Oklahoma [o u kləho u ʹmə], abbreviated OK, US
state; 181,000 km2, 3.9 million inhabitants (2018).The capital is
Oklahoma. State Map.
Oklahoma has a varied landscape, which is predominantly lowland. Only in the
far north-west are peaks exceeding 1,500 m above sea level. The greater part of
Oklahoma consists of prairies that have deep but lightly eroded soils. In the
far southeast, Oklahoma is affected by the coastal plain that extends from the
Gulf of Mexico. This area borders the Wichita and Arbuckle mountains, which are
characterized by a hilly landscape with thin ground cover. Farthest in the
Northeast, the Ozark Plateau enters Oklahoma.
Oklahoma. Wichita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma.
The state has a distinctly continental climate. Oklahoma City has an average
temperature of −2 °C in January. The summers are hot with a Christmas
temperature of 27 °C on average. The rainfall varies greatly from year to
year; the annual average is about 1,000–1,200 mm in the east and about 400 mm in
the west. Tornadoes are common, especially in the spring.
During the 1990s, the population increase was 11 percent. About 75 percent of
the population is white and just over 8 percent are African American. The number
of people of Native American origin (220,000) is greater than in any other
state. More than half of the population is located in the two metropolitan
regions of Oklahoma City (1.4 million inhabitants, 2016) and Tulsa (987,200
Agriculture and natural gas and oil extraction have long been the state's
most important industries, but in recent decades Oklahoma has increasingly
developed into an industrial state. Livestock breeding and wheat cultivation
play the most important role in rational farming. However, erosion and soil
degradation are a serious problem in much of Oklahoma.
The state is one of the leaders in the United States in the extraction of
natural gas and oil.
Oklahoma. Golden Driller is a 23 meter tall statue
in Tulsa. It is erected in memory of the oil workers in the United States.
The industry (including mills, slaughterhouses, oil refineries and
petrochemicals) largely processes Oklahoma's own raw materials, but here is also
the automotive and aircraft industry. Most of the industrial production takes
place within the metropolitan regions of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Both cities
have large airports, and the state has a well-developed transport
network. Through the Arkansas River Navigation System, Tulsa has a sea
transportation connection with the Gulf of Mexico.
Tourism and gastronomy
Tourism is important to Oklahoma's business. As a whole, the state has a
contrasting nature where the impressions are enhanced by the forms created by
the erosion. Game reserves include. around the Wichita Mountains in the
southwest. Unlike in most other states, Oklahoma has preserved a number of
memories that relate to and show the history of the Indians. Tahlequah, 90 km
southeast of Tulsa, is the place where the Cherokees got their headquarters
after the long and difficult forced move from the Appalachians. Here is now a
recreated Indian village. The Creek Indians were relocated to Okmulgee, 50 km
south of Tulsa, where there is an Indian Museum. Other tribes were forced to
settle further afield, such as around Anadarko, 80 miles southwest of Oklahoma
Oklahoma, which was colonized late and counts a high proportion of Native
Americans among its inhabitants, has many Southern features in its diet, such
as enchiladas (stuffed corn pancakes), tamales (steamed corn
casings with strong filling) and pepitas (pumpkin seeds eaten roasted
and salted). Among these hot dishes you will also notice more northern traits
in meat ball soup and chicken fried steak. Corn sticks of
butter on cornmeal, cream and egg white are baked in a special, corn cob-shaped
layer and are a common snack.
Oklahoma joined the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase
and then became the main residence of various Native American people who moved
there from the eastern United States. Interest in colonization increased after
the Civil War (1861-65), and western Oklahoma was opened in 1889 for
colonization and formed its own territory in 1890. In 1907, it merged with the
Indian Territory into the state of Oklahoma. The economy flourished through rich
oil deposits. In the 1930s, however, agriculture was hit by disaster, when large
areas of land blew away, forcing mass migration of poor "oakies" to primarily
Conservative Democrats have dominated politics for most of the 20th century,
but during the 1990s, Republicans have become the dominant party.