Arizona, state in the southwestern United States. It is a land of seemingly limitless space and tremendous vistas. Arizona was the last of the 48 adjoining continental states to enter the Union. From its admission on February 14, 1912, until the admission of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959, it was the youngest state.
Arizona’s landscape is one of great diversity. Sun-swept mountains and valleys, lofty plateaus, narrow canyons, and awesome stretches of desert make it one of the most beautiful states in the nation. This scenic beauty, coupled with an ideal climate, has made Arizona very popular with tourists.
Imperial Spain and, later, independent Mexico once controlled this land, and there the Native American, Spanish, and Anglo-American cultures met and fused. Although most of the Native Americans now live on reservations and Mexico and Spain long ago relinquished control of the area, traces of Arizona’s past still remain. The Native American culture has been preserved on the reservations, and Mexican and Spanish influences may be seen in architectural styles and place-names.
Arizona has undergone great changes since the 19th century, when it was a rough-and-tumble mining and cattle territory. Although it still retains much of the character of the old West for tourists, it is a modern urban and industrial state, with large cities, highly mechanized farms, and rapidly expanding industries. Phoenix is the center of Arizona’s largest urban area and the state’s capital.
The name of the state is derived from the Native American word arizonac believed to mean “place of the small spring.” Arizona is popularly known as the Grand Canyon State, after its most remarkable physical feature, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.
Arizona ranks sixth among the states in size. With an area of 295,253 sq km (113,998 sq mi), including 943 sq km (364 sq mi) of inland water, it is almost as large as all of the New England states and New York combined. Arizona’s mean elevation is about 1,250 m (4,100 ft). Roughly rectangular in shape, the state’s extreme dimensions are 631 km (392 mi) from north to south and 549 km (341 mi) from east to west. Most of the western border is formed by the Colorado River. The northeastern corner is the only place where four states meet: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
All of Arizona lies in the Intermontane Plateaus, which form one of the major physiographic divisions of the United States. The state can be divided into three physiographic regions: the Colorado Plateau, the Basin and Range region, and the Transition Zone, or Central Highlands.
The Colorado Plateau is a flat, dry, semidesert region that covers the northern two-fifths of the state. Many rivers have carved deep canyons into this region, with the most famous example being the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. The river in the Grand Canyon is as much as 1,500 m (5,000 ft) below the level of the surrounding plateau. Canyon de Chelly and Oak Creek Canyon are also beautiful, but lesser known, canyons carved into the plateau by tributaries of the Colorado River.
About 2 billion years ago this area, now mostly 1,500 to 2,400 m (5,000 to 8,000 ft) above sea level, lay under a vast sea. Through the ages the land emerged and resubmerged repeatedly, and many different rock types, including igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic, formed. Rivers cut through layers of soil and rock to reach the ancient granites, quartzites, and rocks now revealed. Water and wind have eroded the edges of canyons and the surface of the plateaus, carving isolated, steep-sided, flat-topped hills called mesas. Underlying rocks such as sandstones, shales, and limestones have also been exposed by erosion, creating a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors on canyon and mesa walls.
North of the Grand Canyon is the Kaibab Plateau, which is an area extending from Utah into Arizona. The Kaibab Plateau resembles a peninsula.
The section of the Colorado Plateau located in the northern and northeastern part of the state is a maze of valleys and mesas. Carved knobs, rounded domes, and tall rock spires that pierce broad valleys earned the area its name of Monument Valley. The Painted Desert, where red, yellow, purple, blue, brown, and gray rocks alternate in a vivid display of colors, extends south from the Grand Canyon to the Mogollon Rim. Within the Painted Desert is the Petrified Forest National Park, an area of giant, ancient fallen trees that slowly petrified over thousands of years.
South of the Grand Canyon lies the San Francisco Plateau, which is covered by ancient lava flows and dotted with extinct volcanic cones such as Humphreys Peak, 3,851 m (12,633 ft) tall, the highest point in Arizona. The southeastern part of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona is part of the Datil section, noted for its solidified lava flows and other volcanic features. The southern border of the Colorado Plateau is distinguished by an extensive volcanic escarpment known as the Mogollon Rim. The Rim, which extends from central Arizona toward the southeast and terminates in the Mogollon Mountains, was originally created by tectonic pressure, uplift of the plateau, and, most important, erosion of the Transition Zone. The steep rock wall reaches about 600 m (about 2,000 ft) high in some places. To the south of the Mogollon Rim is a narrow strip of land known as the Transition Zone.
The Transition Zone is characterized by mountain ranges so close together that the area appears as a cluster of rugged peaks separated by steep, narrow valleys. The Mazatzal, Santa Maria, Sierra Ancha, and White mountain ranges are found in this zone, which occupies part of the area once known as the Central Highlands. So uninviting was the landscape that prospectors did not explore the region until the late 19th century. Since then, more than 90 percent of Arizona’s mining activity has taken place in this area.
The Basin and Range region, known to Arizona residents as the Sonoran Desert, occupies most of the southern part of Arizona. It is composed of a series of smooth-floored desert basins separated by mountain ranges that extend from northwest to southeast. Mountains in this region include the Chiricahua, Gila, Pinaleno, Huachuca, Hualapai, Santa Catalina, Santa Rita and Superstition ranges. The portion of the Basin and Range region that lies to the south and west is a low, dry landscape. Elevations in this area range from as low as 43 m (141 ft) at Yuma to 3,267 m (10,717 ft) atop Mount Graham. While the land has little rain, along the western border of Arizona farms irrigated with waters from the Colorado River produce abundant crops. Most of the loose material on the mountains in this region has been carried down by infrequent but violent cloudbursts to form thick fans of sand and gravel where the steep slopes meet the basin floor. When irrigated, this area produces excellent crops. Also, the state’s largest cities are located in this region. Most elevations in the Basin and Range region are from 150 to 1,500 m (500 to 5,000 ft), but some mountains rise to more than 3,400 m (11,000 ft). The region is generally higher in the east than in the west. Its desert plains are drained by the lower courses of the Colorado and Gila rivers.
|B||Rivers and Lakes|
The most important river in Arizona is the Colorado, which enters the state in the north, flows southwestward to the state’s western boundary, and then follows the boundary south into Mexico. In the Colorado Plateau, its main course is joined by the Little Colorado, which runs from south to north. Because of the rain-shadow effect of the Mogollon Rim, the Little Colorado draws very little water from a relatively large watershed, usually containing a mere trickle of water in its riverbed. The Colorado River’s principal tributary is the Gila River, which flows all the way across the southern part of the state from New Mexico to the California border. From the mountains and plateaus of central Arizona, the Gila River receives the Salt, Agua Fria, and Hassayampa rivers. The Salt River is itself fed by the Verde River. The Gila River also is joined by rivers draining the Mogollon Rim and other mountains in the Central Highlands, as well as mountain ranges such as the Sierriata and Santa Catalinas in the southern part of the state. Heavy rainfalls typical in the summer months over the Mogollon Rim drain into the Black, White, and Verde rivers. In February, March, and April melting snow from the same regions occasionally creates flood conditions along the Salt River and around Phoenix. These three rivers are important tributaries to the Salt River, which is a primary source of water for the highly-populated Phoenix metropolitan and surrounding agrarian areas. The Santa Cruz and San Pedro rivers flow northward out of southern mountain ranges near the Mexican border and feed into the Gila River as well.
Very few of Arizona’s rivers have a year-round steady flow. During rains many rivers fill with rushing water, while at other times of the year they appear dry. However, water is often flowing beneath the sandy riverbeds. None of those rivers is now used for navigation, but during the second half of the 19th century steamboats regularly came up the Colorado as far as about 300 km (about 200 mi) beyond Yuma.
