The name Arkansas derives from the arkansa or quapaw Indian peoples. Other tribes that occupied the region were the Osage, Cherokee and Choctaw. The territory of the present state of Arkansas was crossed by a Spanish expedition led by Hernando de Soto, in 1541. In 1686, Henri de Tonti founded a trading site, the Arkansas Post, near the confluence of Arkansas and Mississippi. The region formed part of the area named Louisiana by the French explorer René Robert Cavalier in 1682. The United States bought it from France in 1803.
In 1812, Arkansas became a Missouri county. In the year 1819, the United States Congress granted him territorial status. The following year, when Little Rock was founded, the area’s population reached 14,000. The exploitation of forest resources and the introduction of the steamboat as a means of transport led to a significant growth of the population, soon over 400,000 inhabitants, a quarter of whom were slaves.
Defenders of segregation dominated the state, when the US Civil War broke out, from 1861 until 1865, Arkansas was part of the Confederation of States of America.
Between 1868 and 1874, construction of the railroad was begun, state schools were created, and the University of Arkansas was founded.
The Arkansas River Navigation System, completed in 1970, opened a route between Mississippi and Oklahoma, thus aiding industrial expansion along the river course. In the 1970s and 1980s, the state promoted the development of livestock-related industries, which involved the development of some areas, but also sparked a controversy over increased air pollution.
Arkansas: what to see
Referred to as the “natural state,” Arkansas is covered in mountains, valleys, dense forests and fertile plains. What was once a frontier state still remains largely wild today. Its vast natural beauty is ideal for adventure sports. The main attractions in Arkansas are the spa facilities.
The Diamond Crater, near Murfreesboro, is the only known source of diamonds open to the public in North America.
- See Countryaah.com for a full list of counties in Arkansas.
Hot Springs– This area became the first Federal Reserve of the USA, in 1832, then a National Park in 1921. The ancient “Bathhouse Row”, now a Monumental Area of National Historic Importance, is within Hot Springs National Park. The visitor center occupies the opulent 1915 Fordyce Bathhouse in Spanish Renaissance style. Currently, only the Buckstaff Bathhouse is active as a spa facility. But hotels, such as the Arlington Resort Hotel, also offer spa services. From the scenic drive to the top of Hot Springs Mountain you reach a lookout tower from which you can admire the Ouachita Mountains, the city, the forest and the lakes that surround it.
- See ejiaxing.org for Arkansas state facts, including geography, climate, flora and fauna as well as major cities.
Arkansas Cultural Tourist Attractions– There are approximately 78 museums, and a number of historic sites in Arkansas. The main museums are the Arkansas Arts Center and the Museum of Science and History, both in Little Rock, the Arkansas University Museum in Jonesboro, and the University of Arkansas Museum in Fayetteville, with artifacts from archeology, anthropology and science. Also of interest is the Agricultural Museum of Stuttgart. Arkansas Post County Museum in Gillett, where artifacts are stored in specially recreated historic buildings. The Hampson Museum State Park, near Wilson, which has one of the largest collections of Mound Builder artifacts in the United States, the Mid-American Museum in Hot Springs. The Memorial Museum in Berryville, with a large collection of firearms. Little Rock is the home of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the
Civil War Attractions – American Civil War battle sites include Pea Ridge National Military Park, on Battlefield Prairie, and Arkansas Post National Memorial. The Fort Smith National Historic Site, includes buildings and museums from the days when the city of Fort Smith was a military outpost on the border of the Indian territory.
- See itypemba.com to learn specific information about Arkansas geography.
Little Rock history
In the vicinity of the town of Little Rock, remains of Stone Age villages have been found, remains of tombs and pieces of pottery. Spanish explorers arrived in this area starting in 1541 when Hernando de Soto explored the region. Later, in 1682, the nobleman and explorer Robert de La Salle claimed for France the province of Louisiana which included the present state of Arkansas. The territory where the city of Little Rock stands today changed hands frequently during the past, as it belonged to France and Spain between the 17th and 18th centuries, until in 1800 it passed definitively to France, which sold it to the United States as part of the Louisiana.
For many years, the Arkansas territory remained uninhabited until the decades of the 10s and 20s of the 19th century, when settlers began arriving from the east. Thus, in 1812 the first group of settlers led by William Lewis arrived in the territory where today the city is located. In 1820, William Russell, a speculator from Missouri, bought the rights to Lewis, and a year later, the Little Rock settlement was designated as the capital of Arkansas, a decision that accelerated the city’s growth. Little Rock has since centralized the commercial operations of growing cotton from neighboring farms.
During the Civil War (1861-65), Little Rock supported the Confederate army, until in 1863 the town was occupied by Union troops. After the war, the population suffered from political struggles between Republicans and Democrats who tried to control the state. At the end of the nineteenth century, the city began to lay the foundations of an economy centered on trade and industry, thanks above all to the boost given by the construction of the railway line which allowed, after 1890, a notable population growth. Years later, during the First World War, Little Rock hosted a training camp that generated significant economic income for the city.
During 1957, an event gave the city international notoriety when Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus refused to enforce the law requiring the integration of black students into public schools previously reserved for white students only. President Eisenhower, to enforce the historic Supreme Court decision, was forced to send federal troops.
Despite many years of economic stagnation, the last few decades have seen rapid growth in the city. In 1992, Arkansas governor and native of the city, Bill Clinton, was elected to the presidency of the United States, for which he was re-elected in 1996.