In which country and where is the Mississippi River?

Where is the Mississippi River, the largest in North America and the USA, its source and estuary, what is its length and importance for the state? The history of exploration and interesting facts about this waterway will be useful for tourists, schoolchildren and curious people.

Geographical information and name

Mississippi is the “greatest river” in the USA, which is the third in the world in length (3,950 km, together with Missouri - 6,420 km). It flows through the territory of 10 states, being at the same time the border between many of them. Conventionally, it is divided into 2 parts:

  • Upper - from Lake Itasca, located on the territory of the National Reserve (Minnesota) at an altitude of 450 m, where the source of the Mississippi River, to the confluence of the river. Ohio.
  • Lower - from Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico. This is exactly where the mouth of the Mississippi River and where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Mississippi Basin with tributaries

Its largest tributaries are the Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, the Day Moyne (left) and the Red River (right), of which the Missouri is considered one of the largest on the planet. The name of the river was given by the local Ojibwe Indians living in the Great Lakes region.The literal translation of the words misi-ziibi and means "great river".

History of discovery and development

The first among the Europeans who were lucky to see this river was the conquistador from Spain, Hernando de Soto, who crossed it in 1541. According to other sources, Mississippi was marked on the Spanish map in 1518, after the expedition set in the delta. Its name in Spanish sounded like “the river of the holy spirit”.

For the first time, French travelers conducted her research in the years 1681-1682, one of whom, R. de la Salle, was able to sail through it from beginning to end. After that, France declared all lands belonging to the lowlands its own possessions and gave them the name "Louisiana". Given the length and vast territory where the Mississippi River is located, it quickly became an important waterway through which the French transported the necessary cargo and people on barges.

Mississippi Delta

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris was concluded, according to which the territory to the east of the mouth was transferred to England, and to the west to Spain. In 1800, the Spanish part of Louisiana was bought by France, which resold it to the United States. In 1815, America was able to join its British part after the New Orleans battle.So, answering the question of which country and where the Mississippi River is located, it would be correct to call the United States.

Mississippi River Shipping

The flowering of shipping on the Mississippi began in 1811, when the first wheeled steamer was launched along the river, transporting cargo between the cities of New Orleans and Ohio. Gradually, the number of steamers increased, and the river became the busiest waterway of the entire continent. According to statistics, by 1850, 5,000 passenger and cargo steamers plied the river, and 6 years later the first bridge was built, along which the railway passed.

Steamboats in mississippi

With the advent of the bridge, laid from Rock Island to Davenport, which began to interfere with the shipping traffic, problems related to lawsuits began. Then there was a case when one of the sailing ships rammed one of the parts of the bridge, and the fire started. The trial turned into a long-term struggle and gradually led to a decrease in the number of water transport. By 1910, only 560 steamboats sailed across the Mississippi, but transporting heavy cargo by water turned out to be more profitable than rail, and the river still remains an important US transportation artery.

Mississippi River System

The area where the Mississippi River is located, along with its tributaries, covers 31 states and forms a huge water basin with an area of ​​3,270 square meters. km (40% of the entire United States, not counting Alaska). In the upper half, the river flows through large lakes, forming rapids in some places. Gateways were built from Minneapolis (more than 20), in the middle of the Mississippi flowing a wide channel (floodplain - up to 15 km).

The delta of the greatest river in North America covers an area of ​​32 thousand square meters. km and moves into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is divided into 6 large sleeves, flowing into the bay. Due to the fact that the beginning of the Mississippi is located in the Rocky Mountains, in winter, most of the river is covered with ice.

Mississippi in the delta

The length of navigable waterways in the river system is 25 thousand km. The largest port cities are Minneapolis, St. Paul, Memphis, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Davenport.

The economic importance of the river

Modern shipping on the Mississippi is very developed and diverse. Up to 300 million tons of cargo are transported annually by the river: oil reserves, coal, products of the chemical and agricultural industries. The river provides 16% of all fish products in the United States: fish, shrimp, crayfish and oysters.Rice, cotton, sugarcane and soybean plantations flourish in the delta where the Mississippi River is located, and in the area where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Mississippi Interesting Facts

  • Many beautiful bridges were built across the river, on the banks there are 7 national parks. Now they are attractions that tourists visit with pleasure, going on a trip to Mississippi.
  • The name of the river is inextricably linked with the work of the writer Mark Twain, who populated his books with heroes living and working on it. The author even took his literary pseudonym from the river workers' lexicon, which measured the depth of the fairway. Literally, it translates as "note two."
  • In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Mississippi became the cradle of American jazz: it was visited by tourist steamers, which the orchestra always played on board, including with the participation of the famous Louis Armstrong.

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