Eleven dams control run-off from the Mogollon Rim, creating the state’s largest lakes. Arizona has few natural lakes, and those that do exist are small. Enormous lakes have formed behind dams built for flood control, irrigation, and power development on major rivers such as the Verde, Agua Fria, Salt, and Gila. The largest lake is Lake Mead, with an area of 603 sq km (233 sq mi), formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. It lies partly in Arizona and partly in Nevada and backs into the lower portion of the Grand Canyon. Other large lakes created by dams include Theodore Roosevelt Lake, behind the Roosevelt Dam on Salt River; San Carlos Lake, behind the Coolidge Dam on the Gila River; Lake Havasu, behind the Parker Dam on the Colorado River; and Lake Powell, which is partly in Utah and formed behind the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River.
Arizona’s healthful climate, with clear and sunny skies and dry weather, is one of the state’s chief assets. It not only attracts tourists but is often a delight to residents, especially those suffering from asthma and other respiratory complaints who find relief from dry air. But as in most developed areas, Arizona’s pristine air is threatened by pollution brought on by residential and industrial development. However, the sunny, clear climate permits such activities as building houses and grazing cattle year round. It has also been an important factor in the location of space observatories and aircraft and missile proving grounds in the state.
Because of the variety of Arizona’s topography, precipitation varies greatly between locations. Air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California release moisture while rising over the southeastern mountains, creating a rain shadow on the lee side. These ranges, and the Mogollon Rim for the same reason, receive the most precipitation in the state, amounting to about 760 mm (about 30 in) annually. Thunderstorms are common occurrences during the summer, although mountain summits are often the only places that receive the moisture because the rain evaporates in the hot, dry air of the valleys and plateaus before striking the ground. Other regions in Arizona’s semiarid desert areas—about one-half of the state—average less than 250 mm (10 in) of rain annually. Deserts in the southwest average even less, receiving from 50 to 130 mm (2 to 5 in) annually.
The hottest, driest, and sunniest part of Arizona is in the Basin and Range region of the west and southwest. Average July daytime temperatures in this desert region are in the mid-30°s C (mid-90°s F), although maximum temperatures have been known to soar into the lower 50°s C (mid-120°s F). Summer nights are usually in the 20°s to low 30°s C (70°s to 80°s). Winters are mild, with daytime temperatures rising to the upper 10°s C (upper 60°s F) and at night staying above freezing, though occasional light frosts occur in the Basin and Range region. The growing season is long, ranging from 240 days over much of the area to more than 320 days at Yuma, which is in the center of an irrigated farming area.
The climate of the high Colorado Plateau is quite different from that of the Basin and Range region, with cold winters and generally cool summers. Although arid or semiarid, the plateau receives between 130 and 250 mm (5 and 10 in) of annual precipitation, partly in the form of snow. Snow can accumulate to 2,500 mm (100 in) in a single season. Winter in the plateau brings temperatures well below freezing, and frigid winds sweep through the northern forests. Summer days are generally warm and sunny, with temperatures in the mid-20°s to lower 30°s C (80°s F), dropping at night to below 10° C (50°s F). However, in the canyons it is as hot as in the desert. The growing season is less than 120 days on the high plateau.
Elevation is a major factor in weather on the Colorado Plateau. For example, the south rim of the Grand Canyon has a milder winter and is open to visitors all year, while the north rim is snowbound from November to May. While only a relatively short distance apart, the north rim is 300 to 600 m (1,000 to 2,000 ft) higher in elevation.
Soil productiveness in Arizona depends entirely upon irrigation. Most of the cultivated land is in the south, where the desert can be irrigated from water in nearby reservoirs. Once irrigated, the red soils of the south and southwest support substantial agricultural activity. Soils in the mountain ranges are usually thin and easily swept away by prevailing winds.
Parts of the Colorado Plateau have reddish-brown, sandy loams; brownish clays and sandy loams have developed over granitic rocks in central Arizona. Soils of desert basins vary considerably and may be sandy, gravelly, composed of clays, reddish and rich in lime, or gray and poor in humus. The most fertile soils are in the Salt River and Gila River valleys, but even poorer soils can be made productive by growing green manure crops.
Plant life from the lowest elevations in Arizona’s desert basins to the forested mountains differs greatly due to variation in temperature, precipitation, and soil. Forests cover 27 percent of the state’s land area.
The sparsely covered Sonoran Desert is known for its cacti, including the organ-pipe cactus, prickly pear cactus, the chollo cactus, and the giant saguaro cactus, the largest of the cactus group. Anything that grows in this desert zone, which is land usually under 1,100 m (3,500 ft) in elevation, must be a species such as the cactus, which is successful at gathering and storing water. Relatives of the cacti that are also found in the desert are the Joshua tree and the Spanish bayonet. The Joshua tree is more dominant in the deserts of the northwest. Plants that gather water through long roots sent out in search of moisture include the creosote bush, with hard and shiny leaves, and the sagebrush. Arizona wildflowers, appearing in the spring and after rains, include the geranium, paintbrush, phlox, pink sand verbena, golden poppy, and the unusual night-blooming cereus. One of the most common trees found in the desert is the mesquite, which looks like a spiny apple or peach tree. It provides food for deer and other wild animals.
Above the desert, roughly between 1,100 and 2,100 m (3,500 and 7,000 ft), is a zone of grassland. In this zone are found needle grass, tobosa grass, and grama grass, with an occasional emory oak. A spectacular inhabitant of the grasslands is the agave, or century plant, whose succulent leaves resemble flattened bunches of green bananas.
Higher up, the grasses give way to sprawling thickets of chaparral, or to stunted forests of manzanita, scrub oak, sumac, and mountain mahogany, and then to heavier stands of piñon and juniper trees interspersed with open glades and grassy hillsides.
True forest begins at about 2,100 m (about 7,000 ft), where piñon and juniper merge in open stands of ponderosa pine. Above this, broadleaf species, mainly oak, mingle with conifers such as Douglas fir and Engelmann spruce. Many flowering plants, such as lupine, dogbane, western yarrow, and larkspur, brighten the tree glades and open spaces.
Spruce and the beautiful quaking aspen, green and silver in spring, gold in fall, are typical trees of the uppermost forest zone, as are white and silver fir, Douglas fir, birch, ash, and elder. Between and above the trees are patches of high mountain meadow, where the hardy snowbank primrose blossoms at 3,700 m (12,000 ft) in the days of early spring.
Each of Arizona’s vegetation zones has its typical animals. Some, particularly birds, have more than one habitat and migrate seasonally from the desert basins to the forested uplands.
Although the desert landscape looks bleak, it supports a great variety of animal life. A wild, piglike animal, known as the javelina or peccary, travels in small herds through the groves of mesquite. The desert’s mule deer browse in winter on the fruit of the cactus and in summer seek the higher scrub forest belts. Kangaroo rats honeycomb the soil with their burrows; one species manages to live without drinking water. Interesting reptiles are found in the desert, some brightly hued, some blending with the pale colors of their background. They include the horned lizard, 11 species of rattlesnakes, the venomous, vividly colored coral snake, the desert tortoise, and the Gila monster, one of only two venomous lizards in North America.
The cottontail rabbit is found at all altitudes. In the grassland zone, herds of pronghorns share range pastures with domestic cattle. White-tailed deer browse through the chaparral-covered foothills. The higher, forested areas of the plateaus and mountains are the home of the black bear, mountain lion, and herds of elk, which have been reintroduced into Arizona. American bison inhabit two wildlife areas in northern Arizona. The beautiful white-tailed black Kaibab squirrel is found on the Kaibab Plateau, but nowhere else in the United States; it has also been reintroduced into high mountain areas west of the Kaibab. Bighorn sheep are also found in the mountainous areas. The Mexican gray wolf has been reintroduced into the forests of eastern Arizona.
The Mount Graham red squirrel is on the federal endangered species list and the “Wildlife of Special Concern in Arizona” list. It has been at the center of controversy for some years regarding construction of several observatories on Mount Graham in the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona, the only habitat of this species of red squirrel.
