Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Using inline citations helps guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies.Arkansas You may improve the article or discuss this issue on its talk page. Help on using footnotes is available. This article has been tagged since July 2007.
The State of Arkansas (IPA: /ˈɑɹ.kənˌsɔː/) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Arkansas is sometimes considered a part of the Southwest, and is a part of the old southwest according to legendary stories. Arkansas shares a border with six states, with its eastern border largely defined by the Mississippi River. Its diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River. The capital and most populous city is Little Rock.

See: List of Arkansas counties, List of cities in Arkansas, List of Arkansas townships, List of Arkansas native plants.
Arkansas is the first state in the U.S. where diamonds were found naturally (near Murfreesboro, Arkansas).
The eastern border of most of Arkansas is the Mississippi River, except in Clay and Greene counties where the St. Francis River forms the western boundary of the Missouri Bootheel. Arkansas shares its southern border with Louisiana, its northern border with Missouri, its eastern border with Tennessee and Mississippi, and its western border with Texas and Oklahoma.
Arkansas is a land of mountains and valleys, thick forests and fertile plains. Northwest Arkansas is part of the Ozark Plateau including the Boston Mountains, to the south are the Ouachita Mountains and these regions are divided by the Arkansas River; the southern and eastern parts of Arkansas are called the Lowlands.
The so-called Lowlands are better known as the Delta and the Grand Prairie. The land along the Mississippi River is referred to as the "Delta" of Arkansas. It gets this name from the formation of its rich alluvial soils formed from the flooding of the mighty Mississippi. The Grand Prairie is slightly away from the Mississippi River in the southeast portion of the state and consists of a more undulating landscape. Both are fertile agricultural areas and home to much of the crop agriculture in the state.
The Delta region is bisected by an unusual geological formation known as Crowley's Ridge. A narrow band of rolling hills, Crowley's Ridge rises from 250 to 500 feet above the surrounding alluvial plain.
Arkansas is home to many caves, such as Blanchard Springs Caverns.
Arkansas is home to many areas protected by the National Park System. These include:
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail also runs through Arkansas.

Arkansas Post National Memorial at Gillett
Buffalo National River
Fort Smith National Historic Site
Hot Springs National Park
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Pea Ridge National Military Park Geography
Arkansas generally has a humid subtropical climate, which borders on humid continental in some northern highland areas. While not bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Arkansas is still close enough to this warm, large body of water for it to be the main weather influence in the state. Generally, Arkansas has very hot, humid summers and mild, slightly drier winters. In Little Rock, the daily high temperatures average around 90 °F (32 °C) in the summer and close to 50 °F (10 °C) in winter. Annual precipitation throughout the state averages between 40 and 50 inches (1,000 to 1,250 mm); getting gradually wetter as you go from west to east. Snowfall is not uncommon, but certainly not excessive in most years as the average snowfall is around 5 inches (13 cm).
Despite its subtropical climate, Arkansas is known for occasional extreme weather. Between both the Great Plains and the Gulf States, Arkansas receives around 60 days of thunderstorms. As a part of Tornado Alley, tornadoes are not an uncommon occurrence in Arkansas, and a few of the most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history have struck the state. While being sufficiently away from the coast to be safe from a direct hit from a hurricane, Arkansas can often get the remnants of a tropical system which dumps tremendous amounts of rain in a short time and often spawns smaller tornadoes.

