Arkansas History - the history of Arkansas
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Arkansas   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Arkansas History

   
 

Arkansas History


Prior to the westward movement of Native American people, Arkansas was inhabited by Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage Nations.

The first European to reach the region was the Spaniard, Hernando de Soto, at the end of the 16th Century. Early Spanish and French explorers gave the state its name which is probably a phonetic spelling for the French or Catalan word for "downriver people" - a reference to the Quapaw Native Americans.

Arkansas was part of the area acquired by the United States in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France. Prior to statehood, the region was known as the "Arkansaw Territory". In this territorial period, the five "civilized" tribes, namely the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole, inhabited Arkansas.

Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15th 1836 as the 25th state. Arkansas was a slave state, but initially refused to join the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, although it did join later, and was the scene of several battles.

During the Civil Rights struggle, Arkansas was the site of a famous confrontation between the federal government and local whites, who were resisting the desegregation of Central High School in the state capital, Little Rock. During this period, President Eisenhower famously sent troops to escort nine African-American students who were trying to enroll in the school.

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States (President from 1993 to 2001), was born in Hope, Arkansas, and served as Governor of the state (50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas) for almost 12 years prior to being elected President.


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An Arkansas History for Young People, Fourth Edition

By Shay E. Hopper & Jane Browning

Brand: University of Arkansas Press
Hardcover (525 pages)

An Arkansas History for Young People, Fourth Edition
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Adopted by the State of Arkansas for 2008 Once again, the State of Arkansas has adopted An Arkansas History for Young People as an official textbook for middle-level and/or junior-high-school Arkansas-history classes. This fourth edition incorporates new research done after extensive consultations with middle-level and junior-high teachers from across the state, curriculum coordinators, literacy coaches, university professors, and students themselves. It includes a multitude of new features and is now full color throughout. This edition has been completely redesigned and now features a modern format and new graphics suitable for many levels of student readers. The completely revised fourth edition includes new unit, chapter, and section divisions as well as five brand-new chapters: an introductory chapter with information on the symbols, flag, and songs of Arkansas; chapter 2, which covers the geography of Arkansas; chapter 3, on state and local government; chapter four, on economics and tourism; and a “modern” chapter on the Arkansas of today and the future, which completes the learning adventure. This edition also has two “special features”: one on the Central High School crisis of 1957 and another on the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. It also has new and interesting features for students like the “Guide to Reading” (at the beginning of each chapter, there is a list of important terms, people, places and events for the student to keep in mind as he or she reads [corresponding to blue vocabulary words in the text, which are define in the margin]), “County Quest,” “I Am an Arkansan,” “Did You Know?” “Only in Arkansas,” “A Day in the Life,” “Chapter Reflection” questions and activities, over forty-five new content maps, and a comprehensive new map atlas.

Arkansas: A Narrative History

By Jeannie M. Whayne & George Sabo III

University of Arkansas Press
Hardcover (600 pages)

Arkansas: A Narrative History
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Arkansas: A Narrative History is a comprehensive history of the state that has been invaluable to students and the general public since its original publication. Four distinguished scholars cover prehistoric Arkansas, the colonial period, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and incorporate the newest historiography to bring the book up to date for 2012. A new chapter on Arkansas geography, new material on the civil rights movement and the struggle over integration, and an examination of the state's transition from a colonial economic model to participation in the global political economy are included. Maps are also dramatically enhanced, and supplemental teaching materials are available.

Arkansas, 1800-1860: Remote and Restless (Histories of Arkansas)

By S. Charles Bolton

Brand: University of Arkansas Press
Paperback (224 pages)

Arkansas, 1800-1860: Remote and Restless (Histories of Arkansas)
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Often thought of as a primitive backwoods peopled by rough hunters and unsavory characters, early Arkansas was actually productive and dynamic in the same manner as other American territories and states. In this, the second volume in the Histories of Arkansas, S. Charles Bolton describes the emigration, mostly from other southern states, that carried Americans into Arkansas; the growth of an agricultural economy based on cotton, corn, and pork; the dominance of evangelical religion; and the way in which women coped with the frontier and made their own contributions toward its improvement. He closely compares the actual lifestyles of the settlers with the popularly held, uncomplimentary image.

