Tennessee

Tennessee (/ˌtɛnəˈsiː/ (listen),[5][6] locally /ˈtɛnəsi/;[7] Cherokee: ᏔᎾᏏ, translit. Tanasi) is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.[8]

The state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians.[9] What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. Occupied by Union forces from 1862, it was the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.[10]

Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state besides Virginia, and more soldiers for the Union Army than the rest of the Confederacy combined.[10] Beginning during Reconstruction, it had competitive party politics, but a Democratic takeover in the late 1880s resulted in passage of disenfranchisement laws that excluded most blacks and many poor whites from voting. This sharply reduced competition in politics in the state until after passage of civil rights legislation in the mid-20th century.[11] In the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided by massive federal investment in the Tennessee Valley Authority and, in the early 1940s, the city of Oak Ridge. This city was established to house the Manhattan Project's uranium enrichment facilities, helping to build the world's first atomic bombs, two of which were dropped on Imperial Japan near the end of World War II.

Tennessee's major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Poultry, soybeans, and cattle are the state's primary agricultural products,[12] and major manufacturing exports include chemicals, transportation equipment, and electrical equipment.[13] The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation's most visited national park, is headquartered in the eastern part of the state, and a section of the Appalachian Trail roughly follows the Tennessee-North Carolina border.[14] Other major tourist attractions include the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga; Dollywood in Pigeon Forge; Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and Ober Gatlinburg in Gatlinburg; the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg; Elvis Presley's Graceland residence and tomb, the Memphis Zoo, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis; and Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol.

State of Tennessee
Flag of Tennessee State seal of Tennessee
Flag Seal
Nickname(s):
The Volunteer State
Motto(s): Agriculture and Commerce
State song(s): "Nine songs"
Map of the United States with Tennessee highlighted
Official languageEnglish
DemonymTennessean
Capital
(and largest city)
Nashville[1]
Largest metroGreater Nashville
AreaRanked 36th
 • Total42,143 sq mi
(109,247 km2)
 • Width120 miles (195 km)
 • Length440 miles (710 km)
 • % water2.2
 • Latitude34° 59′ N to 36° 41′ N
 • Longitude81° 39′ W to 90° 19′ W
PopulationRanked 16th
 • Total6,770,010 (2018)
 • Density159.4/sq mi  (61.5/km2)
Ranked 20th
 • Median household income$47,330[2] (42nd)
Elevation
 • Highest pointClingmans Dome[3][4]
6,643 ft (2025 m)
 • Mean900 ft  (270 m)
 • Lowest pointMississippi River at Mississippi border[3][4]
178 ft (54 m)
Before statehoodSouthwest Territory
Admission to UnionJune 1, 1796 (16th)
GovernorBill Lee (R)
Lieutenant GovernorRandy McNally (R)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. SenatorsLamar Alexander (R)
Marsha Blackburn (R)
U.S. House delegation7 Republicans
2 Democrats (list)
Time zones 
 • East TennesseeEastern: UTC -5/-4
 • Middle and WestCentral: UTC -6/-5
ISO 3166US-TN
AbbreviationsTN, Tenn.
Websitewww.tennessee.gov

Etymology

Tanasi-monument-cherokee-tennessee
Monument near the old site of Tanasi in Monroe County

The earliest variant of the name that became Tennessee was recorded by Captain Juan Pardo, the Spanish explorer, when he and his men passed through an American Indian village named "Tanasqui" in 1567 while traveling inland from South Carolina. In the early 18th century, British traders encountered a Cherokee town named Tanasi (or "Tanase") in present-day Monroe County, Tennessee. The town was located on a river of the same name (now known as the Little Tennessee River), and appears on maps as early as 1725. It is not known whether this was the same town as the one encountered by Juan Pardo, although recent research suggests that Pardo's "Tanasqui" was located at the confluence of the Pigeon River and the French Broad River, near modern Newport.[15]

The meaning and origin of the word are uncertain. Some accounts suggest it is a Cherokee modification of an earlier Yuchi word. It has been said to mean "meeting place", "winding river", or "river of the great bend".[16][17] According to ethnographer James Mooney, the name "can not be analyzed" and its meaning is lost.[18]

The modern spelling, Tennessee, is attributed to James Glen, the governor of South Carolina, who used this spelling in his official correspondence during the 1750s. The spelling was popularized by the publication of Henry Timberlake's "Draught of the Cherokee Country" in 1765. In 1788, North Carolina created "Tennessee County", the third county to be established in what is now Middle Tennessee. (Tennessee County was the predecessor to current-day Montgomery County and Robertson County.) When a constitutional convention met in 1796 to organize a new state out of the Southwest Territory, it adopted "Tennessee" as the name of the state.

Nickname

Tennessee is known as The Volunteer State, a nickname some claimed was earned during the War of 1812 because of the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from Tennessee, especially during the Battle of New Orleans.[19] Other sources differ on the origin of the state nickname; according to The Columbia Encyclopedia,[20] the name refers to volunteers for the Mexican–American War. This explanation is more likely, because President Polk's call for 2,600 nationwide volunteers at the beginning of the Mexican–American War resulted in 30,000 volunteers from Tennessee alone, largely in response to the death of Davy Crockett and appeals by former Tennessee Governor and then Texas politician, Sam Houston.[21]

Geography

National-atlas-tennessee
Map of Tennessee

Tennessee borders eight other states: Kentucky and Virginia to the north; North Carolina to the east; Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi on the south; Arkansas and Missouri on the Mississippi River to the west. Tennessee is tied with Missouri as the state bordering the most other states. The state is trisected by the Tennessee River.

The highest point in the state is Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet (2,025 m).[22] Clingmans Dome, which lies on Tennessee's eastern border, is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail, and is the third highest peak in the United States east of the Mississippi River. The state line between Tennessee and North Carolina crosses the summit. The state's lowest point is the Mississippi River at the Mississippi state line: 178 feet (54 m). The geographical center of the state is located in Murfreesboro.

The state of Tennessee is geographically, culturally, economically, and legally divided into three Grand Divisions: East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee. The state constitution allows no more than two justices of the five-member Tennessee Supreme Court to be from one Grand Division and a similar rule applies to certain commissions and boards.

Tennessee features six principal physiographic regions: the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, the Cumberland Plateau, the Highland Rim, the Nashville Basin, and the Gulf Coastal Plain. Tennessee is home to the most caves in the United States, with over 10,000 documented caves to date.[23]

East Tennessee

Map of East Tennessee counties
Map of Tennessee highlighting East Tennessee

The Blue Ridge area lies on the eastern edge of Tennessee, bordering North Carolina. This region of Tennessee is characterized by the high mountains and rugged terrain of the western Blue Ridge Mountains, which are subdivided into several subranges, namely the Great Smoky Mountains, the Bald Mountains, the Unicoi Mountains, the Unaka Mountains and Roan Highlands, and the Iron Mountains.

The average elevation of the Blue Ridge area is 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea level. Clingmans Dome, the state's highest point, is located in this region. The Blue Ridge area was never more than sparsely populated, and today much of it is protected by the Cherokee National Forest, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and several federal wilderness areas and state parks.

Stretching west from the Blue Ridge for approximately 55 miles (89 km) is the Ridge and Valley region, in which numerous tributaries join to form the Tennessee River in the Tennessee Valley. This area of Tennessee is covered by fertile valleys separated by wooded ridges, such as Bays Mountain and Clinch Mountain. The western section of the Tennessee Valley, where the depressions become broader and the ridges become lower, is called the Great Valley. In this valley are numerous towns and two of the region's three urban areas, Knoxville, the third largest city in the state, and Chattanooga, the fourth largest city in the state. The third urban area, the Tri-Cities, comprising Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport and their environs, is located to the northeast of Knoxville.

The Cumberland Plateau rises to the west of the Tennessee Valley; this area is covered with flat-topped mountains separated by sharp valleys. The elevation of the Cumberland Plateau ranges from 1,500 to about 2,000 feet (460 to about 610 m) above sea level.

East Tennessee has several important transportation links with Middle and West Tennessee, as well as the rest of the nation and the world, including several major airports and interstates. Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) and Chattanooga's Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA), as well as the Tri-Cities' Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI), provide air service to numerous destinations. I-24, I-81, I-40, I-75, and I-26 along with numerous state highways and other important roads, traverse the Grand Division and connect Chattanooga, Knoxville, and the Tri-Cities, along with other cities and towns such as Cleveland, Athens, and Sevierville.

Middle Tennessee

Map of Middle Tennessee counties
Map of Tennessee highlighting Middle Tennessee

West of the Cumberland Plateau is the Highland Rim, an elevated plain that surrounds the Nashville Basin. The northern section of the Highland Rim, known for its high tobacco production, is sometimes called the Pennyroyal Plateau; it is located primarily in Southwestern Kentucky. The Nashville Basin is characterized by rich, fertile farm country and great diversity of natural wildlife.

Middle Tennessee was a common destination of settlers crossing the Appalachians from Virginia in the late 18th century and early 19th century. An important trading route called the Natchez Trace, created and used for many generations by American Indians, connected Middle Tennessee to the lower Mississippi River town of Natchez. The route of the Natchez Trace was used as the basis for a scenic highway called the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Some of the last remaining large American chestnut trees grow in this region. They are being used to help breed blight-resistant trees.

Middle Tennessee is one of the primary state population and transportation centers along with the heart of state government. Nashville (the capital), Clarksville, and Murfreesboro are its largest cities. Fifty percent of the US population is within 600 miles (970 km) of Nashville.[24] Interstates I-24, I-40, I-65, and I-840 service the Division, with the first three meeting in Nashville.

West Tennessee

Map of West Tennessee counties
Map of Tennessee highlighting West Tennessee

West of the Highland Rim and Nashville Basin is the Gulf Coastal Plain, which includes the Mississippi embayment. The Gulf Coastal Plain is, in terms of area, the predominant land region in Tennessee. It is part of the large geographic land area that begins at the Gulf of Mexico and extends north into southern Illinois. In Tennessee, the Gulf Coastal Plain is divided into three sections that extend from the Tennessee River in the east to the Mississippi River in the west.

