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Wikipedia: North Carolina
North Carolina
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

North Carolina
(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: Tar Heel State

Other U.S. States
Capital Raleigh
Largest City Charlotte
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 28th
139,509 kmē
126,256 kmē
13,227 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 11th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

November 21, 1789
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
34°N to 36°21'N
75°30'W to 84°15'W
240 km
805 km
2,037 meters
215 meters
0 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-NC

North Carolina is a southern state in the United States. North Carolina was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. It is bordered by South Carolina on the south, Georgia on the southwest, Tennessee on the west, Virginia on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. It was named in honor of King Charles I of England.

USS North Carolina was named in honor of this state.


Originally inhabited by a number of native tribes, including the Cherokee, North Carolina was the first American territory the English attempted to colonize. Sir Walter Raleigh, for whom the state capital is named, chartered two colonies on the North Carolina coast in the late 1580s, both ending in failure. The demise of one, the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke Island, remains one of the great mysteries of American history.

By the late seventeenth century, several permanent settlements had taken hold in the Carolina territory, which encompassed present-day South Carolina and Tennessee as well. In 1712, North Carolina became a separate colony. It reverted to a royal colony seventeen years later. In April 1776, the colony became the first to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from the British crown.

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina ratified the Constitution to become the twelfth state in the Union. Between the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War, North Carolina worked to establish its state and local governments. In 1840, it completed the state capitol building in Raleigh, still standing today. In mid-century the state's rural and commercial areas were further connected by construction of a 129 mile wooden plank road, known as a "farmer's railroad," from Fayetteville in the east to Bethania (northwest of Winston-Salem).

Divided on whether to support the North or the South in the Civil War, North Carolina seceded from the Union in 1861.

Over the past century, North Carolina has grown to become a leader in agriculture and industry. The state's industrial output--mainly textiles, chemicals, electrical equipment, paper and paper products--ranked eighth in the nation in the early 1990s. Tobacco, one of North Carolina's earliest sources of revenue, remains vital to the local economy. Recently, technology has become a driving force in the state, especially with the creation of the Research Triangle Park between Raleigh and Durham in the 1950's.

North Carolina has had three constitutions:

  • 1776: This one was ratified December 18, 1776, as the first constitution of the independent state. The Declaration of Rights was ratified the preceding day.
  • 1868: This was framed in accordance with the Reconstruction Acts after North Carolina was readmitted into the Union. It was a major reorganization and modification of the original into fourteen articles.
  • 1971: This is a minor consolidation of the 1868 constitution and subsequent amendments.

Law and Government

capital of North Carolina is Raleigh and its governor is Mike Easley (Democrat). Its two U.S. senators are John Edwards (Democrat) and Elizabeth Dole (Republican).

Executive Branch

The governor, lieutenant governor, and eight elected department heads form the Council of State; together with ten appointed department heads, they form the state's cabinet. The current cabinet (as of January 2004) consists of:

Elected cabinet members:
  • Secretary of State: Elaine Marshall
  • Attorney General: Roy A. Cooper III
  • Commissioner of Agriculture: W. Britt Cobb, Jr
  • Commissioner of Insurance: James E. Long
  • Commissioner of Labor: Cherie K. Berry
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction: Michael E. Ward
  • State Treasurer: Richard H. Moore
  • State Auditor: Ralph Campbell, Jr

Appointed cabinet members:
  • Secretary of Administration: Gwynn T. Swinson
  • Secretary of Commerce: Jim Fain
  • Secretary of Corrections: Theodis Beck
  • Secretary of Crime Control & Public Safety: Bryan E. Beatty
  • Secretary of Cultural Resources: Lisbeth C. Evans
  • Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources: William G. Ross
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services: Carmen Hooker Odom
  • Secretary of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention: George Sweat
  • Secretary of Revenue: Norris Tolson
  • Secretary of Transportation: Lyndo Tippett

See List of North Carolina Governors

Legislative Branch

The North Carolina General Assembly consists of two houses, a 50-member Senate and a 120-member House of Representatives. For the 2003-2004 session, the current President Pro Tempore is Democrat Marc Basnight; House co-speakers are Democrat James B. Black and Republican Richard T. Morgan.

Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the state's highest apellate court. Numbering seven justices, its current members are:


Main article:
Geography of North Carolina

See also List of North Carolina counties; List of cities in North Carolina; List of unincorporated communities in North Carolina.

The State of North Carolina is included between the parallels 34° and 36°30' north latitude, and between the meridians 75°30' and 84°30' west longitude.

A Rainy Day in the Smokies

Its western boundary is the crest of the Smoky Mountains, which, with the Blue Ridge, forms a part of the great Appalachian system, extending almost from the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River to the Gulf of Mexico; its eastern is the Atlantic Ocean. Its mean breadth from north to south is about one hundred miles; its extreme breadth is one hundred and eighty-eight miles. The extreme length of the State from east to west is five hundred miles. The area embraced within its boundaries is fifty-two thousand two hundred and eighty-six square miles.

The state is generally divided into three geographic regions, the western Mountain region; the central Piemont, and the eastern Coastal Plain. Major geographic features include the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west, the Piedmont region of the south central portion of the state, and Cape Fear, Cape Hatteras, and the Outer Banks off the eastern coast.


The state's 1999 total gross state product was $259 billion, placing it 12th in the nation. Its 2000 Per Capita Personal Income was $27,194, 30th in the nation. North Carolina's agricultural outputs are poultry and eggs, tobacco, hogs, milk, nursery stock, cattle, and soybeans. Its industrial outputs are tobacco products, textile goods, chemical products, electric equipment, machinery, and tourism.


According the 2000 census, North Carolina's population was 8,049,313.

Important Cities and Towns

Small towns/areas with interesting names:


Colleges and Universities

Professional Sports Teams

  • Minor League Baseball teams
    • Charlotte Knights
    • Durham Bulls
    • Kinston Indians
    • Winston-Salem Warthogs
    • Burlington Indians
    • Carolina Mudcats
    • Kannapolis Intimidators
    • Greensboro Bats
    • Asheville Tourists
    • Hickory Crawdads

Miscellaneous Information

State Bird:
Cardinal Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
State Flower: Dogwood Scientific Name: Cornus florida
State Motto: Esse quam videri (To be, rather than to seem)


External Links


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona