Tennessee

Tennessee

Overview
Tennessee is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Southeastern United States
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers 42169 mi2, making it the 36th-largest by total land area. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to the north, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 to the east, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, and Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 to the south, and Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 and Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 to the west. The Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 forms the state's western border.
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Timeline

1780   The Cumberland Compact is signed by leaders of the settlers in early Tennessee.

1784   Western North Carolina (now eastern Tennessee) declares itself an independent state under the name of Franklin; it wasn’t accepted into the United States, and only lasted for four years.

1796   Tennessee is admitted as the 16th state of the United States.

1809   Along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee, explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder's Stand.

1838   Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States

1847   Cumberland School of Law is founded in Lebanon, Tennessee, United States, one of only 15 law schools to exist in the United States at the end of 1847.

1860   The original cornerstone of the University of the South is laid in Sewanee, Tennessee.

1861   American Civil War: Tennessee secedes from the Union.

1862   American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant attacks Fort Donelson, Tennessee.

1862   American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee.

 
Encyclopedia
Tennessee is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Southeastern United States
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers 42169 mi2, making it the 36th-largest by total land area. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to the north, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 to the east, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, and Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 to the south, and Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 and Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 to the west. The Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 forms the state's western border. Tennessee's capital and second largest city is Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, which has a population of 626,144. Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 is the state's largest city, with a population of 670,902.

The state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association
Watauga Association
The Watauga Association was a semi-autonomous government created in 1772 by frontier settlers living along the Watauga River in what is now present day Elizabethton, Tennessee...

, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians. What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory
Southwest Territory
The Territory South of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Southwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 26, 1790, until June 1, 1796, when it was admitted to the United States as the State of Tennessee.The Southwest Territory was...

. 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
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861, and the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.

Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state, and more soldiers for the Union Army than any other Southern state. Tennessee has seen some of the nation's worst racial strife, from the formation of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 in Pulaski
Pulaski, Tennessee
Pulaski is a city in Giles County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 7,870 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Giles County. It was named to honor the Polish-born American Revolutionary War hero Kazimierz Pułaski...

 in 1866 to the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis in 1968. In the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided at times by federal entities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected...

. In the early 1940s, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Oak Ridge is a city in Anderson and Roane counties in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Tennessee, about west of Knoxville. Oak Ridge's population was 27,387 at the 2000 census...

 was established to house the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

's uranium enrichment facilities, helping to build the world's first atomic bomb.

Tennessee has played a critical role in the development of rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 and early blues music. Beale Street
Beale Street
Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of approximately . It is a significant location in the city's history, as well as in the history of the blues. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are...

 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. Memphis was also home to Sun Records
Sun Records
Sun Records is a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee, starting operations on March 27, 1952.Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was known for giving notable musicians such as Elvis Presley , Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash...

, where musicians such as Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

, Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
Carl Lee Perkins was an American rockabilly musician who recorded most notably at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning during 1954...

, Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis's career faltered after he married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a career extension to country and western music. He is known by the nickname 'The...

, Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer-songwriter, well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country & western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis...

, and Charlie Rich
Charlie Rich
Charles Rich was an American country music singer and musician. A Grammy Award winner, his eclectic-style of music was often hard to classify in a single genre, playing in the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, and gospel genres.In the latter part of his life, Rich acquired the nickname The Silver...

 began their recording careers, and where rock and roll took shape in the 1950s. The 1927 Victor recording sessions
Bristol sessions
The Bristol sessions are considered the "Big Bang" of modern country music. They were held in 1927 in Bristol, Tennessee by Victor Talking Machine Company company producer Ralph Peer. They marked the commercial debuts of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family....

 in Bristol
Bristol, Tennessee
Bristol is a city in Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 26,702 at the 2010 census. It is the twin city of Bristol, Virginia, which lies directly across the state line between Tennessee and Virginia. The boundaries of both cities run parallel to each other along State...

 generally mark the beginning of the country music genre, and the rise of the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee, that has presented the biggest stars of that genre since 1925. It is also among the longest-running broadcasts in history since its beginnings as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM-AM...

 in the 1930s helped make Nashville the center of the country music recording industry.

Tennessee's major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Poultry
Poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

, soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

s, and cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 are the state's primary agricultural products, and major manufacturing exports include chemicals, transportation equipment, and electrical equipment. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

, the nation's most visited national park, is headquartered in the eastern part of the state, and a section of the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately long...

 roughly follows the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Other major tourist attractions include Elvis Presley's Graceland
Graceland
Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and estate that was home to Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community about 9 miles from Downtown and less than four miles north of the Mississippi border. It currently serves as...

 in Memphis and the Tennessee Aquarium
Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Its River Journey building is the largest freshwater aquarium in the world....

 in Chattanooga.

Geography




Tennessee borders eight other states: Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to the north; North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 to the east; Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 and Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 on the south; Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 and Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 to the west. Tennessee ties Missouri as the state bordering the most other states. The state is trisected by the Tennessee River
Tennessee River
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names...

.

The highest point in the state is Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, in the southeastern United States. At an elevation of , it is the highest mountain in the Smokies, the highest point in the state of Tennessee, and the highest point along the Appalachian Trail...

 at 6,643 feet (2,025 m). Clingmans Dome, which lies on Tennessee's eastern border, is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately long...

. The state line between Tennessee and North Carolina crosses the summit. The lowest point is the Mississippi River at the Mississippi state line. The geographical center of the state is located in Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

.

The state of Tennessee is geographically and constitutionally divided into three Grand Divisions: East Tennessee
East Tennessee
East Tennessee is a name given to approximately the eastern third of the U.S. state of Tennessee, one of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee defined in state law. East Tennessee consists of 33 counties, 30 located within the Eastern Time Zone and three counties in the Central Time Zone, namely...

, Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee is a distinct portion of the state of Tennessee, delineated according to state law as the 41 counties in the Middle Grand Division of Tennessee....

, and West Tennessee
West Tennessee
West Tennessee is one of the three Grand Divisions of the State of Tennessee. Of the three, it is the one that is most sharply defined geographically. Its boundaries are the Mississippi River on the west and the Tennessee River on the east...

.
Tennessee features six principal physiographic regions: the Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley
Ridge-and-valley Appalachians
The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, also called the Ridge and Valley Province or the Valley and Ridge Appalachians, are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division and are also a belt within the Appalachian Mountains extending from southeastern New York through northwestern New...

 Region, the Cumberland Plateau
Cumberland Plateau
The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia . The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the...

, the Highland Rim
Highland Rim
The Highland Rim is a geographic term for the area in Tennessee surrounding the Central Basin. Nashville is largely surrounded by higher terrain in all directions....

, the Nashville Basin
Nashville Basin
The Nashville Basin, also known as the Central Basin, is a term often used to describe the area surrounding Nashville, Tennessee. The Central Basin was caused by an uplifting known as the Nashville Dome. The Nashville Dome is evidenced by the underlying rock strata that all dip downwards away from...

, and the Gulf Coastal Plain
Gulf Coastal Plain
The Gulf Coastal Plain extends around the Gulf of Mexico in the Southern United States and eastern Mexico.The plain reaches from the western Florida Panhandle, the southwestern two thirds of Alabama, over most of Mississippi, some of western Tennessee and Kentucky, southwest Arkansas, the Florida...

. Tennessee is home to the most caves in the United States, with over 8,350 caves registered to date.

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
Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains or the...

, the Bald Mountains
Bald Mountains
The Bald Mountains are a mountain range rising along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina in the southeastern United States. They are part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Province of the Southern Appalachian Mountains...

, the Unicoi Mountains, the Unaka Mountains
Unaka Range
The Unaka Range is a mountain range on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, in the southeastern United States. It is a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains and is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains physiographic province. The Unakas stretch approximately from the Nolichucky River to the...

 and Roan Highlands, and the Iron Mountains
Iron Mountains
The Iron Mountains are a minor range of the Appalachian Mountains. These mountains are located around the common meeting point of Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina...

.

The average elevation of the Blue Ridge area is 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea level. Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, in the southeastern United States. At an elevation of , it is the highest mountain in the Smokies, the highest point in the state of Tennessee, and the highest point along the Appalachian Trail...

, 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
Cherokee National Forest
The Cherokee National Forest is a large National Forest created on July 19, 1936, by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, operated by the U.S. Forest Service and encompassing some 640,000 acres .-Location:...

, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

, and several federal wilderness areas and state parks.

Stretching west from the Blue Ridge for approximately 55 miles (88.5 km) is the Ridge and Valley region, in which numerous tributaries join to form the Tennessee River in the Tennessee Valley
Tennessee Valley
The Tennessee Valley is the drainage basin of the Tennessee River and is largely within the U.S. state of Tennessee. It stretches from southwest Kentucky to northwest Georgia and from northeast Mississippi to the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina...

. This area of Tennessee is covered by fertile valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

s separated by wooded ridges, such as Bays Mountain
Bays Mountain
Bays Mountain is a ridge of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, located in eastern Tennessee. It runs southwest to northeast, from just south of Knoxville to Kingsport.Its southern segment is relatively low in elevation...

 and Clinch Mountain
Clinch Mountain
Clinch Mountain is a mountain ridge in the U.S. states of Tennessee and Virginia, lying in the ridge-and-valley section of the Appalachian Mountains...

. The western section of the Tennessee valley, where the depressions become broader and the ridges become lower, is called the Great Valley
Great Appalachian Valley
The Great Valley, also called the Great Appalachian Valley or Great Valley Region, is one of the major landform features of eastern North America. It is a gigantic trough — a chain of valley lowlands — and the central feature of the Appalachian Mountain system...

. In this valley are numerous towns and two of the region's three urban areas, Knoxville, the 3rd largest city in the state, and Chattanooga, the 4th largest city in the state.

The Cumberland Plateau
Cumberland Plateau
The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia . The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the...

 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 over 2,000 feet (450 to over 600 m) above sea level.

Middle Tennessee



West of the Cumberland Plateau is the Highland Rim
Highland Rim
The Highland Rim is a geographic term for the area in Tennessee surrounding the Central Basin. Nashville is largely surrounded by higher terrain in all directions....

, an elevated plain that surrounds the Nashville Basin
Nashville Basin
The Nashville Basin, also known as the Central Basin, is a term often used to describe the area surrounding Nashville, Tennessee. The Central Basin was caused by an uplifting known as the Nashville Dome. The Nashville Dome is evidenced by the underlying rock strata that all dip downwards away from...

. The northern section of the Highland Rim, known for its high tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 production, is sometimes called the Pennyroyal Plateau
Pennyroyal Plateau
The Pennyroyal Plateau, or, as it is more commonly called in Kentucky, the Pennyrile, is a large area of the state that features rolling hills, caves, and karst topography in general. It is also called the "Mississippi 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
Natchez Trace
The Natchez Trace, also known as the "Old Natchez Trace", is a historical path that extends roughly from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, linking the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers...