The easternmost section, about 10 miles (16 km) in width, consists of hilly land that runs along the western bank of the Tennessee River. To the west of this narrow strip of land is a wide area of rolling hills and streams that stretches all the way to the Mississippi River; this area is called the Tennessee Bottoms or bottom land. In Memphis, the Tennessee Bottoms end in steep bluffs overlooking the river. To the west of the Tennessee Bottoms is the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, less than 300 feet (91 m) above sea level. This area of lowlands, flood plains, and swamp land is sometimes referred to as the Delta region. Memphis is the economic center of West Tennessee.

Most of West Tennessee remained Indian land until the Chickasaw Cession of 1818, when the Chickasaw ceded their land between the Tennessee River and the Mississippi River. The portion of the Chickasaw Cession that lies in Kentucky is known today as the Jackson Purchase.

Public lands

Clifftops4-7-07
View from atop Mount Le Conte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, April 2007

Areas under the control and management of the National Park Service include the following:

Fifty-four state parks, covering some 132,000 acres (530 km2) as well as parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest, and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park are in Tennessee. Sportsmen and visitors are attracted to Reelfoot Lake, originally formed by the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes; stumps and other remains of a once dense forest, together with the lotus bed covering the shallow waters, give the lake an eerie beauty.

Climate

Tennessee Köppen
A map of Köppen climate types in Tennessee
Roadway in David Crockett State Park (Autumn 2008 - Horizontal Image)
Autumn in Tennessee. Roadway to Lindsey Lake in David Crockett State Park, located a half mile west of Lawrenceburg.

Most of the state has a humid subtropical climate, with the exception of some of the higher elevations in the Appalachians, which are classified as having a mountain temperate or humid continental climate due to cooler temperatures.[25] The Gulf of Mexico is the dominant factor in the climate of Tennessee, with winds from the south being responsible for most of the state's annual precipitation. Generally, the state has hot summers and mild to cool winters with generous precipitation throughout the year, with highest average monthly precipitation generally in the winter and spring months, between December and April. The driest months, on average, are August to October. On average the state receives 50 inches (130 cm) of precipitation annually. Snowfall ranges from 5 inches (13 cm) in West Tennessee to over 16 inches (41 cm) in the higher mountains in East Tennessee.[26]

Summers in the state are generally hot and humid, with most of the state averaging a high of around 90 °F (32 °C) during the summer months. Winters tend to be mild to cool, increasing in coolness at higher elevations. Generally, for areas outside the highest mountains, the average overnight lows are near freezing for most of the state. The highest recorded temperature is 113 °F (45 °C) at Perryville on August 9, 1930, while the lowest recorded temperature is −32 °F (−36 °C) at Mountain City on December 30, 1917.

While the state is far enough from the coast to avoid any direct impact from a hurricane, the location of the state makes it likely to be impacted from the remnants of tropical cyclones which weaken over land and can cause significant rainfall, such as Tropical Storm Chris in 1982 and Hurricane Opal in 1995.[27] The state averages around 50 days of thunderstorms per year, some of which can be severe with large hail and damaging winds. Tornadoes are possible throughout the state, with West and Middle Tennessee the most vulnerable. Occasionally, strong or violent tornadoes occur, such as the devastating April 2011 tornadoes that killed 20 people in North Georgia and Southeast Tennessee.[28] On average, the state has 15 tornadoes per year.[29] Tornadoes in Tennessee can be severe, and Tennessee leads the nation in the percentage of total tornadoes which have fatalities.[30] Winter storms are an occasional problem, such as the infamous Blizzard of 1993, although ice storms are a more likely occurrence. Fog is a persistent problem in parts of the state, especially in East Tennessee.

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Tennessee Cities (F)[31]
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bristol 44/25 49/27 57/34 66/41 74/51 81/60 85/64 84/62 79/56 68/43 58/35 48/27
Chattanooga 49/30 54/33 63/40 72/47 79/56 86/65 90/69 89/68 82/62 72/48 61/40 52/33
Knoxville 47/30 52/33 61/40 71/48 78/57 85/65 88/69 87/68 81/62 71/50 60/41 50/34
Memphis 49/31 55/36 63/44 72/52 80/61 89/69 92/73 91/71 85/64 75/52 62/43 52/34
Nashville 46/28 52/31 61/39 70/47 78/57 85/65 90/70 89/69 82/61 71/49 59/40 49/32

Major cities

The capital and largest city is Nashville, though Knoxville, Kingston, and Murfreesboro have all served as state capitals in the past. Nashville's 13-county metropolitan area has been the state's largest since c. 1990. Chattanooga and Knoxville, both in the eastern part of the state near the Great Smoky Mountains, each has approximately one-third of the population of Memphis or Nashville. The city of Clarksville is a fifth significant population center, 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Nashville. Murfreesboro is the sixth-largest city in Tennessee, consisting of 108,755 residents.

History

Early history

Ftloudouninterior
Reconstruction of Fort Loudon, the first British settlement in Tennessee

The area now known as Tennessee was first inhabited by Paleo-Indians nearly 12,000 years ago.[33] The names of the cultural groups that inhabited the area between first settlement and the time of European contact are unknown, but several distinct cultural phases have been named by archaeologists, including Archaic (8000–1000 BC), Woodland (1000 BC–1000 AD), and Mississippian (1000–1600 AD), whose chiefdoms were the cultural predecessors of the Muscogee people who inhabited the Tennessee River Valley before Cherokee migration into the river's headwaters.

The first recorded European excursions into what is now called Tennessee were three expeditions led by Spanish explorers, namely Hernando de Soto in 1540, Tristan de Luna in 1559, and Juan Pardo in 1567. Pardo recorded the name "Tanasqui" from a local Indian village, which evolved to the state's current name. At that time, Tennessee was inhabited by tribes of Muscogee and Yuchi people. Possibly because of European diseases devastating the Indian tribes, which would have left a population vacuum, and also from expanding European settlement in the north, the Cherokee moved south from the area now called Virginia. As European colonists spread into the area, the Indian populations were forcibly displaced to the south and west, including all Muscogee and Yuchi peoples, the Chickasaw and Choctaw, and ultimately, the Cherokee in 1838.

The first British settlement in what is now Tennessee was built in 1756 by settlers from the colony of South Carolina at Fort Loudoun, near present-day Vonore. Fort Loudoun became the westernmost British outpost to that date. The fort was designed by John William Gerard de Brahm and constructed by forces under British Captain Raymond Demeré. After its completion, Captain Raymond Demeré relinquished command on August 14, 1757, to his brother, Captain Paul Demeré. Hostilities erupted between the British and the neighboring Overhill Cherokees, and a siege of Fort Loudoun ended with its surrender on August 7, 1760. The following morning, Captain Paul Demeré and a number of his men were killed in an ambush nearby, and most of the rest of the garrison was taken prisoner.[34]

In the 1760s, long hunters from Virginia explored much of East and Middle Tennessee, and the first permanent European settlers began arriving late in the decade. The majority of 18th century settlers were English or of primarily English descent but nearly 20% of them were also Scotch-Irish.[35] These settlers formed the Watauga Association, a community built on lands leased from the Cherokee peoples.

During the American Revolutionary War, Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals (in present-day Elizabethton) was attacked (1776) by Dragging Canoe and his warring faction of Cherokee who were aligned with the British Loyalists. These renegade Cherokee were referred to by settlers as the Chickamauga. They opposed North Carolina's annexation of the Washington District and the concurrent settling of the Transylvania Colony further north and west. The lives of many settlers were spared from the initial warrior attacks through the warnings of Dragging Canoe's cousin, Nancy Ward. The frontier fort on the banks of the Watauga River later served as a 1780 staging area for the Overmountain Men in preparation to trek over the Appalachian Mountains, to engage, and to later defeat the British Army at the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.

Three counties of the Washington District (now part of Tennessee) broke off from North Carolina in 1784 and formed the State of Franklin. Efforts to obtain admission to the Union failed, and the counties (now numbering eight) had re-joined North Carolina by 1789. North Carolina ceded the area to the federal government in 1790, after which it was organized into the Southwest Territory. In an effort to encourage settlers to move west into the new territory, in 1787 the mother state of North Carolina ordered a road to be cut to take settlers into the Cumberland Settlements—from the south end of Clinch Mountain (in East Tennessee) to French Lick (Nashville). The Trace was called the "North Carolina Road" or "Avery's Trace", and sometimes "The Wilderness Road" (although it should not be confused with Daniel Boone's "Wilderness Road" through the Cumberland Gap).

Statehood (1796)

Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796 as the 16th state. It was the first state created from territory under the jurisdiction of the United States federal government. Apart from the former Thirteen Colonies only Vermont and Kentucky predate Tennessee's statehood, and neither was ever a federal territory.[36] The Constitution of the State of Tennessee, Article I, Section 31, states that the beginning point for identifying the boundary is the extreme height of the Stone Mountain, at the place where the line of Virginia intersects it, and basically runs the extreme heights of mountain chains through the Appalachian Mountains separating North Carolina from Tennessee past the Indian towns of Cowee and Old Chota, thence along the main ridge of the said mountain (Unicoi Mountain) to the southern boundary of the state; all the territory, lands and waters lying west of said line are included in the boundaries and limits of the newly formed state of Tennessee. Part of the provision also stated that the limits and jurisdiction of the state would include future land acquisition, referencing possible land trade with other states, or the acquisition of territory from west of the Mississippi River.

During the administration of U.S. President Martin Van Buren, nearly 17,000 Cherokees—along with approximately 2,000 black slaves owned by Cherokees—were uprooted from their homes between 1838 and 1839 and were forced by the U.S. military to march from "emigration depots" in Eastern Tennessee (such as Fort Cass) toward the more distant Indian Territory west of Arkansas (now the state of Oklahoma).[37] During this relocation an estimated 4,000 Cherokees died along the way west.[38] In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—"the Trail Where We Cried." The Cherokees were not the only American Indians forced to emigrate as a result of the Indian removal efforts of the United States, and so the phrase "Trail of Tears" is sometimes used to refer to similar events endured by other American Indian peoples, especially among the "Five Civilized Tribes". The phrase originated as a description of the earlier emigration of the Choctaw nation.

