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Missouri (state)

Missouri (state) is the name of one of the United States, having Iowa on the N., Nebraska, Kansas, and Indian Territory on the W., Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee on the E., Arkansas on the S.; area 69,415 square miles. The Mississippi forms the eastern boundary. The state is divided into two unequal portions by the river Missouri, that on the south side being much the larger. North Missouri is for the most part level or gently undulating, but to the south of the river the surface is more varied, the Ozark Mountains (1,500 feet) forming a break in the vast expanse of rolling prairies. In the S.E. there is a tract of marshy and very' fertile land, formed by the subsidence of the soil in the earthquakes of 1811-12. The most important crop is maize; but oats, wheat, potatoes, hemp, sorghum, and tobacco are also grown in large quantities. The raising of live stock for foreign consumption is now a growing industry. Missouri is rich in coal, iron, zinc, copper, lead, nickel, and other mineral products. In the north and centre there is a very extensive coalfield extending into Kansas and Iowa. Iron, ore is found chiefly S. of the Missouri, especially in the S.E. Jefferson city is the state capital; but by far the most important town is St. Louis, a centre of great commercial and manufacturing activity. Missouri was constituted a territory in 1812, and admitted to the Union in 1821.