History of Mississippi

The first Europeans to explore this territory were the Spaniards. In 1540 Hernando de Soto explored this region in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola. In 1682, the Frenchman La Salle sailed down the Mississippi River on an expedition that had departed from Canada. On his return, he claimed the territory in the name of Louis XIV and, in honor of the French monarch, baptized the new colony with the name of Louisiana. In 1699, Pierre Le Moine built a fort in the Biloxi Bay. With the Treaty of Paris of 1763 which ended the Seven Years’ War and the Indian wars, the western part of the French colony of Louisiana was ceded to Spain, and the eastern section to Great Britain, with the except for New Orleans which was administered by Spain. The Mississippi territory was, therefore, assigned to Great Britain.

During the War of Independence, Spain attacked the British colonies, mainly from its new colony of Louisiana, as an ally of the American separatists. Thus, it managed to occupy Natchez and other key British points in the colony of West Florida, such as the port of Mobile, in the current state of Alabama, and Pensacola, in that of Florida. After the independence of the United States, the new country claimed the territory taken from the British from Spain, but the government of Madrid did not accept its surrender until the signing of the Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1795.

The United States Congress organized the administration of its territories in 1798. At that time the Mississippi Territory was created which included the present states of Alabama and Mississippi. The capital of this new district was established in Natchez. In 1800 the territory of Louisiana, hitherto administered by Spain, passed to France which in 1803 sold it to the United States in an operation proposed by President Thomas Jefferson, the acquisition of Louisiana ‘(Louisiana Purchase), this operation was criticized by many of Jefferson’s contemporaries, but it was the beginning of the expansion of the United States. This demonstrated the president’s extraordinary political vision. In addition, this operation also means control of the Mississippi River. Between 1804 and 1812, the Mississippi Territory expanded adding to its territory, the current state of Tennessee. In 1817 Congress decided to divide this huge territory, the Alabama Territory was created, and the state of Mississippi. His admission into the Union materialized in 1822.

  • See ejiaxing.org for Mississippi state facts, including geography, climate, flora and fauna as well as major cities.

During these years there was a notable immigration of settlers who settled in small agricultural settlements. Meanwhile, the northern section of the state remained in the hands of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, the only tribes that managed to survive French pressure during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and to whom they were granted the lands of this region. These tribes were, however, obliged between 1820 and 1832 to sign treaties for the cession of their territories and to accept the transfer to the reserves of the state of Oklahoma. These lands freed from the Indian tribes, were dedicated to the cultivation of cotton, an activity that depended on slave labor. This explains why,

During the civil conflict (1861-1865), eighty thousand Mississippi residents were part of the Confederacy army. The enormous strategic importance of the state of Mississippi, from where the major communication route to the interior of the country could be controlled and which gave access to the Gulf of Mexico, explains why numerous battles were fought in the territory of this state, including the siege of Vicksburg, a city which was captured in 1863 by General Grant’s troops. This campaign is regarded as one of the decisive campaigns for the triumph of the Union. The systematic destruction of Mississippi’s land and infrastructure during the civil war (businesses, buildings, railways, factories), reached the crux during the march of General Sherman, who as a face in 1863 in operations between Atlanta and Savannah (Georgia), completely devastated the state of Mississippi, in his march between the cities of Vicksburg and Meridian. With these premises it is easy to understand why the reconstruction period was particularly difficult in the state of Mississippi. The state had to wait until 1870 to be reinstated as a member of the Union.

The construction of the railway in the early twentieth century to allow access to the forest areas of the south-east, has allowed the development of the wood industry, based above all on the processing of pine wood, intended for the construction sector. At the same time, drainage works were built, to use new land for cultivation. Despite all this, the effects of the war weighed on the economy of the state, which never reached levels of development comparable to most of the other members of the Union.

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During the economic depression of the 1930s, the state of Mississippi created an economic development plan called BAWI, (Balancing Agriculture With Industry), in which it proposed to promote economic development through a balance between the agricultural and industrial sectors. The discovery of oil and the beginning of World War II allowed Mississippi to achieve significant economic growth based on the petrochemical industry and shipbuilding. This favorable economic situation, which lasted for decades, failed to mitigate the racial tensions, which manifested themselves in the state during the key years of the struggle for civil rights, since laws passed since the 1950s to dismantle the apartheid system in Mississippi caused violent clashes. Mississippi continues to suffer a conspicuous economic lag, this fact is evident when one compares its economic indicators with those of the national average, and even when compared with those of the country’s least developed states. This fact explains the strong emigration of its inhabitants to other more industrialized states and the continuous efforts of the authorities to develop the basic sectors of its economy, improve the education system and attract new investments.

History of Mississippi

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