Because of the great variety of the Arizona landscape, many species of birds are found within the state. Some are year-round dwellers, but a large number pass through the state in spring and fall in their annual migrations from Central or South America to summer nesting grounds in the northern United States or Canada. Common year-round desert residents are several kinds of thrasher, the cactus wren (the state bird), Gambel’s quail, and the roadrunner, which runs along the ground. The rock wren is found in the mountains and deserts. Steller’s jay, the mountain chickadee, the Mexican junco, the pygmy and red-breasted nuthatches, and Cassin’s finch are typical residents of the pine, fir, and aspen forests. The majestic golden eagle may be seen in the mountains. Several species of hawk, including the red-tailed hawk and Cooper’s hawk, and the Kestrel and falcon prey on rodents and birds. High over the desert the black vulture circles in search of carrion.
Native fishes found in the lakes and rivers of Arizona include Apache trout, the humpback chub, the bonytail, and the Colorado River pikeminnow. A number of fishes have been introduced. These include largemouth black bass, rainbow trout, channel catfish, black crappie, bluegill, carp, threadfin shad, and mosquito fish.
Arizona is extraordinarily rich in unusual natural features, and many of them have been set aside in parks and monuments. The movement to protect the Grand Canyon, part of which was made a national park in 1919, began as early as 1887. Commercial timberlands are kept under close federal supervision in the national forests, which also provide refuge for large wild animals. Many Native American relics are protected in national monuments and Native American reservations.
A continuing concern in Arizona is the conservation of water. The construction of great dams and reservoirs on all the large rivers has made floods a rarity and has made available enormous quantities of water for agricultural, industrial, and municipal use. Since the 1960s air pollution has become a significant problem in Arizona as population and cities grow. In Phoenix, especially, the large number of automobiles, combined with industries such as copper smelting, has created significant pollution, which the state is now attempting to control. More stringent rules about emissions have been enacted, with positive results: The Phoenix metropolitan region in the early 1990s averaged only two days a year in which it exceeded federal standards for ozone in the air. This is a significant improvement over the mid-1980s when the city averaged 24 days a year in which federal standards for carbon monoxide were exceeded.
In 2006 the state had 9 hazardous waste sites on a national priority list for cleanup due to their severity or proximity to people.
The Spaniards who arrived in Arizona in the 16th century were not particularly impressed by what they saw. They had hoped to discover the wealth of the Seven Cities of Cíbola, which were supposed to have streets and houses adorned with gold and jewels. Instead they found only a few Native American tribes with, at best, a rather primitive agriculture (see Coronado, Francisco Vásquez de). However, the Spaniards introduced cattle, sheep, goats, wheat, barley, melons, peppers, and fruit trees, which, ever since, have been an important part of Arizona’s economy.
Great mineral wealth also existed in Arizona, but it was not until the 19th century that large-scale mining was undertaken. The economy of Arizona further expanded in the 1880s with the arrival of railroads. No one at that time, however, could have foreseen the transformation that was later to be made in Arizona by modern flood control, electric power, and irrigation projects. Chiefly because of these and other projects, Arizona has been able to evolve from a frontier mining and cattle territory into a modern state with large cities and a highly mechanized economy.
Arizona had a work force of 2,977,000 people in 2006. Of those the largest share, 37 percent, worked in the diverse services sector, doing such jobs as working in restaurants or computer programming. Another 20 percent worked in wholesale or retail trade; 16 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those in the military; 7 percent in manufacturing; 22 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 8 percent in construction; 20 percent in transportation or public utilities; 3 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing; and just 0.5 percent in mining. In 2005, 6 percent of Arizona’s workers were members of a labor union. As part of its constitution, the state has a right-to-work law, which prohibits union membership as a condition of employment.
Water in Arizona has always been in high demand for residential, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses. Unforgiving climatic conditions forced even the earliest residents to engineer irrigation systems for their crops and dwellings. Since the early 20th century, the state has been embroiled in numerous legal battles over water rights. Federal and tribal lands, which comprise 70 percent of the state, have water rights reserved by the federal government. How much water these senior rights reserve is unknown, since many have yet to be quantified, though the amount is potentially immense.
The earliest water control measures began in 1905 with construction of the first dams and reservoirs that are now part of the Salt River Project. The Roosevelt Dam was the first to be completed in 1911. Through a series of six dams on the Salt and Verde rivers and 210 km (131 mi) of main canals through the Phoenix area, the Salt River Project supplies water and power to a huge metropolitan and agricultural region. Many years of legal battles, particularly with California, transpired over the allotment of water and power from the Colorado River before Arizonans benefited from its waters. A decision in 1963 by the Supreme Court of the United States confirmed the state’s annual 3.5 billion cu m (4.5 billion cu yd) allocation of water. Following that allocation, the Congress of the United States authorized the United States Bureau of Reclamation to construct the Central Arizona Project (CAP). Construction began in 1973, and the first water deliveries were made in 1985. The CAP was declared substantially complete in 1993. Today 1 in 10 Americans and 3 in 4 Arizonans receive water or power from the Colorado River. The CAP conveyance system is a 590-km (336-mi) long series of canals, tunnels, siphons, and pipelines, stretching from the Colorado River near Parker to the San Xavier Reservation southwest of Tucson. Water is lifted as much as 880 m (2,900 ft) by 14 pumping plants powered principally by the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station. The CAP has the capacity to deliver as much as 1.9 billion cu m (2.4 billion cu yd) of the state’s Colorado River entitlement to cities, irrigation districts, and tribes in the central and southern counties, where 80 percent of the population resides. It also replaces groundwater extraction and provides surplus water for groundwater recharge. The CAP includes electric power generation, flood control, and recreation functions.
Cities, mining towns, and cattle ranches that relied on drawing water from underground, including from deep artesian wells, have been depleting that resource since the mid-1940s. The 1980 Groundwater Management Act established the Department of Water Resources, which enforces mandated water conservation in the central part of the state where groundwater levels were dropping. Municipal and industrial pumpers as well as ranchers employ a variety of conservation methods to conserve groundwater, including using more efficient plumbing to prevent leaks and changes in farming methods to use less water for irrigation. The state has also established restrictions on groundwater pumping in the state’s most populated areas. Other organizations are using, where possible, lower-quality waters, such as effluent, to conserve supplies of high-quality surface and groundwater. This dependable and growing supply increasingly is used to irrigate non-food crops, golf courses, parks and school yards, and in industrial cooling towers.
In 2005 there were 10,100 farms and ranches in Arizona. Farms with annual sales of more than $10,000 were 31 percent of that total; many of the rest were sidelines for operators who held other jobs. Agricultural land covered 10.6 million hectares (26.2 million acres). Only 5 percent of farmland was devoted to crops; by far the largest share of the land was used as range for livestock. Irrigation was used on 68 percent of all cropland.
|B1||Patterns of Farming|
Arizona’s most productive agricultural areas are the basins of the Salt and Gila rivers and certain valleys in the southeast. One of these is Sulphur Springs Valley, which extends for about 140 km (about 85 mi) from the southern part of Graham County through Cochise County to the Mexican border.
Cotton is the most valuable crop. Arizona is one of the leading cotton-producing states in the nation. Vegetables, including lettuce, cantaloupes, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, onions, and carrots, are widely grown in the desert oases. The year-round warm climate in parts of Arizona has enabled the state to become a major winter supplier of fresh vegetables for colder parts of the United States. Lemons are another important product, and miles of orange, grapefruit, and tangerine groves brighten the desert landscape. Other principal crops are wheat, hay, melons, barley, corn, and grapes.
Arizona’s grazing country covers 56 percent of its land area. The Spaniards recognized this potential and introduced cattle, sheep, and horses, as they did throughout the Southwest. Huge ranches were established in the better-watered areas. After Arizona became part of the United States in 1848, American cattle ranchers appeared. During the decade following the American Civil War (1861-1865) large herds of Texas Longhorns were brought in, and in the fierce competition for grazing and water rights, violent disputes often broke out between cattle ranchers and sheep farmers. This was the era of the cattle barons, of the open range where the herds wandered at will, and of the long trail drives to market.