See main article History of Arkansas.
The first European to reach Arkansas was the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto at the end of the 16th century. Arkansas is one of several U.S. states formed from the territory purchased from Napoleon Bonaparte in the Louisiana Purchase. The early Spanish or French explorers of the state gave it its name, which is probably a phonetic spelling for the Illinois word for the Quapaw people, who lived downriver from them When the fighting began a stream of volunteers from Arkansas and the eastern states flowed through the town toward the Texas battle fields.
When the Mexican-American War began in 1846, Washington became a redezvous for volunteer troops. Governor Thomas S. Drew issued a proclamation calling on the state to furnish one regiment of calvary and one battalion of infrantry to join the United States Army. Ten companies of men assembled here where they were formed into the first Regiment of Arkansas Calvalry.
Arkansas refused to join the Confederate States of America until after United States President Abraham Lincoln called for troops to respond to the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, by Confederate forces. The State of Arkansas seceded from the Union on 1861-05-06. While not often cited in history, the state was the scene of numerous small-scale battles during the American Civil War. Arkansans of note during the Civil War include Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne. Considered by many to be one of the most brilliant Confederate division commanders of the war, Cleburne is often referred to as The Stonewall of the West. Also of note is Major General Thomas C. Hindman. A former United States Representative, Hindman commanded Confederate forces at the Battle of Cane Hill and Battle of Prairie Grove.
Under the Military Reconstruction Act, Congress readmitted Arkansas in June 1868.
In 1874, the Brooks-Baxter War shook Little Rock and the state governorship which was finally settled when Grant ordered that Joseph Brooks disperse his militant supporters.
In 1881, the Arkansas state legislature enacted a bill that adopted an official pronunciation, to combat a controversy then raging around the proper pronunciation of the state's name. (See Law and Government below).
After the case Brown v. Topeka Board of Education in 1957, the Little Rock Nine incident again brought Arkansas to national attention when the Federal government was forced to again interfere in the Arkansan capital. Orval Faubus, governor at the time, sent the Arkansas National Guard to aid segregationists in preventing nine African-American students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School. President Eisenhower sent troops to escort the African-American students on September 25, 1957. This incident eventually led to the closing of Little Rock high schools for the rest of the school year. The Little Rock high schools were completely integrated by the fall of 1959.
Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was born in Hope, Arkansas. Before his presidency, Clinton served nearly twelve years as the 50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas.

Arkansas, like most other Southern states, is part of the Bible Belt and is overwhelmingly Protestant. The religious affiliations of the people are as follows:

Christian – 86%

  • Protestant – 78%

    • Baptist – 39%
      Methodist – 9%
      Pentecostal – 6%
      Church of Christ – 6%
      Assemblies of God – 3%
      Other Protestant – 15%
      Roman Catholic – 7%
      Orthodox Christian – <1%
      Other Christian – <1%
      Other Religions – <1%
      Non-Religious – 14% Religion
      The state's gross domestic product for 2005 was $87 billon. Its per capita personal median income (in current dollars) for 2006 was $35,295, according to the U.S. Census Bureau . The state's agriculture outputs are poultry and eggs, soybeans, sorghum, cattle, cotton, rice, hogs, and milk. Its industrial outputs are food processing, electric equipment, fabricated metal products, machinery, paper products, bromine, and vanadium.
      In recent years, automobile parts manufacturers have opened factories in eastern Arkansas to support auto plants in other states. Additionally, the city of Conway is the site of a school bus factory.
      Tourism is also very important to the Arkansas economy; the official state nickname "The Natural State" was originally created (as "Arkansas Is A Natural") for state tourism advertising in the 1970s, and is still regularly used to this day.
      According to Forbes.com or http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/10/washington-virginia-utah-biz-cz_kb_0711bizstates-table.html
      Arkansas currently ranks 21st for The Best States for Business, 9th for Business Cost, 40th for Labor, 22nd for Regulatory Environment, 17th for Economic Climate, 9th for Growth Prospects, 34th in Gross Domestic Product, and positive economic change of 3.8% or ranked 22nd.

