Arkansas is an American state located in the south of the country. It is called the "Natural State" because it has lots of nature. The state name Arkansas comes from the French pronunciation of a term used by the native Quapaw people, which roughly translates to "land of the people who live downriver." Arkansas has a little less than 3 million inhabitants. The capital and largest city of the state is Little Rock with about 200,000 inhabitants.
Arkansas lies west of the Mississippi River, which forms a border with the neighboring states of Mississippi and Tennessee. Arkansas landscape includes mountains with dense forests but also fertile plains, which are used for agriculture and livestock breeding. Furthermore, numerous natural caves are part of the landscape.
Before the arrival of Europeans, Arkansas was settled by the Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage Indians. The first European to set foot in the area was Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541. More than 100 years later, the French established a trading post at the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. In the 18th century, Arkansas was part of the French colony of Louisiana, which was later purchased by the United States. In 1836 Arkansas became the 25th state of the United States. During the Civil War, Arkansas fought on the side of the Confederates, who lost the war to the Northern States.