, created and used for many generations by Native Americans, connected Middle Tennessee to the lower Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 town of Natchez
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

. The route of the Natchez Trace was used as the basis for a scenic highway called the Natchez Trace Parkway
Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Park Service unit in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail....

.

Some of the last remaining large American Chestnut
American Chestnut
The American Chestnut is a large, deciduous tree of the beech family native to eastern North America. Before the species was devastated by the chestnut blight, a fungal disease, it was one of the most important forest trees throughout its range...

 trees grow in this region. They are being used to help breed blight
Blight
Blight refers to a specific symptom affecting plants in response to infection by a pathogenic organism. It is simply a rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, then death of plant tissues such as leaves, branches, twigs, or floral organs. Accordingly, many diseases that primarily exhibit this...

-resistant trees.

Middle Tennessee is one of the primary state population and transportation centers along with the heart of state government. Nashville (the capitol), Clarksville
Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States, and the fifth largest city in the state. The population was 132,929 in 2010 United States Census...

 and Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

 are its largest cities. Fifty percent of the US population is within 600 miles of Nashville. US Interstate Highways I-24, I-40 and I-65 trisect the Division.

West Tennessee




West of the Highland Rim and Nashville Basin is the Gulf Coastal Plain
Gulf Coastal Plain
The Gulf Coastal Plain extends around the Gulf of Mexico in the Southern United States and eastern Mexico.The plain reaches from the western Florida Panhandle, the southwestern two thirds of Alabama, over most of Mississippi, some of western Tennessee and Kentucky, southwest Arkansas, the Florida...

, which includes the Mississippi embayment
Mississippi embayment
The Mississippi Embayment is a physiographic feature in the south-central United States, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. It is essentially a northward continuation of the fluvial sediments of the Mississippi River Delta to its confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois. The 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
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and extends north into southern Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. In Tennessee, the Gulf Coastal Plain is divided into three sections that extend from the Tennessee River
Tennessee River
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names...

 in the east to the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 in the west.

The easternmost section, about 10 miles (16.1 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 Memphis; this area is called the Tennessee Bottoms or bottom land. In Memphis, the Tennessee Bottoms end in steep bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. To the west of the Tennessee Bottoms is the Mississippi Alluvial Plain
Mississippi Alluvial Plain
The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain is an alluvial plain created by the Mississippi River on which lies parts of seven states, from southern Louisiana to southern Illinois....

, less than 300 feet (90 m) above sea level. This area of lowlands, flood plains, and swamp land is sometimes referred to as the Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

 region.

Most of West Tennessee remained Indian land until the Chickasaw Cession of 1818
Jackson Purchase (U.S. historical region)
The Jackson Purchase is a region of western Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky, bounded by the Tennessee River on the east, the Ohio River on the north, and the Mississippi River on the west, that was ceded to the United States by the Chickasaw Peoples in 1818...

, when the Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

 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
Jackson Purchase
The Jackson Purchase is a region in the state of Kentucky bounded by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and Tennessee River to the east. Although technically part of Kentucky at its statehood in 1792, the land did not come under definitive U.S. control until 1818, when...

.

Public lands



Areas under the control and management of the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 include:
  • Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
    Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
    Andrew Johnson National Historic Site is a National Historic Site in Greeneville, Tennessee, maintained by the National Park Service. It was established to honor Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, who became president after Abraham Lincoln's death...

     in Greeneville
    Greeneville, Tennessee
    Greeneville is a town in Greene County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 15,198 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Greene County. The town was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. It is the only town with this spelling in the United States, although there...

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
    Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
    The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area preserves the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in northeastern Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky...

  • Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
    Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
    Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, located in northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee, preserves the sites of two major battles of the American Civil War: the Battle of Chickamauga and the Chattanooga Campaign.-History:...

  • Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
    Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
    Established on June 11, 1940, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located at the border between Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Cumberland Gap is a sizable natural break in the Appalachian Mountains....

  • Foothills Parkway
    Foothills Parkway
    The Foothills Parkway is a national parkway which, if completed, will traverse the foothills of the northern Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, located in the Southeastern United States. The 71-mile parkway will ideally connect U.S...

  • Fort Donelson National Battlefield
    Fort Donelson National Battlefield
    Fort Donelson National Battlefield preserves Fort Donelson and Fort Heiman, two sites of the American Civil War Forts Henry and Donelson Campaign, in which Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Admiral Andrew Hull Foote captured three Confederate forts and opened two rivers to the Union navy...

     and Fort Donelson National Cemetery near Dover
    Dover, Tennessee
    Dover is a city in Stewart County, Tennessee, United States, westnorthwest of Nashville on the Cumberland River. An old national cemetery is in Dover. The population was 1,442 at the 2000 census...

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

  • Natchez Trace Parkway
    Natchez Trace Parkway
    The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Park Service unit in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail....

  • Obed Wild and Scenic River near Wartburg
    Wartburg, Tennessee
    Wartburg is a city in Morgan County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 890 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Morgan County.-Geography:...

  • Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
    Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
    The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is part of the U.S. National Trails System. It recognizes the Revolutionary War Overmountain Men, Patriots from what is now East Tennessee who crossed the Great Smoky Mountains and then fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South...

  • Shiloh National Cemetery and Shiloh National Military Park
    Shiloh National Military Park
    Shiloh National Military Park preserves the American Civil War Shiloh and Corinth battlefields. The main section of the park is in the unincorporated town of Shiloh, about nine miles south of Savannah, Tennessee, with an additional area located in the city of Corinth, Mississippi, 23 miles ...

     near Shiloh
  • Stones River National Battlefield
    Stones River National Battlefield
    Stones River National Battlefield, a park along the Stones River in Rutherford County, Tennessee, three miles northwest of Murfreesboro and twenty-eight miles southeast of...

     and Stones River National Cemetery near Murfreesboro
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail


Fifty-four state parks, covering some 132000 acres (534.2 km²) as well as parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest
Cherokee National Forest
The Cherokee National Forest is a large National Forest created on July 19, 1936, by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, operated by the U.S. Forest Service and encompassing some 640,000 acres .-Location:...

, and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Established on June 11, 1940, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located at the border between Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Cumberland Gap is a sizable natural break in the Appalachian Mountains....

 are in Tennessee. Sportsmen and visitors are attracted to Reelfoot Lake
Reelfoot Lake
Reelfoot Lake is a shallow natural lake located in the northwest portion of Tennessee, United States of America. Much of it is really more of a swamp, with bayou-like ditches connecting more open bodies of water called basins, the largest of which is called Blue Basin. Reelfoot Lake is noted for...

, originally formed by the New Madrid earthquake; 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


Most of the state has a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

, with the exception of some of the higher elevations in the Appalachians, which are classified as having a mountain temperate climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 or a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 due to cooler temperatures. The Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 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. 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.

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 at Mountain City
Mountain City, Tennessee
Mountain City is a town in Johnson County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,383 at the 2000 census. It is the northeasternmost county seat in Tennessee; Mountain City is the county seat of Johnson County.-History:...

 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
Tropical Storm Chris (1982)
Tropical Storm Chris was the weakest storm of the 1982 Atlantic hurricane season. Affecting the Gulf Coast, Chris resulted in $2 million ) to the United States locations of Texas and Louisiana. The storm formed on September 9 from an upper-low pressure system that formed a few days previously...

. The state averages around 50 days of thunderstorms per year, some of which can be quite severe. Tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

es are possible throughout the state, with West and Middle Tennessee the most vulnerable. On average, the state has 15 tornadoes per year. Tornadoes in Tennessee can be severe, and Tennessee leads the nation in the percentage of total tornadoes which have fatalities. Winter storms are an occasional problem, although ice storm
Ice storm
An ice storm is a type of winter storm characterized by freezing rain, also known as a glaze event or in some parts of the United States as a silver thaw. The U.S. National Weather Service defines an ice storm as a storm which results in the accumulation of at least of ice on exposed surfaces...

s are a more likely occurrence. Fog
Fog
Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of stratus cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated...

 is a persistent problem in parts of the state, especially in much of the Smoky Mountains.
Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Tennessee Cities (F)
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

Early history



The area now known as Tennessee was first inhabited by Paleo-Indians nearly 12,000 years ago. 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
Woodland period
The Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures was from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE in the eastern part of North America. The term "Woodland Period" was introduced in the 1930s as a generic header for prehistoric sites falling between the Archaic hunter-gatherers and the...

 (1000 BC–1000 AD), and Mississippian
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 (1000–1600 AD), whose chiefdoms were the cultural predecessors of the Muscogee people
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

 who inhabited the Tennessee River Valley prior to 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
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

, namely Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto (explorer)
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European documented to have crossed the Mississippi River....

 in 1540, Tristan de Luna
Tristán de Luna y Arellano
Tristán de Luna y Arellano was a Spanish Conquistador of the 16th century. Born in Borobia, Spain, he came to New Spain in about 1530, and was sent on an expedition to conquer Florida in 1559...

 in 1559, and Juan Pardo
Juan Pardo (explorer)
Juan Pardo was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was active in the later half of the sixteenth century. He led a Spanish expedition through what is now North and South Carolina and into eastern Tennessee. He established Fort San Felipe, South Carolina , and the village of Santa Elena on...

 in 1567. Pardo recorded the name "Tanasqui" from a local Indian village, which may have evolved to the state's current name. At that time, Tennessee was inhabited by tribes of Muscogee
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

 and Yuchi
Yuchi
For the Chinese surname 尉迟, see Yuchi.The Yuchi, also spelled Euchee and Uchee, are a Native American Indian tribe who traditionally lived in the eastern Tennessee River valley in Tennessee in the 16th century. During the 17th century, they moved south to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina...

 people. Possibly because of European diseases devastating the Native tribes, which would have left a population vacuum, and also from expanding European settlement in the north, the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 moved south from the area now called Virginia. As European colonists spread into the area, the native populations were forcibly displaced to the south and west, including all Muscogee and Yuchi peoples, the Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

, and Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

.


The first British settlement in what is now Tennessee was Fort Loudoun
Fort Loudoun (Tennessee)
Fort Loudoun was a British colonial fort in present-day Monroe County, Tennessee, near the towns of the Overhill Cherokee. The fort was reconstructed during the Great Depression and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.-History:...

, near present-day Vonore
Vonore, Tennessee
Vonore is a town in Blount and Monroe counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The population was 1,162 as of the 2000 census.-Geography:Vonore is located at ....

. Fort Loudoun became the westernmost British outpost to that date. The fort was designed by John William Gerard de Brahm
John William Gerard de Brahm
William Gerard de Brahm was a German cartographer, engineer and mystic.He was born the eight child of a court musician employed by the Elector of Trier. He became "Captain Engineer" in the Imperial Army, but after his marriage emigrated to the British colony of Georgia...