Separate chapters deal with slavery and the lives of the slaves and with Indian affairs, particularly the dispossession of the native Quapaws and the later-arriving Cherokees. Political chapters explore opportunism in Arkansas Territory, the rise of the Democratic Party under the control of the Sevier-Johnson group known as the Dynasty, and the forces that led Arkansas to secede from the Union. In addition, Arkansas’s role in the Mexican War and the California gold rush is treated in detail.

In truth, geographic isolation and a rugged terrain did keep Arkansas underpopulated, and political violence and a disastrous experience in state banking tarnished its reputation, but the state still developed rapidly and successfully in this period, playing an important role on the southwestern frontier.

Winner of the 1999 Booker Worthen Literary Prize

Arkansas: A Concise History

By Jeannie M. Whayne & George Sabo III

University of Arkansas Press
Released: 2019-04-26
Paperback (415 pages)

Arkansas: A Concise History
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Distilled from Arkansas: A Narrative History, the definitive work on the subject since its original publication in 2002, Arkansas: A Concise History is a succinct one-volume history of the state from the prehistory period to the present. Featuring four historians, each bringing his or her expertise to a range of topics, this volume introduces readers to the major issues that have confronted the state and traces the evolution of those issues across time.

After a brief review of Arkansas’s natural history, readers will learn about the state’s native populations before exploring the colonial and plantation eras, early statehood, Arkansas’s entry into and role in the Civil War, and significant moments in national and global history, including Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, the Elaine race massacre, the Great Depression, both world wars, and the Civil Rights Movement. Linking these events together, Arkansas: A Concise History offers both an understanding of the state’s history and a perspective on that history’s implications for the political, economic, and social realities of today.

Bloody Ozarks: A History of the Civil War Years in Northwest Arkansas

By G. W. Johnson

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (104 pages)

Bloody Ozarks: A History of the Civil War Years in Northwest Arkansas
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In Bloody Ozarks, G.W. Johnson digs down to the roots of Arkansas history and unearths a journal of heartrending images and tales of pioneer families who settled the land and spent the Civil War defending it. The Johnsons, Sizemores, Casselmans, and McChristians—all Union sympathizers—dominate the book’s landscape, but the author also keeps a watchful eye on the bloody conflict’s global aspects, reminding the reader that both sides met their share of suffering and sacrifice for causes they each believed in.

Johnson blends family histories, both oral and written, with documented histories of soldiers, commanders, and the cities and towns that hosted hospitals, battles, and internal disagreements. With neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother, the Ozarks region was one of the most divided in the country. By 1863, law and order had vanished, while bands of Confederate bushwhackers inflicted misery upon the Union loyalists. By the war’s end, two-thirds of Washington County, Arkansas, had been murdered, starved to death, or had fled the armies and the violent guerillas.

These are real stories that, paired with photos of soldiers, battlefields, gravestones, and other landmarks, bring the tragedy and suffering of the Bloody Ozarks close to home in a way that is both profound and compelling.

Arkansas in Modern America since 1930 (Histories of Arkansas)

By Ben F. Johnson III

University of Arkansas Press
Paperback (362 pages)

Arkansas in Modern America since 1930 (Histories of Arkansas)
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This second edition of Arkansas in Modern America since 1930 represents a significant rewriting of and elaboration on the first edition, published in 2000. Historian Ben F. Johnson fills in gaps, reconsiders his original conclusions, and reflects on new developments in historical scholarship, extending the book’s analysis of the political, economic, social, and cultural positions into 2018.

Particularly impressive for the breadth of its scope, Arkansas in Modern America since 1930 offers an overview of the factors that moved Arkansas from a primarily rural society to one more in step with the modern economy and perspectives of the nation as a whole. The narrative covers the roles of Daisy Bates, Sam Walton, Don Tyson, Bill Clinton, and other influential figures in the state’s history to reveal a state shaped by global as much as by local forces. The second edition of this important book will continue to set the standard for analysis and interpretation of Arkansas’s place in the contemporary world.

