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North Carolina is a state of the United States that, together
with Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, South
Carolina, Georgia and Florida, form the so-called South Atlantic states. The
state borders Tennessee in the west, Virginia in the north, the Atlantic in the
east, South Carolina in the south and Georgia in the southwest.
North Carolina has a total area of approximately 139,400 square miles and,
with 10,273,419 residents, is the United States' 9th most populous state (US
Census, 2017). North Carolina was recorded as the 12th state in the United
States on November 21, 1789. The capital is Raleigh, while Charlotte is the
The name comes from Carolus, Latin form of English Charles,
name of English / French kings to whom the original province of Carolina was
named. The state is also known as The Tar Heel State, the "Tar Heel
State," used by General Robert E. Lee as a reference to the North Carolina
soldiers' relentlessness during the American Civil War.
At the far west is the Appalachian Mountains, where Blue Ridge in Mount
Mitchell reaches 2037 meters above sea level. Further east, along the foothills
of the mountain area (Piedmont), the terrain is approximately 150-500 meters
above sea level. About half of the state lies on the coastal plain
(Tidewater). On the border with Virginia lies the great marsh line Dismal
Swamp. The coast is lined with sandbanks, within which lie lakes and lagoons,
including the wide Pamlico Sound. Three protruding shingles - Cape Hatteras,
Cape Lookout and Cape Fear - are known as the "Atlantic Cemetery"; the first two
are national parks.
While the inland mountains have a moderate inland climate, the coast in the
south has a humid subtropical climate with rainfall amounts of 1100–1400
millimeters. 40 per cent of the area is wooded, while 15 per cent is cultivated
land. The growing season is 275 days on the coast and 175 days inland, with July
and August as the humid months, and October and November as the driest. The
average temperature for the whole year ranges from 13-19 °C.
Population growth during the period 1990–2000 was 21.4 per cent, and from
2000–2010 18.5 per cent. Of the population, 63.1 percent are white, 22.2 percent
are African American (1910: 31.6 percent), and 9.5 percent are Latinos
or Hispanics (US Census, 2017). Indigenous peoples (Cherokee) make up 1.6
percent. About 66 per cent of the population lives in cities (2015). Major
cities are Charlotte, the capital Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem
State University is the nation's first, founded in 1795, located in Chapel
Hill and has branches in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. At Durham is Duke
University. The Durham-Raleigh-Chapel Hill area is known for its research and
high-tech business and is called The Research Triangle. Greensboro was the place
where students began their "sit-in" demonstrations on February 1, 1960, as part
of the fight against racial segregation. Various free churches make up the
North Carolina sends two senators and 13 representatives to the federal
congress in Washington DC.
Tobacco, maize, peanut, soybean and peach are grown. Cotton was traditionally
the most important product, but because the cotton plant has depleted the soil,
with declining fertility as a result, the cotton has declined in
importance. However, piling up broilers has become a major industry.
Forestry is also important. About half of the land area is forest that is
commercially operated. Main wood products are various types of plywood. North
Carolina supplies most of America's mica and feldspar, as well
as olivine and granite. The state has several timber, furniture and wood
processing industries as well as the textile industry, cotton spinning and
cigarette production. The cuts in defense have created problems for communities
with large military bases.
Walter Raleigh attempted in 1585 to establish a colony on the island
of Roanoke at Albemarle Sound, but the first permanent colonization began in
1660. What was known as the province of Carolina in 1663 was divided into North
Carolina and South Carolina when both territories became British Crown
colonies in 1729.
As the 12th state in the North, North Carolina ratified the Union
Constitution and became a member of the Union in 1789. North Carolina resigned
in 1861 and joined the Confederate States, then resumed in the Union in 1868.
From the 1870s, an expansion began of railways and industry that made North
Carolina the most industrialized of the Southern states.