 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 Cherokee
Overhill Cherokee
The term Overhill Cherokee refers to the former Cherokee settlements located in what is now Tennessee in the southeastern United States. The name was given by 18th century European traders and explorers who had to cross the Appalachian Mountains to reach these settlements when traveling from...

s, 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 the most of the rest of the garrison was taken prisoner.

In the 1760s, long hunters
Longhunter
A Longhunter was an 18th-century explorer and hunter who made expeditions into the American frontier wilderness for as much as six months at a time...

 from Virginia explored much of East and Middle Tennessee, and the first permanent European settlers began arriving late in the decade. The vast majority of 18th century settlers were English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 or of primarily English descent but nearly 20% of them were also Scotch-Irish. These settlers formed the Watauga Association
Watauga Association
The Watauga Association was a semi-autonomous government created in 1772 by frontier settlers living along the Watauga River in what is now present day Elizabethton, Tennessee...

, a community built on lands leased from the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 peoples.

During the American Revolutionary War
Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War
The Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War was the central area of operations in North America in the second half of the American Revolutionary War. During the first three years of the conflict, the primary military encounters had been in the north, focused on campaigns around the...

, Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals
Sycamore Shoals
The Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River, usually shortened to Sycamore Shoals, is a rocky stretch of river rapids along the Watauga River in Elizabethton, in the U.S. state of Tennessee...

 (in present-day Elizabethton
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Elizabethton is the county seat of Carter County, Tennessee, United States. Elizabethton is also the historical site both of the first independent American government located west of both the Eastern Continental Divide and the original thirteen British American colonies.Elizabethton is also the...

) was attacked (1776) by Dragging Canoe
Dragging Canoe
Tsiyu Gansini , "He is dragging his canoe", known to whites as Dragging Canoe, was a Cherokee war chief who led a band of Cherokee against colonists and United States settlers...

 and his warring faction of Cherokee who were aligned with the British Loyalists. These renegade Cherokee were referred to by settlers as the Chickamauga
Chickamauga Indian
The Chickamauga or Lower Cherokee, were a band of Cherokee who supported Great Britain at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. They were followers of the Cherokee chief Dragging Canoe...

. They opposed North Carolina's annexation of the Washington District
Washington District, North Carolina
The Washington District of North Carolina was in a remote area west of the Appalachian Mountains, officially existing for only a short period of time , although it had been self-proclaimed and functioning as an independent governing entity since the spring of 1775...

 and the concurrent settling of the Transylvania Colony
Transylvania (colony)
Transylvania, or the Transylvania Colony, was a short-lived, extra-legal colony founded in 1775 by Richard Henderson, who controlled the North Carolina based Transylvania Company, which had reached an agreement to purchase the land from the Cherokee in the "Treaty of Sycamore Shoals"...

 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
Nancy Ward
Nanyehi , known in English as Nancy Ward was a Ghigau, or Beloved Woman of the Cherokee Nation, which meant that she was allowed to sit in councils and to make decisions, along with the other Beloved Women, on pardons...

. The frontier fort on the banks of the Watauga River
Watauga River
The Watauga River is a large stream of western North Carolina and East Tennessee. It is 60 miles long with its headwaters on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain and Peak Mountain in Watauga County, North Carolina.-Hydrography:...

 later served as a 1780 staging area for the Overmountain Men
Overmountain Men
The Overmountain Men were American frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains who took part in the American Revolutionary War. While they were present at multiple engagements in the war's southern campaign, they are best known for their role in the American victory at the Battle of Kings...

 in preparation to trek over the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

, to engage, and to later defeat the British Army at the Battle of Kings Mountain
Battle of Kings Mountain
The Battle of Kings Mountain was a decisive battle between the Patriot and Loyalist militias in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War...

 in North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

.

Three counties of the Washington District (now part of Tennessee) broke off from North Carolina in 1784 and formed the State of Franklin
State of Franklin
The State of Franklin, known also as the Free Republic of Franklin or the State of Frankland , was an unrecognized autonomous United States territory created in 1784 from part of the territory west of the Appalachian Mountains that had been offered,...

. Efforts to obtain admission to the Union
Perpetual Union
The Perpetual Union is a feature of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which established the United States of America as a national entity...

 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
Southwest Territory
The Territory South of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Southwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 26, 1790, until June 1, 1796, when it was admitted to the United States as the State of Tennessee.The Southwest Territory was...

. 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
Clinch Mountain
Clinch Mountain is a mountain ridge in the U.S. states of Tennessee and Virginia, lying in the ridge-and-valley section of the Appalachian Mountains...

 (in East Tennessee) to French Lick (Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

). The Trace was called the “North Carolina Road” or “Avery’s Trace
Avery’s Trace
Avery's Trace was the principal road used by settlers travelling from the Knoxville area in East Tennessee to the Nashville area from 1788 to the mid-1830s....

,” and sometimes “The Wilderness Road (although it should not be confused with Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone was an American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman whose frontier exploits mad']'e him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of...

's "Wilderness Road
Wilderness Road State Park
Wilderness Road State Park is a state park located in southwestern Virginia, near Cumberland Gap and Ewing, VA. It consists of about around the former Wilderness Road.Within it stand the Karlan Mansion and a replica of the original Martin's Station fort....

" through the Cumberland Gap
Cumberland Gap
Cumberland Gap is a pass through the Cumberland Mountains region of the Appalachian Mountains, also known as the Cumberland Water Gap, at the juncture of the U.S. states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia...

).

Statehood (1796)


Tennessee was admitted to the Union in 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
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 only Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

 and Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 predate Tennessee's statehood, and neither was ever a federal territory. The state boundaries, according to the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, Article I, Section 31, stated that the beginning point for identifying the boundary was the extreme height of the Stone Mountain, at the place where the line of Virginia intersects it, and basically ran 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
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

, 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
Fort Cass
Fort Cass, established in 1835, was an important site during the Cherokee removal known as the Trail of Tears. Located on the Hiwassee River in present-day Charleston, Tennessee, it housed a garrison of United States troops and watched over the largest concentration of internment camps where...

) toward the more distant Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 west of Arkansas. During this relocation an estimated 4,000 Cherokees died along the way west. In the Cherokee language
Cherokee language
Cherokee is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people which uses a unique syllabary writing system. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language that remains spoken. Cherokee is a polysynthetic language.-North American etymology:...

, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—"the Trail Where We Cried." The Cherokees were not the only Native Americans forced to emigrate as a result of the Indian removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 efforts of the United States, and so the phrase "Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830...

" is sometimes used to refer to similar events endured by other Native American peoples, especially among the "Five Civilized Tribes
Five Civilized Tribes
The Five Civilized Tribes were the five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—that were considered civilized by Anglo-European settlers during the colonial and early federal period because they adopted many of the colonists' customs and had generally good...

". The phrase originated as a description of the earlier emigration of the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 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
East Tennessee Convention of 1861
The East Tennessee Convention consisted of a series of meetings held in 1861 on the eve of the American Civil War in which 29 counties in East Tennessee and one county in Middle Tennessee denounced secessionist activities within the state of Tennessee and resolved to break away and form an...

). Following the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter
Battle of Fort Sumter
The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, that started the American Civil War. Following declarations of secession by seven Southern states, South Carolina demanded that the U.S. Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On...

 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
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 were fought in Tennessee—most of them Union victories. Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 and the U.S. Navy captured control of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers in February 1862. They held off the Confederate counterattack at Shiloh
Battle of Shiloh
The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6–7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. A Union army under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and...

 in April. Memphis fell to the Union in June, following a naval battle
Battle of Memphis
The First Battle of Memphis was a naval battle fought on the Mississippi River immediately above the city of Memphis on June 6, 1862, during the American Civil War. The engagement was witnessed by many of the citizens of Memphis. It resulted in a crushing defeat for the Rebels, and marked the...

 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
Battle of Stones River
The Battle of Stones River or Second Battle of Murfreesboro , was fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War...

 in early January 1863 and by the subsequent Tullahoma Campaign
Tullahoma Campaign
The Tullahoma Campaign or Middle Tennessee Campaign was fought between June 24 and July 3, 1863, during the American Civil War. The Union Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Maj. Gen. William S...

.


Confederates held East Tennessee despite the strength of Unionist sentiment there, with the exception of extremely pro-Confederate Sullivan County. The Confederates besieged Chattanooga during the Chattanooga Campaign
Chattanooga Campaign
The Chattanooga Campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in October and November 1863, during the American Civil War. Following the defeat of Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans's Union Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Chickamauga in September, the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen...

 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
Braxton Bragg
Braxton Bragg was a career United States Army officer, and then a general in the Confederate States Army—a principal commander in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and later the military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.Bragg, a native of North Carolina, was...

, who led the Army of Tennessee
Army of Tennessee
The Army of Tennessee was the principal Confederate army operating between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River during the American Civil War. It was formed in late 1862 and fought until the end of the war in 1865, participating in most of the significant battles in the Western Theater...

 from Perryville, Kentucky
Battle of Perryville
The Battle of Perryville, also known as the Battle of Chaplin Hills, was fought on October 8, 1862, in the Chaplin Hills west of Perryville, Kentucky, as the culmination of the Confederate Heartland Offensive during the American Civil War. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Mississippi won a...

 to Confederate defeat at Chattanooga.

The last major battles came when the Confederates invaded Middle Tennessee in November 1864 and were checked at Franklin
Battle of Franklin
Battle of Franklin may refer to three battles of the American Civil War:* Battle of Franklin , a major battle fought November 30, 1864, at Franklin, Tennessee as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign...

, then completely diminished by George Thomas
George Henry Thomas
George Henry Thomas was a career United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War, one of the principal commanders in the Western Theater....

 at Nashville
Battle of Nashville
The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. It was fought at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 15–16, 1864, between the Confederate Army of Tennessee under...

 in December. Meanwhile the civilian Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

 was appointed military governor of the state by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

.

When the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 was announced, Tennessee was mostly 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, and some 30,000 blacks fought for the Confederates.

Tennessee's legislature approved an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting slavery on February 22, 1865. Voters in the state approved the amendment in March. It also ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

 (abolishing slavery in every state) on April 7, 1865.

In 1864, Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

 (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. Disfranchising legislation accompanied Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 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.

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
Parthenon (Nashville)
The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.-Early history:...

 of the Parthenon
Parthenon
The Parthenon is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their virgin patron. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although...

 was constructed for the celebration, located in what is now Nashville's Centennial Park
Centennial Park (Nashville)
Centennial Park is a large urban park located approximately two miles west of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, across West End Avenue from the campus of Vanderbilt University and adjacent to the headquarters campus of the Hospital Corporation of America.The park was originally farmland that had...

.

