Arkansas (abbr.: AR or Ark.), state in the south of the United States of America, 137,539 km2, with 2.35 million inhabitants; capital city: Little Rock.
Arkansas encompasses the swamp and lake-rich prairie region on either side of the lower Arkansas River, with the forested Ozark Plateau and the Ouachita Mountains. The eastern part along the Mississippi is low and swampy and, if not yet protected from the water, is flooded every year. The climate in the lower parts is very hot and humid in summer and quite cold in winter. About half of the state is forested.
The average population density is 17 inhabitants. per km2. Approximately 54% of the population lives in urban areas. The largest cities are Little Rock and Fort Smith. See top cities in Arkansas.
Arkansas is one of the poorest states in the United States. Per capita income is significantly lower than the United States average. Agriculture supplies soybeans, cotton, wheat and rice. A major concern is the strong soil erosion. Poultry farming is important. There is considerable forestry. The state is rich in minerals: petroleum, coal, natural gas, barite and diamond. The industry includes electronics, petrochemical, paper, wood processing, textile and food processing industries. The state plays an important role in the transportation system of the United States, both by land (particularly by rail) and by air, as well as via the Arkansas River and the cross-state Kerr-McClellan Canal.
The government does a lot to promote tourism (including protecting and increasing fish and game stocks). Hot Springs National Park attracts many visitors.
Arkansas was first visited by Hernan (do) de Soto in 1541. A first settlement was established by the French in 1686, but only very slowly more residents came. In 1819 it became a territory, in 1836 a state. In the Civil War it joined the South. The Reconstruction lasted until 1874. Since then, the Democratic party has been in power almost continuously.
In 1881, the state legislature ended uncertainty about the spelling of the name that could be both Arkansas and Arkansaw; it was decided that the first spelling would be chosen and that the pronunciation would be the same as that of the second.
In 1957, Arkansas became known around the world for the conflict over the integration of the high school in Little Rock. Governor Faubus opposed the central government, so President Eisenhower had to send troops. The integration of the schools has nevertheless progressed vigorously since then, but Faubus popularized himself through his resistance and was elected governor for the sixth consecutive time in 1964. Since 1966, however, more progressive currents have come to power. The state’s leading politician was J. William Fulbright, Senator from 1944 to 1974. Bill Clinton, elected president of the United States in late 1992, served as governor of Arkansas from 1979–1981 and 1983–1993.
National Parks Arkansas
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park was established in 1921 and is part of the Zig Zag Mountains. It has a very small area namely 24 km². The park is so famous because there are very hot springs that squeeze 3.2 million liters of water from the ground every day at a temperature of 62 degrees Celsius. There are two wells open to the public of the forty-seven in total. The remaining forty-five are used for physiotherapy purposes. The park is located near the town of Hot Springs. You will find many baths that use the natural mineral water. The water flows from the source through all kinds of pipelines to a large tank underground, from which all bathhouses tap their hot water.