      Arkansas imposes a state income tax with six brackets, ranging from 1.0% to 7.0%. The first $9,000 of military pay of enlisted personnel is exempt from Arkansas tax; officers do not have to pay state income tax on the first $6,000 of their military pay. Retirees pay no tax on Social Security, or on the first $6,000 in gain on their pensions (in addition to recovery of cost basis). Residents of Texarkana, Arkansas are exempt from Arkansas income tax; wages and business income earned there by residents of Texarkana, Texas are also exempt. Arkansas's gross receipts (sales) tax and compensating (use) tax rate is currently 6%. The state has also mandated that various services be subject to sales tax collection. They include wrecker and towing services; dry cleaning and laundry; body piercing, tattooing and electrolysis; pest control; security and alarm monitoring; self-storage facilities; boat storage and docking; and pet grooming and kennel services.
      In addition to the state sales tax, there are more than 300 local taxes in Arkansas. Cities and counties have the authority to enact additional local sales and use taxes if they are passed by the voters in their area. These local taxes have a ceiling or cap; they cannot exceed $25 for each 1% of tax assessed. These additional taxes are collected by the state, which distributes the money back to the local jurisdictions monthly. Low-income taxpayers with a total annual household income of less than $12,000 are permitted a sales tax exemption for electricity usage.
      Sales of alcoholic beverages account for added taxes. A 10% supplemental mixed drink tax is imposed on the sale of alcoholic beverages (excluding beer) at restaurants. A 4% tax is due on the sale of all mixed drinks (except beer and wine) sold for "on-premises" consumption. And a 3% tax is due on beer sold for off-premises consumption.
      Property taxes are assessed on real and personal property; only 20% of the value is used as the tax base.



      Main article: List of highways in Arkansas Highways
      Little Rock National Airport and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport are Arkansas's main air terminals. Limited passenger service is available at smaller airports in Fort Smith, Texarkana, Pine Bluff, Harrison, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Jonesboro.

      Amtrak's Texas Eagle makes several stops in Arkansas daily on its run from Chicago to San Antonio and Los Angeles.

      The current Governor of Arkansas is Mike Beebe, a Democrat. He was elected on November 7, 2006.
      Both of Arkansas's U.S. Senators are Democrats: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor. The state has four seats in U.S. House of Representatives. Three seats are held by Democrats—Marion Berry (map), Vic Snyder (map), and Mike Ross (map). The state's lone Republican congressman is John Boozman (map).
      The Democratic Party holds super-majority status in the Arkansas General Assembly. A majority of local and statewide offices are also held by Democrats. This arrangement is rare in the modern South, where a majority of statewide offices are held by Republicans. Arkansas had the distinction in 1992 of being the only state in the entire country to give the majority of its vote to a single candidate in the presidential election—native son Bill Clinton—while every other state's electoral votes were won by pluralities of the vote among the three candidates. In 2004 George W. Bush won the state of Arkansas by 9 points, leading some to speculate that the state was shifting toward the Republicans. In 2006, however, Democrats were elected to fill all statewide offices by the voters in a Democratic sweep that included the Arkansas Democratic Party regaining the governorship.
      Most Republican strength lies mainly in northwest Arkansas in the area around Fort Smith, while the rest of the state is strongly Democratic. Arkansas has only elected one Republican to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. The Arkansas General Assembly has not been controlled by the Republican Party since Reconstruction and is the fourth most heavily Democratic Legislature in the country, after Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Connecticut. Arkansas is also the only state among the states of the former Confederacy that sends two Democrats to the U.S. Senate and the overwhelming majority of registered voters in the state are Democrats. The state is socially conservative – its voters passed a ban on gay marriage with 74% voting yes, the Arkansas Constitution protects right to work, and the state is one of a handful that has legislation on its books banning abortion in the event Roe vs. Wade is ever overturned.
      In Arkansas, the lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor and thus can be from a different political party.
      Each officer's term is four years long. Office holders are term-limited to two full terms plus any partial terms prior to the first full term. Arkansas gubernatorial terms became four years with the 1986 general election; before this, the terms were two years long.
      Some of Arkansas's counties have two county seats, as opposed to the usual one seat. The arrangement dates back to when travel was extremely difficult in the states. The seats are usually on opposite sides of the county. Though travel is no longer the difficulty it once was, there are few efforts to eliminate the two seat arrangement where it exists, since the county seat is a source of pride (and jobs) to the city involved.
      Arkansas is the only state to specify the pronunciation of its name by law.
      See also: List of Arkansas Governors and United States presidential election, 2004

