portions almost equal in extension, but very different in geological structure. The part NO. it is made up of layers of Paleozoic sandstone and limestone, with a few igneous rocks towards the center of the state; the SE part. it belongs to the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico, formed by the Cretaceous and Tertiary deposits, with large areas of recent floods. The Paleozoic and igneous rocks contain coal, bauxite, manganese, building stones, zinc, lead, small amounts of diamonds and many other minerals. Magnet Cove is one of the best known places in the world for the rarity of its minerals. There are few hot springs (among these the best known are those of Hot Springs in Garland County, with waters at + 57 °) and natural gas springs at Fort Smith. The main mineral products of the flat region are: oil, gas, clays, sands, etc. Oil constitutes the major income of the state; at the beginning of 1920, there were 126 open mines, employing 4073 people, representing a capital of $ 8,688,453, and producing (1919) a production of $ 8,404,537.

Topography and hydrography. – A strip of 80 km. along the northern border of the state (excluding the prairies area to the west and the alluvial plain to the east), it belongs to the Ozark Plateau, and is all hilly, and indeed mountainous in some places. The topography generally depends on the irregular alternation of siliceous and limestone rocks. To south of the Ozark Plateau there is the region of the Boston Mountains, a sandstone plateau, about 600 msm high, which extends from near Batesville westwards to the state of Oklahoma. Further to the south is the Arkansas Valley, made up of clays and sandstones, which extends on both banks of the river for a width of about 80 km., From Little Rock to Fort Smith and beyond. Although most of the valley is not very high, it also contains several ridges and peaks, which reach a height of 860 meters in Magazine Mountain (in Logan County). To the south of the Arkansas valley, rise the Ouachita Mountains, which extend from east to west with a height of over 760 m., And are flanked by an area of ​​lower hills, up to 20-24 kilometres. The plain is undulating with short hills in its southwestern half, and has a mountainous ridge, running from north to south (Crowley’s Ridge), in the northeastern part; for the rest, that is, at least for half of its area, it is completely flat. The Mississippi, which forms the eastern border of the state, sometimes floods this region, and, more rarely, that north of Crowlev’s Ridge, which is higher. Its major tributary is Arkansas, which is navigable all the way through the state, which it gives its name. The White River bathes the region of the Ozark Plateau (where the waters are used for hydroelectric plants), and is navigable in the lower section; there are other less important rivers, but equally used for the production of motive power in their upper course and as waterways in the lower course.

Climate. – The climate is typically temperate, and the average annual temperature varies from 15 ° to N. to 18 ° to south, with an excursion of 22 ° between January and July. Rain varies on average from 1020 to 1270 mm. per year in the various regions of the state; more rain predominates everywhere in winter and spring than in summer and autumn.

Vegetation. – Originally, the entire state was covered with woods, except in the Grand Prairie (about 4000 sq. Km.) Of the eastern half, and in the small various grasslands scattered both in the higher areas and in the lowlands. Only a quarter of the other areas have been cleared to encourage agriculture, which is why Arkansas is believed to have a greater proportion of virgin forest than other eastern states. Deciduous trees predominate.

Fauna. – Except for a few special types missing east of the Mississippi, Arkansas wildlife species are broadly similar to those of the other southeastern states. In addition to the animals that favor hunting and fishing, the local fauna feeds an important industry, namely the collection of shells in the White River and other waterways. These shells are used for the manufacture of mother-of-pearl buttons and often also provide pearls.


“Arkansas” the French Jesuits of the seventeenth century called the Sioux of the South, with a term removed from their language; and the Indian pronunciation of this name has been preserved (ár – cán – ). Instead, in the similar case of Kansas, the French spelling determined the American pronunciation: cán – sas. Arkansas settled in the post-Columbian era on the major western tributary of the “Father of Waters” and gave their name to the Arkansas River and the vast surrounding region.

Crossed first by De Soto (1541), and later by Marquette and Joliet (1673), the ancient domain of Arkansas had the first village of Bianchi by an Italian, Enrico de Tonti, companion of the Frenchman La Salle, who in 1689 he founded the Arkansas Post mission on the Mississippi. Vast swamps, however, separated the paradisiacal Arkansas Valley from the Mississippi. Only later, that is, after 1760, and especially after 1804, did companies of farmers, mostly poor and disappointed, from the Carolines and Ohio, go back to Arkansas and turn the swamps towards the north, to bring a crude and elementary civilization. in these lands blessed by nature.

Known very vaguely by the French and Spanish as part of Louisiana, Arkansas was defined as the southern limit by the United States government, which in 1804 divided Arkansas, Anglo-Saxon and Calvinist, from Louisiana, Catholic and French, and aggregated it to the Indiana Territory. In 1812, an Arkansas county (district) was created within a new Missouri Territory, thus defining a northern boundary. Organized in 1819 the Arkansas Territory under autonomous federal regime, the limit was set towards the West only in 1828. The state of Arkansas entered the Union in 1836.

According to the famous Missouri Compromise (transaction) of 1820, Arkansas was included in the slave sphere of the Union. The rest of the population was mainly of the southern type, albeit with Nordic elements of a certain importance. Arkansas therefore sided with the Secession in 1861, but with very weak interest; and on the other hand in the region, isolated from the great theater of war, only a few minor campaigns took place in the years 1862-4. The Northern victory (1865) brought to Arkansas all the confusions of the so-called black dominance imposed by the democratic ideas of the post-war period; and the two parties, losers and winners, fought between 1872 and 1874 a comic electoral struggle called by the name of the party leaders, the Brooks – Baxter, eventually resolved peacefully by President Grant, who readmitted the state into the Union and re-established the local majority regime.

A sovereign state within the Union, but without a real history, Arkansas nevertheless possesses a distinct individual character. Faced with the ancient aristocratic states, “knights”, landowners, of the American midday, Arkansas is a region of “poor whites”: vigorous democracy, a little narrow-minded and particularistic; militant but poorly enlightened Calvinism predominates; one notices, in the population, a certain peasant good humor, frank hospitality, and a broad spirit of individual adventure. Arkansas is home to Will Rogers, America’s greatest contemporary humorist.

Arkansas Facts and History

Little Rock

According to, Little Rock is a a city of the USA (189,515 inhabitants in 2008), and capital of Arkansas (from 1821). It is located on the right bank of the Arkansas River in the central part of the state, east of the Ouachita Mountains. Food, textile, wood, chemical, mechanical and electrotechnical industries. It is home to a medical university (established in 1880).

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