The state of Arkansas covers 52,000 square miles in the southern United States. In the center of the state is the capital, Little Rock; the Ouachita and Ozarks mountains lie to the northwest, while the Delta flood-plains line the eastern part of the state. Arkansas's economy relies on agriculture and the service industry; headquarters of the discount chain Wal-Mart are located in Bentonville. Currently, about 2.9 million people live in the state, 77 percent of them white, 15 percent black, 6 percent Latino, and 1 percent Asian. Arkansas's history as a slave state still shapes its educational system today. Caddo, Tunica, Quapaw, and Osage Indian tribes first occupied the Arkansas area. In 1686, the French established the first permanent European settlement, and a small frontier ...

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