The sale of cattle and calves now accounts for the largest single source of the annual revenues of Arizonan farmers and ranchers. Most of the land that is used for grazing cattle is owned by the federal government, and its use is regulated. The cattle are not Texas Longhorns, but Herefords or Aberdeen Angus, and their range pasture feed is usually supplemented in winter by alfalfa grown on the irrigated lands of central Arizona. There were 822,000 cattle in the state and 140,000 sheep in the late 1990s. Many of the sheep are owned by Navajo, many of whom also keep goats for mohair. Raising hogs is also an important industry. Dairy and poultry farms supply Phoenix, Tucson, and other cities.
The lumber industry in Arizona began in the last quarter of the 19th century. A demand for railroad ties by the Atlantic and Pacific line, which was then building into northern Arizona, encouraged Edward E. Ayers in 1881 to found a sawmill in Flagstaff. Other mills followed, and there was a boom in lumbering during World War I (1914-1918). The industry declined in the 1930s, but it was revived during World War II (1939-1945) and in the postwar years, when lumber was needed for new housing construction.
Because forest conservation started early in Arizona, and because nearly all the forests are government owned, indiscriminate cutting has been largely avoided. The main forest area is in the northeast. Commercial timber, a relatively small industry, occurs mostly on the plateaus between 2,000 and 3,000 m (6,500 and 10,000 ft), where it is fairly accessible for logging. The main species that are cut are ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and several varieties of oak.
The chief minerals produced, by value, are copper, coal, sand and gravel, lime, and cement. Arizona is the leading state in copper production in the United States, and also leads the nation in production of molybdenum, which is produced in conjunction with copper mining. Arizona is the country’s second largest producer of perlite, a volcanic glass, which, when expanded by heat, forms an aggregate used in plaster and is added to the soil of potted plants. Arizona ranks fourth among the states in the production of silver. Overall its nonfuel mineral value for 2004 was $3.3 billion.
The first substantial mining operations began in the mid-1850s at Ajo in southwestern Arizona, when the American Mining and Trading Company began copper extraction. In the 1860s gold was discovered and mined along the lower Colorado and Gila rivers.
The mining of copper, today Arizona’s most valuable mineral, began at Bisbee in 1880. Copper mines are located in the southern half of the state, mostly situated between the Salt River and the border with Mexico. Arizona’s largest copper mine is an open-pit mine at Morenci, and a large underground copper mine is located at San Manuel, northeast of Tucson. Arizona is the largest producer of copper in the country, accounting for two-thirds of the U.S. copper production. Gold and silver ores exist in the southern Arizona mountains and are frequently recovered in conjunction with copper extraction.
Archaeological evidence suggests Native Americans mined coal in Arizona as long ago as ad 1300, using the fuel to fire pottery. While low-level coal mining occurred throughout the 20th century, large-scale coal production began in the 1970s to supply two large plants generating electricity. Nearly all the coal comes from two large open-pit mines on the Navajo Reservation. Some of the coal is burned to make electricity at the Navajo Generating Station at Page; other coal is mixed with water and delivered to a power plant in southern Nevada through a 439-km (273-mi) pipeline. Other minerals of commercial importance include gypsum, petroleum, and gemstones, especially turquoise.
Manufacturing is a relative newcomer to the economy of Arizona, but since 1950 it has become one of the state’s major sources of income, rivaling the five C’s—cattle, copper, cotton, citrus, and climate—on which the state’s economy previously depended. Because of military needs, and the shift of the nation’s defense from coastal to inland areas during World War II, many new manufacturing plants, especially aluminum plants, were established. After the war, these plants were converted to peace-time production, and numerous other factories were opened. Older industries, such as food processing, cotton ginning, meatpacking, and the production of primary metals, expanded during the 1950s and 1960s. The greatest industrial growth, however, was in the electronics and aviation fields, centered chiefly in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
In the late 1990s the leading manufacturers were firms engaged in the production of electronic and electric equipment, particularly semiconductors, radios and televisions, and printed circuit boards; manufacturers of transportation equipment, primarily aircraft and aircraft parts, guided missiles, and vehicles used in space; and the makers of instruments and related equipment. Other leading manufacturers included food processors, firms making primary metal products, and printers and publishers.
Steam plants powered by fossil fuels, mainly coal, generated 68 percent of Arizona’s electricity in 2005. Three nuclear power plants at Palo Verde, west of Phoenix, generated another 25 percent, and the rest of the electricity generated came from hydroelectric facilities.
Tourism is a major industry in Arizona. Long before Arizona became a state, its spectacular scenery and climate attracted tourists. Facilities include many guest or dude ranches, where the visitor can experience the outdoor life of the West. The Grand Canyon is one of the major tourist attractions and among the most frequently visited national parks in the nation. Tourism generates $10 billion in the state’s economy every year.
The most important development in transportation was the arrival of the railroad in the 19th century. The Southern Pacific built eastward into the southern part of the territory in the late 1870s, and in 1880 the Santa Fe pushed westward across northern Arizona. In 2004 there were 2,921 km (1,815 mi) of railroad in Arizona.
The 20th century brought two new means of travel: the automobile and the airplane. A program of highway construction was undertaken in the 1920s, and regularly scheduled air transport was introduced in 1927. By 2005 Arizona had 96,221 km (59,789 mi) of public highways, including 1,881 km (1,169 mi) of interstate highway. Forbiddingly rugged terrain and the barrier of the Grand Canyon long isolated the north from the rest of the state. With the completion in 1959 of a steel-arch bridge near the Glen Canyon Dam, an important link was added to the north-south highway system. In 2007 Arizona had 14 airports, some of which were private airfields. Sky Harbor International, in Phoenix, was the state’s busiest airport and the seventh busiest in the nation.
During the Spanish and Mexican period such trade as Arizona had was with Mexico and the Spanish settlements in California and New Mexico. Toward the end of this period a few American trappers and traders came into the area, but even after Arizona became a U.S. possession in 1848, it was some time before there was much trade with the rest of the United States. The coming of the railroads in the 1870s and 1880s greatly increased the flow of goods. Tallow and hides, and later live cattle, were the early commodities shipped. These were soon followed by silver, gold, and copper and lumber from the pine forests of the north. Today, high technology products, including electronic and electrical products, transportation equipment, and medical instruments, make up most of Arizona’s exports.
Arizona’s rapidly growing population now forms an important internal market for consumer goods, especially in Maricopa and Pima counties, which contain the state’s two largest cities, Phoenix and Tucson.
|IV||THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA|
According to the 2000 census, Arizona ranked 20th among the states, with a population of 5,130,632. This represents a remarkable increase of 40 percent over the 1990 population of 3,665,228, which in turn was a 35 percent increase over 1980. In 1950 there were only 749,587 people living in Arizona. In 2006 the state’s average population density was 21 persons per sq km (54 per sq mi).
One of the main factors in the state’s spectacular population growth has been the healthful climate. In a study undertaken by Arizona State University, one-half of the people interviewed cited climate or its influence on health as a major cause of their migration to Arizona. While many of the new residents are of working age, a significant proportion are retirees.
Whites comprise the largest share of Arizona’s people, with 75.5 percent of the population. But the state also has one of the largest Native American populations in the country, representing 5 percent of the people. Blacks are 3.1 percent of the population, Asians are 1.8 percent, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Isladers are 0.1 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race are 14.5 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 25.3 percent of the people.
Towns and cities were home to 88 percent of all Arizonans in 2000. In 1960 towns and cities claimed only slightly more than one-half of the state’s population. The two principal cities are Phoenix, the state capital, with a 2006 population of 1,512,986, and Tucson, with 518,956 inhabitants. Both cities are the hubs of extensive metropolitan areas. The Phoenix metropolitan area, which includes Maricopa and Pinal counties, had a population of 4 million in 2006. The Tucson metropolitan area, coextensive with Pima County, had a population of 946,400. Phoenix is an administrative center and Arizona’s principal industrial and commercial center. Tucson is primarily a commercial and educational center and a noted health and tourist resort. Mesa is another large city, with a population of 447,541 in 2006. Other major cities are Glendale, Tempe, Scottsdale, Yuma, and Flagstaff.
Arizona has a relatively large community of Native Americans. Their numbers have increased steadily in the present century, from less than 26,500 in 1900 to 255,900 in 2000.