20th century


On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the thirty-sixth and final state necessary to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

, which provided women the right to vote
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

. 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
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, 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
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected...

 (TVA) in 1933. Through the power of the TVA projects, Tennessee quickly became the nation's largest public utility supplier.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the availability of abundant TVA electrical power led the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

 to locate one of the principal sites for production and isolation of weapons-grade fissile
Fissile
In nuclear engineering, a fissile material is one that is capable of sustaining a chain reaction of nuclear fission. By definition, fissile materials can sustain a chain reaction with neutrons of any energy. The predominant neutron energy may be typified by either slow neutrons or fast neutrons...

 material in East Tennessee. The planned community
Planned community
A planned community, or planned city, is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are less frequent in planned communities since...

 of Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Oak Ridge is a city in Anderson and Roane counties in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Tennessee, about west of Knoxville. Oak Ridge's population was 27,387 at the 2000 census...

 was built from scratch to provide accommodations for the facilities and workers. These sites are now Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy by UT-Battelle. ORNL is the DOE's largest science and energy laboratory. ORNL is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near Knoxville...

, the Y-12 National Security Complex
Y-12 National Security Complex
The Y-12 National Security Complex is a United States Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration facility located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory...

, 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. In 1949 political scientist V. O. Key Jr. argued 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 machine
Political machine
A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses , who receive rewards for their efforts...

s. Urban politicians bought large blocks of poll tax receipts and distributed them to blacks and whites, who then voted as instructed."

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.

Tennessee celebrated its bicentennial in 1996. With a yearlong statewide celebration entitled "Tennessee 200", it opened a new state park (Bicentennial Mall
Bicentennial Mall State Park
Bicentennial Mall State Park is an urban state park located in the shadow of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.The 19 acre park, designed to complement the Tennessee Capitol Building, gives visitors a taste of Tennessee's history and natural wonder...

) at the foot of Capitol Hill in Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

.

Demographics



The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Tennessee is located in Rutherford County
Rutherford County, Tennessee
Rutherford County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, it is the state's fifth-largest county by population with 262,604 people, an increase of 44.3 percent over the 2000 population of 182,023. Its county seat is Murfreesboro, which is also the geographic...

, in the city of Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2006, Tennessee had an estimated population of 6,038,803, which is an increase of 83,058, or 1.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 349,541, or 6.1%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 142,266 people (that is 493,881 births minus 351,615 deaths), and an increase from net migration of 219,551 people into the state. Immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 59,385 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 160,166 people.
20% of Tennesseans were born outside the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, compared to a figure of 13.5% in 1990.

In recent years, Tennessee has received an influx of people relocating from several northern states, California, and Florida, 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.

In 2000, the five most common self-reported ethnic groups in the state were: American (17.3%), African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 (16.4%), Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (9.3%), English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (9.1%), and German (8.3%). Most Tennesseans who self-identify as having American ancestry are of English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 and Scotch-Irish stock. An estimated 21–24% of Tennesseans are of predominantly English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 ancestry. 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.

6.6% of Tennessee's population were reported as under 5 years of age, 24.6% under 18, and 12.4% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.3% of the population.

On June 19, 2010, the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs
Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs
The Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs was a Tennessee state agency that ceased to function after June 30, 2010, the expiration of the legal authority for its existence, Tennessee Code Annotated 4-34-102....

 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:
  • The Cherokee
    Cherokee
    The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

     Wolf Clan in western Tennessee, with members in Carroll County
    Carroll County, Tennessee
    Carroll County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2010, the population was 28,522. Its county seat is Huntingdon. It was named for Governor William Carroll.-Geography:According to the U.S...

    , Benton, Decatur, Henderson, Henry, Weakley, Gibson and Madison counties.
  • The Chikamaka Band based historically on the South Cumberland Plateau
    Cumberland Plateau
    The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia . The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the...

    , said to have members in Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Warren and Coffee counties.
  • Central Band of Cherokee, also known as the Cherokee of Lawrence County, Tennessee.
  • United Eastern Lenape
    Lenape
    The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

    e Nation of Winfield, Tennessee
    Winfield, Tennessee
    Winfield is a town in Scott County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 911 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Winfield is located at ....

    .
  • The Tanasi Council, said to have members in Shelby, Dyer, Gibson, Humphreys and Perry counties; and
  • Remnant Yuchi
    Yuchi
    For the Chinese surname 尉迟, see Yuchi.The Yuchi, also spelled Euchee and Uchee, are a Native American Indian tribe who traditionally lived in the eastern Tennessee River valley in Tennessee in the 16th century. During the 17th century, they moved south to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina...

     Nation, with members in Sullivan, Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Unicoi, Johnson and Washington counties.

Religion


The religious affiliations of the people of Tennessee are:

  • Christian
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

    : 82%
    • Baptist
      Baptist
      Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

      : 39%
    • Methodist
      Methodism
      Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

      : 10%
    • Church of Christ: 6%
    • Roman Catholic
      Roman Catholicism in the United States
      The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

      : 6%
    • Presbyterian
      Presbyterianism
      Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

      : 3%
    • Church of God
      Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
      The Church of God, with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, is a Pentecostal Christian denomination. With over seven million members in over 170 countries, it is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the world...

      : 2%
    • Lutheran: 2%
    • Pentecostal: 2%
    • Other Christian (includes unspecified "Christian" and "Protestant"): 12%
  • Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

    : 1%
  • Other religions: 2%
  • Non-religious: 9%


The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 with 1,414,199; the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 with 393,994; the Churches of Christ with 216,648; and the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 with 183,161.

Tennessee is home to several Protestant denominations, such as the National Baptist Convention
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. is the largest predominantly African-American Christian denomination in the United States and is the world's second largest Baptist denomination...

 (headquartered in Nashville), the Church of God in Christ
Church of God in Christ
The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. With nearly five million members in the United States and 12,000 congregations, it is the largest Pentecostal church and the fifth largest Christian church in the U.S....

 and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Christian denomination spawned by the Second Great Awakening. In 2007, it had an active membership of less than 50,000 and about 800 congregations, the majority of which are concentrated in the United States...

 (both headquartered in Memphis), the Church of God
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
The Church of God, with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, is a Pentecostal Christian denomination. With over seven million members in over 170 countries, it is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the world...

 and The Church of God of Prophecy
Church of God of Prophecy
The Church of God of Prophecy is a Christian denomination with beliefs and principles similar to Pentecostal Holiness Christian faith. It is one of five Church of God bodies headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee that descended from a small meeting of believers who gathered at the Barney Creek...

 (headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee
Cleveland, Tennessee
Cleveland is a city in Bradley County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 41,285 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Bradley County...

). The Free Will Baptist denomination is headquartered in Antioch
Antioch, Tennessee
Antioch is a community in southeastern Davidson County, Tennessee, that is governed by the Nashville metropolitan government. The area is assigned to postal zip code 37013.- History :...

, and its main Bible college is in Nashville. The Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 maintains its general headquarters in Nashville. Publishing houses of several denominations are located in Nashville.

Economy


According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2005 Tennessee's gross state product was $226.502 billion, making Tennessee the 18th largest economy in the nation.
In 2003, the per capita personal income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 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
Household income in the United States
Household income is a measure commonly used by the United States government and private institutions, that counts the income of all residents over the age of 18 in each household, including not only all wages and salaries, but such items as unemployment insurance, disability payments, child support...

 was $38,550, 41st in the nation, and 87% of the national median of $44,472.

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. 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. Currently West Tennessee is also heavily planted in soybeans, focusing on the northwest corner of the state.

Major corporations with headquarters in Tennessee include FedEx Corporation, AutoZone Incorporated and International Paper
International Paper
International Paper Company is an American pulp and paper company, the largest such company in the world. It has approximately 59,500 employees, and it is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.-History:...

, all based in Memphis; Pilot Corporation and Regal Entertainment Group
Regal Entertainment Group
Regal Entertainment Group also known as REG is a movie theater chain headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Regal operates the largest and most geographically diverse theater circuit in the United States, consisting of 6,775 screens in 548 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia as of...

, based in Knoxville; Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman Chemical Company is a United States based chemical company, engaged in the manufacture and sale of chemicals, fibers, and plastics. Eastman has 11 manufacturing sites in seven countries, supplying its products throughout the world...

, based in Kingsport, the North American headquarters of Nissan, based in Franklin
Franklin, Tennessee
Franklin is a city within and the county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 62,487 as of the 2010 census Franklin is located approximately south of downtown Nashville.-History:...

; and the head-quarters of Caterpillar Financial (the finance division of the well known mining company Caterpillar) based in Nashville. Tennessee is also the location of the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant
Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant
Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant is an automobile assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee that began production in April 2011, was formally inaugurated in May 2011 and is expected to employ approximately 2,000 once fully operational...

 and a 1.2 Billion dollar polysilicon production facility by Hemlock Semiconductor Group in Clarksville
Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States, and the fifth largest city in the state. The population was 132,929 in 2010 United States Census...

.

Tennessee is a right to work
Right-to-work law
Right-to-work laws are statutes enforced in twenty-two U.S. states, mostly in the southern or western U.S., allowed under provisions of the federal Taft–Hartley Act, which prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers that make membership, payment of union dues, or fees a condition of...

 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 January 2010, the state's unemployment rate is 10.7%.

Tax


The Tennessee income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 does not apply to salaries and wages, but most income from stocks, bonds and notes receivable is taxable. All taxable dividends and interest which exceed the $1,250 single exemption or the $2,500 joint exemption are taxable at the rate of 6%. The state's sales
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 and use tax
Use tax
A use tax is a type of excise tax levied in the United States. It is assessed upon otherwise "tax free" tangible personal property purchased by a resident of the assessing state for use, storage or consumption of goods in that state , regardless of where the purchase took place...

 rate for most items is 7%. Food is taxed at a lower rate of 5.5%, 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
Intangible property
Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, describes something which a person or corporation can have ownership of and can transfer ownership of to another person or corporation, but has no physical substance. It generally refers to statutory creations such as copyright, trademarks,...

 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
Inheritance tax
An inheritance tax or estate tax is a levy paid by a person who inherits money or property or a tax on the estate of a person who has died...

 on decedents' estates that exceed maximum single exemption limits ($1,000,000 for deaths 2006 and after.)

