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In 1540 Hernando de Soto, an explorer from Spain, first came to the area now known as Tennessee. In the 1670s and the 1680s several explorers from England and France also came to the area. They were Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, Sieur de la Salle from France, and Gabriel Arthur and James Needham from England. Those explorations led to the area being claimed for both France and England at various points in time. In 1763, when the French and Indian Wars ended, Great Britain took over the region. From 1784 to 1787 the “state” of Franklin was formed, but when area settlers were allowed to be North Carolina representatives Franklin was disbanded. The territory to the Ohio River's south was officially organized by Congress in 1790. Six years later Tennessee officially became a state. See also Tennessee History Page for more Details
The State of Tennessee is bordered by Alabama (south), Arkansas (west), Georgia (southeast), Kentucky, Mississippi (southwest), Missouri (northwest), North Carolina (east), Virginia (northeast). It has a land area of 42,146 square miles making it the 36th largest state.
The state's 2010 population was 6,346,105 and the largest cities (2010) are Memphis, 646,889; Nashville - Davidson County (Capital), 1 626,681; Knoxville, 178,874; Chattanooga, 167,674; Clarksville, 132,939; Murfreesboro, 108,755; Jackson, 65,211; Johnson City, 63,152; Franklin, 62,487; Bartlett, 54,613.
The State of Tennessee was named from a Cherokee village in the region that is called "Tanasie." Tennessee's nickname is " The Volunteer State ". The State Motto is " Agriculture and Commerce ".