Civil War and Reconstruction

In February 1861, secessionists in Tennessee's state government—led by Governor Isham Harris—sought voter approval for a convention to sever ties with the United States, but Tennessee voters rejected the referendum by a 54–46% margin. The strongest opposition to secession came from East Tennessee (which later tried to form a separate Union-aligned state). Following the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter in April and Lincoln's call for troops from Tennessee and other states in response, Governor Isham Harris began military mobilization, submitted an ordinance of secession to the General Assembly, and made direct overtures to the Confederate government. The Tennessee legislature ratified an agreement to enter a military league with the Confederate States on May 7, 1861. On June 8, 1861, with people in Middle Tennessee having significantly changed their position, voters approved a second referendum calling for secession, becoming the last state to do so.

Many major battles of the American Civil War were fought in Tennessee—most of them Union victories. Ulysses S. Grant and the U.S. Navy captured control of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers in February 1862. They held off the Confederate counterattack at Shiloh in April. Memphis fell to the Union in June, following a naval battle on the Mississippi River in front of the city. The Capture of Memphis and Nashville gave the Union control of the western and middle sections. This control was confirmed at the Battle of Murfreesboro in early January 1863 and by the subsequent Tullahoma Campaign.

Kurz and Allison - Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864
The Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864

Despite the strength of Unionist sentiment in East Tennessee (with the exception of Sullivan County, which was heavily pro-Confederate), Confederates held the area. The Confederates, led by General James Longstreet, did attack General Burnside's Fort Sanders at Knoxville and lost. It was a big blow to East Tennessee Confederate momentum, but Longstreet won the Battle of Bean's Station a few weeks later. The Confederates besieged Chattanooga during the Chattanooga Campaign in early fall 1863, but were driven off by Grant in November. Many of the Confederate defeats can be attributed to the poor strategic vision of General Braxton Bragg, who led the Army of Tennessee from Perryville, Kentucky to another Confederate defeat at Chattanooga.

The last major battles came when the Confederates invaded Middle Tennessee in November 1864 and were checked at Franklin, then completely dispersed by George Thomas at Nashville in December. Meanwhile, the civilian Andrew Johnson was appointed military governor of the state by President Abraham Lincoln.

When the Emancipation Proclamation was announced, Tennessee was largely held by Union forces. Thus, Tennessee was not among the states enumerated in the Proclamation, and the Proclamation did not free any slaves there. Nonetheless, enslaved African Americans escaped to Union lines to gain freedom without waiting for official action. Old and young, men, women and children camped near Union troops. Thousands of former slaves ended up fighting on the Union side, nearly 200,000 in total across the South.

Tennessee's legislature approved an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting slavery on February 22, 1865.[39] Voters in the state approved the amendment in March.[40] It also ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (abolishing slavery in every state) on April 7, 1865.

In 1864, Andrew Johnson (a War Democrat from Tennessee) was elected Vice President under Abraham Lincoln. He became President after Lincoln's assassination in 1865. Under Johnson's lenient re-admission policy, Tennessee was the first of the seceding states to have its elected members readmitted to the U.S. Congress, on July 24, 1866. Because Tennessee had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, it was the only one of the formerly secessionist states that did not have a military governor during the Reconstruction period.

After the formal end of Reconstruction, the struggle over power in Southern society continued. Through violence and intimidation against freedmen and their allies, White Democrats regained political power in Tennessee and other states across the South in the late 1870s and 1880s. Over the next decade, the state legislature passed increasingly restrictive laws to control African Americans. In 1889 the General Assembly passed four laws described as electoral reform, with the cumulative effect of essentially disfranchising most African Americans in rural areas and small towns, as well as many poor Whites. Legislation included implementation of a poll tax, timing of registration, and recording requirements. Tens of thousands of taxpaying citizens were without representation for decades into the 20th century.[11] Disfranchising legislation accompanied Jim Crow laws passed in the late 19th century, which imposed segregation in the state. In 1900, African Americans made up nearly 24% of the state's population, and numbered 480,430 citizens who lived mostly in the central and western parts of the state.[41]

In 1897, Tennessee celebrated its centennial of statehood (though one year late of the 1896 anniversary) with a great exposition in Nashville. A full-scale replica of the Parthenon was constructed for the celebration, located in what is now Nashville's Centennial Park.

20th century

"A group of several hundred workers at Norris Dam construction camp site during noon hour." - NARA - 532734
A group of workers at Norris Dam construction camp site. The TVA was formed as part of Roosevelt's New Deal legislation.

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the thirty-sixth and final state necessary to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided women the right to vote. Disfranchising voter registration requirements continued to keep most African Americans and many poor whites, both men and women, off the voter rolls.

The need to create work for the unemployed during the Great Depression, a desire for rural electrification, the need to control annual spring flooding and improve shipping capacity on the Tennessee River were all factors that drove the federal creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933. Through the power of the TVA projects, Tennessee quickly became the nation's largest public utility supplier.

During World War II, the availability of abundant TVA electrical power led the Manhattan Project to locate one of the principal sites for production and isolation of weapons-grade fissile material in East Tennessee. The planned community of Oak Ridge was built from scratch to provide accommodations for the facilities and workers. These sites are now Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the East Tennessee Technology Park.

Despite recognized effects of limiting voting by poor whites, successive legislatures expanded the reach of the disfranchising laws until they covered the state. Political scientist V. O. Key, Jr. argued in 1949 that:

...the size of the poll tax did not inhibit voting as much as the inconvenience of paying it. County officers regulated the vote by providing opportunities to pay the tax (as they did in Knoxville), or conversely by making payment as difficult as possible. Such manipulation of the tax, and therefore the vote, created an opportunity for the rise of urban bosses and political machines. Urban politicians bought large blocks of poll tax receipts and distributed them to blacks and whites, who then voted as instructed.[11]

In 1953 state legislators amended the state constitution, removing the poll tax. In many areas both blacks and poor whites still faced subjectively applied barriers to voter registration that did not end until after passage of national civil rights legislation, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[11]

Tennessee celebrated its bicentennial in 1996. With a yearlong statewide celebration entitled "Tennessee 200", it opened a new state park (Bicentennial Mall) at the foot of Capitol Hill in Nashville.

The state has had major disasters, such as the Great Train Wreck of 1918, one of the worst train accidents in U.S. history,[42] and the Sultana explosion on the Mississippi River near Memphis, the deadliest maritime disaster in U.S. history.[43]

21st century

In 2002, businessman Phil Bredesen was elected to become the 48th governor in January 2003. Also in 2002, Tennessee amended the state constitution to allow for the establishment of a lottery. Tennessee's Bob Corker was the only freshman Republican elected to the United States Senate in the 2006 midterm elections. The state constitution was amended to reject same-sex marriage. In January 2007, Ron Ramsey became the first Republican elected as Speaker of the State Senate since Reconstruction, as a result of the realignment of the Democratic and Republican parties in the South since the late 20th century, with Republicans now elected by conservative voters, who previously had supported Democrats.

In 2010, during the 2010 midterm elections, Bill Haslam was elected to succeed Bredesen, who was term-limited, to become the 49th Governor of Tennessee in January 2011. In April and May 2010, flooding in Middle Tennessee devastated Nashville and other parts of Middle Tennessee. In 2011, parts of East Tennessee, including Hamilton County and Apison in Bradley County, were devastated by the April 2011 tornado outbreak.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
179035,691
1800105,602195.9%
1810261,727147.8%
1820422,82361.6%
1830681,90461.3%
1840829,21021.6%
18501,002,71720.9%
18601,109,80110.7%
18701,258,52013.4%
18801,542,35922.6%
18901,767,51814.6%
19002,020,61614.3%
19102,184,7898.1%
19202,337,8857.0%
19302,616,55611.9%
19402,915,84111.4%
19503,291,71812.9%
19603,567,0898.4%
19703,923,68710.0%
19804,591,12017.0%
19904,877,1856.2%
20005,689,28316.7%
20106,346,10511.5%
Est. 20186,770,0106.7%
Source: 1910–2010[44]
2018 estimate[45]

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Tennessee was 6,770,010 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 423,905 people since the 2010 United States Census, or 6.68%.[45] This includes a natural increase since the last census of 124,385 people (that is 584,236 births minus 459,851 deaths), and an increase from net migration of 244,537 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 66,412 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 178,125 people.[46]

Twenty percent of Tennesseans were born outside the South in 2008, compared to a figure of 13.5% in 1990.[47] In recent years, Tennessee has received an influx of people relocating from California, Florida, and several northern states for the low cost of living, and the booming healthcare and automobile industries. Metropolitan Nashville is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country due in part to these factors.

The center of population of Tennessee is located in Rutherford County, in the city of Murfreesboro.[48]

As of the 2010 census, the racial composition of Tennessee's population was as follows:

In the same year 4.6% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race).[50][51]

Tennessee population map
Tennessee population density map, 2010

In 2000, the five most common self-reported ethnic groups in the state were: American (17.3%), African American (13.0%), Irish (9.3%), English (9.1%), and German (8.3%).[52] Most Tennesseans who self-identify as having American ancestry are of English and Scotch-Irish ancestry. An estimated 21–24% of Tennesseans are of predominantly English ancestry.[53][54] In the 1980 census 1,435,147 Tennesseans claimed "English" or "mostly English" ancestry out of a state population of 3,221,354 making them 45% of the state at the time.[55]

According to the 2010 census, 6.4% of Tennessee's population were reported as under 5 years of age, 23.6% under 18, and 13.4% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.3% of the population.[56]

On June 19, 2010, the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs granted state recognition to six Indian tribes which was later repealed by the state's Attorney General because the action by the commission was illegal. The tribes were as follows:

Birth data

As of 2011, 36.3% of Tennessee's population younger than age 1 were minorities.[58]

Note: Births in table do not add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

Live births by single race/ethnicity of mother
Race 2013[59] 2014[60] 2015[61] 2016[62] 2017[63]
White: 59,804 (74.7%) 61,391 (75.2%) 61,814 (75.7%) ... ...
> Non-Hispanic White 54,377 (68.0%) 55,499 (68.0%) 55,420 (67.8%) 53,866 (66.7%) 53,721 (66.3%)
Black 17,860 (22.3%) 17,791 (21.8%) 17,507 (21.4%) 15,889 (19.7%) 16,050 (19.8%)
Asian 2,097 (2.6%) 2,180 (2.7%) 2,153 (2.6%) 1,875 (2.3%) 1,905 (2.4%)
American Indian 231 (0.3%) 240 (0.3%) 211 (0.2%) 77 (0.1%) 150 (0.2%)
Hispanic (of any race) 6,854 (8.6%) 6,986 (8.6%) 7,264 (8.9%) 7,631 (9.4%) 7,684 (9.5%)
Total Tennessee 79,992 (100%) 81,602 (100%) 81,685 (100%) 80,807 (100%) 81,016 (100%)
  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Religion

Religious affiliation of Tennessee population as of 2014[64].