 

Roadside History of Arkansas (Roadside History (Paperback))

By Alan C Paulson

Brand: Mountain Press Publishing Company
Released: 1998-05-01
Paperback (390 pages)

Roadside History of Arkansas (Roadside History (Paperback))
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Roadside History of Arkansas explores how the Land of Opportunity went from success to tragedy and, finally, to hope restored. The narrative is enhanced by nearly tow hundred historical photographs and several easy-to-read maps that help visitors and residents understand what happened where and when.

With Fire and Sword: Arkansas, 1861-1874 (Histories of Arkansas)

By Thomas A. Deblack

Brand: University of Arkansas Press
Paperback (263 pages)

With Fire and Sword: Arkansas, 1861-1874 (Histories of Arkansas)
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When Arkansas seceded from the Union in 1861, it was a thriving state. But the Civil War and Reconstruction left it reeling, impoverished, and so deeply divided that it never regained the level of prosperity it had previously enjoyed. Although most of the major battles of the war occurred elsewhere, Arkansas was critical to the Confederate war effort in the vast Trans-Mississippi region, and Arkansas soldiers served—some for the Union and more for the Confederacy—in every major theater of the war. And the war within the state was devastating. Union troops occupied various areas, citizens suffered greatly from the war’s economic disruption, and guerilla conflict and factional tensions left a bitter legacy. Reconstruction was in many ways a continuation of the war as the prewar elite fought to regain economic and political power.

In this, the fourth volume in the Histories of Arkansas series, Thomas DeBlack not only describes the major players and events in this dramatic and painful story, but also explores the experiences of ordinary people. Although the historical evidence is complex—and much of the secondary literature is extraordinarily partisan—DeBlack offers a balanced, vivid overview of the state’s most tumultuous period.

Arkansas History: A Journey through Time: The Growth of the Twenty-Fifth State of the Union from 1833 to 1957

By Arlen Jones

iUniverse
Released: 2015-10-23
Paperback (222 pages)

Arkansas History: A Journey through Time: The Growth of the Twenty-Fifth State of the Union from 1833 to 1957
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Arkansas History: A Journey through Time-The Growth of the Twenty-Fifth State of the Union from 1833 to 1957 places in the hands of students and teachers a curated compilation of excerpts from original sources that tell the story of Arkansas from the founding efforts of the first advocates for the state's formation in 1833 through the confrontation at the Little Rock Central High School in 1957 that brought international attention to the American civil rights movement.

The author, Arlen Jones, brings decades of experience both as classroom teacher and educational administrator to his work to assemble and interpret the sources contained in Arkansas History: A Journey through Time. By writing with one eye focused on the state's educational standards, he has produced a book that tells the story of the state's history and that meets the needs of contemporary classes. To help the book serve as a valuable classroom resource, the back of the book contains lesson plans, worksheets, notes about Common Care standards, and a bibliography.

Arkansas History: A Journey through Time helps history come to life by giving voice to the people whose actions entwined to make the history of Arkansas. If you are a student or a teacher who desires to learn more about the twenty-fifth state's history, then this work will meet your needs.

Remembering Ella: A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks

By Nita Gould

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Released: 2018-10-01
Paperback (380 pages)

Remembering Ella: A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks
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In November 1912, popular and pretty eighteen-year-old Ella Barham was raped, murdered, and dismembered in broad daylight near her home in rural Boone County, Arkansas. The brutal crime sent shockwaves through the Ozarks and made national news. Authorities swiftly charged a neighbor, Odus Davidson, with the crime. Locals were determined that he be convicted, and threats of mob violence ran so high that he had to be jailed in another county to ensure his safety. But was there enough evidence to prove his guilt? If so, had he acted alone? What was his motive?

Author Nita Gould weaves local history and short biographies into her narrative and draws on the official case files, early twentieth-century criminal law, original newspaper accounts, Ozarks beliefs and customs, Barham family documents, and more. Remembering Ella reveals the truth behind an event that has been a staple of local folklore for more than a century and still intrigues people from around the country.

This examination of the murder of Ella Barham and the trial of her alleged killer opens a window into the meaning of community and due process during a time when politicians and judges sought to professionalize justice, by moving from local hangings to state-run executions. Davidson's appeal has been cited as a precedent in numerous court cases and his brief was reviewed by the lawyers in Georgia who prepared Leo Frank's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1915.


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