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Capital Nashville
Nickname The Volunteer State
Official Language English
Governor Bill Haslam, R
Senator Lamar Alexander, R
(202) 224-4944
Senator Bob Corker, R
(202) 224-3344
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood June 1, 1796 (16th)
Flag of Tennessee Motto: "Agriculture and Commerce"

Tennessee is one of the most conservative states in the United States, with evangelical Christians comprising a significant proportion of the electorate. Tennesseans have traditionally volunteered for military duty at a very high rate, giving the state the nickname "the Volunteer State." The capital of the state is Nashville. Tennessee consistently votes Republican in presidential elections.

Some wanted Tennessee to be named after Benjamin Franklin, but supposedly the Indian name of "Tennessee" was suggested by Andrew Jackson, who became its first member of the U.S. House of Representatives after Tennessee became the 16th State.

As a frontier territory in colonial America, Tennessee developed many marksmen who were skilled with rifles. When fellow Tennessean General Andrew Jackson called for volunteers to help him fight the British in New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812, Tennessee marksmen volunteered in droves and provided the young nation of America with its most decisive victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

Protesters in Knoxville, Oct 2011.

In 1920, Tennessee was the state that provided the necessary number of states to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a victory for the suffragists.

In 2000, Tennessee voted against its own former Senator and Vice President Democrat Al Gore, causing him to lose the presidential election by only one state. It was an example of the independent-minded Christian voters casting their ballots based on principle. This was the only time a presidential candidate has lost the election by the margin of his own home state.

In February 2007, State Senator Raymond Finney (R-District 8) introduced a resolution [1] essentially asking why is "creationism not taught as an alternative concept, explanation, or theory, along with the theory of evolution in Tennessee public schools?"[2] Tennessee has had a prominent role in this debate, dating back to the Scopes trial of 1925.

Tennessee has long been one of the few states not to have an income tax, although its sales tax is one of the highest in the nation.

Elected Officials



See also


  1. Text of the Resolution PDF
  2. Bristol Herald Courier Editorial