Portal:Arkansas Information

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Arkansas ( /ˈɑːrkənsɔː/ AR-kən-saw) is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.

Arkansas is the 29th largest by area and the 33rd most populous of the 50 United States. The capital and most populous city is Little Rock, located in the central portion of the state, a hub for transportation, business, culture, and government. The northwestern corner of the state, such as the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area and Fort Smith metropolitan area, is a population, education, and economic center. The largest city in the state's eastern part is Jonesboro. The largest city in the state's southeastern part is Pine Bluff.

The Territory of Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state on June 15, 1836. In 1861, Arkansas withdrew from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. On returning to the Union in 1868, the state continued to suffer due to its earlier reliance on slavery and the plantation economy, causing the state to fall behind economically and socially. White rural interests continued to dominate the state's politics until the civil rights movement. Arkansas began to diversify its economy following World War II and relies on its service industry, aircraft, poultry, steel, and tourism, along with cash crops of cotton, soybeans and rice.

The culture of Arkansas is observable in museums, theaters, novels, television shows, restaurants, and athletic venues across the state. People such as politician and educational advocate William Fulbright; former president Bill Clinton who served as the 40th and 42nd governor of Arkansas; his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton; former NATO Supreme Allied Commander general Wesley Clark, Walmart magnate Sam Walton; singer-songwriters Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Jimmy Driftwood, and Glen Campbell; actor-filmmaker, Billy Bob Thornton; the poet C. D. Wright; and physicist William L. McMillan, who was a pioneer in superconductor research; have all lived in Arkansas.

State facts

  • Total area: 53,180 mi2
    • Land: 52,069 mi2
    • Water: 1111 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 2,753 ft ( Mount Magazine)
  • Population 2,988,248 (2015 est)
  • Admission to the Union: June 15, 1836 (25th)

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Selected article

The Brooks–Baxter War was an armed conflict in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the United States, in 1874 between factions of the Republican Party over the disputed 1872 election for governor. It came at the end of a long and often violent struggle between natives, known as scalawags, and nonnatives, called carpetbaggers, over power in the state government following the Civil War.

The struggle began with the ratification of the 1868 Arkansas constitution, which had been rewritten to accommodate the Radical Republicans in the United States Congress who had dissolved southern governments and turned them into military districts. The new constitution gave suffrage to freedmen while disenfranchising former Confederates. Democrats refused to participate in the writing of a constitution that disenfranchised ex-Confederates (who were mostly Democrats) from participating in state government. With no opposition, native scalawag and newly arrived carpetbagger Republicans managed to form a thin coalition and take control of the Arkansas State government. Eventually, extravagant government spending and widespread corruption caused the Republicans to split into two factions: the Minstrels, who were mostly non-natives, and the Brindle Tails, who were mostly native. This led to a failed impeachment trial of the carpetbagger Republican Governor, Powell Clayton, after which he was elected a US Senator by the General Assembly to sequester him from state affairs.

The 1872 gubernatorial election resulted in a narrow victory for Minstrel Elisha Baxter over Brindle Tail Joseph Brooks in an election marked by fraud and intimidation. Brooks challenged the result through legal means, initially without success, but Baxter alienated much of his base by re-enfranchising former Confederates and in 1874, Brooks was declared governor by a judge who declared the results of the election to have been fraudulent. Brooks took control of the government by force, but Baxter refused to resign. Each side was supported by its own militia of several hundred men and several bloody battles ensued between the two factions. Finally, President Ulysses S. Grant reluctantly intervened and supported Governor Baxter, bringing the affair to an end.

The incident, followed by the new Arkansas Constitution of 1874, marked an early end to Reconstruction in Arkansas, two years before it ended in the rest of the country. It was also followed by Democratic dominance of the Governorship for 90 years. ( more...)

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Battle of Pea Ridge.png
The Battle of Pea Ridge (also known as Elkhorn Tavern) was a land battle of the American Civil War, fought on March 7 and March 8, 1862, at Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas, near Bentonville.

Selected biography

Maya Angelou ( /ˈm.ə ˈænəl/; born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) was an American autobiographer and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She was best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences. The first, best-known, and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), focuses on the first seventeen years of her life, brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. Angelou has been highly honored for her body of work, including being awarded over 30 honorary degrees and the nomination of a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie.

Angelou was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s, was active in the Civil Rights Movement, and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Since 1991, Angelou has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as recipient of the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. Since the 1990s she made around eighty appearances a year on the lecture circuit. In 1993, she recited her poem " On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961. In 1995, she was recognized for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou was heralded as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African American women who was able to publicly discuss her personal life. She became recognized and highly respected as a spokesperson for black people and women. Angelou's work is often characterized as autobiographical fiction. Angelou, however, made a deliberate attempt through her work to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books, centered on themes such as identity, family, and racism, are often used as set texts in schools and universities internationally. Some of her more controversial work has been challenged or banned in US schools and libraries. ( more ...)

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Little Rock is the capital and the most populous city of the State of Arkansas. It is also the county seat of Pulaski County and had a city population of 184,422 in the 2006 census estimates. It and North Little Rock, Arkansas are co-principal cities of the six-county Little Rock-North Little Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, an area with a population of 652,834 people, according to 2006 census estimates. The MSA is in turn included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 829,032 in the 2006 census estimates.

Located near the geographic center of Arkansas, Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called La Petite Roche (the "little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. ( more...)

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