History of Arkansas
The U.S. State of Arkansas (AR) was admitted as the 25th state of the union on June 15th, 1836. AR was at one time a part of Napoleon Bonaparte’s territory of French Louisiana. When the United States bought the territory from him in 1803, it became known as the Louisiana Purchase; AR was included. With a large Native American population, new American settlers often sparred with the local tribes. There was social and political unrest after the formation of the Territory of Arkansas was formally established over the allowance of slavery. Eventually, during the breakout of the American Civil War, the state of AR succeeded and became a member of the Confederacy. As a strong strategic point in the Confederacy’s military strategy, AR allowed them to maintain control of the Mississippi River.
After the defeat of the Confederacy, Arkansas was restored to the union in 1868. However, throughout reconstruction and up until the modern-day, AR faced many trials and tribulations during a significant period of social unrest and uprising against the post-war social structures.
In 2015, the United States Census Bureau estimated the population of Arkansas to be 2,978,204. The capital of Arkansas is Little Rock, is currently the largest city and a part of the largest metropolitan region in the state, where nearly 800,000 citizens reside. Most recently, with the influx of businesses and students attending the University of Arkansas, the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan area is quickly following suit, becoming the second most populated metro area in Arkansas.
While most of Arkansas’s economy was originally based around fur, agriculture, and slavery, only 3% of the population is employed in the agriculture industry. Tourism plays a large role in Arkansas, along with agriculture. The state uses its southern heritage as a talking point for farming festivals and live music festivals. In addition, Arkansas commands a robust lumber business. Currently, Arkansas ranks 4th in the nation in the softwood lumber industry.
Arkansas maintains a significant presence in the art world and the natural world. Highly popular among tourists, The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, was visited by 604,000 in the year of its inception. Along with several state parks and historical sites, the United States National Park Service also maintains several properties in AR.
The University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University play host to two of the most popular collegiate sports programs in the entire nation. Both schools field Division 1 NCAA sports teams across several different athletics programs.
Traditionally a very conservative state, Arizona is represented entirely by members of the Republican Party in both the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton represent AR in the Senate, while six representatives are currently seated in the House of Representatives. In addition, AR’s current Governor Asa Hutchinson, is also a member of the Republican Party.
Arkansas is home to the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton. President Clinton, a Democrat, also served as Governor of Arkansas from 1983 to 1992.
AR Government Offices:
- Governor: Asa Hutchinson
- Attorney General: Leslie Rutledge
- Secretary of State: Mark Martin
- Auditor: Andrea Lea
- Department of Conservation
- Department of Natural Resources
- Arkansas Lottery