The Mississippi River is the principal river of the major North American drainage system. The river flows through the entire part of the United States, and it rises in the northern parts of Minnesota and roves gradually southwards to the Mississippi River Delta for a distance of 3,730 km (2,320 miles) at the Gulf of Mexico. By means of its several tributaries, the Mississippi's division drains all or fractions of 31 states in the United States and two provinces of Canada between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. The Mississippi is recognized as the 4th longest and 10th biggest river in the world. The Mississippi River either edges or flows through the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The word Mississippi itself originates from Messipi, the French depiction of the Anishinaabe name for the stream, Misi-ziibi, which means Great River. Besides historical customs revealed by names, there are a minimum of two other measures of the identity of the Mississippi River. One identity is being the biggest branch by the volume of water, and the other identity is being the longest division.
In the past, Native Americans resided beside the Mississippi River and its branch rivers. Most inhabitants were herders or hunter-gatherers, but some people, like the Mound builders, created productive agricultural societies. The onset of Europeans during the 1500s, distorted the native lifestyle as initially explorers, after that settlers, speculated into the basin in growing numbers. First, the Mississippi River served as a barricade, forming boundaries for New France, New Spain, and the early United States, and then as an important transportation route and communications linkage. During the 19th century, at the time of the height of Manifest Destiny, the Mississippi River and several western branch rivers, particularly the Missouri, created paths for the western growth of the United States.
The Mississippi River Valley, which is created from thick layers of silt deposits of this river, is one among the most productive agricultural areas of the country that resulted in the storied steamboat period of the river. The capture of Mississippi by Union forces during the American Civil War marked a decision point towards triumph due to the importance of the river as a route of travel and trade, not least to the Union. Due to the considerable growth of cities and the bigger ships and barges that replaced riverboats, decades after the 1900s saw the building of huge engineering works, like locks and dams, levees, regularly constructed in combination.
Since the modern growth of the Mississippi River basin commenced, the Mississippi has as well, seen its share of contamination and ecological problems, most markedly huge volumes of agricultural runoff that has shown the way to the Gulf of Mexico dead region of the Mississippi River Delta. In current years, the Mississippi River has shown a stable shift towards the Atchafalaya River canal in the Delta, a route change would establish devastating to seaports, like New Orleans. Though a system of gates and dikes has detained the Mississippi in its existing channel to date, the shift turns out to be more likely every year because of the fluvial processes.