Arizona, often called The Grand Canyon State, became an official US state on February 14, 1912, and was the last named state of the lower-48 states admitted to the union. It was originally part of New Mexico and was ceded to the US in 1848 eventually becoming its own territory in 1863.
Arizona quickly became rich when copper was discovered in the state in 1854 and copper-mining soon after followed, making it the most profitable industry through 1950. Post-WWII, the introduction of air conditioning and refrigeration led to a huge boom in population, making Phoenix one of the fastest growing US cities. The land-area of Arizona makes it the 6th largest state by area. With roughly 6.9 million inhabitants, it is the 14th largest US state by population.
The Arizona government was established by the Arizona Constitution, and it has three branches. The Executive Branch includes the governor, his or her cabinet, and other statewide elected officials. The Legislative branch is broken into the House of Representatives and the Senate. The judiciary is the Arizona Supreme Court and the lower courts.
The Arizona Supreme Court consists of 7 justices, including a chief justice and a vice-chief justice, and five other justices. The justices are appointed by the governor from a list generated by bi-partisan committee, and the justices are confirmed by vote two years into their term.
The Arizona Court of Appeals is the intermediate court in the state. It is broken into two division, Division One based in Phoenix with sixteen justices, and Division Two based in Tucson. Judges are chosen in a similar manner to Arizona Supreme Court Justices. Additionally, the state has a Superior Court, which acts as an appellate court for justice and municipal courts. The Arizona Justice courts are nonrecord courts of limited jurisdiction with justices of the peace who are elected for four-year terms, with jurisdiction over small lawsuits ($10,000 or less) and other misdemeanor allegations. The Arizona Municipal courts, or city courts or magistrate courts, have criminal jurisdiction over offenses committed in the areas they preside over. These courts can issue search warrants as well as orders of protection.
Arizona is extremely diverse in race-ethnicity. In addition to Indian Tribes, Spanish, German, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and Arabic are some of the ethnic groups living in the state. Over 10 Non-English languages are spoken, with Spanish and Native-American dialects being prominent in the state. Tribal law can be of major import in Arizona, as well as immigration law, as the state shares a border with Mexico.
The Capital city is Phoenix, the state tree is the Palo Verde, and the Cactus Wren is the state bird. Arizona’s state flower is the Saguaro Cactus Bloom. The Grand Canyon was formed over a period of roughly 3 to 6 million years over the Colorado River, and is about 227 miles long and 18 miles deep at certain points. With nearly 5 million visitors annually, the state nickname is named accordingly.
Arizona is home to many prestigious universities and law schools including: Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. Arizona is also known for points of interest including: The Grand Canyon Sky Walk, Hoover Dam, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell.