Mississippi River Importance

1276 Words 6 Pages
In the 1800’s and throughout all history the Mississippi River has been such a critical part of the United States of America. To emphasize the importance of the Mississippi River, here are some facts to show how much of an effect on the great nation of America. Notably, in Kieran Walsh’s book, The Mississippi, she states that the Mississippi has several tributaries including the Missouri, Arkansas, and Ohio rivers (Walsh 5). All of these, help make the Mississippi River what it is now. Without these tributaries the Mississippi River would not have been large enough to have kind of affect that it did. Additionally, a thing that makes the Mississippi River so important is that it is 2,348 miles long not including the tributaries making it …show more content…
Certainly, many of the Native American tribes depended on the Mississippi River as a way of transport, food and their livelihood. As a matter of fact, Jeff Wallenfeldt and Richard Kesel said “To the Native American peoples of the river, the Mississippi River was both highway and larder…. From it they took the fish that was a mainstay of their diet.” Without the river being there the Native Americans would have had to migrate father away and then the settlers that came in the area would not have been able to trade for goods that were needed. This would have most definitely have slowed the expansion of America. Another thing that the Mississippi provided for the Native Americans was the opportunity to raid people, generally white, going down the river (Sandlin 27). This may not have been beneficial for the settlers traveling down the river even so it supported the Native Americans. Despite this downside, the Mississippi River allowed for peace treaties to be formed such as the treaty between two Native American tribes called the Chippewa and Sioux. It also gave them information, that may have been unavailable to them for many more weeks. This information was that the whole Mississippi basin was under US control (Schneider 243). Whether this was a good thing or not it is hard to tell, but it did make an impact on the Native Americans’ life and a little more …show more content…
This is one example of how the Mississippi River affected daily life in and around the area. It, however, was not a great use for the river seeing as it was being used as a dumpster for all the things that humans deemed broken or un-useful. This trash would just sit there making life a less pleasant, but it was a solution to a problem that people had. The Mississippi brought many people of different races into one place. However, this caused much contention and much violence and spilling of blood into cities near the river (Sandlin). Not everything that the river allowed people to do was good and this is a prime example. Sandlin titled his book The Wicked River because of things such as this. While the river indirectly caused some horrible things, it did help many people in their lives; such as transporting mountain men looking to be a part of “official and unofficial fur-trading activities” (Schneider 146). The livelihood of these men and their families was completely dependent on traveling on the Mississippi River. Without this river they may not have been able to find jobs and life would have been so much harder than if they had the river. Another thing the Mississippi did was bring settler who “set out on the river in

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