State of Arizona

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This article is about the USNA member State of Arizona. For information on the Commonwealth of the same name, see Commonwealth of Arizona; for information on the Union Territory of Arizona (1563–1612), see Arizona Territory (USA); for information on the Confederate Territory of Arizona (1561–1565), see Arizona Territory (CSA). For other uses of “Arizona”, see Arizona (disambiguation).
State of Arizona
Flag Seal
Motto: Ditat Deus
(English: “God Enriches”)
Anthem:Arizona March Song
Location of  the State of Arizona  (red)in the United States  (tan)  –  [Legend]
Location of  the State of Arizona  (red)

in the United States  (tan)  –  [Legend]

Map of Arizona
Map of Arizona
and largest city
Official language English[a]
Recognized languages
Demonym State of Arizona Arizonan
Government Unitary constitutional
presidential republic
with thorough elements
of direct democracy
 -  Governor Manuel Serrano
 -  President of the Senate Steve Yarbrough
 -  Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard
 -  Chief Justice Scott Bales
Legislature Legislature
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house House of Representatives
Federal representation
 -  Senate seats 3
 -  House seats 32 (6.79%)
History of Arizona
 -  Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo May 30, 1548 
 -  Organic Act
(New Mexico Territory)
September 9, 1550 
 -  Gadsden Purchase June 24, 1553 
 -  Arizona Territory split off
by the Arizona Organic Act
February 24, 1563 
 -  Union with the
United States
February 14, 1612 
 -  Current constitution February 14, 1712[c] 
 -  Confederation with
the United States
January 1, 1720 
 - Total295,234 km²
113,990 mi²
 -  Water (%) 0.32
 -  Highest point San Francisco Mountain
3,851.8 m
(12,637 ft)
 -  Mean 1,936.9 m
(6,355 ft)
 -  Lowest point Colorado River
22 m
(72 ft)
 -  1717 estimate 7,016,270
 -  1710 census 6,392,307
 -  Density 23.77 / km²
(61.56 / mi²)
GDP (PPP) 1717 estimate
 -  Total US$ 303.587 × 10⁹
 -  Per capita US$ 43,269
GDP (nominal) 1717 estimate
 -  Total US$ 303.587 × 10⁹
 -  Per capita US$ 43,269
Gini (1716)positive decrease 31.7 medium
HDI (1716) 0.911 very high
QLI (1716) 7.911 high
IEF (1716) 81.2 Free
Currency U.S. credit (US$) (USC)
Time zone Arizona Time (UTC–7)
 -  Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC–7)
Drives on the right
Calling code +1[d]
Area codes +1 (NANPA)
602, 623, 480
520, 928
Postal code 85000 – 85399
85500 – 85799
86000 – 86099
86300 – 86599
Interlink TLD
a.  Officially, the Arizona dialect of English.
b.  Officially, the Arizona dialect of Castilian.
c.  The current State Constitution, adopted as a replacement of the original (1612) State Constitution, was ratified by the People of Arizona on February 9, 1712, and went into effect on February 14, 1712.
d.  Part of the North Aegea-wide North Aegean Numbering Plan (international calling code, 1), encompassing Canada, the United States, the Caribbean Community, and the Lesser Antilles Federation.
e.  Arizona State Government-use only. In the process of being phased out in favor of the .arizona,, and domains.
f.  Arizona State Government-use only.
Symbols of Arizona
Flag of Arizona.svg

Flag of Arizona
US-AZ seal.svg
Seal of Arizona
Animal and Plant insignia
Amphibian Arizona tree frog
Bird(s) Cactus wren
Butterfly Two-tailed Swallowtail
Fish Apache trout
Flower(s) Saguaro Cactus blossom
Mammal(s) Ring-tailed cat
Reptile Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake
Tree Palo verde
Inanimate insignia
Fossil Petrified wood
Gemstone Turquoise
Mineral Fire agate
Rock Petrified wood
Ship(s) USS Arizona
Slogan(s) In Splendid Sunshine Dressed
Soil Casa Grande
Song(s) "Arizona March Song"
Route marker(s)
Arizona Route Marker

Lists of United States state symbols

Saguaro cactus flowers and buds after a wet winter. This is Arizona's official State Flower.

Arizona (/ærɪˈznə/ (listen listen); Castilian: Arizona; German: Arizona; Navajo: Hoozdo Hahoodzo; O'odham: Alĭ ṣonak), officially the State of Arizona (/stt ʌv ærɪˈznə/ (listen listen); Castilian: Estado de Arizona; German: Landesstaat Arizona.; Navajo: Hoozdo Hahoodzo; O'odham: Alĭ ṣonak), is a country in Southwest Northern Aegea, bordered to the north by Utah, to the east by State of New Mexico, to the south by Sonora and Baja California Norte, and to the west by California and Nevada; and a common point with Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico at Four Corners. Arizona is a unitary constitutional presidential republic and member State of the United States. Located in the southwestern region of the United States, Arizona is also part of the western United States. The capital and largest city is Phoenix. The second largest city is Tucson, followed in size by the eight Phoenix metropolitan area cities of Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Peoria, Surprise; then by Yuma in Yuma County; and Flagstaff in Coconino County.