Interstate highways



Interstate 40
Interstate 40 in Tennessee
In the state of Tennessee, Interstate 40 traverses the entirety of the state from west to east, running from the Mississippi River at the Arkansas border to the northern base of the Great Smoky Mountains at the North Carolina border...

 crosses the state in a west-east orientation. Its branch interstate highways include I-240
Interstate 240 (Tennessee)
Interstate 240 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Running or 31.0 km, it loops southward from Interstate 40 in east Memphis, then turning west at TN 385 . At I-55, the highway turns north and runs through midtown to end at I-40...

 in Memphis; I-440
Interstate 440 (Tennessee)
Interstate 440 in Tennessee is a long loop connecting Interstate 40, Interstate 24, and Interstate 65, bypassing downtown Nashville to the south. The section between I-24 and I-65 was completed in 1986, and the section between I-65 and I-40 was completed in 1987...

 in Nashville; and I-140
Interstate 140 (Tennessee)
Interstate 140 is a spur route of Interstate 40 near Knoxville, Tennessee, that forms part of the Pellissippi Parkway. It runs east from Dutchtown Road north of Interstate 40 near Farragut to U.S. Route 129, near McGhee Tyson Airport. It intersects with U.S. Route 11 and U.S. Route 70 near its...

 and I-640 in Knoxville. I-26, although technically an east-west interstate, runs from the North Carolina border below Johnson City
Johnson City, Tennessee
Johnson City is a city in Carter, Sullivan, and Washington counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with most of the city being in Washington County...

 to its terminus at Kingsport
Kingsport, Tennessee
Kingsport is a city located mainly in Sullivan County with some western portions in Hawkins County in the US state of Tennessee. The majority of the city lies in Sullivan County...

. I-24
Interstate 24 in Tennessee
In the U.S. state of Tennessee, Interstate 24 runs from Clarksville to Chattanooga via Nashville. Just west of Chattanooga, I-24 drops into Georgia's Dade County for before reentering Tennessee....

 is an east-west interstate that runs cross-state from Chattanooga to Clarksville.

In a north-south orientation are highways I-55
Interstate 55 in Tennessee
Interstate 55 in Tennessee lies entirely within the city of Memphis, located in Shelby County. The highway enters the city from Southaven in Desoto County, Mississippi and passes through the Whitehaven area of the city, bypassing Memphis International Airport to the west.-Route description:I–55...

, I-65
Interstate 65 in Tennessee
Interstate 65 in Tennessee runs from Ardmore, Tennessee north to just south of Franklin, Kentucky, forming part of the national Interstate 65, which goes from Mobile, Alabama to Gary, Indiana. In Tennessee the highway's official name is The Albert Arnold Gore Sr...

, I-75
Interstate 75 in Tennessee
In the U.S. state of Tennessee, Interstate 75 runs from Chattanooga to Jellico by way of Knoxville. Interstate 75 enters the East Tennessee region following the Tennessee Valley from Georgia, all the way through Knoxville to near Lake City, then climbs into the Cumberland Mountains before crossing...

, and I-81
Interstate 81 in Tennessee
Interstate 81 is an long expressway stretching from Dandridge, Tennessee northward to the Thousand Islands Bridge at the United States-Canada border near Fishers Landing, New York...

. 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
Dandridge, Tennessee
Dandridge is a town in Jefferson County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of Jefferson County. It is part of the Morristown, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area....

. I-155
Interstate 155 (Missouri-Tennessee)
Interstate 155 is an east–west spur beginning in far southeast Missouri. The western terminus is south of Hayti, Missouri at Interstate 55, exits 17A and exit 17B . The route proceeds east to the Tennessee border, where it crosses over the Mississippi River...

 is a branch highway from I-55. The only spur highway of I-75 in Tennessee is I-275
Interstate 275 (Tennessee)
Interstate 275 is an Interstate Highway in Tennessee that serves Knoxville by connecting the downtown with I-75 and I-640. Measuring 2.98 miles in length, the northern terminus is the junction with I-75 and I-640 and the southern terminus is I-40....

, which is in Knoxville.

Airports


Major airports within the state include Nashville International Airport
Nashville International Airport
Nashville International Airport is a joint civil-military airport in southeastern Nashville, Tennessee. The IATA Airport Code BNA is derived from the early name of the facility—Berry Field, NAshville. Berry Field was the name of the airport until 1988, when the name was changed to reflect...

 (BNA), Memphis International Airport
Memphis International Airport
Memphis International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located three miles south of the central business district of Memphis, a city in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States....

 (MEM), McGhee Tyson Airport
McGhee Tyson Airport
-Top Destinations:-Accidents and incidents:* On 06 August, 1962, an American Airlines Lockheed L-188 Electra veered off the runway on landing, striking the raised edge of an under-construction taxiway with the landing gear, causing it to collapse...

 (TYS) in Knoxville, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
-Top Destinations:-Cargo:- Accidents and incidents:On November 27, 1973, Delta Air Lines Flight 516, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed short of the runway on approach to the airport...

 (CHA), Tri-Cities Regional Airport
Tri-Cities Regional Airport
Tri-Cities Regional Airport , also known as Tri-Cities Regional Airport, TN/VA, is a public airport located adjacent to Blountville, Tennessee...

 (TRI), and McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport
McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport
McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport is a public use airport located four nautical miles west of the central business district of Jackson, a city in Madison County, Tennessee, United States. It is owned by the City of Jackson & Madison County. The airport is mostly used for general aviation...

 (MKL), in Jackson. Because Memphis International Airport is the major hub for FedEx Corporation, it is the world's largest air cargo operation
World's busiest airport
The definition of the world's busiest airport has been specified by the Airports Council International in Geneva, Switzerland. The ACI defines and measures the following three types of airport traffic:...

.

Railroads


Memphis and Newbern, Tennessee
Newbern, Tennessee
Newbern is a town in Dyer County, Tennessee, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 3,313.-Natural Disasters:Sixteen people were killed in Newbern when its surrounding communities were directly hit by an F3 tornado April 2, 2006...

, are served by the Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 City of New Orleans
City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans is a nightly passenger train operated by Amtrak which travels between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. Before Amtrak's formation in 1971, the train was operated by the Illinois Central Railroad along the same route . The train currently operates on a 19½ hour...

 line on its run between Chicago, Illinois, and New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

.

Nashville is served by the Music City Star
Music City Star
The Music City Star is a regional rail service running between Nashville and Lebanon, Tennessee. The service uses the existing track of the Nashville and Eastern Railroad. The line currently has six stops: Riverfront Station, Donelson, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Martha , and Lebanon. The operation...

 commuter rail service.

Governance



Tennessee's governor 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
Lieutenant governor (United States)
In the United States, 43 of the 50 states have a separate, full-time office of lieutenant governor. In most cases, the lieutenant governor is the highest officer of state after the governor, standing in for that officer when he or she is absent from the state or temporarily incapacitated...

 directly; the Tennessee Senate elects its Speaker, who serves as lieutenant governor.

The Tennessee General Assembly
Tennessee General Assembly
The Tennessee General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee.-Constitutional structure:According to the Tennessee State Constitution of 1870, the General Assembly is a bicameral legislature and consists of a Senate of thirty-three members and a House of Representatives of...

, the state legislature, consists of the 33-member Senate and the 99-member House of Representatives
Tennessee House of Representatives
The Tennessee House of Representatives is the lower house of the Tennessee General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee.-Constitutional requirements:...

. 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
Tennessee Attorney General
The Tennessee Attorney General is a position within the Tennessee state government. The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer and lawyer for Tennessee. Unlike most states, the Tennessee Attorney General is an officer of the judicial branch, being appointed by the justices of the...

, a practice that is not found in any of the other 49 states in the Union. Both the Court of Appeals
Tennessee Court of Appeals
The Tennessee Court of Appeals was created in 1925 by the Tennessee General Assembly as an intermediate appellate court to hear appeals in civil cases from the Tennessee state trial courts....

 and the Court of Criminal Appeals
Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
The Court of Criminal Appeals is one of Tennessee's two intermediate appellate courts. It hears trial court appeals in felony and misdemeanor cases, as well as post-conviction petitions. Appeals in civil cases are heard by the Tennessee Court of Appeals....

 have 12 judges. A number of local, circuit, and federal courts
Courts of Tennessee
Courts of Tennessee include:State courts of Tennessee*Tennessee Supreme Court**Tennessee Court of Appeals **Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ***Tennessee Circuit Courts...

 provide judicial services.

Tennessee's current state constitution
Tennessee State Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Tennessee defines the form, structure, activities, character, and fundamental rules of the U.S. State of Tennessee....

 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 Tennessee 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
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

Politics


Presidential elections results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

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, is dominated by the Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 and the Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Parties. Except for in two nationwide Republican landslides of the 1920s (in 1920, when Tennessee narrowly supported Warren G. Harding over Ohio Governor James Cos, 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
Solid South
Solid South is the electoral support of the Southern United States for the Democratic Party candidates for nearly a century from 1877, the end of Reconstruction, to 1964, during the middle of the Civil Rights era....

 until the 1950s, when it twice voted for Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

. Tennessee has since voted for Republicans in most presidential elections, though it tends to be somewhat more moderate than its staunchly conservative neighbors to the south.

While the Republicans control slightly more than half of the state, Democrats have moderate support in parts of rural Middle Tennessee and northern West Tennessee and have strong support in the cities of Nashville and Memphis. The latter area includes a large African-American population. Historically, Republicans had their greatest strength in East Tennessee prior to the 1960s. Tennessee's 1st
Tennessee's 1st congressional district
The Tennessee 1st Congressional District is the congressional district of northeast Tennessee, including all of Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties and parts of Jefferson County and Sevier County...

 / 2nd
Tennessee's 2nd congressional district
The 2nd congressional district of Tennessee is a congressional district in Tennessee. It currently includes the east central part of the state....

 congressional districts based in East Tennessee are one of the few historically Republican districts in the South; the 1st has been in Republican hands continuously since 1881, and the 2nd district has been held continuously by Republicans since 1873.

In contrast, long disfranchisement of African Americans and their proportion as a minority (16.45% in 1960) meant that white Democrats generally dominated politics in the rest of the state until the 1960s. The GOP in Tennessee was essentially a sectional party. Former Gov. Winfield Dunn
Winfield Dunn
Bryant Winfield Culberson Dunn was the 43rd Governor of Tennessee, from 1971 to 1975.-Biography:Dunn was born in Meridian, Mississippi. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1950 with a B.B.A., and from the University of Tennessee Medical Units in Memphis in 1955 with a D.D.S. Dunn...

 and former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock
Bill Brock
William Emerson "Bill" Brock III is a former Republican United States senator from Tennessee, having served from 1971 to 1977. He is the grandson of William Emerson Brock I, who was a Democratic U.S. senator from Tennessee from 1929 to 1931.-Early life and career:Brock was a native of Chattanooga,...

 wins in 1970 built the Republican Party into a competitive party for the statewide victory. Tennessee has selected governors from different parties since 1970.