  Protestants (8%)
  Islam (1%)
  Jewish (1%)
  Non-religious (14%)
  Other (2%)

The religious affiliations of the people of Tennessee as of 2014:[64]

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 1,483,356; the United Methodist Church with 375,693; the Roman Catholic Church with 222,343; and the Churches of Christ with 214,118.[65]

As of January 1, 2009, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) reported 43,179 members, 10 stakes, 92 Congregations (68 wards and 24 branches), two missions, and two temples in Tennessee.[66]

Tennessee is home to several Protestant denominations, such as the National Baptist Convention (headquartered in Nashville); the Church of God in Christ and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (both headquartered in Memphis); the Church of God and The Church of God of Prophecy (both headquartered in Cleveland). The Free Will Baptist denomination is headquartered in Antioch; its main Bible college is in Nashville. The Southern Baptist Convention maintains its general headquarters in Nashville. Publishing houses of several denominations are located in Nashville.

Economy

Geo Map of Median Income by Location in Tennessee
A geomap showing the counties of Tennessee colored by the relative range of that county's median income. Data is sourced from the 2014 ACS 5-year Estimate Report put out by the US Census Bureau
Bar Chart of Poverty by Age and Gender in Tennessee
Chart showing percentage of the population of Tennessee (divided by age and gender) living below the poverty line as of 2015. Red is female. Blue is male.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2011 Tennessee's real gross state product was $233.997 billion. In 2003, the per capita personal income was $28,641, 36th in the nation, and 91% of the national per capita personal income of $31,472. In 2004, the median household income was $38,550, 41st in the nation, and 87% of the national median of $44,472.

For 2012, the state held an asset surplus of $533 million, one of only eight states in the nation to report a surplus.[67]

Major outputs for the state include textiles, cotton, cattle, and electrical power. Tennessee has over 82,000 farms, roughly 59 percent of which accommodate beef cattle.[68] Although cotton was an early crop in Tennessee, large-scale cultivation of the fiber did not begin until the 1820s with the opening of the land between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. The upper wedge of the Mississippi Delta extends into southwestern Tennessee, and it was in this fertile section that cotton took hold. Soybeans are also heavily planted in West Tennessee, focusing on the northwest corner of the state.[69]

Large corporations with headquarters in Tennessee include FedEx, AutoZone and International Paper, all based in Memphis; Pilot Corporation and Regal Entertainment Group, based in Knoxville; Eastman Chemical Company, based in Kingsport; the North American headquarters of Nissan Motor Company, based in Franklin; Hospital Corporation of America and Caterpillar Financial, based in Nashville; and Unum, based in Chattanooga. Tennessee is also the location of the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, a $2 billion polysilicon production facility by Wacker Chemie in Bradley County, and a $1.2 billion polysilicon production facility by Hemlock Semiconductor in Clarksville.

Tennessee is a right to work state, as are most of its Southern neighbors. Unionization has historically been low and continues to decline as in most of the U.S. generally. As of May 2016, the state had an unemployment rate of 4.3%.[70] As of 2015, 16.7% of the population of Tennessee lives below the poverty line, which is higher than the national average of 14.7%.[71]

Tax

Tennessee's Hall income tax does not apply to salaries and wages, but most dividends and interest are taxable. The tax rate was 6% from 1937 to 2016, but is 3% for the 2018 tax year and is set to ramp down to zero in 2021. The first $1,250 of individual income and $2,500 of joint income is exempt from this tax.

The state's sales and use tax rate for most items is 7%. Food is taxed at a lower rate of 5.25%, but candy, dietary supplements and prepared food are taxed at the full 7% rate. Local sales taxes are collected in most jurisdictions, at rates varying from 1.5% to 2.75%, bringing the total sales tax to between 8.5% and 9.75%, one of the highest levels in the nation.

Intangible property tax is assessed on the shares of stock of stockholders of any loan company, investment company, insurance company or for-profit cemetery companies. The assessment ratio is 40% of the value multiplied by the tax rate for the jurisdiction.

Tennessee imposes an inheritance tax on decedents' estates that exceed maximum single exemption limits ($1,000,000 for deaths in 2006 and thereafter).[72]

Tourism

Downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Gatlinburg is a popular tourist destination bordering the Great Smoky Mountains

Tourism contributes billions of dollars every year to the state's economy and Tennessee is ranked among the Top 10 destinations in the US.[73] In 2014 a record 100 million people visited the state resulting in $17.7 billion in tourism related spending within the state, an increase of 6.3% over 2013; revenue from tourism equaled $1.5 billion. Each county in Tennessee saw at least $1 million from tourism while 19 counties received at least $100 million (Davidson, Shelby, and Sevier counties were the top three). Tourism-generated jobs for the state reached 152,900, a 2.8% increase.[73] International travelers to Tennessee accounted for $533 million in spending.[74]

In 2013 tourism within the state from local citizens accounted for 39.9% of tourists, the second highest originating location for tourists to Tennessee is the state of Georgia, accounting for 8.4% of tourists.[75]:17 Forty-four percent of stays in the state were "day trips", 25% stayed one night, 15% stayed two nights, and 11% stayed 4 or more nights. The average stay was 2.16 nights, compared to 2.03 nights for the US as a whole.[75]:40 The average person spent $118 per day: 29% on transportation, 24% on food, 17% on accommodation, and 28% on shopping and entertainment.[75]:44

Some of the top tourist attractions in the state are:[76] the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Graceland, Dollywood, Beale Street, Pigeon Forge, Lower Broadway, the Ryman Auditorium, Gaylord Opryland Resort, Lookout Mountain, the Ocoee River, and the Tennessee Aquarium.

Culture

Music

Tennessee has played a critical role in the development of many forms of American popular music, including rock and roll, blues, country, and rockabilly. Beale Street in Memphis is considered by many to be the birthplace of the blues, with musicians such as W. C. Handy performing in its clubs as early as 1909.[77] Memphis is also home to Sun Records, where musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Rich began their recording careers, and where rock and roll took shape in the 1950s.[78] The 1927 Victor recording sessions in Bristol generally mark the beginning of the country music genre and the rise of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s helped make Nashville the center of the country music recording industry.[79][80] Three brick-and-mortar museums recognize Tennessee's role in nurturing various forms of popular music: the Memphis Rock N' Soul Museum, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and the International Rock-A-Billy Museum in Jackson. Moreover, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, an online site recognizing the development of rockabilly in which Tennessee played a crucial role, is based in Nashville.

Sports

Tennessee is home to three major professional sports franchises: the Tennessee Titans have played in the National Football League since 1997, the Memphis Grizzlies have played in the National Basketball Association since 2001, and the Nashville Predators have played in the National Hockey League since 1998. A yet-to-be-named Major League Soccer franchise is scheduled to begin play in Nashville in 2020.[81]

The state is also home to 14 teams playing in minor leagues. Nine Minor League Baseball teams call the state their home. The Memphis Redbirds and Nashville Sounds, each of the Pacific Coast League, compete at the Triple-A level, the highest before Major League Baseball. The Chattanooga Lookouts, Jackson Generals, and Tennessee Smokies play in the Double-A Southern League. The Elizabethton Twins, Greeneville Reds, Johnson City Cardinals, and Kingsport Mets are Rookie League teams of the Appalachian League.

The Knoxville Ice Bears are a minor league ice hockey team of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Nashville SC plays in the USL Championship (USLC), the second level of U.S. soccer. Memphis 901 FC is set to join the USLC in 2019,[82] and Chattanooga Red Wolves SC will become an inaugural member of the new third-level USL League One in 2019. Three soccer teams compete in the National Premier Soccer League, one of a number of de facto fourth-level leagues in the U.S. The Knoxville Force and Memphis City FC play in the main NPSL, while Chattanooga FC will play in the 2019 NPSL Founders Cup, a competition intended to create a fully professional league within the NPSL structure.

In Knoxville, the Tennessee Volunteers college team has played in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association since the conference was formed in 1932. The football team has won 13 SEC championships and 28 bowls, including four Sugar Bowls, three Cotton Bowls, an Orange Bowl and a Fiesta Bowl. Meanwhile, the men's basketball team has won four SEC championships and reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2010. In addition, the women's basketball team has won a host of SEC regular-season and tournament titles along with 8 national titles.

In Nashville, the Vanderbilt Commodores are also charter members of the SEC. The Tennessee–Vanderbilt football rivalry began in 1892, having since played over 100 times. In June 2014, the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team won its first men's national championship by winning the 2014 College World Series.

The state is home to 10 other NCAA Division I programs. Two of these participate in the top level of college football, the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Memphis Tigers are members of the American Athletic Conference, and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders from Murfreesboro play in Conference USA. In addition to the Commodores, Nashville is also home to the Belmont Bruins and Tennessee State Tigers, both members of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), and the Lipscomb Bisons, members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Tennessee State plays football in Division I's second level, the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), while Belmont and Lipscomb do not have football teams. Belmont and Lipscomb have an intense rivalry in men's and women's basketball known as the Battle of the Boulevard, with both schools' men's and women's teams playing two games each season against each other (a rare feature among non-conference rivalries). The OVC also includes the Austin Peay Governors from Clarksville, the UT Martin Skyhawks from Martin, and the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles from Cookeville. These three schools, along with fellow OVC member Tennessee State, play each season in football for the Sgt. York Trophy. The Chattanooga Mocs and Johnson City's East Tennessee State Buccaneers are full members, including football, of the Southern Conference.