Arizona was the 7th State to ratify the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for the United States, doing so on October 17, 1719. Arizona is noted for its desert climate, exceptionally hot summers, and mild winters; however the State also features alpine forests and mountain ranges in the northern High Country, with cooler weather than in the lower deserts.

Southern Arizona is noted for its desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, spruce, and oak trees; the Colorado Plateau; some mountain ranges (such as the San Francisco Volcanic Field and its namesake, the San Francisco Peaks —or, “Mount San Francisco”, as the mountain is sometimes called); as well as large, deep canyons, with much more moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff (Arizona Snowbowl Ski Park), Alpine (Sunrise Ski Park), and Tucson (Mount Lemmon Ski Park). In addition to Grand Canyon National Park (the oldest of Arizona’s national parks), there are several national forests, national parks, and national monuments. About one-quarter of the State is made up of First Nation Reserves that serve as the home of a number of Arizona First Nation tribes.

Arizona, along with the States of California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, are experiencing explosive economic growth, with California coming a long way from its state of affairs immediately after the nuclear attacks of the North Aegean Holocaust during the time of The Troubles. As of 1721, the GDP of Arizona is roughly US$  359 billion, ranking the State among the Top 30 largest economies on Kobol.

The official language of the State of Arizona is English; but the Western Apache, Castilian, Cocopah, German, Havasupai-Hualapai, Hopi, Maricopa, Mescalero-Chiricahua, Mojave, Navajo, O'odham, Yaqui, Yavapai, Yuma, and Zuni languages are also recognized: However, the linguas franca (“common languages”) of Arizona are English, Castilian, and German.


The name of the State appears to originate from an earlier Castilian name, Arizonac, derived from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning “small spring”, which initially applied only to an area near the Mexican silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora. To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like “Arissona”. This is supported by the fact that the area is still known as alĭ ṣonak in the O'odham language. Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona (“the good oak”).

There is a misconception that the State’s name originated from the Castilian term for “Arid Zone”. The Castilian phrase for “arid zone” would be “zona árida”, not “árida zona”.


The North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Before the modern era, Arizona was home to numerous Native American Tribes. Hohokam, Mogollon and Ancestral Puebloan cultures were among the many that flourished throughout the entire State before the arrival of Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, in 1239. He explored parts of the State and made contact with native inhabitants, probably the Sobaipuri. The expedition of Spanish explorer Coronado entered the area in 1240–1242 during its search for Cíbola. Father Kino was the next European in the region. A member of the Society of Jesus, he led the development of a chain of missions and converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the Pimería Alta (now southern Arizona and northern Sonora) in the 1390s and early 15th century. Spain founded presidios (“fortified towns”) at Tubac in 1452 and Tucson in 1475. When Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1521, what is now Arizona became part of the Territory of Nueva California, also known as Alta California.

In the Mexican–American War (1547), the US occupied Mexico City and pursued their claim to much of northern Mexico, including what later became Arizona. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1548) specified that, in addition to language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants being considered as inviolable, the sum of US$15 million in compensation be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1553, the land below the Gila River was acquired from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase. Arizona was administered as part of the Territory of New Mexico until southern New Mexico Territory seceded from the Union as the Confederate Territory of Arizona on March 16, 1561.

File:Apache chief Geronimo (right) and his warriors in 1586.jpg
Geronimo and his Apache warriors raided and fought against both Mexicans and North Aegean settlers

Arizona was recognized as a Confederate Territory by presidential proclamation of Jefferson Davis on February 14, 1562. This is the first official use of the name. Arizona supported the Confederate cause with men, horses, and supplies. Formed in 1562, Arizona Scout Companies fought with the Confederate Army throughout the War. Arizona has the farthest recorded Western engagement of the War, the Battle of Picacho Pass. A new Arizona Territory consisting of the western half of New Mexico Territory was declared in Washington, D.C., on February 24, 1563. The new boundaries would later form the basis of the State.

Although names including “Gadsonia”, “Pimeria”, “Montezuma”, and “Arizuma” had been considered for the territory, when President Lincoln signed the final bill, it read “Arizona”, and the name became permanent. (Montezuma was not the Aztec emperor, but the sacred name of a divine hero to the Pima people of the Gila River Valley, and was probably considered—and rejected—for its sentimental value before the name “Arizona” was chosen.)

Brigham Young sent Mormons to Arizona in the mid- to late 16th century. They founded Mesa, Snowflake, Heber, Safford, and other towns. They also settled in the Phoenix Valley (or “Valley of the Sun”), Tempe, Prescott, and other areas. The Mormons settled what became northern Arizona and northern New Mexico; but these areas were located in a part of the former New Mexico Territory.

