Report On Missouri

Report On Missouri REPORT ON MISSOURI GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS Missouri has had four constitutions: 1820, prior to statehood; 1865 and 1875, in the aftermath of the Civil War; and 1945. Amendments to the constitution may be proposed by a majority of the legislature or by petition signed by 8% of the voters in two-thirds of the state’s congressional districts. Proposed amendments must be approved by a majority of the voters in a statewide election. A constitutional convention must be called every 20 years to review the constitution for possible changes. The Missouri general assembly is composed of the senate of 34 members, half of whom are elected every 2 years for 4-year terms, and the house of representatives, with 163 members, all of whom are elected every 2 years.

The general assembly meets annually. The governor is elected for 4 years and may succeed himself once. The chief judicial officers are the 7 supreme court judges. The Missouri Plan for selecting judges, adopted in 1945, has become a nationwide model for the nonpartisan assignment of judges. Each of Missouri’s 114 counties is governed by a 3-member elected county commission.

St. Louis functions as an independent city with county status. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have considerable electoral strength in Missouri, but since World War II the Democrats, strongest in the cities and the Bootheel, have more often controlled the legislature. Elected state offices and Missouri’s representation in the U.S. Congress have been rather equally divided between the two parties.

Missouri’s Democrats tend to have a more conservative political philosophy than Democrats nationally. Republicans retain strength in suburban regions and in the southwestern part of the state. STATE SYMBOLS The state flower is the Hawthorn. The state bird is the Eastern Bluebird. And the state tree is the Dogwood. Government Configuration Missouri has had four constitutions: 1820, prior to statehood; 1865 and 1875, in the aftermath of the Civil War; and 1945.

Amendments to the constitution may be proposed by a majority of the legislature or by petition signed by 8% of the voters in two-thirds of the state’s congressional districts. Proposed amendments must be approved by a majority of the voters in a statewide election. A constitutional convention must be called every 20 years to review the constitution for possible changes. The Missouri general assembly is composed of the senate of 34 members, half of whom are elected every 2 years for 4-year terms, and the house of representatives, with 163 members, all of whom are elected every 2 years. The general assembly meets annually.

The governor is elected for 4 years and may succeed himself once. The chief judicial officers are the 7 supreme court judges. The Missouri Plan for selecting judges, adopted in 1945, has become a nationwide model for the nonpartisan assignment of judges. Each of Missouri’s 114 counties is governed by a 3-member elected county commission. St.

Louis functions as an independent city with county status. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have considerable electoral strength in Missouri, but since World War II the Democrats, strongest in the cities and the Bootheel, have more often controlled the legislature. Elected state offices and Missouri’s representation in the U.S. Congress have been rather equally divided between the two parties. Missouri’s Democrats tend to have a more conservative political philosophy than Democrats nationally.

Republicans retain strength in suburban regions and in the southwestern part of the state. Population Density of Missouri Missouri’s population density approximates the national average of about 27 persons per sq./km. (70 persons per sq./mi. ), but rural regions in the Ozarks and in north central Missouri are much more sparsely populated. During the 1980s, Kansas City overtook St. Louis as the largest city in Missouri, but its metropolitan-area population is only about two-thirds that of metropolitan St. Louis.

Other large cities are Springfield, Independence, Saint Joseph, and Columbia. Two-thirds of Missourians live in metropolitan areas, with one-third of those in the 19 cities with populations of 25,000 or more. Between 1980 and 1990 the population of Missouri increased by more than 4%, and Missouri was among the faster-growing states in the Midwest but remained below the national growth average. Missouri has one of the nation’s highest percentages of persons over 65 years of age. Blacks, concentrated in the large cities, constitute 10.7% of the state’s population. The religious affiliation of Missourians is diverse.

Roman Catholics are the largest single religious group, but Protestants, representing many denominations, form the majority of church members. Land Regions Missouri has three major physiographic regions: the Ozark Highland, the Plains, and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The Ozark Highland has an average elevation of about 305 m (1,000 ft); it covers the southern portion of the state from St. Louis and Jefferson City on the Missouri River to Oklahoma and Arkansas. The region is famous for more than 5,000 caves and many large springs. One, Big Spring, in the south central part of the state, is among the largest springs in the United States.

The Ozarks retain the rolling surface of a plateau near Springfield and in some of the central areas, but elsewhere swift-flowing streams have dissected the plateau, forming steep, narrow-crested hills. Relief reaches 230 m (750 ft) in the most rugged areas (see Ozark Mountains). North and west of the Ozarks is the Plains region, rising gradually from 200 m (650 ft) near St. Louis to more than 380 m (1,250 ft) in the extreme northwest. During the past half-million years Pleistocene glaciers extended as far south as the Missouri River, covering northern Missouri with glacial till. Parts of the northeast are nearly flat, but in most places postglacial erosion by streams has resulted in hills and valleys. In a belt about 80 km (50 mi) wide along the Missouri River, the dissected plains are thickly mantled with loess. South of the Missouri River, along the Kansas border, the Osage Plains are more open and undulating.

The third major physiographic region, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, or Bootheel, consists of the seven southeastern counties. The flat surface slopes slightly southward from the foot of the Ozark Escarpment. Rivers and Lakes The Mississippi and Missouri rivers dominate the state’s drainage system. The streams of northern Missouri flow generally southward across the till plain to these rivers. In southern Missouri streams flow away from the crest of the Ozark Highland in all directions.

Ozark streams are fed by a complex network of underground drainage systems, and their discharge is relatively stable throughout the year. Missouri’s largest lakes are artificial. The Lake of the Ozarks, formed by damming on the Osage River, is one of the world’s largest artificial lakes. Groundwater is abundant. Plant and Animal Life At the time of white settlement the flatter parts of the Plains region were covered with prairie grass that reached heights of 2 m (7 ft). The more dissected parts were covered with hardwood forests.

In the Ozarks an oak and hickory woodland prevailed, with short-leaf pine intermixed in the east. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain had a lowland forest of bald cypress, tupelo, and sweetgum. At present, new-growth commercial forests are gaining importance, and only in the Bootheel and the Osage Plains have farms and pastures blocked reforestation. The varied and abundant wildlife of Missouri includes deer, wild turkeys, and bears. Climate Missouri has a continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold winters. Because it lacks major topographical barriers, the state has a gradual climatic differentiation, warming from northwest to southeast.

The clash of contrasting air masses in spring and fall may set off violent thunderstorms, some of which are accompanied by tornadoes. The average January minimum temperatures range from -10 degrees C (14 degrees F) in the northwest to -1 degrees C (30 degrees F) in the southeast. July maximum temperatures average 33 degrees C (92 degrees F) throughout the state. Precipitation occurs throughout the year. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 813 mm (32 in) in the northwest to 1,270 mm (50 in) in the southeast. Average annual snowfall is 508 mm (20 in) in the northwest and 130 mm (6.5 in) in the southeast.

Natural Resources Missouri has about 5.5 billion metric tons (6.1 billion U.S. tons) of coal reserves in the Plains region, but much of it is in thin seams or of high sulfur content. The state also has vast reserves of tar sands in its western counties, but no economical method of mining this petroleum has yet been found. Missouri is the leading lead-mining state in the United States, with deposits in the eastern Ozarks. Refractory clays are mined in central Missouri, and extensive iron ore deposits are found in the eastern Ozarks. Limestone, marble, granite, and sandstone are quarried for construction purposes. Cement and lime are also important mineral products.

Service Industries and Manufacturing Manufacturing accounts for about 20% of the total value of goods and services produced in Missouri every year. The largest industry is the manufacture of transportation equipment, especially automobiles, with the state’s production ranking third in the nation; aircraft, spacecraft, and railroad equipment are also produced. Other major industries include food processing (primarily brewing, flour milling, and meat-packing), printing and publishing, and the manufacture of chemicals, fabricated metal products, machinery, and electrical equipment. Agriculture Missouri remains an important agricultural state. Its principal crops are soybeans and corn, followed by winter wheat, cotton, and hay. Missouri usually ranks among the ten leading states in the production of each of these commodities.

The loess belt and the Bootheel are the foremost row-crop areas, but agriculture is successful throughout the Plains region and western Ozarks. Most corn is used for livestock feed. This helps explain why Missouri is a major livestock state, habitually ranking high among all U.S. states in the production of beef cattle, hogs, and dairy cattle. Dairying is concentrated in southwestern Missouri.

The distinctive agricultural economy of the Bootheel was once based on large cotton farms, but soybeans, corn, wheat, alfalfa, and rice have displaced much of the cotton. Two Places that I Would Like to Visit Anheusor-Bush, St. Louis and Boones Cave, in Camdenton . American History.