Tennessee is also home to Bristol Motor Speedway which features NASCAR Cup Series racing two weekends a year, routinely selling out more than 160,000 seats on each date; it also was the home of the Nashville Superspeedway, which held Nationwide and IndyCar races until it was shut down in 2012. Tennessee's only graded stakes horse race, the Iroquois Steeplechase, is also held in Nashville each May.

The FedEx St. Jude Classic is a PGA Tour golf tournament held at Memphis since 1958. The U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships has been held at Memphis since 1976 (men's) and 2002 (women's).

Sports teams

Club Sport League
Tennessee Titans American football National Football League
Memphis Express American football Alliance of American Football
Memphis Grizzlies Basketball National Basketball Association
Nashville Predators Ice hockey National Hockey League
Nashville MLS team (from 2020) Soccer Major League Soccer
Memphis Redbirds Baseball Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Nashville Sounds Baseball Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball Southern League (Double-A)
Jackson Generals Baseball Southern League (Double-A)
Tennessee Smokies Baseball Southern League (Double-A)
Elizabethton Twins Baseball Appalachian League (Rookie)
Greeneville Reds Baseball Appalachian League (Rookie)
Johnson City Cardinals Baseball Appalachian League (Rookie)
Kingsport Mets Baseball Appalachian League (Rookie)
Knoxville Ice Bears Ice hockey Southern Professional Hockey League
Nashville SC Soccer USL Championship
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Soccer USL League One
Chattanooga FC Soccer NPSL Founders Cup
Knoxville Force Soccer National Premier Soccer League
Memphis City FC Soccer National Premier Soccer League

Transportation

Interstate highways

Interstate 40 crosses the state in a west-east orientation. Its branch interstate highways include I-240 in Memphis; I-440 in Nashville; I-840 in Nashville; I-140 from Knoxville to Alcoa; and I-640 in Knoxville. I-26, although technically an east-west interstate, runs from the North Carolina border below Johnson City to its terminus at Kingsport. I-24 is an east-west interstate that runs cross-state from Chattanooga to Clarksville. In a north-south orientation are highways I-55, I-65, I-75, and I-81. Interstate 65 crosses the state through Nashville, while Interstate 75 serves Chattanooga and Knoxville and Interstate 55 serves Memphis. Interstate 81 enters the state at Bristol and terminates at its junction with I-40 near Dandridge. I-155 is a branch highway from I-55. The only spur highway of I-75 in Tennessee is I-275, which is in Knoxville. When completed, I-69 will travel through the western part of the state, from South Fulton to Memphis. A branch interstate, I-269 also exists from Millington to Collierville.

Airports

Major airports within the state include Memphis International Airport (MEM), Nashville International Airport (BNA), McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) outside of Knoxville in Blount County, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA), Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI), and McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport (MKL), in Jackson. Because Memphis International Airport is the major hub for FedEx Corporation, it is the world's largest air cargo operation.

Railroads

For passenger rail service, Memphis and Newbern, are served by the Amtrak City of New Orleans line on its run between Chicago, Illinois, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Nashville is served by the Music City Star commuter rail service.

Cargo services in Tennessee are primarily served by CSX Transportation, which has a hump yard in Nashville called Radnor Yard. Norfolk Southern Railway operates lines in East Tennessee, through cities including Knoxville and Chattanooga, and operates a classification yard near Knoxville, the John Sevier Yard. BNSF operates a major intermodal facility in Memphis.

Governance

Similar to the United States Federal Government, Tennessee's government has three parts. The Executive Branch is led by Tennessee's governor, who holds office for a four-year term and may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. The governor is the only official who is elected statewide. Unlike most states, the state does not elect the lieutenant governor directly; the Tennessee Senate elects its Speaker, who serves as lieutenant governor. The governor is supported by 22 cabinet-level departments, most headed by a commissioner who serves at the pleasure of the governor:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Children's Services
  • Department of Commerce and Insurance
  • Department of Correction
  • Department of Economic & Community Development
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Department of Finance & Administration
  • Department of Financial Institutions
  • Department of General Services
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Human Resources
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Department of Military
  • Department of Revenue
  • Department of Safety and Homeland Security
  • Department of Tourist Development
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Services

The Executive Branch also includes several agencies, boards and commissions, some of which are under the auspices of one of the cabinet-level departments.[83]

The bicameral Legislative Branch, known as the Tennessee General Assembly, consists of the 33-member Senate and the 99-member House of Representatives. Senators serve four-year terms, and House members serve two-year terms. Each chamber chooses its own speaker. The speaker of the state Senate also holds the title of lieutenant-governor. Constitutional officials in the legislative branch are elected by a joint session of the legislature.

The highest court in Tennessee is the state Supreme Court. It has a chief justice and four associate justices. No more than two justices can be from the same Grand Division. The Supreme Court of Tennessee also appoints the Attorney General, a practice that is not found in any of the other 49 states. Both the Court of Appeals and the Court of Criminal Appeals have 12 judges.[84] A number of local, circuit, and federal courts provide judicial services.

Tennessee's current state constitution was adopted in 1870. The state had two earlier constitutions. The first was adopted in 1796, the year Tennessee joined the union, and the second was adopted in 1834. The 1870 Constitution outlaws martial law within its jurisdiction. This may be a result of the experience of Tennessee residents and other Southerners during the period of military control by Union (Northern) forces of the U.S. government after the American Civil War.

Politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2016 60.72% 1,522,925 34.72% 870,695
2012 59.42% 1,462,330 39.04% 960,709
2008 56.85% 1,479,178 41.79% 1,087,437
2004 56.80% 1,384,375 42.53% 1,036,477
2000 51.15% 1,061,949 47.28% 981,720
1996 45.59% 863,530 48.00% 909,146
1992 42.43% 841,300 47.08% 933,521
1988 57.89% 947,233 41.55% 679,794
1984 57.84% 990,212 41.57% 711,714
1980 48.70% 787,761 48.41% 783,051
1976 42.94% 633,969 55.94% 825,879
1972 67.70% 813,147 29.75% 357,293
1968 37.85% 472,592 28.13% 351,233
1964 44.49% 508,965 55.50% 634,947
1960 52.92% 556,577 45.77% 481,453

Tennessee politics, like that of most U.S. states, are dominated by the Republican and the Democratic parties. Historian Dewey W. Grantham traces divisions in the state to the period of the American Civil War: for decades afterward, the eastern third of the state was Republican and the western two thirds voted Democrat.[85] This division was related to the state's pattern of farming, plantations and slaveholding. The eastern section was made up of yeoman farmers, but Middle and West Tennessee farmers cultivated crops such as tobacco and cotton which were dependent on the use of slave labor. These areas became defined as Democratic after the war.

During Reconstruction, freedmen and former free people of color were granted the right to vote; most joined the Republican Party. Numerous African Americans were elected to local offices, and some to state office. Following Reconstruction, Tennessee continued to have competitive party politics; but in the 1880s, the white-dominated state government passed four laws, the last of which imposed a poll tax requirement for voter registration. These served to disenfranchise most African Americans, and their power in state and local politics was markedly reduced. In 1900 African Americans comprised 23.8 percent of the state's population, concentrated in Middle and West Tennessee.[41] In the early 1900s, the state legislature approved a form of commission government for cities based on at-large voting for a few positions on a Board of Commission; several cities adopted this as another means to limit African-American political participation. In 1913 the state legislature enacted a bill enabling cities to adopt this structure without legislative approval.[86]

After disenfranchisement of blacks, the Republican Party in Tennessee became a primarily white sectional party supported only in the eastern part of the state. In the 20th century, except for two nationwide Republican landslides of the 1920s (in 1920, when Tennessee narrowly supported Warren G. Harding over Ohio Governor James Cox, and in 1928, when it more decisively voted for Herbert Hoover over New York Governor Al Smith), the state was part of the Democratic Solid South until the 1950s. In that postwar decade, it twice voted for Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Allied Commander of the Armed Forces during World War II. Since then, more of the state's voters have shifted to supporting Republicans, and Democratic presidential candidates have carried Tennessee only four times.

By 1960 African Americans comprised 16.45% of the state's population. It was not until after the mid-1960s and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that they were able to vote in full again, but new devices, such as at-large commission city governments, had been adopted in several jurisdictions to limit their political participation. Former Gov. Winfield Dunn and former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock wins in 1970 helped make the Republican Party competitive among whites for the statewide victory. Tennessee has selected governors from different parties since 1970.

In the early 21st century, Republican voters control most of the state, especially in the more rural and suburban areas outside of the cities; Democratic strength is mostly confined to the urban cores of the four major cities, and is particularly strong in the cities of Nashville and Memphis. The latter area includes a large African-American population.[87] Historically, Republicans had their greatest strength in East Tennessee before the 1960s. Tennessee's 1st and 2nd congressional districts, based in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville, respectively, are among the few historically Republican districts in the South. Those districts' residents supported the Union over the Confederacy during the Civil War; they identified with the GOP after the war and have stayed with that party ever since. The first has been in Republican hands continuously since 1881, and Republicans (or their antecedents) have held it for all but four years since 1859. The second has been held continuously by Republicans or their antecedents since 1859.

In the 2000 presidential election, Vice President Al Gore, a Democratic U.S. Senator from Tennessee, failed to carry his home state, an unusual occurrence but indicative of strengthening Republican support. Republican George W. Bush received increased support in 2004, with his margin of victory in the state increasing from 4% in 2000 to 14% in 2004.[88] Democratic presidential nominees from Southern states (such as Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) usually fare better than their Northern counterparts do in Tennessee, especially among split-ticket voters outside the metropolitan areas.