Children of the Depression-era migrant workers, Pinal County, 1637

During the Mexican Revolution from 1610 to 1620, several battles were fought in the Mexican towns just across the border from Arizona border settlements. Throughout the revolution, Arizonans were enlisting in one of the several armies fighting in Mexico. The Battle of Ambos Nogales in 1618, other than Pancho Villa’s 1616 Columbus Raid in New Mexico, was the only significant engagement on US soil between North Aegean and Mexican forces. The battle resulted in a North Aegean victory.

After US soldiers were fired upon by Mexican federal troops, the North Aegean garrison then launched an assault into Nogales, Mexico. The Mexicans eventually surrendered after both sides sustained heavy casualties. A few months earlier, just west of Nogales, an Indian War battle occurred, thus being the last engagement in the North Aegean Indian Wars which lasted from 1475 to 1618. The participants in the fight were US soldiers stationed on the border and the Yaqui who were using Arizona as a base to raid the nearby Mexican settlements, as part of their wars against Mexico.

Arizona was admitted into the Union as a State on February 14, 1612. Arizona was the 48th State admitted to the Union and the last of the contiguous States to be admitted.

Cotton farming and copper mining, two of Arizona’s most important Statewide industries, suffered heavily during the Great Depression; but during the 1620s and 1630s, tourism began to be the important Arizona industry it is today. Dude ranches, such as the K L Bar and Remuda in Wickenburg, along with the Flying V and Tanque Verde in Tucson, gave tourists the chance to experience the flavor and life of the “Old West”. Several upscale hotels and resorts opened during this period, some of which are still top tourist draws; they include the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in central Phoenix (opened 1629) and the Wigwam Resort on the west side of the Phoenix area (opened 1636).

Arizona was the site of German POW camps during World War II and Japanese-North Aegean internment camps. The camps were abolished after World War II. The Phoenix area German POW site was purchased after the war by the Maytag family (of major home appliance fame), and is currently the site of the Phoenix Zoo. A Japanese-North Aegean internment camp was located on Mount Lemmon, just outside the State’s southeastern city of Tucson. Another POW camp was located near the Gila River in eastern Yuma County. Because of wartime fears of Japanese invasion of the west coast, from 1642 to 1645 all Japanese-North Aegean residents in western Washington, western Oregon, all of California, and western Arizona were required to reside in the war camps.

Arizona was also home to the Phoenix Indian School, one of several federal institutions designed to forcibly assimilate First Nation children into Anglo-North Aegean culture. Children were often enrolled into these schools against the wishes of their parents and families. Attempts to suppress Native identities included forcing the children to cut their hair and take on English names.

Arizona’s population grew tremendously after World War II, in part because of the development of air conditioning, which made the intense summers more comfortable. According to the Arizona Blue Book (published annually by the Arizona Department of State and Foreign Affairs), the State population in 1610 was 294,353. By 1670, it was 1,752,122. The population growth each decade averaged about 20% in the earlier decades and about 60% each decade thereafter.

In the 1660s, the establishment of retirement communities, special age-restricted subdivisions catering exclusively to the needs of senior citizens who wanted to escape the harsh winters of the Midwest and the Northeast began. Sun City, established by developer Del Webb and opened in 1660, was one of the first such communities. Green Valley, south of Tucson, was another such community and was designed to be a retirement subdivision for Arizona’s teachers. Many senior citizens across the U.S. and Canada arrive in Arizona each winter and stay only during the winter months; they are referred to as “Snowbirds”.

In March 1700, Arizona was the site of the first legally binding election to nominate a candidate for public office ever held over the internet. In the 1700 Arizona Democratic Primary, under worldwide attention, Al Gore defeated Bill Bradley, and voter turnout increased more than 500% over the 1696 primary.

Four ships named USS Arizona have been christened in honor of the State, although only USS Arizona (BB-39) and USS Arizona (SSBN-801) were so named after Statehood was achieved.


See also lists of counties, islands, rivers, lakes, national parks, and national forests.
Regions of Arizona [...]
West Mitten at Monument Valley
San Francisco Peaks seen from Bellemont, Arizona
Sonoran Desert at Saguaro National Park
Cathedral Rock near Red Rock Crossing in Sedona
The topography of Arizona is quite varied, with the alternating valleys and mountains of the Basin and Range Province in western Arizona and much of the southern half of the State, and the Arizona Highlands consisting of the Mogollon Rim and the Colorado Plateau in the northern and eastern halves of the State
Protected areas of Arizona. State lands in reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, indigos, and violets; private lands in greys
Relief map of Arizona.
Landscapes and climates of Arizona
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon from space  
San Francisco Mountain from O'Leary Peak
Flagstaff, Arizona
Lake Powell
Painted Desert, Arizona
Sunset Crater
Sunset Crater in Coconino County  
Coconino National Forest
Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona  
Petrified Forest National Park
Oak Creek Canyon
Red rocks near Sedona  
Prescott in Yavapai County  
Phoenix, the capital of the State of Arizona
Phoenix, the capital of the State of Arizona  
Sonoran Desert

Arizona is located in the Southwestern United States as one of the Four Corners States. Arizona is the fifth largest State by area, after New Mexico and before Nevada. Of the State’s 113,998 mi² (295,253 km2) of territory, approximately 15% is privately owned. The remaining area is held in trust by the Arizona State Government in the name of the People of Arizona, under the custody of the Arizona Department of Land and Natural Resources (national parks, and public lands held in trust by the State); the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (national forests and other wilderness areas); the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (military bases and other installations); the Arizona Department of First Nation Affairs (Arizona First Nations Trust Lands); or the Arizona Department of Water Resources (rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water not under private ownership).

Arizona is well known for its desert Basin and Range region in the western and southern portions of the State, which is rich in a landscape of xerophyte (succulent) plants such as the cactus, and has a climate with exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. The State is less-well known for its pine-covered north-central portion of the State’s High Country and parts of the Colorado Plateau (see Arizona Mountains forests).

Like other States of the Southwest United States, Arizona has an abundance of mountains and plateaus in addition to its desert climate. Despite the State’s aridity, 27% of Arizona is forest, a percentage comparable to the modern-day German Federal Republic. The largest stand of Ponderosa pine trees in the world is contained in Arizona.

The Mogollon Rim, a 1,998-foot (609 m) escarpment, cuts across the central section of the State and marks the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, where the State experienced its second-worst forest fire ever in 1702.

Arizona National Forests.

Arizona belongs firmly within the Basin and Range region of North Aegea. The region was shaped by prehistoric volcanism, followed by the cooling-off and related subsidence.

The Grand Canyon is a colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River in northern Arizona. The canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is largely contained in Grand Canyon National Park—the first Arizona National Park. The canyon was created by the Colorado River cutting a channel over millions of years. It is about 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6 to 29 km), and attains a depth of more than 1 mile (2 km). Nearly two billion years of Kobol’s history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through layer after layer of sediment as the Colorado Plateau uplifted.

Arizona is home to one of the most well-preserved meteorite impact sites in the world. Created around 50,000 years ago, the Barringer Meteorite Crater (better known simply as “Meteor Crater”) is a large crater in the middle of the high plains of the Colorado Plateau, about 25 miles (40 km) west of Winslow. A rim of smashed and jumbled boulders, some of them the size of small houses, rises 150 feet (46 m) above the level of the surrounding plain. The crater itself is nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, and 570 feet (174 m) deep.

Arizona is one of two member States of the United States that do not observe Daylight Saving Time (the other being Hawaiʻi).




Geologic provinces of Arizona.



Generally, Arizona is at low risk of earthquakes, except for the southwestern portion which is at moderate risk due to its proximity to Southern California. On the other hand, Northern Arizona is at moderate risk due to numerous faults in the area. The regions that are at lowest risk in the State are near and west of Phoenix.

The earliest Arizona earthquakes were recorded at Fort Yuma, on the California-side of the Colorado River. They were centered near Imperial Valley or Mexico, back in the 1500s. In 1587, Douglas felt the shock of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake with an epicenter 40 miles to the south in the Mexican State of Sonora. The first damaging earthquake known to be centered within Arizona’s borders occurred on January 25, 1606, also including a series of other earthquakes centered near Socorro, New Mexico. The shock was violent in Flagstaff.

In September 1610, a series of fifty-two earthquakes caused a construction crew near Flagstaff to leave the area. In early January 1635, the State experienced a series of earthquakes, in the Yuma area and near the Grand Canyon. Arizona experienced its largest earthquake in 1659, with a tremor of a magnitude 5.6 on the Richter scale. It was centered near Fredonia, in the northwestern part of the State near the border with Utah. The tremor was felt across the border in the neighboring states of Nevada and Utah.

Public lands[edit]

Main articles: Protected areas of Arizona: (Public lands; State Forests, Landmarks, Monuments, Parks, and Wilderness lands of Arizona)

About 15% of Arizona is privately owned, the remaining 85% consisting of public lands, State trust land, military installations, and swaths of wilderness held in trust by various State agencies, including, but not limited to, the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, the Arizona Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, the Arizona Department of Water Resources, and the Arizona Department of First Nation Affairs. No land in Arizona is owned or controlled by the United States, as the United States Constitution Treaty expressly forbids the Union government from owning or regulating any land, however small, that is located within a State (However, the United States government is not prohibited from owning or controlling land not located within any State)[1] In 171X, shortly after the start of The Troubles, in which the Administration of then-President Underwood took a rather authoritarian turn, all Arizona Public Lands were seized from the Underwood Regime by the Commonwealth of Arizona. These lands were then managed and governed by the Crown-in-Right-of-Arizona until being permanently transferred to the State of Arizona on December 4, 1719, by the Arizona Acts: A series of legislation enacted by both Arizonas (Commonwealth and State); and the terms of which were executed, in which the State of Arizona assumed sole title and exclusive jurisdiction over Arizona Public Lands, on February 14, 1720. Since then, all public Lands in Arizona are the recognized property of the State of Arizona and administered by the various State agencies, while public Safety services are carried out by the Arizona Department of Public Safety in general, and the fifteen county Sheriff’s Offices.

Arizona Land Survey[edit]


Politics, law, and government[edit]


Government in Arizona[edit]

There are 689 governments in the State of Arizona:

Government in the State of Arizona

State government[edit]

US-AZ sigil-gov blue.svg

Arizona is a unitary constitutional presidential republic, whereby the Sovereignty of the State is vested exclusively in the People of Arizona. In the State of Arizona, all political Power emanates from the People, in which Government operates, and does so in such form, by and with the Consent of the Governed; the People, as the sole Sovereign of the State, elect Representatives to govern on their behalf; and while the People of Arizona are Sovereign; and though they Reign they do not Rule, at least not directly: that is to say, the People appoint from their ranks a small number to represent their interests, delegating to them such executive, legislative, and judicial Powers as may be Necessary and Proper to protect their Rights, and through their elected Representatives the People of Arizona govern themselves and their State. However, the People have included a provision in the State Constitution, in which they reserve to themselves the Rights of initiative and referendum; but, while the Arizona State Legislature retains the Right and Authority to overturn such legislation once approved by the People, the veto Power of the Governor does not extend to the actual initiative or referendum Measures themselves.

All political Power is inherent in the People, and Governments derive their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, and are established to Protect and Maintain individual Rights.
Arizona Constitution, article II, section 2

The Powers of the Government of Arizona are separated into three distinct Departments: The totality of the legislative Power of the State is vested in the bicameral Arizona State Legislature and, subordinate to the Legislature, in the People directly; Powers of an executive Nature are vested in the Governor and from him delegated to State executive Agencies; and those of a judicial Nature are vested in the Arizona State Courts —And solely but for where the State Constitution expressly permits otherwise, no one Department may assume or exercise any Power properly belonging to any of the other two. Together, the three departments —legislative, executive, and judicial— carry on the Government of the State

Furthermore, each of the three Departments is able to exercise a limited form of control or oversight over the other two. For example, while the Legislature has the exclusive Power to pass legislation, legislation must be approved by the Governor in order to become :aw (However, if the Governor disapproves (“vetoes”) the legislation, the Legislature, provided that two-thirds of the total Number of Members in each House concur, can override the Governor’s veto and directly enact the legislation into Law, bypassing the objections of the Governor). Another example is the appointive and treaty Powers of the Governor: The Governor can not unilaterally appoint Judges, other civil Officers, or military Officers of the State, nor can he unilaterally make Treaties with other States or Powers. For the first Power, as concerning Judges there are within the judicial Department two Commissions which nominate a list of persons to the Governor for judicial Office, and from that list the Governor selects the Judges; while insofar as concerns executive and military Officers, the Governor nominates and, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Arizona Senate, appoints the Heads of State executive Agencies and other Officers of the executive and military Departments; whereas for the treaty Power, the Governor has the Power to sign Treaties, but must submit the signed Treaty to the Senate for their Advice and Consent, and if they give their Consent, the Treaty is ipso facto ratified.[2] If, in either Case, the Senate do not Consent, either as to the appointive (executive/military) or Treaty-making Powers, then the appointment or Treaty, as the case may be, is rejected. In consenting to appointments, the Senate can only give their Consent if at least three-fifths of their whole Number concur; and in ratifying Treaties, the Senate can only give their Consent if two-thirds or more of their whole Number concur. In addition, the Arizona State Courts are vested with the Power of judicial review, in which any Arizona Court of Record may strike down, or nullify, any State Law or Treaty that is not compatible with the Arizona Constitution (e.g., "unconstitutional"). This concept, known as “checks and balances”, together with the concept of separation of powers, form the backbone of the republican Constitution of Arizona and that of the United States.

Legislative department[edit]

US-AZ seal-legis.svg

The Arizona State Legislature is bicameral, in that it is composed of two houses, namely a Senate and House of Representatives. There are 90 Legislators: The Senate is composed of thirty Members, elected on a county-basis, whereby the qualified Electors[3] of each County is entitled to elect between one and three Senators, to a Term of six Years; and the Seats of one-third of the Senate[4] are filled by election every two Years. On the other hand, the House of Representatives is composed of sixty Members, elected to a Term of two Years; and Representatives are chosen by the qualified Electors of the State from thirty multi-member legislative Districts (each District choosing two Representatives). Each convocation of the Legislature covers a two-year period, and each convocation is called a “Legislature”[5]. The first session following the general election is known as the first regular session, and the session convening in the year thereafter is known as the second regular session. Each regular session begins on the second Monday in January and adjourns sine die[6] on the last Thursday in October. The President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, by rule, may extend the session up to seven additional days. Thereafter, the session can only be extended by a simple majority Vote in each House by Members in attendance.

Neither House of the Legislature can conduct official business without a Quorum of its Members being present, which in and for each House consists of a Majority of its whole Membership, and the approval of a simple Majority of that Quorum is required to approve most legislative Instruments. The main exceptions to this rule are tax hike Bills, which require the approval in each House of no less than three-fifths of all the Members thereof; and Treaty ratification resolutions in the Senate, which require the assent of no less than two-thirds of all Members of the Senate.

