Kansas [kæʹnzəs], abbreviated KS, State of the Midwest, USA; 213,000
km2, 2.9 million inhabitants (2018).The geographical center of the
United States' 48 consecutive states lies at the village of Lebanon in northern
Kansas. The capital is Topeka.
Kansas. State Map.
Kansas is one of America's prairie states. The prairie descends as a slightly
undulating plain from a level from, at most, about 1,200 m above sea level. in
the west to about 300 m in the east. The sedimentary rocks are overlain by
lightly eroded loose soils in which the rivers cut down with partly very steep
beaches. Southern Kansas is drained by the Arkansas River and its tributaries,
Northern Kansas by the Kansas River with tributaries. The climate in Kansas is
continental with hot summers and cold winters and an annual average temperature
of 13 ° C. The rainfall varies from about 900 mm per year in the east to 500 mm
per year in the west.
Kansas's population has been increasing slowly over the past few decades,
about half as fast as the United States as a whole. 87 percent of the population
is white. Although Kansas is an important agricultural state, 75 percent of
Kansas residents live in cities, most of the state's eastern half. The largest
cities are Wichita (390,000 inhabitants, 2016), Overland Park (186,500) and
Kansas City (151,300).
Kansas is one of the most important agricultural states in the United
States. About 90 percent of the area is arable land or pasture. Wheat production
is usually the largest in the country. Livestock farming also plays a very
important role, and together with agriculture it forms the basis for an
extensive food industry (mills, slaughterhouses, etc.). Wichita is the center of
a major aerospace industry with the production of, inter alia, small aircraft
(Cessna Aircraft Company) and military aircraft (Spirit Aero Systems, formerly
Boeing Company). Kansas has the United States' largest helium manufacturing
industry and a significant petrochemical industry, as well as good oil and
natural gas assets. Kansas's largest university, the University of Kansas, is
located in the city of Lawrence, between Topeka and Kansas City.
Tourism and gastronomy
The state lacks magnificent scenery and has no national parks, ski resorts or
beaches. Nevertheless, the tourism industry plays a relatively large
role. Kansas has a lot to offer visitors with special interests, such as the
historically versed or who wants to study the prairie landscape and its
development. Here, among other things, there are a number of forts from the time
of Native American expulsion and colonization of the area, including Fort Scott
and Fort Larned.
The great emigrant trails west, the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail,
passed Kansas, and the time of railroad construction and major livestock
operations, for example, testifies to old towns like Abilene and Dodge City,
where the "wild west" can still be experienced.
Kansas. Bronze statue depicting Wyatt Earp in Dodge
City's historic neighborhood.
Abilene also attracts a number of visitors to the museum in memory of
Also in the big city of Wichita there is a restored historic part (Cowtown)
which reminds of the city's early years in the 1870s, when the site was a stop
for livestock operations. Significant tourist destinations are also the major
cities of Topeka and Kansas City.
In gastronomic terms, this state in the middle of the wheat belt is usually
referred to only when it comes to recipes for whole wheat batter bread,
baked from whole wheat flour. The colonization, however, brought here a number
of Germans, which meant a lively and varied charcuterie industry, as well as
Russians, whose tradition of acidic food is marked in some salads served to the
popular oven-roasted duck.
The area was visited by Spanish explorers as early as the 16th century and
was later alternated under Spanish and French control. In 1803, K. was sold to
the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The area was first used as
a sanctuary for the Native American expatriates who gained status as a territory
through the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Its status with regard to slavery was
left open, which led to severe unrest. In 1861, K. became a state with a
constitution prohibiting slavery. The expansion of the railways made K. the
center of the livestock trade, and the period 1865-80 is known as "The Cow-town
Era", with Abilene, Dodge City and Wichita as the most important cities. After
the 1930s depression, when K. suffered severe soil degradation, a more varied
business world has emerged. Politically, K. has usually been dominated by