Arkansas Online Masters
Arkansas, constituent state of the United States of America. Arkansas ranks 29th among the 50 states in total area, but, except for Louisiana and Hawaii, it is the smallest state west of the Mississippi River. Its neighbors are Missouri to the north, Tennessee and Mississippi to the east, Louisiana to the south, Texas to the southwest, and Oklahoma to the west. The name Arkansas was used by the early French explorers to refer to the Quapaw people—a prominent indigenous group in the area—and to the river along which they settled. The term was likely a corruption of akansea, the word applied to the Quapaw by another local indigenous community, Illinois. Little Rock, the state capital, is in the central part of the state. Arkansas’s landscape is a diverse one. The Ozark and Ouachita mountains in the north and west stand in contrast to the rich, flat, river-laced agricultural lands of the east. Nearly all the state’s rivers flow from northwest to southeast and empty via the Arkansas and Red rivers into the Mississippi, which forms the major eastern boundary.