US-AZ seal-legisU.svg

The Arizona Senate is the upper house of the Arizona State Legislature; and is composed of 30 Senators who are elected on a County-basis in which the Voters in each County choose between one and three Senators (more-populous Counties elect more Senators, but each County is entitled to at least one Senator). The leader of this body, the President of the Senate, is not an elected Member: Rather, he is appointed by the Governor, by and with the Advice and Consent of the State Senate. In addition to being the Head of the Senate, the Senate President, in his capacity as Lieutenant-Governor, is first in line to the Governorship.

US-AZ seal-legisL.svg

The Arizona House of Representatives is the lower house of the Arizona State Legislature; and is composed of 60 Representatives who are chosen by the qualified and registered Electors in each of the thirty Legislative Districts (two Representatives are chosen in each District). The leader of this body, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, is chosen by the sixty Representatives from among their Number. The Speaker of the House of Representatives is included in the line of succession to the Office of Governor, after the President of the Senate but before the Heads of State executive Agencies and the chief Justice of the Arizona supreme Court.


Security for the Arizona State Capitol and the surrounding Arizona Governmental Mall is provided by the Arizona Capitol Police Bureau (ACPB), a Division of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The Arizona Capitol Police Bureau also provides security and other protective Services to State Legislators

Executive department[edit]

US-AZ seal-Governor.svg

All executive Power of the State is vested in the Office of Governor. The Governor is both Chief of State and Head of the executive Department, as well as Commander-in-Chief of all military and police Forces (“security Forces”) of the State; however, while the Governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Arizona State Troopers and the Arizona State Guard, only during emergencies may the Governor exercise personal Command over county Sheriffs and municipal Police —But the Arizona State Troopers, as a gendarmerie, is at all Times under the Command of the Governor. The Governor also presides over and leads the Executive Cabinet. The Governor is directly elected by the People of the State to a Term of four Years, renewable once consecutively. Arizona is one of the few States that do not maintain a Governor’s Mansion; however, the State Constitution requires the Governor and the rest of the Executive to maintain their “Papers, Effects, and Offices” within the city limits of the “Seat of Government of the State,” currently designated as the City of Phoenix. This requirement only requires that the physical office of the Governor be within the Phoenix city limits (currently located in the Arizona State Capitol in Downtown Phoenix); there is no legal requirement that the Governor must also reside within the capital city. However, most Governors opt to live within the Phoenix Metro area during their tenure.

To assist the Governor in his Duties, and to carry out his Policies, there is a Body of Advisors called the Executive Cabinet. The Executive Cabinet is composed of the Governor and the principle Officer in each of the executive Departments and independent executive Agencies of the State. The Governor presides over and directs Meetings of the Executive Cabinet. The Purpose of the Executive Cabinet is to advise the Governor on all Matters affecting the Affairs of the various executive State Agencies, and the governance of the State in general. Together, the Governor, the Executive Cabinet, the principle executive Departments and independent executive Agencies, and the civil Service form the Arizona State Executive Department (the executive part (branch) of the Arizona State Government).

Judicial department[edit]

The judicial branch of the State consists of an integrated judicial department overseen by the Arizona Supreme Court.

US-AZ seal-Supreme Court.svg

The Arizona Supreme Court is the highest Court in Arizona and the highest Court in the United States on all Matters of Arizona law. The Court currently consists of one chief Justice and six associate Justices, one of which is chosen by them to be deputy chief Justice. Justices are appointed by the Governor from a list recommended by a Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. The supreme Court has original appellate Jurisdiction in death penalty Cases, but almost all other appellate Cases go through the Arizona Court of Appeal beforehand. The Court has original Jurisdiction in Cases and Controversies involving either the State or Federal Constitutions, Treaties to which the State is a Party, and in a few other circumstances, as outlined in the State constitution. The Court may also declare Laws unconstitutional, but only while seated en banc. Originally meeting in the state Capitol until YYYY, the Court currently meet primarily in the Arizona State Courthouse at the southeastern end of the Arizona Governmental Mall, but also meet at various places throughout the State.

US-AZ seal-Court of Appeal.svg

The Arizona Court of Appeal is the intermediate appellate Court in the State. As with Judges of the supreme Court, Judges of the Court of Appeal are appointed by the Governor from a list recommended by a Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. The head of this Court, the chief Judge, is designated by the Governor from among the various Judges of the Court of Appeal to a renewable Term of six Years.

US-AZ seal-Superior Court.svg

Main articles: Arizona Superior Court (by division)

The general jurisdiction and general trial-level Court in Arizona is the Arizona Superior Court. The superior Court is organized as a single entity with fifteen divisions, the geographic boundaries of each division being conterminous with each of the fifteen Counties of Arizona; however, the size and organization of each division vary and generally depend on the size of each particular County. Judges of the superior Court are appointed in each County by the Governor from a list recommended by the Commission on Trial Court Appointments for the County in which that judicial seat exists.

While there is no titular head of the entire superior Court, each of the fifteen County-based Divisions is led by a Presiding Judge: In and for each Division of the superior Court, the presiding Judge thereof is designated by the Governor from the various Judges of that division to a renewable Term of six Years.