The overwhelming majority of Arizona’s Native Americans live on reservations. A number of tribes are represented: Navajo, Hopi (which is a Pueblo tribe), Apache, Pima, and Tohono O’Odham. The Yuma, Havasupai, Mohave, Maricopa, Cocopa, Yavapai, and Walapai tribes all belong to the Yuman linguistic family. The vast majority of Native Americans are Navajo.
The Navajo Reservation, the largest reservation in the nation, extends into Utah and New Mexico. Many Navajo are noted for their woven blankets and rugs and for their silver and turquoise jewelry. Within the reservation, on several high mesas, live the Hopi. Their village of Oraibi is reputed to be the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States.
Roman Catholics form the largest religious group in the state, with about one-quarter of all church members. Tucson and Phoenix are the seats of dioceses of the Catholic Church. The largest Protestant denominations are the Baptists, Methodists, and Mormons. Mormons came into and began to colonize northern Arizona in 1870. Several communities were established along the Little Colorado River, at Mesa in the Salt River valley, and at Safford on the upper Gila. Protestant churches were established in the Arizona Territory in the late 1800s by Episcopalians and Methodists, and in 1878 a Presbyterian mission was founded in Tucson. Phoenix is the seat of an Episcopal bishopric.
|V||EDUCATION AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS|
The earliest schools in Arizona were operated by the missions, but they were abandoned during the territorial period. It was not until 1871 that a public school was established in Tucson. However, under the terms of its constitution of 1912, Arizona was one of the first states to provide for free textbooks in public schools.
Until 1951 Arizona schools were racially segregated, but now children of all races attend classes together. Many are of Spanish-speaking families, and classes taught in Spanish were once a regular part of the curriculum. In 2000 Arizona voters approved a law that required the state's public schools to end most of their bilingual education programs and replace them with English immersion programs. However, parents could request a waiver to allow their children to continue in bilingual classes. Native American children living on reservations are usually educated at reservation schools operated by the federal government or by the various tribes.
School attendance is compulsory for children ages 6 to 16, or until completion of the tenth grade. Some 5 percent of the state’s children attend private schools. In the 2002–2003 school year Arizona spent $7,474 on each student’s education, compared to a national average of $9,299. There were 21.3 students for every teacher (the national average was 15.9 students). Of those older than 25 years of age in the state in 2006, 83.8 percent had a high school diploma, the national norm being 84.1 percent.
The oldest of Arizona’s accredited four-year universities and colleges is Arizona State University in Tempe. It was established in 1885 as a teacher-training school and became a university in 1958. The University of Arizona in Tucson was chartered in 1885 as a land-grant college. Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, was chartered in 1899. Two private four-year institutions are Grand Canyon University, in Phoenix, and Prescott College, in Prescott. In 2004–2005 the state had 25 public and 52 private institutions of higher education.
The state community college system was established in 1960. It provides for community college districts organized for each county or contiguous counties.
|B||Libraries and Museums|
Arizona had 35 tax-supported public library systems in 2002. Each year the public libraries circulate an average of 7 books for every resident. The principal public library systems in Arizona are in Phoenix and Tucson. Historical materials are kept in the department of library and archives in the State Capitol at Phoenix and at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson. The Arizona State Museum, on the campus of the University of Arizona, is devoted to the archaeology and anthropology of the Southwest. The Museum of Northern Arizona, near Flagstaff, also has anthropological exhibits. The Phoenix Art Museum has an important collection. There are early Spanish missionary collections at Tumacacori National Historic Park, near Nogales, and at the Mission San Xavier del Bac, near Tucson. Most of the national monuments in the state have interpretive centers, and Grand Canyon National Park has two, featuring geological and archaeological exhibits. Also notable is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.
Arizona’s first newspaper, the Weekly Arizonian, was established at Tubac in 1859. Next came the Arizona Miner, published at Prescott in 1864, when million-dollar gold strikes were being made in the Hassayampa and other valleys of central Arizona. The Tucson Citizen, the Arizona Sentinel of Yuma, and the Tombstone Epitaph were among the other notable publications of those early days. The Tucson Citizen, founded in 1870, is still published and has one of the largest circulations. Other newspapers published today are the Arizona Republic and Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star. Altogether there were 18 daily newspapers in the state in 2002.
Radio broadcasting in Arizona began in 1922 from stations KOY and KTAR in Phoenix. Tucson’s first stations, KTUC and KCUB, went on the air in 1926 and 1929 respectively. In 2002 Arizona had 58 AM and 67 FM radio stations. Phoenix pioneered television broadcasting in the state with station KPHO-TV in 1949. The state has 22 television stations. Public broadcasting stations are operated by the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.
|D||Music and Theater|
The Phoenix Symphony is a full-time, professional orchestra that performs throughout the state. Tucson and Flagstaff also have fine symphonies. Tucson, Phoenix, and Scottsdale enjoy regular performances by chamber-music groups, and the Grand Canyon National Park hosts an annual chamber-music festival. The professional Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, and Ballet Arizona give performances in both Phoenix and Tucson. Phoenix is also home to the professional Actors Theatre of Phoenix and the Black Theatre Troupe.
Arizona’s unusual physical features, such as the Grand Canyon, provide excellent opportunities for geological research, and the state’s many Native American ruins make possible archaeological and anthropological studies. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior conducts experiments with desert plants from around the world. Just outside the town of Oracle, Columbia University operates the Biosphere 2 Center, a unique research facility that includes an enormous, self-contained greenhouse for studying the interrelated systems that constitute Earth's environment.
Arizona’s exceptionally dry and clear atmosphere is excellent for astronomical observation. Lowell Observatory, founded at Flagstaff in 1894, is internationally famous. Kitt Peak National Observatory, southwest of Tucson, was dedicated in 1960.
|VI||RECREATION AND PLACES OF INTEREST|
As a vacation state Arizona has few rivals. Its consistently clear, sunny weather permits the pursuit of most outdoor activities throughout the year and affords visitors such unusual delights as being able to water-ski in the morning in upper 20°s C (lower 80°s F) temperatures and swoop down nearby snow slopes in the afternoon.
The Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of the world. Carved in the earth’s surface through the centuries by the Colorado River, the canyon is 446 km (277 mi) long, 29 km (18 mi) at its widest point, and more than 1,500 m (5,000 ft) deep. Looking down into the canyon from its rim, one sees massive rock formations stretching into the distance that vary in color according to the season and hour of day. In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt set aside a portion of the canyon as a national monument. In 1919 it was expanded to cover more than 2,500 sq km (1,000 sq mi) and was designated as the Grand Canyon National Park. An additional part of the canyon was included in newly established Grand Canyon National Monument in 1932. In 1975 the national park was enlarged to include the national monument and other areas. The entire canyon is now within the park, which is 4,927 sq km (1,902 sq mi) in size.
Numerous national monuments, all of them administered by the National Park Service, lie within the borders of Arizona. Most of the monuments preserve the remains of Arizona’s prehistoric peoples, who lived communally in houses built in the faces of vertical cliffs high above the canyon floors and provided for their needs by cultivating the fertile valleys at the bottom with the help of often skillfully contrived irrigation systems. Montezuma Castle National Monument preserves a 5-story, 20-room cliff dwelling south of Flagstaff. Navajo National Monument offers an array of multiple-roomed cliff-house ruins dating from before 1300. Other cliff-dweller sites are preserved at Walnut Canyon National Monument, Tonto National Monument, and Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Ruins that may antedate the cliff houses are found at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Tuzigoot National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument. Hohokam Pima National Monument preserves archaeological remains of the Hohokam culture.
European exploration and settlement of the Arizona region is commemorated in several national parks and monuments, including those recognizing the conflicts that developed between the Native Americans and Europeans. Coronado National Memorial details the first major European exploration of the Southwest. Fort Bowie National Historic Site tells the story of the bitter conflict between the Chiricahua Apaches and the United States military. It was the site where a large force of Chiricahua Apaches under Mangus Colorados and Cochise fought the California Volunteers, and where Chief Geronimo was captured in 1886 after ten years of sporadic raids. The influence of traders on the lives of Native Americans can be seen at the still-active Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. Tumacacori National Historical Park includes a historic Spanish Catholic mission near the site first visited by Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691. Pipe Spring National Monument contains a fort built by early Mormon pioneers.
