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Arkansas Delta: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Arkansas Delta is one of the natural regions of the state of Arkansas. It runs along the eastern border of the state next to the Mississippi River. It is part of the Mississippi embayment, itself part of the Mississippi River alluvial plain. The flat plain is bisected by Crowley's Ridge, a narrow band of rolling hills rising from 250 to 500 feet above the plain and on which many of the major cities and towns lie, including its largest — Jonesboro. The region shares geographic and cultural similarities with the Mississippi Delta region on the other side of the river in Mississippi.

The Arkansas Delta Byways Tourism Promotion Association includes the 15 counties of Arkansas, Chicot, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Drew, Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, and St. Francis counties.[1] A larger definition of the region includes portions of surrounding counties, particularly Jackson, Prairie, eastern Randolph, eastern White, and Woodruff counties.

Contents

History

Arkansas' recorded history is anchored in the region, with early settlers crossing the Mississippi and settling among the swamps and bayous of east Arkansas, including the first state capital at Arkansas Post. Long before the arrival of settlers however, the region was home to Native Americans, with evidence of mound-building cultures dating back more than 12,000 years. Centuries later, initial American explorations of newly acquired lands from the Louisiana Purchase originated in present-day Monroe County. During the Civil War times, the region was dominated by plantation economy. Many African Americans were brought over throughout the early to mid-1800s to work on plantations. After the Civil War, the region was decimated by the Union and most people lived in extreme poverty with many turning to sharecropping and tenant farming as a way of life. The area was heavily affected by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

Today

The Arkansas Delta economy is still dominated by agriculture. The main cash crop is cotton and other crops include rice and soybeans.

The Delta has some of the lowest population densities in the American South, sometimes less than 1 person per square mile. Demographics have remained the same since the Civil War — the region still has a very large African American population. The region is stricken with extreme poverty.

The Delta Cultural Center in Helena seeks to preserve and interpret the culture of the Arkansas Delta.

The ivory-billed woodpecker, which had not been sighted since 1944 and is believed to be extinct, was reportedly seen in a swamp in east Arkansas in 2005.

Principal Cities

Harrisburg, Arkansas

Famous natives and residents

Higher education

Highways

References

External links

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