Tennessee sends nine members to the US House of Representatives, of whom there are seven Republicans and two Democrats. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey is the first Republican speaker of the state Senate in 140 years. In the 2008 elections, the Republican party gained control of both houses of the Tennessee state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. In 2008, some 30% of the state's electorate identified as independents.[89]

The Baker v. Carr (1962) decision of the US Supreme Court established the principle of "one man, one vote", requiring state legislatures to redistrict to bring Congressional apportionment in line with decennial censuses. It also required both houses of state legislatures to be based on population for representation and not geographic districts such as counties. This case arose out of a lawsuit challenging the longstanding rural bias of apportionment of seats in the Tennessee legislature.[90][91][92] After decades in which urban populations had been underrepresented in many state legislatures, this significant ruling led to an increased (and proportional) prominence in state politics by urban and, eventually, suburban, legislators and statewide officeholders in relation to their population within the state. The ruling also applied to numerous other states long controlled by rural minorities, such as Alabama, Vermont, and Montana.

Law enforcement

State agencies

The state of Tennessee maintains four dedicated law enforcement entities: the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

The Highway Patrol is the primary law enforcement entity that concentrates on highway safety regulations and general non-wildlife state law enforcement and is under the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Department of Safety. The TWRA is an independent agency tasked with enforcing all wildlife, boating, and fisheries regulations outside of state parks. The TBI maintains state-of-the-art investigative facilities and is the primary state-level criminal investigative department. Tennessee State Park Rangers are responsible for all activities and law enforcement inside the Tennessee State Parks system.

Local

Local law enforcement is divided between County Sheriff's Offices and Municipal Police Departments. Tennessee's Constitution requires that each County have an elected Sheriff. In 94 of the 95 counties the Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the county and has jurisdiction over the county as a whole. Each Sheriff's Office is responsible for warrant service, court security, jail operations and primary law enforcement in the unincorporated areas of a county as well as providing support to the municipal police departments. Incorporated municipalities are required to maintain a police department to provide police services within their corporate limits.

The three counties in Tennessee to adopt metropolitan governments have taken different approaches to resolving the conflict that a Metro government presents to the requirement to have an elected Sheriff.

  • Nashville/Davidson County converted law enforcement duties entirely to the Metro Nashville Police Chief. In this instance the Sheriff is no longer the chief law enforcement officer for Davidson County. The Davidson County Sheriff's duties focus on warrant service and jail operations. The Metropolitan Police Chief is the chief law enforcement officer and the Metropolitan Police Department provides primary law enforcement for the entire county.
  • Lynchburg/Moore County took a much simpler approach and abolished the Lynchburg Police Department when it consolidated and placed all law enforcement responsibility under the sheriff's office.
  • Hartsville/Trousdale County, although the smallest county in Tennessee, adopted a system similar to Nashville's that retains the sheriff's office but also has a metropolitan police department.

Firearms

Gun laws in Tennessee regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition. Concealed carry and open-carry of a handgun is permitted with a Tennessee handgun carry permit or an equivalent permit from a reciprocating state. As of July 1, 2014, a permit is no longer required to possess a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle.[93]

Capital punishment

Capital punishment has existed in Tennessee at various times since statehood. Before 1913, the method of execution was hanging. From 1913 to 1915, there was a hiatus on executions but they were reinstated in 1916 when electrocution became the new method. From 1972 to 1978, after the Supreme Court ruled (Furman v. Georgia) capital punishment unconstitutional, there were no further executions. Capital punishment was restarted in 1978, although those prisoners awaiting execution between 1960 and 1978 had their sentences mostly commuted to life in prison.[94] From 1916 to 1960 the state executed 125 inmates.[95] For a variety of reasons there were no further executions until 2000. Since 2000, Tennessee has executed seven prisoners. Tennessee has 59 prisoners on death row (as of October 2018).[96]

Lethal injection was approved by the legislature in 1998, though those who were sentenced to death before January 1, 1999, may request electrocution.[94] In May 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law allowing the use of the electric chair for death row executions when lethal injection drugs are not available.[97][98]

Tribal

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is the only federally recognized Native American Indian tribe in the state. It owns 79 acres (32 ha) in Henning, which was placed into federal trust by the tribe in 2012. This is governed directly by the tribe.[99][100]

Education

Tennessee has a rich variety of public, private, charter, and specialized education facilities ranging from pre-school through university education.

Colleges and universities

Public higher education is under the oversight of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission which provides guidance to two public university systems – the University of Tennessee system and the Tennessee Board of Regents. In addition a number of private colleges and universities are located throughout the state.

Local school districts

Public primary and secondary education systems are operated by county, city, or special school districts to provide education at the local level. These school districts operate under the direction of the Tennessee Department of Education. Private schools are found in many counties.

State symbols

State symbols, found in Tennessee Code Annotated; Title 4, Chapter 1, Part 3, include:

See also

References

  1. ^ McKenzie, Kevin (May 25, 2017). "Nashville overtakes Memphis as Tennessee's largest city". The Tennessean.
  2. ^ "Median Annual Household Income". The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  5. ^ "Definition of 'Tennessee'". Webster's New World College Dictionary (4th ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2018 – via Collinsdictionary.com.
  6. ^ "Tennessee". Oxford Advanced American Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  7. ^ Jones, Daniel (2011). "Tennessee". In Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John. Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 488. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
  8. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2010-2017" (HTML). 2017 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  9. ^ John Finger, Tennessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2001), pp. 46–47.
  10. ^ a b "Tennessee's Civil War Heritage Trail" (PDF). The University of Southern Mississippi. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
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Further reading

  • Bergeron, Paul H. (1982). Antebellum Politics in Tennessee. University of Kentucky Press. ISBN 978-0-8131-1469-9.
  • Bontemps, Arna (1941). William C. Handy: Father of the Blues: An Autobiography. New York: Macmillan Company.
  • Brownlow, W. G. (1862). Sketches of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of Secession: With a Narrative of Personal Adventures among the Rebels.
  • Cartwright, Joseph H. (1976). The Triumph of Jim Crow: Tennessee's Race Relations in the 1880s. University of Tennessee Press.
  • Cimprich, John (1985). Slavery's End in Tennessee, 1861–1865. University of Alabama. ISBN 978-0-8173-0257-3.
  • Finger, John R. (2001). Tennessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-33985-0.
  • Honey, Michael K. (1993). Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-02000-1.
  • Lamon, Lester C. (1980). Blacks in Tennessee, 1791–1970. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 978-0-87049-324-9.
  • Mooney, James (1900). Myths of the Cherokee. New York: reprinted Dover, 1995. ISBN 978-0-914875-19-2.
  • Norton, Herman (1981). Religion in Tennessee, 1777–1945. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 978-0-87049-318-8.
  • Olson, Ted (2009). A Tennessee Folklore Sampler: Selected Readings from the Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin, 1934–2009. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 978-1-57233-668-1.
  • Schaefer, Richard T. (2006). Sociology Matters. New York: NY: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-299775-0.
  • Van West, Carroll, ed. (1998). Tennessee History: The Land, The People, and The Culture. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 978-1-57233-000-9.
  • Van West, Carroll, ed. (1998). The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. ISBN 978-1-55853-599-2.

External links

Preceded by
Kentucky
List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union
Admitted on June 1, 1796 (16th)
Succeeded by
Ohio

Coordinates: 36°N 86°W / 36°N 86°W

Al Gore

Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Gore was Bill Clinton's running mate in their successful campaign in 1992, and the pair was re-elected in 1996. Near the end of Clinton's second term, Gore was selected as the Democratic nominee for the 2000 presidential election but lost the election in a very close race after a Florida recount. After his term as vice-president ended in 2001, Gore remained prominent as an author and environmental activist, whose work in climate change activism earned him (jointly with the IPCC) the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Gore was an elected official for 24 years. He was a representative from Tennessee (1977–1985) and from 1985 to 1993 served as one of the state's senators. He served as vice president during the Clinton administration from 1993 to 2001. The 2000 presidential election was one of the closest presidential races in history. Gore won the popular vote, but after a controversial election dispute over a Florida recount (settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 5–4 in favor of Bush), he lost the election to Republican opponent George W. Bush in the Electoral College.

Gore is the founder and current chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection, the co-founder and chair of Generation Investment Management and the now-defunct Current TV network, a member of the Board of Directors of Apple Inc., and a senior adviser to Google. Gore is also a partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, heading its climate change solutions group. He has served as a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Fisk University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He served on the Board of Directors of World Resources Institute.Gore has received a number of awards that include the Nobel Peace Prize (joint award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007), a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (2009) for his book An Inconvenient Truth, a Primetime Emmy Award for Current TV (2007), and a Webby Award (2005). Gore was also the subject of the Academy Award-winning (2007) documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. In 2007, he was named a runner-up for Time's 2007 Person of the Year.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson gained fame as a general in the United States Army and served in both houses of Congress. As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the "common man" against a "corrupt aristocracy" and to preserve the Union.

Born in the colonial Carolinas to a Scotch-Irish family in the decade before the American Revolutionary War, Jackson became a frontier lawyer and married Rachel Donelson Robards. He served briefly in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, representing Tennessee. After resigning, he served as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1798 until 1804. Jackson purchased a property later known as The Hermitage, and became a wealthy, slaveowning planter. In 1801, he was appointed colonel of the Tennessee militia and was elected its commander the following year. He led troops during the Creek War of 1813–1814, winning the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The subsequent Treaty of Fort Jackson required the Creek surrender of vast lands in present-day Alabama and Georgia. In the concurrent war against the British, Jackson's victory in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans made him a national hero. Jackson then led U.S. forces in the First Seminole War, which led to the annexation of Florida from Spain. Jackson briefly served as Florida's first territorial governor before returning to the Senate. He ran for president in 1824, winning a plurality of the popular and electoral vote. As no candidate won an electoral majority, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams in a contingent election. In reaction to the alleged "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Henry Clay and the ambitious agenda of President Adams, Jackson's supporters founded the Democratic Party.

Jackson ran again in 1828, defeating Adams in a landslide. Jackson faced the threat of secession by South Carolina over what opponents called the "Tariff of Abominations." The crisis was defused when the tariff was amended, and Jackson threatened the use of military force if South Carolina attempted to secede. In Congress, Henry Clay led the effort to reauthorize the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson, regarding the Bank as a corrupt institution, vetoed the renewal of its charter. After a lengthy struggle, Jackson and his allies thoroughly dismantled the Bank. In 1835, Jackson became the only president to completely pay off the national debt, fulfilling a longtime goal. His presidency marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the party "spoils system" in American politics. In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which forcibly relocated most members of the Native American tribes in the South to Indian Territory. The relocation process dispossessed the Indians and resulted in widespread death and disease. Jackson opposed the abolitionist movement, which grew stronger in his second term. In foreign affairs, Jackson's administration concluded a "most favored nation" treaty with Great Britain, settled claims of damages against France from the Napoleonic Wars, and recognized the Republic of Texas. In January 1835, he survived the first assassination attempt on a sitting president.

In his retirement, Jackson remained active in Democratic Party politics, supporting the presidencies of Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk. Though fearful of its effects on the slavery debate, Jackson advocated the annexation of Texas, which was accomplished shortly before his death. Jackson has been widely revered in the United States as an advocate for democracy and the common man. Many of his actions proved divisive, garnering both fervent support and strong opposition from many in the country. His reputation has suffered since the 1970s, largely due to his role in Indian removal. Surveys of historians and scholars have ranked Jackson favorably among U.S. presidents.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson assumed the presidency as he was vice president of the United States at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. He favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves; he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote. Johnson's main accomplishment as president is the Alaska purchase.

Johnson was born in poverty in Raleigh, North Carolina, and never attended school. Apprenticed as a tailor, he worked in several frontier towns before settling in Greeneville, Tennessee. He served as alderman and mayor there before being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1835. After brief service in the Tennessee Senate, Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843, where he served five two-year terms. He became Governor of Tennessee for four years, and was elected by the legislature to the U.S. Senate in 1857. In his congressional service, he sought passage of the Homestead Bill, which was enacted soon after he left his Senate seat in 1862. As Southern slave states, including Tennessee, seceded to form the Confederate States of America, Johnson remained firmly with the Union. He was the only sitting senator from a Confederate state who did not resign his seat upon learning of his state's secession. In 1862, Lincoln appointed him as military governor of Tennessee after most of it had been retaken. In 1864, Johnson, as a War Democrat and Southern Unionist, was a logical choice as running mate for Lincoln, who wished to send a message of national unity in his reelection campaign; their ticket easily won. When Johnson was sworn in as vice president in March 1865, he gave a rambling speech, after which he secluded himself to avoid public ridicule. Six weeks later, the assassination of Lincoln made him president.

Johnson implemented his own form of Presidential Reconstruction – a series of proclamations directing the seceded states to hold conventions and elections to reform their civil governments. When Southern states returned many of their old leaders, and passed Black Codes to deprive the freedmen of many civil liberties, Congressional Republicans refused to seat legislators from those states and advanced legislation to overrule the Southern actions. Johnson vetoed their bills, and Congressional Republicans overrode him, setting a pattern for the remainder of his presidency. Johnson opposed the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave citizenship to former slaves. In 1866, Johnson went on an unprecedented national tour promoting his executive policies, seeking to destroy his Republican opponents. As the conflict between the branches of government grew, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, restricting Johnson's ability to fire Cabinet officials. When he persisted in trying to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, he was impeached by the House of Representatives, and narrowly avoided conviction in the Senate and removal from office. After failing to win the 1868 Democratic presidential nomination, Johnson left office in 1869.

Returning to Tennessee after his presidency, Johnson sought political vindication, and gained it in his eyes when he was elected to the Senate again in 1875, making Johnson the only former president to serve in the Senate. He died months into his term. While some admire Johnson's strict constitutionalism, his strong opposition to federally guaranteed rights for African Americans is widely criticized. He is regarded by many historians as one of the worst presidents in American history.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga is a city located in southeastern Tennessee along the Tennessee River bordering Georgia. With an estimated population of 179,139 in 2017, it is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee and one of the two principal cities of East Tennessee, along with Knoxville. Served by multiple railroads and Interstate highways, Chattanooga is a transit hub. Chattanooga lies 118 miles (190 km) northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 112 miles (180 km) southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, 134 miles (216 km) southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, 102 miles (164 km) east-northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 147 miles (237 km) northeast of Birmingham, Alabama.

The city, with a downtown elevation of approximately 680 feet (210 m), lies at the transition between the ridge-and-valley portion of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. Surrounded by mountains and ridges, the official nickname for Chattanooga is "Scenic City", reinforced by the city's reputation for outdoor activities. Unofficial nicknames include "River City", "Chatt", "Nooga", "Chattown", and "Gig City", referencing Chattanooga's claims that it has the fastest internet service in the Western Hemisphere.Chattanooga is internationally known for the 1941 song "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller and his orchestra. Chattanooga is home to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) and Chattanooga State Community College.

The city has its own typeface, Chatype, which was launched in August 2012. According to the Nooga.com website, this marks the first time that an American city has its own custom-made typeface and also the first time a crowd-funded custom-made typeface has been used for any municipality in the world.

Davy Crockett

David Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was an American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier, and politician. He is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet "King of the Wild Frontier". He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives and served in the Texas Revolution.

Crockett grew up in East Tennessee, where he gained a reputation for hunting and storytelling. He was made a colonel in the militia of Lawrence County, Tennessee and was elected to the Tennessee state legislature in 1821. In 1827, he was elected to the U.S. Congress where he vehemently opposed many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, especially the Indian Removal Act. Crockett's opposition to Jackson's policies led to his defeat in the 1831 elections. He was re-elected in 1833, then narrowly lost in 1835, prompting his angry departure to Texas (then the Mexican state of Tejas) shortly thereafter. In early 1836, he took part in the Texas Revolution and was killed at the Battle of the Alamo in March.

Crockett became famous during his lifetime for larger-than-life exploits popularized by stage plays and almanacs. After his death, he continued to be credited with acts of mythical proportion. These led in the 20th century to television and movie portrayals, and he became one of the best-known American folk heroes.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut in 1967 with Hello, I'm Dolly. With steady success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Parton's albums in the 1990s sold less well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000, including her own label, Dolly Records.

Parton's music includes 25 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. She has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 41 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. She has garnered nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, ten Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 47 Grammy nominations.

In 1999, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has composed over 3,000 songs, including "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene", "Coat of Many Colors", and "9 to 5". She is also one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. As an actress, she has starred in films such as 9 to 5 (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), for which she earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, as well as Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012).

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash (born J.R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-sound guitar rhythms, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark, all-black stage wardrobe, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black." He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash," followed by his signature song "Folsom Prison Blues".

Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His other signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their wedding); and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter", "Orange Blossom Special", and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter, actor, dancer, and record producer. Born and raised in Tennessee, he appeared on the television shows Star Search and The All-New Mickey Mouse Club as a child. In the late 1990s, Timberlake rose to prominence as one of the two lead vocalists and youngest member of NSYNC, which eventually became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time. Timberlake began to adopt a more mature image as an artist with the release of his debut solo album, the R&B-focused Justified (2002), which yielded the successful singles "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body", and earned his first two Grammy Awards.

His critically acclaimed second album FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006), characterized by its diversity in music genres, debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 and produced the Hot 100 number-one singles "SexyBack", "My Love", and "What Goes Around... Comes Around". Established as a solo artist worldwide, his first two albums both exceeded sales of 10 million copies, and he continued producing records and collaborating with other artists. From 2008 through 2012, Timberlake focused on his acting career, effectively putting his music career on hiatus. He held starring roles in the films The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits, and In Time.

Timberlake resumed his music career in 2013 with his third and fourth albums The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, exploring neo soul styles, partly inspired by the expansive song structures of 1960s and 1970s rock. The former became the best-selling album of the year in the US with the largest sales week, and spawned the top-three singles "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors", while the latter produced the top-ten song "Not a Bad Thing". For his live performances, including the eponymous concert tour for the albums, he began performing with his band The Tennessee Kids, composed by instrumentalists and dancers. Timberlake voiced the lead character in DreamWorks Animation's Trolls (2016), whose soundtrack includes his fifth Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single, "Can't Stop the Feeling!". His fifth studio album Man of the Woods (2018) became his fourth number-one album in the US. The album was supported by the two top ten singles, "Filthy" and "Say Something". Man of the Woods concluded 2018 as the sixth best-selling album of the year.Throughout his solo career, Timberlake has sold over 32 million albums and 56 million singles globally, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists. Often cited as a pop icon, Timberlake is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, three Brit Awards, and nine Billboard Music Awards. According to Billboard in 2017, he is the best performing male soloist in the history of the Mainstream Top 40. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007 and 2013. His other ventures include record label Tennman Records, fashion label William Rast, and the restaurants Destino and Southern Hospitality.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Knox County. The city had an estimated population of 186,239 in 2016 and a population of 178,874 as of the 2010 census, making it the state's third largest city after Nashville and Memphis. Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which, in 2016, was 868,546, up 0.9 percent, or 7,377 people, from to 2015. The KMSA is, in turn, the central component of the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area, which, in 2013, had a population of 1,096,961.

First settled in 1786, Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee. The city struggled with geographic isolation throughout the early 19th century. The arrival of the railroad in 1855 led to an economic boom. During the Civil War, the city was bitterly divided over the secession issue, and was occupied alternately by both Confederate and Union armies. Following the war, Knoxville grew rapidly as a major wholesaling and manufacturing center. The city's economy stagnated after the 1920s as the manufacturing sector collapsed, the downtown area declined and city leaders became entrenched in highly partisan political fights. Hosting the 1982 World's Fair helped reinvigorate the city, and revitalization initiatives by city leaders and private developers have had major successes in spurring growth in the city, especially the downtown area.Knoxville is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee, whose sports teams, called the "Volunteers" or "Vols", are extremely popular in the surrounding area. Knoxville is also home to the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Supreme Court's courthouse for East Tennessee and the corporate headquarters of several national and regional companies. As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville has positioned itself in recent years as a repository of Appalachian culture and is one of the gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is a city located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. The 2017 city population was 652,236, making Memphis the largest city on the Mississippi River, second-largest city in Tennessee, as well as the 25th largest city in the United States. Greater Memphis is the 42nd largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 1,348,260 in 2017. The city is the anchor of West Tennessee and the greater Mid-South region, which includes portions of neighboring Arkansas and Mississippi. Memphis is the seat of Shelby County, the most populous county in Tennessee. As one of the most historic and cultural cities of the southern United States, the city features a wide variety of landscapes and distinct neighborhoods.