Arizona’s rich natural environment is preserved in several parks. Chiricahua National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument are examples of violent volcanic eruptions that shaped the countryside millions of years ago. Some 1,000 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens, the Turkey Creek Caldera eruption in Chiricahua eventually laid down 600 m (2,000 ft) of ash and pumice. This mixture fused into a rock that eventually eroded into the spires and unusual rock formations seen today. Giant saguaro cacti, unique to the Sonoran Desert, sometimes reach a height of 15 m (50 ft) in the cactus forest of Saguaro National Park. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument preserves a section of the Sonoran Desert. Trees that have petrified, or changed to multicolored stone, are features of the Petrified Forest National Park, as are Native American ruins and petroglyphs, and a portion of the colorful Painted Desert.
The national park service also oversees two popular national recreation areas in the state, at Glen Canyon and Lake Mead.
Arizona has six national forests, covering a total of about 4.5 million hectares (about 11.2 million acres). Apache-Sitgreaves and Coronado national forests lie partly in the neighboring state of New Mexico. The largest national forest in Arizona is Tonto, with about 1 million hectares (3 million acres) ranging from semidesert to cool pine forests. It includes the famous Superstition Mountains, the Tonto Basin, the Sierra Ancha Wilderness Area, scenic drives such as the Apache Trail and the Mogollon Rim drive, and 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of artificial lakes, most of them belonging to the Salt River valley project. A portion of the Kaibab National Forest, in the beautiful Colorado Plateau high country, was named Grand Canyon National Game Preserve by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Apache National Forest has the prehistoric Blue River cliff dwellings. In Prescott National Forest is the ghost town of Jerome. The other areas are Coconino and Coronado national forests.
Year-round warm weather permits outdoor festivals in any season in Arizona. More than 150 balloons participate in the Scottsdale Thunderbird Balloon Classic and Airshow in November. The Fiesta Bowl Parade is Arizona’s biggest parade, with dozens of floats, marching bands and equestrian units marching down Phoenix streets in December. Wickenburg celebrates state history with the February Gold Rush Days Celebration, featuring costumed performers mingling with visitors.
La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros, the Tucson rodeo, draws riders from around the world to compete for prize money. Racing ostriches are the highlight of the Chandler Ostrich Festival held each March. Classic cars line the famous Route 66 for the Route 66 Fun Run Weekend on Topock each April. Thrill seekers also head to the Phoenix International Raceway to watch the best in stockcars compete in the Phoenix 500. Lake Havasu City’s London Bridge Days celebrate the moving of the famous bridge to Arizona’s Colorado River.
Arizona is home to five major professional sports teams: the Arizona Cardinals (football), the Phoenix Suns (men's basketball), the Phoenix Mercury (women's basketball), the Arizona Diamondbacks (baseball), and the Phoenix Coyotes (ice hockey). The area is also used by professional baseball teams as a spring training ground.
Arizona adheres to its original constitution adopted in 1911, although amendments and interpretations by courts have dramatically changed its original substance. An amendment to the constitution may be proposed by the legislature, by a voters’ initiative, or by a constitutional convention. To be ratified, a proposed amendment must be approved by a majority of the people voting on the issue in an election.
The executive branch of government includes the governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and superintendent of public instruction. All are elected by popular vote for four-year terms. The executive also includes three public utilities commissioners, elected for four years, and a state mine inspector, who is elected for a two-year term.
The legislature is divided into the 30-member Senate and the 60-member House of Representatives. Legislators serve two-year terms.
Arizona’s highest court, the Supreme Court, is composed of five justices who serve six-year terms. The intermediate court of appeals has judges who serve six-year terms, and the major trial courts, the superior courts, have judges who serve four-year terms. Supreme Court justices and court of appeals judges are appointed by the governor.
Arizona’s 15 counties are the local unit of government. Each county generally has a board of three supervisors. Supervisors are elected for two-year terms. Other elected county officials are the sheriff, county attorney, clerk of the superior court, assessor, recorder, and superintendent of schools.
Arizona has both unincorporated cities controlled by the counties and incorporated cities governing themselves, usually under a mayor and council. The larger cities, such as Phoenix and Tucson, have the council and city manager system.
Arizona elects two U.S. senators and eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The state casts ten electoral votes in presidential elections.
The first humans in present-day Arizona appeared more than 12,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found evidence that the original peoples hunted and gathered food with a few crude stone tools and probably built no permanent dwellings.
About 2,000 years ago, people whom archaeologists now call the Anasazi settled on the plateaus of northwestern Arizona. As they left the nomadic lifestyle, the Anasazi lived in multiroomed houses built into caves and built kiva, circular buildings used for ceremonial purposes. In the mountains of eastern Arizona lived a people now called the Mogollon, who borrowed elements of their culture from both plateau and desert peoples.
About ad 300 an agricultural people called the Hohokam arrived in the river valleys of central Arizona. They planted corn and devised a system of irrigation to bring water to their crops. In the plateau country, Anasazi also learned to grow corn, squash, and cotton. However, the plateau peoples farmed without the aid of irrigation, using rainwater instead. From 700 to 1100 these peoples developed, to a very high level, the arts of building, cotton weaving, and pottery making. The Hohokam and the Anasazi reached the height of their civilizations between 1100 and 1300. Most of their great multiple-roomed cliff houses were built toward the end of this period.
In the 13th century a prolonged drought reduced the food supply and available farmland. After 1300 the population decreased and the area of habitation shrank. When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they found the distribution of native peoples largely as it is today, except for the Navajo and Apache, nomadic peoples who migrated into the area shortly before the arrival of the Spanish.
The first non-Native Americans to see Arizona may have been members of a Spanish expedition led by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, who was shipwrecked on the Texas coast in 1528. Estevanico, a slave from Azamor, Morocco, was also on the expedition. Only Estevanico, Cabeza de Vaca, and two others survived the Native American attacks and disease. Cabeza de Vaca led the group around the Gulf of Mexico to Mexico City on what became an eight-year journey, during which time he and Estevanico befriended many Native American peoples, who told them about a kingdom of wealth called the Seven Cities of Cíbola. Cabeza de Vaca’s report about the possibility of wealth interested the viceroy of New Spain.
In 1539 Estevanico reentered Arizona guiding a small band led by the Franciscan Friar Marcos de Niza on an expedition to find the Seven Cities. Although he found no riches, de Niza reported that he had sighted one of the cities. On this expedition Estevanico was killed by Zuni Pueblos in western New Mexico. With about 300 Spanish soldiers and many Native Americans under his command, on February 23, 1540, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado began following the western slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental north to the present border of the state of Arizona. He then headed northeast toward Cíbola, which he found to be only villages of the Zuni Pueblo, containing no wealth. However, in the course of the explorations one of his lieutenants, García López de Cárdenas, saw the Grand Canyon; a second, Hernando de Alarcón, reached the lower Colorado River; and a third, Melchior Diaz, crossed what is now Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona on his way to the Gulf of California.
|C||Conquest of Spanish New Mexico|
In 1581 a party of soldiers and missionaries from Santa Barbara, on the northern frontier of what is now Mexico, traveled up the Río Grande seeking knowledge of the Pueblo peoples in what is now New Mexico. After an extensive survey of the country, the missionaries stayed and the soldiers returned to Spanish Mexico. In 1582 an expedition led by Antonio de Espejo set out north, mainly to find out what had happened to the missionaries. After learning that they had been killed, Espejo returned to Santa Barbara, searching for minerals along the way. Espejo found silver deposits somewhere in the vicinity of present-day Jerome, and the samples he carried back stimulated further interest in the area.