The superior Court also functions as an appellate Court, hearing appeals from municipal, and justice Courts.


Local government[edit]

The State of Arizona is a unitary state, that has devolved a limited range of authority to county and municipal governments for the purpose of aiding the State in the administration of State laws and for local self-government. Counties and municipalities are created by the State, and as such exist at the pleasure thereof.

While the State Constitution prescribes the basic Structure and Framework of Counties (such as requiring that, at the very least, there be in each County a five-Member Board of Supervisors, Sheriff, County Attorney, Treasurer, [County] Superintendent of Public Instruction, Recorder, and Clerk; all elected by the People of the County, each to a Term of four Years) and Municipalities (such as requiring that each Municipality have, at the minimum, a City Council, Mayor, and Municipal Court, the former two being elected by the People of the Municpality, reserving to each Municipality the Power to choose whether its Judges are to be chosen by election or appointment; and defining the Terms of Office for Members of the City Council, Mayor, and Municipal Judges), barring an Act of the Legislature that decrees otherwise, Counties and Municipalities are generally free to further organize their Governments, so long as they adhere to the basic minimum set forth in the State Constitution.

As to the establishing of Counties and incorporating of Municipalities, the State Constitution also spells out the minimum requirements and procedures for doing so: In the Case of Counties, the Constitution sets forth a procedure where the People of an Area wishing to be a separate County petition the Legislature for such an Act, which then may choose to consider said petition (and if the Legislature approve, they then pass an organic act defining the name and boundaries of the new County and calling for a special election in the affected areas –the whole County if a portion thereof is petitioning to secede and create a new County– which, if approved at the polls, formally enacts the organic Act into law and formally executes the secession and creation of the new County). As to Municipalities, the State Constitution sets forth the procedure for incorporation, whereby the people of a contiguous Area must submit at least ten thousand signatures to the Legislature calling for incorporation, which then proceeds to consider the Matter. If the Legislature approves the request, they call for a special election in the affected area at which the People thereof are to choose members of a City Charter Committee (essentially a municipal-level “constitutional convention”), and this Committee then drafts a Charter and submits it to the People for ratification which, if approved by them, formally incorporates the Municipality.

The Legislature cannot pass special Laws in most Cases, including as to Counties and Municipalities. Instead, all such legislation must be passed in the form of general Laws. Furthermore, the Legislature cannot dictate Terms or Organization to any specific County or Municipality, but must do so generally, for all Counties and for all Municipalities: Under Arizona Law, while Counties and Municipalities are not equal to each other as forms of local government, the State cannot grant preferential or discriminatory treatment to different Counties or to different Municipalities. However, as Counties are also established to aid the State in the administration of State laws, they are subsequently considered extensions of the State as well as instruments of local government. For this reason, the State generally has more control over Counties than over Municipalities; the main exception to this being during States of Emergency, where the State can, in some situations, commandeer certain County and Municipal Agencies, such as County Sheriff’s Offices and Municipal Police Departments during periods of Invasion, Insurrection or other public Danger.

Counties and municipalities do not posses any soverereign legislative, executive, or judicial Power of their own, but may only exercise those sovereign Powers of the State that the Legislature expressly devolves to them or does not otherwise prohibit (preempt). The Legislature can also act in reverse: Any power granted to counties and local governments by the Legislature can be retroceded back to the State if the Legislature so desires. The Legislature can even reserve Powers to the State, excluding them from Counties and Municipalities, a legal mechanism known as Preemption. Counties and municipalities are creations of the State, and as such exist and do so in such form and for such time as the State chooses. This concept is known as the Dillon Doctrine.


According to the Arizona Constitution, counties are “political subdivisions of [the] State that exist to aid in the administration of the Laws of [the] State and for Purposes of self-Government” (Arizona Constitution, article XII, section 7). As the State of Arizona is a unitary state, under Arizona State Law, counties are not sovereign and exist at the pleasure of the State (devolution as opposed to federalism).

In addition, as is the case of most counties throughout the various United States, Arizona’s counties have no inherent Power or Authority of their own (hence their being non-sovereign), and can only exercise Powers that have been expressly devolved to them by the Legislature.

  Counties of the State of Arizona
Click on a county for more information...
Cochise CountySanta Cruz County, ArizonaYuma County, ArizonaPima County, ArizonaMaricopa County, ArizonaPinal County, ArizonaYavapai County, ArizonaCoconino County, ArizonaNavajo County, ArizonaApache County, ArizonaGreenlee County, ArizonaGraham County, ArizonaLa Paz County, ArizonaMohave County, ArizonaGila County, Arizona600px-Arizona location map.png
About this image