In the 2000 presidential election, Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, a former U.S. Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from Tennessee, failed to carry his home state, an unusual occurrence. Support for Republican George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 increased in 2004, with his margin of victory in the state increasing from 4% in 2000 to 14% in 2004. Democratic presidential nominees from Southern states (such as Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

, Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

) 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
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, of whom there are seven Republicans and two Democrats. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey
Ron Ramsey
Ronald Lynn "Ron" Ramsey is the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee and Speaker of the State Senate. A Republican from Blountville in East Tennessee, Ramsey succeeded long-term Democratic Lieutenant Governor John S...

 is the first Republican speaker of the state Senate in 140 years. In 2008 elections, the Republican party gained control of both houses of the Tennessee state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. Now considered as 30% of the state's electorate are independents.

The Baker v. Carr
Baker v. Carr
Baker v. Carr, , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that retreated from the Court's political question doctrine, deciding that redistricting issues present justiciable questions, thus enabling federal courts to intervene in and to decide reapportionment cases...

(1962) decision of the US Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

, which established the principle of one man, one vote, was based on a lawsuit over rural-biased apportionment of seats in the Tennessee legislature. 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
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

.

State agencies


The state of Tennessee maintains four dedicated law enforcement entities: the Tennessee Highway Patrol
Tennessee Highway Patrol
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is the highway patrol agency for the U.S. state of Tennessee, responsible for enforcing all federal and state laws relating to traffic on the state's federal and state highways. It is a component of the Department of Safety....

, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is an independent state agency of the state of Tennessee with the mission of managing the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as responsibility for all wildlife-related law enforcement activities...

 (TWRA), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is the criminal investigative arm of the state government of Tennessee.It was established by the Tennessee General Assembly on March 27, 1980, as an independent state agency...

 (TBI), and the Tennessee State Parks Department.

The Highway Patrol is the primary law enforcement entity that concentrates on highway safety regulations and general non-wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 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 Ranger
Park ranger
A park ranger or forest ranger is a person entrusted with protecting and preserving parklands – national, state, provincial, or local parks. Different countries use different names for the position. Ranger is the favored term in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Within the United...

s are responsible for all activities and law enforcement inside the Tennessee State Parks system.

Local government


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 split law enforcement duties and authority between the Metro Sheriff and the Metro 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
    Hartsville, Tennessee
    Hartsville is a town in Trousdale County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of Trousdale County, with which it shares a consolidated city-county government...

    /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.

Important cities and towns



The capital is Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, though Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee
Founded in 1786, Knoxville is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, U.S.A., behind Memphis and Nashville, and is the county seat of Knox County. It is the largest city in East Tennessee, and the second-largest city in the Appalachia region...

, Kingston
Kingston, Tennessee
Kingston is a city in and the county seat of Roane County, Tennessee, United States, and is adjacent to Watts Bar Lake. Kingston, with a population of 5,264 at the 2000 United States census, is included in the Harriman, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area....

, and Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

 have all served as state capitals in the past. Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 has the largest population of any city in the state. Nashville's 13-county metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 has been the state's largest since c. 1990. Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

 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
Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States, and the fifth largest city in the state. The population was 132,929 in 2010 United States Census...

 is a fifth significant population center, some 45 miles (72.4 km) northwest of Nashville. Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

 is the sixth-largest city in Tennessee, consisting of some 108,755 residents.

Major cities
  • Chattanooga
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

  • Clarksville
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Clarksville is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States, and the fifth largest city in the state. The population was 132,929 in 2010 United States Census...

  • Knoxville
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Founded in 1786, Knoxville is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, U.S.A., behind Memphis and Nashville, and is the county seat of Knox County. It is the largest city in East Tennessee, and the second-largest city in the Appalachia region...

  • Memphis
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

  • Murfreesboro
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

  • Nashville
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...


Secondary cities
  • Bartlett
    Bartlett, Tennessee
    Bartlett is a city in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States, and part of the Memphis metropolitan area. The population was 54,613 at the 2010 census.-History:...

  • Brentwood
    Brentwood, Tennessee
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 23,445 people, 7,693 households, and 6,808 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 7,889 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the city was 94.63% European American, 1.89% African American,...

  • Bristol
    Bristol, Tennessee
    Bristol is a city in Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 26,702 at the 2010 census. It is the twin city of Bristol, Virginia, which lies directly across the state line between Tennessee and Virginia. The boundaries of both cities run parallel to each other along State...

  • Cleveland
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    Cleveland is a city in Bradley County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 41,285 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Bradley County...

  • Collierville
    Collierville, Tennessee
    Collierville is a town in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States, and a suburb located in the Memphis metropolitan area. The town had a population of 43,965 at the 2010 census....

  • Columbia
    Columbia, Tennessee
    Columbia is a city in Maury County, Tennessee, United States. The 2008 population was 34,402 according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. It is the county seat of Maury County....

  • Cookeville
    Cookeville, Tennessee
    Cookeville is a city in Putnam County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 23,923 at the 2000 census. of Cookeville's population was 30,435, and the combined total of those living in Cookeville's in 2010 was 65,014. It is the county seat of Putnam County and home to Tennessee...

  • Franklin
    Franklin, Tennessee
    Franklin is a city within and the county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 62,487 as of the 2010 census Franklin is located approximately south of downtown Nashville.-History:...

  • Germantown
    Germantown, Tennessee
    Germantown is a city in Shelby County, Tennessee. The population was 38,844 at the 2010 census.Germantown is a suburb of Memphis, bordering it to the east. Germantown's economy is dominated by the retail and commercial service sectors; there is no heavy industry in Germantown...

  • Hendersonville
    Hendersonville, Tennessee
    Hendersonville is a city in Sumner County, Tennessee, United States, on Old Hickory Lake. The population was 51,372 at the 2010 census. Hendersonville is part of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located 18 miles northeast of downtown Nashville. The city was settled around 1784 by...

  • Jackson
    Jackson, Tennessee
    Jackson is a city in Madison County, Tennessee, United States. The total population was 65,211 at the 2010 census. Jackson is the primary city of the Jackson, Tennessee metropolitan area, which is included in the Jackson-Humboldt, Tennessee Combined Statistical Area...

  • Johnson City
    Johnson City, Tennessee
    Johnson City is a city in Carter, Sullivan, and Washington counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with most of the city being in Washington County...

  • Kingsport
    Kingsport, Tennessee
    Kingsport is a city located mainly in Sullivan County with some western portions in Hawkins County in the US state of Tennessee. The majority of the city lies in Sullivan County...

  • Morristown
    Morristown, Tennessee
    Morristown is a city in, and the county seat of, Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 29,137 at the 2010 United States Census. It is the principal city of the Morristown, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Grainger, Hamblen and Jefferson counties...

  • Oak Ridge
    Oak Ridge, Tennessee
    Oak Ridge is a city in Anderson and Roane counties in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Tennessee, about west of Knoxville. Oak Ridge's population was 27,387 at the 2000 census...



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
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is the established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1900, primarily to achieve coordination between the various public higher education institutions in the state.-Composition:...

 which provides guidance to two public university systems – the University of Tennessee system
University of Tennessee system
The University of Tennessee system is one of two public university systems in the state of Tennessee. It consists of three primary campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin, a health sciences campus in...

 and the Tennessee Board of Regents
Tennessee Board of Regents
The Tennessee Board of Regents is one of the two systems of public higher education in Tennessee. The TBR was authorized by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly passed in 1972...

. In addition a number of private colleges and universities are located throughout the state.
  • American Baptist College
    American Baptist College
    American Baptist College is a small, predominantly African American liberal arts college located in Nashville, Tennessee...

  • Aquinas College (Tennessee)
    Aquinas College (Tennessee)
    Aquinas College is a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning located in Nashville, Tennessee, named in honor of Saint Thomas Aquinas.Aquinas College was founded by the Dominican Order in 1928 as St. Cecilia Normal School, and was first a school for nuns located at the St. Cecilia Motherhouse...

  • The Art Institute of Tennessee- Nashville
  • Austin Peay State University
    Austin Peay State University
    Austin Peay State University is a four-year public university located in Clarksville, Tennessee, and operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools .-History:...

  • Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences
  • Belmont University
    Belmont University
    Belmont University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. It is the largest Christian university in Tennessee and the second largest private university in the state, behind nearby Vanderbilt University.-Belmont Mansion:Belmont Mansion...

  • Bethel College
  • Bryan College
    Bryan College
    Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview.-History:...

  • Carson-Newman College
    Carson-Newman College
    Carson–Newman College is a historically Baptist liberal arts college located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States. Enrollment as of 2006-2007 was about 2,050. The college's students come from 44 U.S. states and 30 other countries. Studies are offered in approximately 90 different academic...

  • Chattanooga State Technical Community College
  • Christian Brothers University
    Christian Brothers University
    Christian Brothers University is the oldest collegiate degree-granting institution in the city of Memphis. The university is run by the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order founded by St. John Baptist de la Salle, the patron saint of teachers...

  • Columbia State Community College
    Columbia State Community College
    Columbia State Community College is a two-year college located in Columbia, Tennessee. Founded in 1966, it serves nine counties in middle Tennessee through five campuses...

  • Crichton College
    Crichton College
    Victory University, formerly Crichton College, is a private for-profit Christian, liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee.Victory University is a four-year, coeducational institution owned by California-based Significant Education...

  • Cumberland University
    Cumberland University
    Cumberland University is a private university in Lebanon, Tennessee, United States. It was founded in 1842, though the current campus buildings were constructed between 1892 and 1896.-History:...

  • Dyersburg State Community College
    Dyersburg State Community College
    Dyersburg State Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents-operated community college located in Dyersburg, Tennessee. Dyersburg State was founded in 1969. Classes are held on the campus in Dyersburg and at centers in Covington and Trenton...

  • East Tennessee State University
    East Tennessee State University
    East Tennessee State University is an accredited American university located in Johnson City, Tennessee. It is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system of colleges and universities, the nation's sixth largest system of public education, and is the fourth largest university in the state...

  • Emmanuel School of Religion
    Emmanuel School of Religion
    Emmanuel Christian Seminary is a graduate theological seminary near Johnson City, Tennessee. It was founded in 1965 by church leaders and scholars within the Christian Church and Churches of Christ and the Christian Church who recognized a need for a seminary deeply rooted in the heritage of the...

  • Fisk University
    Fisk University
    Fisk University is an historically black university founded in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. The world-famous Fisk Jubilee Singers started as a group of students who performed to earn enough money to save the school at a critical time of financial shortages. They toured to raise funds to...

  • Free Will Baptist Bible College
    Free Will Baptist Bible College
    Free Will Baptist Bible College is a private four-year college in Nashville, Tennessee affiliated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists....

  • Freed-Hardeman University
    Freed-Hardeman University
    Freed-Hardeman University is a primarily undergraduate university in Henderson, Tennessee. The university is located within a short distance of the town's central area. The university traces its heritage to the members of the Churches of Christ who helped build it...