In 1595 Juan de Oñate, born in Spanish Mexico and related to the conquistador Hernán Cortés and to the Aztec ruler Montezuma II, won a royal contract to settle the region. Oñate’s expedition left in 1598. When it reached the Río Grande near present-day El Paso, Texas, Oñate took possession for Spain of the territory he called New Mexico, which included present-day Arizona. Proceeding upstream, the Spanish founded a colony near the junction of the Río Grande and the Rio Chama, named it San Juan, and then took a party west to Arizona. Oñate sent another expedition under Marcos Farfán into Arizona to search for the mines Espejo had found. Farfán found ore deposits near present-day Prescott.
At first the Spanish did little to develop Arizona. It was arid, remote from the center of government in Mexico, and did not promise much wealth. But to strengthen their control over what later became the southwestern United States, the Spanish colonized it. The Spanish established two types of colonies: presidios, which were military posts, and missions, which attempted to convert native peoples to Roman Catholicism and to teach them the ways of Spanish civilization.
In 1629 Franciscan monks (Roman Catholic clergy) built a mission at Awatovi in northern Arizona to convert the Hopi, but the Hopi resented the Franciscans’ efforts to destroy native religious practices and forcibly replace them with Roman Catholicism; they may have poisoned a monk in 1633. When the Pueblo peoples in New Mexico, with the aid of the Apache, rebelled in 1680, the Hopi seized the opportunity to kill the missionaries in northern Arizona. When missionaries returned to Awatovi in 1700, local Hopi destroyed the village. Subsequent efforts to convert the Hopi failed completely.
Missionaries had somewhat more success in southern Arizona, where in 1692 the Jesuit missionary Eusebio Kino arrived in Arizona. The Italian-born Kino remained in the region known as Pimería Alta, including what is now the southern part of Arizona and most of the Mexican state of Sonora, until his death in 1711. He founded several missions in the south among the Yaqui, Pima, and Yuma peoples, but also spent nearly 30 years preparing maps. One of his maps first showed Baja California to be a peninsula rather than an island; this remained the standard map of the region for over a century.
Spanish colonists slowly moved into Arizona, and in 1752, after years of fighting with local Native Americans and the migrating Apache, the Spanish built a presidio at Tubac. This was the first permanent European settlement in Arizona. About 25 years later the Spanish moved the presidio north to the present site of Tucson, near the mission of San Xavier del Bac.
During the struggle for Mexican independence from Spain between 1810 and 1821, the Spanish were unable to maintain military control over Arizona. Taking advantage of this situation, Native Americans attacked and destroyed all of the missions and settlements except Tubac and Tucson. In 1824 Arizona passed from Spanish to Mexican rule. The remaining mission lands were taken and redistributed among Mexican settlers, but the administration of the area changed little.
At about this time trappers and traders (followed by a small number of settlers) from the United States began to move into Arizona. James Ohio Pattie probably entered Arizona first in late 1825 or early 1826, but he was followed quickly by Kit Carson, Michel Robidoux, and others. As the number of traders from the United States increased in the area, Mexico grew increasingly suspicious, and relations between the two countries became strained.
|F||Acquisition by the United States|
The annexation of Texas in 1845, which continued the trend of claiming land east of the Río Grande, encouraged U.S. expansionists to demand the annexation of all the Southwest and California, including Arizona. After moving U.S. troops to the mouth of the Río Grande, which Mexico considered a provocation, United States president James K. Polk declared war on Mexico in 1846. A battalion of Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) on its way to join the battle for possession of California, which was then held by the Mexicans, raised the first American flag over Tucson in 1846. The Mexican War ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which formally ceded New Mexico to the United States. Under the treaty, all of Arizona north of the Gila River was ceded to the United States. Thousands of Americans, however, traveled south of the Gila River on their way to the California goldfields following the discovery of gold there in 1848. Largely because of this, in 1853 James Gadsden, the U.S. minister to Mexico, purchased for the United States about 76,735 sq km (about 29,640 sq mi) of land south of the Gila River from Mexico (see Gadsden Purchase).
In 1850 the U.S. Congress organized the lands ceded under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as the territory of New Mexico. At the time, Tucson and Tubac, together with Yuma, established in 1849, were the only white settlements in Arizona. In 1858 the Butterfield Overland Mail began operating through the Arizona desert on the long haul between St. Louis and San Francisco, and military posts were set up along the route to protect the stagecoaches from ambushes by Apache trying to protect their hunting lands. Small silver-mining camps began to spring up along the Colorado and Hassayampa rivers and south of the Gila River. Claiming that they were too far from Santa Fe to be governed effectively by New Mexico, the miners and settlers soon began agitating for a separate territory, but their demands were ignored.
Following the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861, Arizona settlers from the South called a convention in Tucson and declared Arizona a Confederate territory. Nevertheless, the war’s impact on Arizona was slight. The Confederacy did send a force to take the New Mexico territory, but it was defeated in New Mexico, although a minor skirmish was fought in Arizona at Picacho Peak in 1862. On February 24, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, hoping that Arizona gold would replenish the depleted federal treasury, approved the congressional act creating the territory of Arizona. John N. Goodwin, a Republican, was appointed the first territorial governor. Goodwin then became the territorial delegate to the United States Congress and was succeeded as governor by Republicans Richard C. McCormick and Anson P. K. Safford, who were largely responsible for the creation of territorial government in Arizona. Tucson was the capital of the territory from 1867 to 1877. The seat of government was then moved back to Prescott, which had been the first capital, and finally, in 1889, the capital was moved to Phoenix.
|H||Wars with the Apache|
The Apache had fought Europeans since the days of Spanish rule. Skilled at war, mounted on swift horses, and operating from an almost impregnable range of hills in southeastern Arizona, they were hard to suppress. In addition, whites frequently retaliated against the wrong native peoples, creating more hostility. Two Chiricahua Apache warriors in particular, Cochise and Geronimo, became famous for their battles with white settlers and the U.S. Army.
In 1861, after a raid by Coyotero Apache, the U.S. military seized Cochise and some of his relatives, despite the fact that they were Chiricahua Apache. Cochise escaped and took his own hostages to obtain the release of his relatives, but he killed them when the army refused to exchange prisoners. The previously friendly chief immediately became hostile, leading a series of brilliantly conceived but brutal attacks against white settlements in the Arizona Territory for nearly ten years. After the American Civil War, U.S. troops moved in force against the Apache warriors. Cochise surrendered in 1871, but when ordered to remove his people to a reservation in the New Mexico territory, he refused and escaped with several hundred followers. In 1872 Cochise agreed to remain with his people on a Chiricahua reservation in southern Arizona.
After his wife, children, and mother were killed by Mexicans in 1858, Geronimo had participated in a number of raids against Mexican and American settlers, but eventually settled on a reservation. In 1876 the U.S. government attempted to move the Chiricahua from their traditional home to the San Carlos reservation; Geronimo then began ten years of intermittent raids against white settlements, alternating with periods on the San Carlos reservation. In March 1886 U.S. General George Crook captured Geronimo and forced him to sign a treaty under which the Chiricahua would be relocated in Florida; two days later Geronimo escaped and continued his raids. General Nelson Miles then chased Geronimo into Mexico and captured him the following September; the Chiricahua became cattle raisers and shepherds on several reservations. Geronimo himself eventually adopted Christianity and took part in the inaugural procession of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905.
Most of the present cities in Arizona were established in the two decades following the end of the Civil War in 1865. Mining brought many of the settlers, who founded trading posts, such as Phoenix, and mining towns, such as the gold-mining town Wickenburg; Globe, which mined silver and copper; Tombstone, which mined gold and silver; and the copper town, Bisbee. Immigrants came from every state and many nations to farm and work the mines. Mormon settlers from Utah founded such towns as Safford and Mesa.
After the army had reduced the threat of Apache raids, cattle ranching greatly expanded on the grasslands of central and southeastern Arizona. By the mid-1870s the grasslands were full of Mexican and Texas cattle that fed both miners and railroad workers. Cattle ranching became even more profitable after the railroads provided access to large but distant markets. The Southern Pacific reached the Colorado River at Yuma in 1877 and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reached Arizona in 1881.
