What Is the Capital of Arkansas?

The State Capitol Building in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The state of Arkansas is located in the southeastern United States. Arkansas is the 29th largest state in the country in terms of area, and the 33rd most populous. The state capital is Little Rock, which is also the seat of Pulaski County. Little Rock has a population of 193,524, making it largest city in the state.

Origin of Little Rock

Native American tribes inhabited the Little Rock area thousands of years prior to European settlement by French explorers in the 1720s. Little Rock derived its name from a rock formation located at the bank of the Arkansas River. The rock formation was a common landmark used when crossing the river. The "little rock" was opposite a "big rock" on the other side of the river. The city was incorporated in 1831, and the capital of Arkansas Territory, which had been Arkansas Post, was moved to Little Rock in 1821.

Administration of Little Rock

The state of Arkansas is led by the governor, who has executive powers vested by the constitution. However, Little Rock is governed by a city manager system, in which the mayor is the head of government, with veto power within the municipality. The mayor held little authority and privileges until 2007, when the position was expanded into a full-time job. The mayor, in coordination and collaboration with other departmental heads in the city, ensures the municipality operates smoothly.

Key Roles of Little Rock

Little Rock is a major cultural center, with several museums and art galleries that preserves the city's history and culture. A good example is the Arkansas Arts Center, which is the largest institution for cultural activities and visual arts. The capital is critical in administration, as it houses most government offices. Little Rock is a key driver of Arkansas' economy, and includes the headquarters of many large corporations. In addition, Little Rock also has several non-profit institutions, such as the Clinton Foundation.


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