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Tennessee (pronounced TEN-ihsEE, TEN’iss-ee) is a landlocked state located in the Southeastern United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest by area and the 16th most populous of the 50 states. It is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the southwest, and Missouri to the northwest. Tennessee is geographically, culturally, and legally divided into three Grand Divisions of East, Middle, and West Tennessee. Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and its largest city. It also anchors its largest metropolitan region. Other major cities include Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Clarksville. Tennessee’s population was 6.9 million in 2020 according to the United States Census.
Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachian Mountains. Its name comes from Tanasi, a Cherokee settlement in the eastern part the state. This was before it was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. Because of its strong tradition in military service, it was nicknamed “The Volunteer State” very early in its history. Tennessee, a slave state, was divided politically from the American Civil War. Its western and middle parts supported the Confederacy, while the eastern region harbored pro-Union sentiment. As a result, Tennessee was the last state to secede and the first readmitted to the Union after the war.