  • Jackson State Community College
    Jackson State Community College
    Jackson State Community College is a publicly-supported community college located in Jackson, Tennessee and operated under the auspices of the Tennessee Board of Regents. The college offers a range of two-year associate degrees in arts, science and applied-science programs...

  • Johnson University
  • King College
    King College
    King College is a private, comprehensive college located in Bristol, Tennessee. Founded in 1867, King is independently governed with covenant affiliations to the Presbyterian Church and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church ....

  • Knoxville College
    Knoxville College
    Knoxville College is a historically black liberal arts college in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. Founded in 1875 by the United Presbyterian Church of North America, the school has an enrollment of approximately 100 students, and offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies and an Associate...

  • Lambuth University
    Lambuth University
    Lambuth University was a liberal arts university located in Jackson, Tennessee. It was supported by the Memphis Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Lambuth's athletic teams participated in the NAIA's TranSouth and Mid-South Conferences...

  • Lane College
    Lane College
    -Namesake:SS Lane Victory, a World War II Victory Ship, and one of the few such ships surviving, was named for Lane College. It is now docked in San Pedro, California . It is now open as a museum.-External links:*...

  • Lee University
    Lee University
    Lee University is an American accredited, private, four-year liberal arts college located in Cleveland, Tennessee, United States. It is historically affiliated with the Church of God, a Pentecostal denomination, and was the denomination's Bible Training School from 1918 until 1947, when the name...

  • LeMoyne-Owen College
    LeMoyne-Owen College
    -External links:*...

  • Lincoln Memorial University
    Lincoln Memorial University
    Lincoln Memorial University is a private four-year co-educational liberal arts college located in Harrogate, Tennessee.LMU's campus borders on Cumberland Gap National Historical Park....

  • Lipscomb University
    Lipscomb University
    Lipscomb University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The campus is located in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville between Belmont Boulevard to the west and Granny White Pike on the east...

  • Martin Methodist College
    Martin Methodist College
    Martin Methodist College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college located in Pulaski, Tennessee, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church...

  • Maryville College
    Maryville College
    Maryville College is a private four-year liberal arts college in Maryville, Tennessee, near Knoxville. It was founded in 1819 by Presbyterian minister Isaac L. Anderson for the purpose of furthering education and enlightenment into the West. The College is one of the fifty oldest colleges in the...

  • Meharry Medical College
    Meharry Medical College
    Meharry Medical College, located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States, is a graduate and professional institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church whose mission is to educate healthcare professionals and scientists. Founded in 1876 as the Medical Department of Central Tennessee...

  • Memphis College of Art
    Memphis College of Art
    Memphis College of Art, known before 1985 as the Memphis Academy of Arts, is a small, private college of art and design located in Memphis, Tennessee's Overton Park adjacent to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. It offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts in Art Education...

  • Memphis Theological Seminary
    Memphis Theological Seminary
    Memphis Theological Seminary is an ecumenical theological seminary located in Midtown, Memphis, Tennessee. It is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but accepts and trains ministerial candidates from other groups as well...


  • Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
    Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
    Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary prepares students for vocational ministry. It provides associate, masters and doctorate theological degrees, and is accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools....

  • Middle Tennessee State University
    Middle Tennessee State University
    Middle Tennessee State University, commonly abbreviated as MTSU, is a public university located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States....

  • Milligan College
    Milligan College
    Milligan College is a Christian liberal arts college founded in 1866 and located immediately outside of Elizabethton in Carter County, Tennessee, United States. The school has a student population of just over 1,100 students as well as a campus that is located just minutes from downtown Johnson City...

  • Motlow State Community College
    Motlow State Community College
    Motlow State Community College opened its doors in 1969. The College serves more than 540,000 residents in an 11-county service area including Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Lincoln, Moore, Rutherford, Van Buren, White, and Warren counties in southern middle Tennessee.Motlow College is...

  • Nashville School of Law
    Nashville School of Law
    The Nashville School of Law, , is a private, night law school specializing in legal education for non-traditional, part-time, working professionals and others seeking a legal education...

  • Nashville State Community College
    Nashville State Community College
    Nashville State Community College is a comprehensive, regionally accredited, two year community college in Nashville, Tennessee operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Nashville State shares a campus with the Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville. The Nashville State facilities include of...

  • Northeast State Technical Community College
    Northeast State Technical Community College
    Northeast State Community College is a public comprehensive community college based in Blountville, Tennessee, offering technical education and college transfer programs in Blountville and at teaching sites in Elizabethton, Gray, and Kingsport. The school strives to tailor its programs and services...

  • Nossi College of Art
  • O'More College of Design
    O'More College of Design
    O’More College of Design is a small private college in Franklin, Tennessee, United States.It was founded as O'More School of Interior Architecture and Design in 1970, located in the historic district of Franklin...

  • Pellissippi State Technical Community College
    Pellissippi State Technical Community College
    Pellissippi State Community College is one of 13 member community colleges operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents, located in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to the primary campus situated several miles west of downtown Knoxville, the school has three satellite campuses in the surrounding area...

  • Rhodes College
    Rhodes College
    Rhodes College is a private, predominantly undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Originally founded by freemasons in 1848, Rhodes became affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in 1855. Rhodes enrolls approximately 1,700 students pursuing bachelor's and master's...

  • Roane State Community College
    Roane State Community College
    Roane State Community College is a two-year college located in eastern Tennessee. It was authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1969, along with two other community colleges, and operates under the authority of the Tennessee Board of Regents....

  • Southern Adventist University
    Southern Adventist University
    Southern Adventist University is a college in Collegedale, Tennessee, owned and operated by the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. U.S. News & World Report categorizes it as a Southern Regional College, and the magazine has consistently ranked it as one of the top-tier schools in...

  • Southern College of Optometry
    Southern College of Optometry
    Southern College of Optometry is a college of optometry in the United States. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee and is dedicated to the study of optometry, the field of medicine that includes not only the performance of refractive eye examinations and the fitting of necessary corrective lenses or...

  • Southwest Tennessee Community College
    Southwest Tennessee Community College
    Southwest Tennessee Community College is a community college operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. It is the result of a 2001 merger between two institutions started by the Regents in the 1960s, the former Shelby State Community College and the former State...

  • Tennessee State University
    Tennessee State University
    Tennessee State University is a land-grant university located in Nashville, Tennessee. TSU is the only state-funded historically black university in Tennessee.-History:...

  • Tennessee Technological University
    Tennessee Technological University
    Tennessee Technological University, popularly known as Tennessee Tech, is an accredited public university located in Cookeville, Tennessee, US, a city approximately seventy miles east of Nashville. It was formerly known as Tennessee Polytechnic Institute , and before that as Dixie College, the...

  • Tennessee Temple University
    Tennessee Temple University
    Tennessee Temple University is a four-year private Christian university, with its focus on liberal arts education, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Operating there, also, is Temple Baptist Seminary, the university's graduate school of Christian theology....

  • Tennessee Wesleyan College
    Tennessee Wesleyan College
    Tennessee Wesleyan College is a small liberal arts college founded in 1857, located in the East Tennessee city of Athens. It is affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church...

  • The University of the South
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
    Trevecca Nazarene University
    Trevecca Nazarene University is a private Christian liberal arts college located in Nashville, Tennessee.-History:TNU was founded in 1901 by Cumberland Presbyterian minister J. O. McClurkan as the "Pentecostal Literary and Bible Training School"...

  • Tusculum College
    Tusculum College
    Tusculum College is a coeducational private college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church , with its main campus in Tusculum, Tennessee, United States, a suburb of Greeneville...

  • Union University
    Union University
    Union University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university located in Jackson, Tennessee, with additional campuses in Germantown, Tennessee, and Hendersonville, Tennessee...

  • University of Memphis
    University of Memphis
    The University of Memphis is an American public research university located in the Normal Station neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee and is the flagship public research university of the Tennessee Board of Regents system....

  • University of Tennessee System
    University of Tennessee system
    The University of Tennessee system is one of two public university systems in the state of Tennessee. It consists of three primary campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin, a health sciences campus in...

    • University of Tennessee
      University of Tennessee
      The University of Tennessee is a public land-grant university headquartered at Knoxville, Tennessee, United States...

       (Knoxville)
      • University of Tennessee Health Science Center
        University of Tennessee Health Science Center
        The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis includes the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. Its pediatric residency program is affiliated with Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center and residents in pediatrics,...

         (Memphis)
      • University of Tennessee Space Institute
        University of Tennessee Space Institute
        The University of Tennessee Space Institute, also known as UTSI, is a satellite campus of the University of Tennessee located near Tullahoma, Tennessee....

    • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
      University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
      The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a public university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The University, often referred to as UTC or simply "Chattanooga" , is one of three universities and two other affiliated institutions in the University of Tennessee System; the others being in...

    • University of Tennessee at Martin
      University of Tennessee at Martin
      The University of Tennessee at Martin is a campus in the University of Tennessee system. Other campuses include the flagship campus in Knoxville, the Chattanooga campus, the Center for the Health Sciences in Memphis, and the Space Institute in Tullahoma...

  • Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1873, the university is named for shipping and rail magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the...

  • Volunteer State Community College
    Volunteer State Community College
    Volunteer State Community College is a publicly-supported two-year community college located in Gallatin, Tennessee and operated under the auspices of the Tennessee Board of Regents....

  • Walters State Community College
    Walters State Community College
    Walters State Community College is a state-supported community college operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents. It was established in 1970 in located Morristown, Tennessee and was named in honor of former United States Senator Herbert S...

  • Watkins College of Art and Design
    Watkins College of Art and Design
    Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is a four year art and design college located in Nashville, Tennessee.Watkins College offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in film, graphic design, interior design, fine arts, and photography as well as Post-Graduate Certificates in film and graphic design. As...



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 a many counties.

Professional teams

Club Sport League
Memphis Redbirds
Memphis Redbirds
The Memphis Redbirds are the Triple-A minor league baseball affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They play their home games at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The stadium's capacity is 14,320. They entered the Pacific Coast League as an expansion team in 1998, and were owned as a...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Pacific Coast League
Pacific Coast League
The Pacific Coast League is a minor-league baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball.The...

 (Triple-A)
Nashville Sounds
Nashville Sounds
The Nashville Sounds are a minor league baseball team of the Pacific Coast League , and the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are located in Nashville, Tennessee, and are named for the city's association with the music industry...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Pacific Coast League
Pacific Coast League
The Pacific Coast League is a minor-league baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball.The...

 (Triple-A)
Chattanooga Lookouts
Chattanooga Lookouts
The Chattanooga Lookouts are a minor league baseball team based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. They are named for nearby Lookout Mountain. The team, which plays in the Southern League, has been a Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers major-league club since the 2009 season. The Lookouts...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Southern League
Southern League (baseball)
The Southern League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the Southern United States. It is classified a Double-A league. The original league was formed in , and shut down in . A new league, the Southern Association, was formed in , consisting of twelve teams...

 (Double-A)
Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee Smokies
The Tennessee Smokies are a Minor League Baseball team based in the Knoxville, Tennessee metropolitan area. The team, which plays in the Southern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball as of the 2011 season...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Southern League
Southern League (baseball)
The Southern League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the Southern United States. It is classified a Double-A league. The original league was formed in , and shut down in . A new league, the Southern Association, was formed in , consisting of twelve teams...

 (Double-A)
Jackson Generals Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Southern League
Southern League (baseball)
The Southern League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the Southern United States. It is classified a Double-A league. The original league was formed in , and shut down in . A new league, the Southern Association, was formed in , consisting of twelve teams...

 (Double-A)
Elizabethton Twins
Elizabethton Twins
The Elizabethton Twins are a minor league baseball team in Elizabethton, Tennessee, USA. They are a Rookie-level team in the Appalachian League, and have been a farm team of the Minnesota Twins since 1974. The Twins play home games at Joe O'Brien Field...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Appalachian League
Appalachian League
The Appalachian League is a Rookie-class minor league that began play in 1937 with one year of inactivity in 1956. From 1937 to 1962, it was a Class D League. Teams are located in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee...

 (Rookie)
Greeneville Astros
Greeneville Astros
The Greeneville Astros are a minor league baseball team of the Appalachian League, and a Rookie-level affiliate of the Houston Astros. They are located in Greeneville, Tennessee, and play their home games at Pioneer Park on the campus of Tusculum College....

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Appalachian League
Appalachian League
The Appalachian League is a Rookie-class minor league that began play in 1937 with one year of inactivity in 1956. From 1937 to 1962, it was a Class D League. Teams are located in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee...

 (Rookie)
Johnson City Cardinals
Johnson City Cardinals
The Johnson City Cardinals are a rookie league team based in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Cardinals are affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals organization and play with the Appalachian League, of which they are currently the two-time defending champions. The team plays its home games at Howard...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Appalachian League
Appalachian League
The Appalachian League is a Rookie-class minor league that began play in 1937 with one year of inactivity in 1956. From 1937 to 1962, it was a Class D League. Teams are located in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee...

 (Rookie)
Kingsport Mets
Kingsport Mets
The Kingsport Mets are a minor league baseball team based in Kingsport, Tennessee, United States. The team, which plays in the Appalachian League, is a Rookie League affiliate of Major League Baseball's New York Mets....

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Appalachian League
Appalachian League
The Appalachian League is a Rookie-class minor league that began play in 1937 with one year of inactivity in 1956. From 1937 to 1962, it was a Class D League. Teams are located in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee...

 (Rookie)
Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's...

Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

Franklin Knights
Franklin Knights
The Franklin Knights are a professional, minor league basketball team based in Franklin, Tennessee, USA. In 2010 they competed in the World Basketball Association and went to the championship game. They were also named the 2010 WBA Team of the Year...

Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

WBA
WBA
WBA is a three-letter abbreviation which may refer to:*WBA is the ICAO airline code for Finnish Commuter Airlines*Warner Bros. Animation*West Bromwich Albion F.C., an English professional football team...

Nashville Soul
Nashville Soul
The Nashville Soul is an expansion franchise of the American Basketball Association based in Nashville, Tennessee which will begin play in the 2011-12 season....

Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

American Basketball Association (2000–present)
American Basketball Association (2000–present)
The American Basketball Association, often abbreviated as ABA, is a semi-professional men's basketball league that was founded in 1999. The current ABA has no affiliation with the original American Basketball Association that merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976...

Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. They are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Previously known as the Houston Oilers, the team began play in 1960 as a charter...

Football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

Nashville Predators
Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators are a professional ice hockey team based in Nashville, Tennessee. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

Knoxville Ice Bears
Knoxville Ice Bears
The Knoxville Ice Bears are a professional ice hockey team. The team competes in the Southern Professional Hockey League. They play their home games at James White Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 2006 the Ice Bears defeated the Florida Seals to take the SPHL championship and the...

Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

Southern Professional Hockey League
Southern Professional Hockey League
The Southern Professional Hockey League is a low-level professional ice hockey league based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with teams located in the southeastern United States.- History :...

Nashville Metros
Nashville Metros
Nashville Metros is an American soccer team based in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1989, the team plays in the USL Premier Development League , the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Southeast Division of the Southern Conference...

Soccer
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

USL Premier Development League
USL Premier Development League
The USL Premier Development League is the amateur league of the United Soccer Leagues in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda, forming part of the American Soccer Pyramid...

Chattanooga FC
Chattanooga FC
Chattanooga FC is an American soccer team based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 2009, the team plays in National Premier Soccer League , a national amateur league at the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Southeast Division.The team plays its home games at...

Soccer National Premier Soccer League
National Premier Soccer League
The National Premier Soccer League is a United States soccer league recognized by the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA as a Division IV league...

Knoxville Force
Knoxville Force
Knoxville Force is an American soccer team based in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 2010, the team debuted in the Southeast Division of the National Premier Soccer League , the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in 2011....

Soccer National Premier Soccer League
National Premier Soccer League
The National Premier Soccer League is a United States soccer league recognized by the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA as a Division IV league...



Tennessee is also home to Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway, formerly known as Bristol International Raceway and Bristol Raceway is a NASCAR short track venue located in Bristol, Tennessee. Constructed in 1960, it held its first NASCAR race on July 30, 1961...

 which features NASCAR Sprint Cup racing two weekends a year, routinely selling out more than 160,000 seats on each date as well as Nashville Superspeedway
Nashville Superspeedway
Nashville Superspeedway is a motor racing complex located in Gladeville, Tennessee , United States, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville. On August 2, 2011, it was announced that Nashville Superspeedway will not host any NASCAR events in 2012. It is a concrete oval track 1 1/3 miles in...

.

Name origin



The earliest variant of the name that became Tennessee was recorded by Captain Juan Pardo
Juan Pardo (explorer)
Juan Pardo was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was active in the later half of the sixteenth century. He led a Spanish expedition through what is now North and South Carolina and into eastern Tennessee. He established Fort San Felipe, South Carolina , and the village of Santa Elena on...

, the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 explorer, when he and his men passed through a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 village named "Tanasqui" in 1567 while traveling inland from South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

. In the early 18th century, British traders encountered a Cherokee town named Tanasi
Tanasi
Tanasi is a historic Overhill Cherokee village site in Monroe County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. The village is best known as the namesake for the state of Tennessee...

 (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
Little Tennessee River
The Little Tennessee River is a tributary of the Tennessee River, approximately 135 miles long, in the Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States.-Geography:...

), 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
Pigeon River (Tennessee - North Carolina)
The Pigeon River of western North Carolina and east Tennessee rises above Canton, North Carolina. Below this, it flows roughly parallel to Interstate 40 for many miles and is impounded by a dam -- Walters Dam -- belonging to Progress Energy before entering Tennessee, where it flows into the French...

 and the French Broad River, near modern Newport
Newport, Tennessee
Newport is a city in Cocke County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 7,242 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Cocke County.-Geography:...

.

The meaning and origin of the word are uncertain. Some accounts suggest it is a Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 modification of an earlier Yuchi
Yuchi
For the Chinese surname 尉迟, see Yuchi.The Yuchi, also spelled Euchee and Uchee, are a Native American Indian tribe who traditionally lived in the eastern Tennessee River valley in Tennessee in the 16th century. During the 17th century, they moved south to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina...

 word. It has been said to mean "meeting place", "winding river", or "river of the great bend". According to James Mooney
James Mooney
James Mooney was an American ethnographer who lived for several years among the Cherokee. He did major studies of Southeastern Indians, as well as those on the Great Plains...

, the name "can not be analyzed" and its meaning is lost.

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
Henry Timberlake
Henry Timberlake was a colonial Anglo-American officer, journalist, and cartographer. He was born in Virginia in 1730 and died in England...

 "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
Montgomery County, Tennessee
Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The county seat is Clarksville. The population was 172,331 at the 2010 census. It is one of the four counties included in the Clarksville, TN–KY Metropolitan Statistical Area....

 and Robertson County). When a constitutional convention
Constitutional convention (political meeting)
A constitutional convention is now a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. A general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution...

 met in 1796 to organize a new state out of the Southwest Territory
Southwest Territory
The Territory South of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Southwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 26, 1790, until June 1, 1796, when it was admitted to the United States as the State of Tennessee.The Southwest Territory was...

, it adopted "Tennessee" as the name of the state.

Nickname


Tennessee is known as the "Volunteer State," a nickname earned during the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 because of the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from Tennessee, especially during the Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans
The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory the United States had acquired with the...

.

State symbols



State symbols include:
  • State bird – "Northern Mockingbird
    Northern Mockingbird
    The Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Turdus polyglottos....

    "
  • State game bird – "Bobwhite Quail
    Bobwhite Quail
    The Northern Bobwhite, Virginia Quail or Bobwhite Quail is a ground-dwelling bird native to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean...

    "
  • State wild animal – "Raccoon
    Raccoon
    Procyon is a genus of nocturnal mammals, comprising three species commonly known as raccoons, in the family Procyonidae. The most familiar species, the common raccoon , is often known simply as "the" raccoon, as the two other raccoon species in the genus are native only to the tropics and are...

    "
  • State sport fish – "Largemouth Bass
    Largemouth bass
    The largemouth bass is a species of black bass in the sunfish family native to North America . It is also known as widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth...

    "
  • State commercial fish – "Channel Catfish
    Channel catfish
    Channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, is North America's most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a "channel cat". In the United States they are the most fished catfish species with approximately 8...

    "
  • State horse
    Horse
    The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

     – "Tennessee Walking Horse"
  • State insect – "Lightning Bug
    Firefly
    Lampyridae is a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey. Fireflies produce a "cold light", with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies...

     and the Lady Bug"
  • State cultivated flower – "Purple Iris
    Iris (plant)
    Iris is a genus of 260-300species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species...

    "
  • State wild flower – "Passion Flower
    Passion flower
    Passiflora, known also as the passion flowers or passion vines, is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, the namesakes of the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. For information about the fruit of the passiflora...

    "
  • State tree – "Tulip Poplar"
  • State fruit
    Fruit
    In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

     – "Tomato
    Tomato
    The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

    "
  • State reptile – "Box turtle
    Box turtle
    The box turtle , or box tortoise is a genus of turtle native to North America . The 12 taxa which are distinguished in the genus are distributed over four species. It is largely characterized by having a domed shell, which is hinged at the bottom, allowing the animal to close its shell tightly to...

    "

See also



  • U.S. state
    U.S. state
    A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...



External links