The early mining towns grew rapidly, and their populations soon exceeded the capabilities of law enforcement. Violent feuds erupted between cattle ranchers and sheepherders, and robberies, holdups, Native American raids, and mining-camp brawls were commonplace. Cochise County, in the southeast, was a haven for outlaws. In addition, local officials were often corrupt, and frequently territorial officials were no better.
As a result, the lawmen who eventually established some order were later romanticized in books, movies, and on television. In 1879 Wyatt Earp, who had built a reputation as a gunfighter in Dodge City, Kansas, settled in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Earp tried to create some semblance of order in Arizona, working first as the deputy sheriff of Pima County and later as deputy U.S. marshal for the entire Arizona Territory. Earp and three of his brothers, together with the American frontiersman Doc Holliday, became famous for their participation in the O.K. Corral gunfight in 1881, in which they killed several suspected cattle rustlers. Eventually, Earp, Bat Masterson (another famous lawman from Kansas), Cochise County Sheriff John Slaughter, and others managed to reduce the violence in the area.
As early as 1877 Arizonans had begun demanding statehood, but the first bill for statehood was introduced into Congress—and defeated—in 1889. Congress twice enacted legislation admitting Arizona and New Mexico to the Union as a single state between 1904 and 1906, but Arizonans overwhelmingly rejected this plan in a popular vote in 1906. In January 1910, Congress authorized the territory to hold a constitutional convention to draft a state constitution. The convention completed its work in December 1910, and the document was ratified in February 1911. Congress then passed a resolution conferring statehood on Arizona, but President William Howard Taft vetoed the resolution because the proposed state constitution allowed voters to recall judges. In August, Congress and the president agreed to make the admission of Arizona to the Union conditional upon the elimination of the recall provision. Arizona voters removed the provision from the constitution on December 12, and on February 14, 1912, Taft signed the proclamation admitting Arizona as the 48th state. Then, on November 5, 1912, Arizona voters reinserted the judicial recall article into the state constitution.
George W. P. Hunt, a Democrat, became the first state governor, and eventually served seven terms, although not in succession. Hunt strongly supported legislation to aid the mining and farming industries; the latter he aided by urging the construction of dams and irrigation projects.
In 1911 former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt dedicated a dam on the Salt River that was named after him. The dam assured farmers and ranchers in central Arizona of a continuous water supply and was the first major irrigation project undertaken by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The Roosevelt Dam was followed by the Coolidge Dam, the Bartlett Dam, and the Hoover Dam; the last was completed in 1936. Hunt also supported a statewide system of paved highways that was begun in the 1920s, despite the opposition from railroad leaders.
The new state had some concern for the rights of injured workers and for the families of deceased laborers. In other states, for example, laws restricted how much money one could receive from a company if the working conditions contributed to the death of a family member. The Arizona constitution specified that courts alone would determine any compensation.
Not everyone, however, sympathized with workers. In 1917 (during World War I) a miner strike in Bisbee led to a confrontation between striking workers associated with the radical industrial labor union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and sheriff’s deputies and local armed civilians. Accusing the IWW of radical agitation during wartime, the sheriff’s deputies arrested more than 1,100 workers, forced them onto cattle cars, shipped them into New Mexico, and dumped them in the desert.
|L||The Middle and Late 20th Century|
During World War II (1939-1945) many defense industries were built in Arizona to provide materials for the war, and demand increased for Arizona’s copper, cotton, and beef industries. Converted to peacetime production after the war, defense plants spurred the growth of manufacturing in the state. New employment opportunities attracted thousands of people from other states, and this in turn began a construction boom that produced more employment. The clean desert air attracted settlers with allergies and respiratory ailments. Other factors—such as the discovery of uranium, the development of roads, the introduction of air conditioning, the beginning of jet air travel and tourism—also contributed to the economic growth.
Because Arizona’s warm, dry climate and diverse recreational lands have, since the early 1950s, attracted both a great number of new residents and a large stream of tourists, social and consumer services increased in response. Industrial activity expanded in the 1950s and 1960s, encouraging more immigration. The population of Arizona nearly tripled between 1960 and 1990. More than half of all Arizonans now live in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, and industry is centered around metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson.
Rapid expansion, however, increased the need for water. The very dry, warm weather that attracted tourists also limited the natural water supply, and disputes with Nevada and California about the distribution of water from the Colorado River began in the 1920s. In 1952 Arizona asked the Supreme Court of the United States to decide on the proper distribution of Colorado River water among the states, and in 1963 the Supreme Court increased the amount of Colorado River water Arizona was permitted to use.
The state’s water requirements, however, continued to increase with the growing population and economy, and soon the areas of Phoenix and Tucson were withdrawing more water from their underground supplies than was being returned to those supplies by rainfall. Water-conservation measures failed to solve the problem, and the state successfully lobbied Congress for a federally funded Central Arizona Project that brought Colorado River water by pipeline to Phoenix in 1985 and Tucson in 1991. The project includes 541 km (336 mi) of pipeline and cost $3.7 billion. Even with the project, however, the rapid increase in population means that more water may eventually be needed.
In 1948 Arizona Native Americans won a case in the Arizona Supreme Court that gave them the right to vote in Arizona elections, and their economic situation began to improve as well. In 1969 the first college on a Native American reservation, Navajo Community College (now Diné College), opened in Tsaile. Native Americans also opened gambling casinos on their reservations to bring in more money.
In 1974 the U.S. Congress entered a centuries-old land dispute between the Hopi and the Navajo, dividing the 1882 Hopi Reservation between the Hopi and the Navajo. The Navajo received approximately half the land, about 368,700 hectares (about 911,000 acres), and Hopi and Navajo currently living on the other tribe’s land were required to move. Some 5,000 Navajo and 100 Hopi were involved in the relocation; all Hopi and all but a few Navajo moved. The land disputes continued, however, and in 1992 the Hopi and Navajo agreed to grant land around the San Francisco Peaks area to the Hopi in exchange for the right to lease Hopi lands.
The population of Arizona voted mostly Democratic from statehood until the 1950s, when the state acquired a national reputation for conservatism in politics and for pro-business policies that favored rapid growth. The unsuccessful Republican presidential campaign of conservative U.S. senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona in 1964 encouraged that reputation. Since then Democrats and Republicans have both had political success. In the 1960s and 1970s the substantial Hispanic population began pushing for a larger political role and was instrumental in the election of a Hispanic governor, Democrat Raul Castro, in 1974. In October 1977 Castro resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to Argentina. He was succeeded by the state’s Democratic secretary of state, Wesley Bolin, who died in 1978. Bolin’s successor, Democrat Bruce Babbitt, who had been the state attorney general, was elected to a full term in November 1978 and was reelected in 1982.
Republicans regained the governorship when the state elected Republican Evan Mecham in 1986. Mecham soon drew heated criticism for eliminating Martin Luther King, Jr., Day as a paid state holiday, for remarks many considered racist, and for derogatory comments about women and homosexuals. His actions sparked simultaneous campaigns to recall him and to impeach him. Evidence was uncovered that Mecham illegally diverted public money to his own automobile dealership, and in February 1988 the Arizona House of Representatives voted to impeach him. In April the state Senate found Mecham guilty of obstructing justice and misappropriating state funds. Rose Mofford, a Democrat, succeeded Mecham and completed his term of office.
Republican J. Fife Symington became governor in 1989, but he also encountered legal problems. In 1994 Symington reached a settlement in a lawsuit with the government over charges that as a director of a savings and loan association he had engaged in actions that violated conflict-of-interest laws. A federal grand jury indicted Symington again in 1996 on multiple counts of fraud and extortion. In 1997 a federal jury convicted Symington on seven felony counts for repeatedly misstating his net worth to financial institutions to obtain loans. He was forced to resign his position as governor because of the felony convictions, although the convictions were later overturned. He was succeeded in office by Arizona’s secretary of state, Republican Jane Dee Hull.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Arizona had a weak economy and a growing budget deficit. In the 2002 governor’s race, Attorney General Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, won the election. She pledged to grow the state’s economy and improve its public schools.
The history section of this article was contributed by John S. Goff.