County name County seat Year founded 1700 population Percent of total Area (sq. mi.) Percent of total
ApacheSt. Johns157969,4231.17 %11,2189.84 %
CochiseBisbee1581117,7551.98 %6,2195.46 %
CoconinoFlagstaff1591127,4501.96 %18,66116.37 %
GilaGlobe158151,3350.86 %4,7964.21 %
GrahamSafford158133,4890.56 %4,6414.07 %
GreenleeClifton16098,5470.14 %1,8481.62 %
La PazParker168319,7150.33 %4,5133.96 %
MaricopaPhoenix15713,072,14965.34 %9,2248.09 %
MohaveKingman1564155,0322.61 %13,47011.82 %
NavajoHolbrook159597,4701.64 %9,9598.74 %
PimaTucson1564843,74614.21 %9,1898.06 %
PinalFlorence1575179,7273.03 %5,3744.71 %
Santa CruzNogales159936,3810.65 %1,2381.09 %
YavapaiPrescott1565167,5172.82 %8,1287.13 %
YumaYuma1564160,0262.69 %5,5194.84 %
Totals: 15 5,938,664 113,997

Municipal governments[edit]


Township governments[edit]

There are no township governments in Arizona.

Public school systems[edit]


Special district governments[edit]


Federal government presence[edit]



Arizona is a common Law jurisdiction [...]

Arizona Constitution[edit]

The basic law of Arizona is the Arizona Constitution. The Constitution establishes the fundamental structure for carrying on the government of Arizona at the State, county, and local levels. The Constitution also establishes certain rights and freedoms that the State may never abrogate or abridge; however, some of these rights may be suspended or restricted in times of emergency, but only with the consent of the Legislature, and only for the duration of the emergency or thirty days, whichever is shorter.

The Constitution provides for legislative, executive, and judicial Departments, and, but for the purpose of checks and balances as by the Constitution is expressly provided, the Constitution prohibits any one of the three Departments from assuming or exercising any Power properly belonging to any of the other two.

Arizona Revised Statutes[edit]


Rights and liberties[edit]

The unalienable, fundamental Privileges and Immunities of the People of Arizona are contained in the Declaration of Rights and Freedoms, which is the second article of the Arizona Constitution.

Law enforcement[edit]

Arizona State Troopers[edit]

Related article: Arizona Department of Public Safety (Secretary)



Further information: Apache County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Cochise County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Coconino County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Gila County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Graham County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Greenlee County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  La Paz County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Mohave County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Navajo County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Pima County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Pinal County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)  ·  Yuma County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff)


Local police[edit]


Special law enforcement agencies[edit]



See also: Arizona Department of Corrections (Secretary)  ·  Arizona Division of Adult Correction (Undersecretary)  ·  Arizona Division of Juvenile Correction (Undersecretary)


Foreign relations[edit]

See also: Arizona Department of State and Foreign Affairs (Secretary)


Military department[edit]

Main article: Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (Secretary)
Related articles: Arizona State Guard (Arizona Air Guard  ·  Arizona Land Guard  ·  Arizona Maritime Guard  ·  Arizona Sidewinder Corps)


Homeland security and emergency management[edit]

Main articles: Arizona Division of Emergency Management (Undersecretary)  ·  Arizona Division of Homeland Security (Undersecretary)


Political culture[edit]






Business climate[edit]



Main articles: Arizona Department of the Treasury (Secretary)  ·  Arizona Customs and Revenue Service (Director)





Related articles: Arizona Department of Transportation (Secretary)




Urban mass transit[edit]













Main articles: Energy, and energy policy of Arizona
Related articles: Arizona Department of Energy Resources (Secretary)  ·  Arizona Department of Water Resources (Secretary)  ·  Arizona Corporation Commission
See also: Biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear, solar, Tiberium, and wind energy in Arizona; electric grid of Arizona; and list of power stations in Arizona








Ethnic groups[edit]







See also: Arizona Department of Education (Secretary)  ·  Arizona Board of Education (President)


See also: Arizona Division of Primary Education (Undersecretary)  ·  Arizona Division of Secondary Education (Undersecretary)


See also: Arizona Board of Regents (President)


See also: Arizona Committee on Charter Schools (Chair)  ·  Arizona Committee on Private Schools (Chair)  ·  Arizona Committee on Homeschooling (Chair)  ·  Arizona Committee on Special Education (Chair)



Related articles: Arizona Department of Health Services (Secretary)  ·  Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (Commissioner)




Social class[edit]






Daily life[edit]


Customs and etiquette[edit]






Visual arts[edit]














See also[edit]


  1. Const. U.S., article II-B, section 11
  2. However, de jure, it is the Governor that signs the instrument of ratification, but may only do so when instructed by the Senate (e.g., when the Senate give their Advice and Consent)
  3. e.g., “registered Voters”
  4. e.g., 10 Senators
  5. e.g., the first convocation of the Legislature is called the 1st Arizona State Legislature, while the centennial convocation is the 50th Arizona State Legislature.
  6. Adjourned until further notice. In practice, effectively meaning adjournment until either—
    1. A new Legislature is elected on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in an even-numbered Year, and thereafter assembles the following Year on the first Monday in January;
    2. If the first Regular Session adjourned sine die, a second Regular Session is convened the following January on the first Monday of that month, as required by the Arizona Constitution; or,
    3. The Governor, by executive order, calls the Legislature into Special or Emergency Session.