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Arkansas Description

Arkansas was inhabited by a variety of Native American Indians prior to exploration in the late 16th century by the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto.

Frenchman Henri de Tonti established the first permanent white settlement in 1686 at Arkansas Post. In 1803, the land was acquired from France by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

It became part of the Missouri Territory in 1812, but was established as the Arkansaw Territory in 1819 after the cotton boom of 1818 brought large waves of settlers. Its capital was first established at Arkansas Post, but moved to Little Rock in 1821.

tonti Arkansas was admitted to the union on June 15, 1836 as a slave state. After initially refusing to join the confederacy, Arkansas seceded after the attack on Ft. Sumter in 1861. Numerous small-scale battles were fought in Arkansas during the American Civil War.

Arkansas was readmitted to the United States of America in June 1868 after a new constitution was adopted giving African Americans the right to vote and hold public office.

In 1881, a law was passed to adopt an official pronunciation of the state name, the only state with such a law. The accent is placed on the first and third syllables of the name (ARE-kan-SAW). The pronunciation are-KAN- sas is and was "an innovation to be discouraged."

Sharecropping and tenancy replaced much of the broken plantation system in the late 1800s. Bauxite and lumbering industries developed and oil was discovered in 1921. The Mississippi River flooded one-fifth of the state in 1927 and the Great Depression of the early 1930s struck blows to the Arkansas economy.

eisenhower After the watershed integration case Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education in 1957, Little Rock unfortunately attracted worldwide attention. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called National Guard troops to support segregationists and prevent the enrollment of nine African American students to Little Rock Central High School. President Dwight Eisenhower sent troops to escort the students into the school and Little Rock high schools were completely integrated by fall 1959.

Today a wide variety of agricultural industries, as well as mineral and petroleum-based products are mainstays of the state's modern economy. New manufacturing businesses are on the increase, and major corporations like Tyson Foods and Wal-Mart are based here.

Tourism is growing in importance, with former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton's boyhood home in Hope, and his Presidential Library in Little Rock now major attractions. Other points-of-interest include Hot Springs, Eureka Springs, and Murfreesboro, where the country's only diamond mine operates as a tourist site.

"The Natural State" nickname surely does fit Akansas, as its mountains, rivers, natural springs, caves, caverns, and other breathtaking vistas, as well as its friendly, welcoming residents, make it a great family destination at any time of the year.

Arkansas Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Stuttgart Arkansas 870
Crossett Ashley 870
Mountain Home Baxter 870
Rogers Benton 479
Harrison Boone 870
Warren Bradley 870
Hampton Calhoun 870
Berryville Carroll 870
Lake Village Chicot 870
Arkadelphia Clark 870
Piggott Clay 870
Heber Springs Cleburne 501
Rison Cleveland 870
Magnolia Columbia 870
Morrilton Conway 501
Jonesboro Craighead 870
Van Buren Crawford 479
West Memphis Crittenden 870
Wynne Cross 870
Fordyce Dallas 870
Dumas Desha 870
Monticello Drew 870
Conway Faulkner 501
Ozark Franklin 479
Salem Fulton 870
Hot Springs National Park Garland 501
Sheridan Grant 870
Paragould Greene 870
Hope Hempstead 870
Malvern Hot Spring 501
Nashville Howard 870
Batesville Independence 870
Melbourne Izard 870
Newport Jackson 870
Pine Bluff Jefferson 870
Clarksville Johnson 479
Stamps Lafayette 870
Walnut Ridge Lawrence 870
Marianna Lee 870
Star City Lincoln 870
Ashdown Little River 870
Booneville Logan 479
Cabot Lonoke 501
Huntsville Madison 479
Yellville Marion 870
Texarkana Miller 870
Blytheville Mississippi 870
Brinkley Monroe 870
Mount Ida Montgomery 870
Prescott Nevada 870
Jasper Newton 870
Camden Ouachita 870
Perryville Perry 501
West Helena Phillips 870
Glenwood Pike 870
Trumann Poinsett 870
Mena Polk 479
Russellville Pope 479
Des Arc Prairie 870
Little Rock Pulaski 501
Pocahontas Randolph 870
Forrest City Saint Francis 870
Benton Saline 501
Waldron Scott 479
Marshall Searcy 870
Fort Smith Sebastian 479
De Queen Sevier 870
Cherokee Village Sharp 870
Mountain View Stone 870
El Dorado Union 870
Clinton Van Buren 501
Fayetteville Washington 479
Searcy White 501
McCrory Woodruff 870
Dardanelle Yell 479

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.