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History of Mississippi



History of Mississippi
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.79

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    prior, uprising, agriculture, port, racial, education, state, civil, newly, possession, entire, overseas, region, settled, defeat, duty
     content words:    Natchez Indians, Spanish Explorer Hernando De Soto, Mississippi River, De Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur La Salle, Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, King Louis XIV, Old Biloxi


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History of Mississippi
By Stacey Marshall
  

1     The state of Mississippi takes its name from the mighty river that forms its western boundary. The word Mississippi means "Great Water", "Big River", or "Father of Waters" in the language of the Indians who lived in the region in early times. Mississippi was first occupied by three powerful and mighty Indian tribes. The Chickasaws ruled the northern and eastern sections of the state. The Choctaws ruled the central section. The Natchez Indians claimed the southern portion of the state. Between 25,000 and 30,000 Indians occupied the regions of Mississippi when the first European explorers arrived.
 
2     In 1541, Spanish Explorer Hernando De Soto came across the Mississippi River while searching for gold. De Soto and his men found no treasure in Mississippi and made no settlements. Robert Cavelier, known as Sieur La Salle, claimed the entire Mississippi Valley for France when he came down the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes and entered into the Gulf of Mexico. Cavelier called the area Louisiana after King Louis XIV. The region he claimed included present day Mississippi. Old Biloxi, better known now as Ocean Springs, was the first French settlement created in 1699 by Pierre Le Moyne and Sieur d'Iberville. Many difficulties delayed development of the region. The Indians fought the settlers, and later the British battled the French for possession of the newly settled land. In 1730, the French nearly wiped out the Natchez Indians after an uprising by the Indians. In later years the British troops helped the Chickasaw Indians defeat the French troops and keep them from gaining control of different parts of Mississippi.
 
3     In 1798, Congress organized the Mississippi Territory with Natchez as the capital. Development of the territory was aided by the Mississippi River because it allowed trading ships to sail to the Gulf of Mexico. During the War of 1812, the Choctaw Indians remained friendly to the Americans. The Choctaw Indians were led by Chief Pushmataha. The Choctaws joined General Andrew Jackson against an uprising of the Creek Indians and against British troops in the Battle of New Orleans.

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