      Law and government
      The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area had 829,032 people in the 2006 census estimates and is the largest in Arkansas.
      The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metropolitan area is increasingly important to the state and its economy. The US Census estimated the population of the MSA to be 420,876 in 2006, up from 347,045 in 2000, making it the sixth fastest growing region in the nation[3]. It is home to the corporate headquarters of Fortune 1000 companies Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt, as well as representatives of numerous vendors drawn by Wal-Mart. It is also home to the University of Arkansas and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.
      See also Arkansas Metropolitan Areas.
      Top 15 Largest Cities in Arkansas
      1. Little Rock 204,370 Central Arkansas
      2. Fort Smith 83,461 Northwest Arkansas
      3. Fayetteville 67,158 Northwest Arkansas
      4. Springdale 60,096 Northwest Arkansas
      5. Jonesboro 59,358 Northeast Arkansas
      6. North Little Rock 58,833 Central Arkansas
      7. Pine Bluff 52,693 Southeast Arkansas
      8. Conway 52,430 Central Arkansas
      9. Rogers 48,666 Northwest Arkansas
      10.Hot Springs 37,847 Southwest Arkansas
      11.Jacksonville 30,367 Central Arkansas
      12.Texarkana 30,006 Southwest Arkansas
      13.Bentonville 29,538 Northwest Arkansas
      14.West Memphis 28,181 Northeast Arkansas
      15.Benton 27,700 Central Arkansas

      Metropolitan areas
      Names in bold have populations greater than 20,000.

      Bella Vista
      El Dorado
      Eureka Springs
      Forrest City
      Fort Smith
      Helena-West Helena
      Hot Springs
      Little Rock
      Marked Tree
      Mountain Home
      Mountain View
      North Little Rock
      Pine Bluff
      Siloam Springs
      Van Buren
      Walnut Ridge
      West Memphis
      Wynne Important cities and towns


      List of school districts in Arkansas Public school districts

      Cherokee Indians Arkansas Genealogy and History
      Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center website
      National Center for Toxicological Research website Centers of research

      Arkansas Baptist College
      Arkansas State University System

      • Arkansas State University - Beebe

        • Arkansas State University - Heber Springs
          Arkansas State University - Little Rock Air Force Base
          Arkansas State University - Searcy
          Arkansas State University - Jonesboro
          Arkansas State University - Mountain Home
          Arkansas State University - Newport
          Arkansas State University - Paragould
          Arkansas State University Technical Center
          Arkansas Tech University
          Central Baptist College
          Harding University
          Henderson State University
          Hendrix College
          John Brown University
          Lyon College
          Northwest Arkansas Community College
          Ouachita Baptist University
          Philander Smith College
          Southern Arkansas University
          South Arkansas Community College
          University of Arkansas System

          • University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
            University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
            University of Arkansas at Little Rock
            University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
            University of Arkansas at Monticello
            University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
            University of Central Arkansas
            University of the Ozarks
            Williams Baptist College See also
            Whereas, confusion of practice has arisen in the pronunciation of the name of our state and it is deemed important that the true pronunciation should be determined for use in oral official proceedings.
            And, whereas, the matter has been thoroughly investigated by the State Historical Society and the Eclectic Society of Little Rock, which have agreed upon the correct pronunciation as derived from history, and the early usage of the American immigrants.
            Be it therefore resolved by both houses of the General Assembly, that the only true pronunciation of the name of the state, in the opinion of this body, is that received by the French from the native Indians and committed to writing in the French word representing the sound. It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final "s" silent, the "a" in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of "a" in "man" and the sounding of the terminal "s" is an innovation to be discouraged.

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