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Mississippi, abbreviated MS and Miss., Is a state of the United
States located east of the lower Mississippi River, bordering north
to Tennessee, east to Alabama, south to the Gulf of Mexico, and west
to Louisiana and Arkansas. Mississippi has an area of 125,444 km2 and
has 2,984,100 residents (US Census, 2017). The capital and largest city
Mississippi is often called The Magnolia State, the "Magnolia
State," after the magnolia tree, which is widely used in the state.
Most of the state is lowland (highest point: 246 masl). The western part
belongs to the Mississippi River plain, by the way, the state lies on the Gulf
Coast plain and the hilly country within. The northwest portion drains through
Mississippi's bee Yazoo. To the south flow the Pearl River and the
Pascagoula River. Up to five meters high dikes protect Mississippi's low river
plain against flooding.
The climate is humid subtropical. Vicksburg has 9 °C in average temperature
for January, 27 °C for July; annual rainfall is approx. 1300 mm. 55 percent of
the area is wooded (gold pine, deciduous trees), 35 percent cultivated land.
The population has shown little growth since the 1930s. In the period
1980–1990, the population grew by 2.09 percent annually, in 2000–2004 by two
percent annually (against the national average of 4.3 percent). 56.7 percent are considered white, 37.8 percent black and 3.2
percent Hispanic or Latino (US Census, 2017). The proportion of blacks declined
for many years due to emigration north (1900: 58.5 per cent blacks), but in
recent years the proportion has stabilized. Mississippi is among the least
urbanized by the states of the United States, and only 48 percent of the
population lived in cities and urban areas in the year 2000. The largest is the
capital of Jackson with 166,965 residents (US Census, 2017).
Mississippi sends two senators and four representatives to Congress.
Until recently, Mississippi was one of the least industrialized states in
the United States, and agriculture remains the most important trade
route. Cotton production is surpassed only by Texas and California, but
today soybeans have a greater production value. Then comes pet products, corn,
peanuts, rice, sugar cane and sweet potatoes. On the Gulf coast, some shrimp and
oysters are caught.
Almost all mineral production consists of oil and natural gas. The industry
consists mainly of the processing of agricultural and forestry products,
including the textile, furniture, food and transport industries as well as
chemical and petrochemical plants.
The Spaniard Hernando de Soto came to the Mississippi area as the first
European in 1539, but he made no attempt to colonize the country. In 1682, René
Robert Cavelier de La Salle formally took possession of the French king and
named it Louisiana after Louis 14. In 1699, the French built the
first Mississippi colony, which was part of Louisiana, until all land east of
the river 1763 was surrendered to Britain. In 1817, Alabama was separated, and
Mississippi was admitted as a state with the present boundaries.
The economy was largely based on cotton plantations, and Mississippi became
one of the most pronounced slave states, which during the American Civil War was
part of the Southern Confederation. Segregation between blacks and whites was
widely practiced until the 1960s. Mississippi has the highest percentage of
blacks in the United States, according to the Federal District of Columbia. The
state has a tragic racial past and actively resisted the abolition of the racial
divide in the 1950s and 1960s. It was not until 1995 that it ratified the 13th
Constitutional Supplement, which abolished slavery in 1865.