The first European explorer to visit the area of present-day Memphis was Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto in 1541 with his expedition into the New World. The high bluffs protecting the location from the waters of the Mississippi would then be contested between the Spanish, French, and the English as Memphis took shape. Modern Memphis was founded in 1819 by three prominent Americans: John Overton, James Winchester, and future president Andrew Jackson.Memphis grew into one of the largest cities of the Antebellum South as a market for agricultural goods, natural resources like lumber, and the American slave trade. After the American Civil War and the end of slavery, the city experienced even faster growth into the 20th century as it became among the largest world markets for cotton and lumber.

Home to Tennessee's largest African-American population, Memphis played a prominent role in the American civil rights movement and was the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 assassination. The city now hosts the National Civil Rights Museum—a Smithsonian affiliate institution. Since the civil rights era, Memphis has grown to become one of the nation's leading commercial centers in transportation and logistics. The city's largest employer is the multinational courier corporation FedEx, which maintains its global air hub at Memphis International Airport, making it the second-busiest cargo airport in the world.

Today, Memphis is a regional center for commerce, education, media, art, and entertainment. The city has long had a prominent music scene, with historic blues clubs on Beale Street originating the unique Memphis blues sound during early 20th century. The city's music has continued to be shaped by a multi-cultural mix of influences across the blues, country, rock n' roll, soul, and hip-hop genres. Memphis barbecue has achieved international prominence, and the city hosts the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which attracts over 100,000 visitors to the city annually.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor, film director, narrator and philanthropist. Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and Invictus (2009). He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Glory (1989), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Seven (1995), Deep Impact (1998), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Bruce Almighty (2003), The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), Wanted (2008), RED (2010), Now You See Me (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), and Lucy (2014). He rose to fame as part of the cast of the 1970s children's program The Electric Company. Noted for his deep voice, Freeman has served as a narrator, commentator, and voice actor for numerous programs, series and television shows. He is ranked as the fifth-highest box office star with $4.31 billion in total box office grosses, an average of $74.4 million per film.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 691,243. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 667,560 in 2017.Located in northern Middle Tennessee, Nashville is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in Tennessee. The 2017 population of the entire 14-county Nashville metropolitan area was 1,903,045. The 2017 population of the Nashville—Davidson–Murfreesboro–Columbia combined statistical area, a larger trade area, was 2,027,489.Named for Francis Nash, a general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, the city was founded in 1779. The city grew quickly due to its strategic location as a port and railroad center. Nashville seceded with Tennessee during the American Civil War and in 1862 became the first state capital to fall to Union troops. After the war the city reclaimed its position and developed a manufacturing base.

Since 1963, Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government, which includes six smaller municipalities in a two-tier system. The city is governed by a mayor, a vice-mayor, and a 40-member metropolitan council; 35 of the members are elected from single-member districts, while the other five are elected at-large. Reflecting the city's position in state government, Nashville is home to the Tennessee Supreme Court's courthouse for Middle Tennessee.

Nashville is a center for the music, healthcare, publishing, private prison, banking and transportation industries, and is home to numerous colleges and universities such as Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Fisk University, and Lipscomb University. Entities with headquarters in the city include Asurion, Bridgestone Americas, Captain D's, CoreCivic, Dollar General, Hospital Corporation of America, LifeWay Christian Resources, Logan's Roadhouse, and Ryman Hospitality Properties.

Pat Summitt

Patricia Susan Summitt (née Head; June 14, 1952 – June 28, 2016) was an American women's college basketball head coach who accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in college basketball history upon her retirement. She served as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team from 1974 to 2012, before retiring at age 59 because of a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. She won eight NCAA championships (an NCAA women's record when she retired and the third most all time).

Summitt won a silver medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal as a member of the United States women's national basketball team. She returned to the Olympics in 1984 as a head coach, guiding the U.S. women's basketball team to a gold medal. She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in 2000. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her at number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time in all sports; she was the only woman on the list. In 38 years as a coach, she never had a losing season. In 2012, Summitt was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPY Awards.

Summitt wrote three books, all with co-author Sally Jenkins: Reach for the Summitt, which is part motivational book and part biography; Raise the Roof, about the Lady Vols' 1997–1998 undefeated and NCAA-championship winning season; and Sum It Up, covering her life including her experience being diagnosed and living with Alzheimer's disease.

Scopes Trial

The Scopes Trial, formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was an American legal case in July 1925 in which a substitute high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school. The trial was deliberately staged in order to attract publicity to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, where it was held. Scopes was unsure whether he had ever actually taught evolution, but he purposely incriminated himself so that the case could have a defendant.Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 (equivalent to $1429 in 2018), but the verdict was overturned on a technicality. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side. William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. The trial publicized the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy, which set Modernists, who said evolution was not inconsistent with religion, against Fundamentalists, who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge. The case was thus seen as both a theological contest and a trial on whether "modern science" should be taught in schools.

Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression. The enterprise was a result of the efforts of Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska. TVA was envisioned not only as a provider, but also as a regional economic development agency that would use federal experts and electricity to more quickly modernize the region's economy and society.

TVA's service area covers most of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small slices of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. It was the first large regional planning agency of the federal government and remains the largest. Under the leadership of David Lilienthal ("Mr. TVA"), the TVA became a model for America's efforts to help modernize agrarian societies in the developing world.

Tennessee Williams

Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) professionally known under pen name Tennessee Williams was an American playwright. Along with contemporaries Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, he is considered among the three foremost playwrights of 20th-century American drama.After years of obscurity, at age 33 he became suddenly famous with the success of The Glass Menagerie (1944) in New York City. This play closely reflected his own unhappy family background. It was the first of a string of successes, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). With his later work, he attempted a new style that did not appeal to audiences. Increasing alcohol and drug dependence inhibited his creative expression. His drama A Streetcar Named Desire is often numbered on short lists of the finest American plays of the 20th century alongside Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.Much of Williams' most acclaimed work has been adapted for the cinema. He also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs. In 1979, four years before his death, Williams was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Tina Turner

Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939) is an American-born Swiss singer-songwriter, dancer and actress. Turner rose to prominence with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm before recording hit singles both with Ike and as a solo performer. One of the world's best-selling recording artists of all time, she has been referred to as The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll and has sold more than 200 million records worldwide to date. Turner is noted for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, career longevity and trademark legs.

Anna Mae Bullock was born in Nutbush, Tennessee. She began her career in 1958 as a featured singer with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, first recording under the name "Little Ann". Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Success followed with a string of notable hits credited to the duo, including "River Deep – Mountain High" (1966), "Proud Mary" (1971) and "Nutbush City Limits" (1973), a song that she wrote. Tina Turner married Ike Turner in 1962. In her autobiography, I, Tina (1986), Tina Turner revealed several instances of severe domestic abuse against her by Ike Turner prior to their 1976 split and subsequent 1978 divorce. Raised a Baptist, she became an adherent of Nichiren Buddhism in 1973, crediting the spiritual chant of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with helping her to endure during difficult times. After her divorce and professional separation from Ike, Turner built her own career through live performances.

In the 1980s, Turner launched a major comeback as a solo artist. The 1983 single "Let's Stay Together" was followed by the 1984 release of her fifth solo album, Private Dancer, which became a worldwide success. The album contained the song "What's Love Got to Do with It"; the song became Turner's biggest hit and won four Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year. Turner's solo success continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s with multi-platinum albums and hit singles. In 1993, What's Love Got to Do with It, a biographical film adapted from Turner's autobiography, was released along with an accompanying soundtrack album. In 2008, Turner returned from semi-retirement to embark on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour; the tour became one of the highest-selling ticketed shows of all time. Turner has also garnered success acting in films such as the 1975 rock musical Tommy, the 1985 action film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and the 1993 film Last Action Hero.

Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards; those awards include eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Rolling Stone ranked Turner 63rd on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time and 17th on its list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. Turner has her own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. In 1991, Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Ike Turner. She was a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UT Knoxville, UTK, or UT) is a public research university in Knoxville, Tennessee. Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee became the 16th state, it is the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee system, with ten undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges. It hosts almost 28,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. In its 2019 universities ranking, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT 115th among all national universities and 52nd among public institutions of higher learning. Seven alumni have been selected as Rhodes Scholars. James M. Buchanan, M.S. '41, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics. UT's ties to nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, established under UT President Andrew Holt and continued under the UT–Battelle partnership, allow for considerable research opportunities for faculty and students.

Also affiliated with the university are the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum, which occupies 250 acres (100 ha) of nearby Oak Ridge and features hundreds of species of plants indigenous to the region. The university is a direct partner of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is one of two Level I trauma centers in East Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee is the only university in the nation to have three presidential papers editing projects. The university holds collections of the papers of all three U.S. presidents from Tennessee—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson. UT is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the oldest secular institution west of the Eastern Continental Divide.

Tennessee state symbols
Flag of Tennessee
Tennesseestateseallrg
Living insignia
AmphibianTennessee cave salamander
BirdMockingbird
Bobwhite quail
ButterflyZebra swallowtail
FishChannel catfish
Smallmouth bass
FlowerIris
Passion flower
Tennessee echinacea
InsectFirefly
Lady beetle
Honey bee
MammalTennessee Walking Horse
Raccoon
ReptileEastern box turtle
TreeTulip poplar
Eastern red cedar
Inanimate insignia
BeverageMilk
DanceSquare dance
FirearmBarrett M82
FoodTomato
FossilPterotrigonia (Scabrotrigonia) thoracica
GemstoneTennessee River pearl
MineralAgate
Poem"Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee" by William Lawrence
RockLimestone
SloganTennessee – America at its Best
TartanTennessee State Tartan
State route marker
Tennessee state route marker
State quarter
Tennessee quarter dollar coin
Released in 2002
Lists of United States state symbols
Racial composition 1990[49] 2000[50] 2010[50] 2013 est.
White 83.0% 80.2% 77.6% 79.1%
Black 16.0% 16.4% 16.7% 17.0%
Asian 0.7% 1.0% 1.4% 1.6%
Native 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
Other race 0.2% 1.0% 2.2%
Two or more races 1.1% 1.7% 1.7%

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