The Mississippi River is the longest river within the United States, and the fourth longest river in the world. This river holds a special place in American history and literature, and in the imagination of ordinary Americans.
The Mississippi River begins in the hills of northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border, and flows southward about 3700 kilometres, through ten states, before draining its water and silt into the Gulf of Mexico. Traditionally, the river is viewed as a natural boundary between the eastern and western halves of the United States.
Until the year 1803, the areas to the west of the Mississippi River, and the areas around the mouth of the river, were claimed by Spain and by France. In that year, the French emperor, Napoleon, decided to sell this land to the United States of America. This sale, which is called the Louisiana Purchase, was very important for the United States. By controlling the Mississippi River, the Americans would be able to use it for transporting goods and people in this rapidly developing area.
For many years, river-boats were the main method of long-distance transportation for people living near the Mississippi. Steam-powered boats, with large “paddle wheels” that pushed the boat forward, were very popular in the time before cars and airplanes.
One of the famous cities along the Mississippi River is St. Louis. This city is known as the “gateway to the west.” During the nineteenth century, St. Louis was the last large town that people would pass through on their way to new farmland farther west. Today, St. Louis is famous for the “Gateway Arch,” a tall monument that welcomes people to the west. St. Louis is also known as the city where the music known as “the Blues” began.
Near the mouth of the Mississippi River is another famous city, New Orleans. In terms of the style of buildings, New Orleans is said to be the most unusual American city, because it is influenced so strongly by Spanish and French traditions. Even today, the traditional festival of “Mardi Gras” is celebrated in New Orleans each year. New Orleans and the surrounding areas of the state of Louisiana are famous for spicy “Cajun” food. This style of cooking was developed by the French-speaking settlers of Louisiana.
The Mississippi River is famous in many stories of American literature. For example, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, which were written by the author Mark Twain, are both set along the Mississippi River.
Today, the federal and state governments of the United States are working to preserve the natural environment along the Mississippi River. People recognize the importance of keeping this river healthy and clean.
inside (a place, group, etc.); enclosed or contained by:
The children must remain within the school grounds during the lunch break. | There are serious differences of opinion within the party.
average, common, or usual, not different or special :
It’s just an ordinary camera.
The book is about ordinary people .
Art should be part of ordinary life .
It is good because it is written in friendly, ordinary language.
out of the ordinary (= unusual or unexpected )
Anything out of the ordinary made her nervous.
in the ordinary way British English (= as normal )
The money is taxed as income in the ordinary way.
somebody/something is no ordinary … (= used to say someone or something is very special )
This is no ordinary car.
Ruiz is no ordinary prisoner.
to move smoothly (as if) in a stream:
The river flowed along rapidly. | Blood was flowing from his wound. | The cars flowed in a steady stream along the main road. | (fig.) As they sat around the fire, the conversation began to flow freely.
when a liquid, gas, or electricity flows, it moves in a steady continuous stream
flow over/down/through etc
These gates regulate the amount of water flowing into the canal.
If the windows are shut, air cannot flow freely through the building.
to (cause to) flow off gradually or completely:
to drain all the oil from/out of the engine | Boil the vegetables for 20 minutes then drain off the water. | The rainwater drained off/away. | (fig.) These children drain my energy! | (fig.) This country is being drained of its best doctors. | (fig.) The old lady’s strength is draining away.
to drain water from a tank
loose sand, mud, soil, etc., carried in running water and then dropped, e.g. at the entrance to a harbor, by a bend in a river, etc.
they dredged the silt from the bottom of the canal
following ideas and methods that have existed for a long time, rather than doing anything new or different SYN conventional :
He has a traditional view of women.
I went to a very traditional school.
traditional family values
a traditional way of life
traditionally adverb :
More women are entering traditionally male jobs.
The color black is traditionally associated with mourning.
to consider; regard; think about: I view his action as a breach of trust. | They viewed the future with some alarm. | The audience seemed to enjoy the show, but viewed from a theatrical standpoint, it was a disaster.
the real or imaginary line that marks the edge of a state, country etc, or the edge of an area of land that belongs to someone
The Mississippi River forms a natural boundary between Iowa and Illinois.
National boundaries are becoming increasingly meaningless in the global economy.
We would need their agreement to build outside the city boundary .
The stream curves round to mark the boundary of his property.
Anything that crosses the boundary of a black hole cannot get back.
We walked through the churchyard towards the boundary wall .
The property’s boundary line is 25 feet from the back of the house.
boundary disputes between neighbouring countries
the part of a river where it joins the sea
the mouth of the River Tees
very quickly and in a very short time
The disease was spreading more rapidly than expected. rapidly growing/changing/expanding etc the rapidly changing world of technology
a short pole that is wide and flat at the end, used for moving a small boat in water
ￚsee also oar
Read this aticle too
a building, statue, or other large structure that is built to remind people of an important event or famous person
ￚsee also memorial
He erected a monument on the spot where his daughter was killed.
a fitting monument to the men who died in the battle
food that is spicy has a pleasantly strong taste, and gives you a pleasant burning feeling in your mouth
ￚsee also spicea spicy tomato sauce
someone from Louisiana in the US who has French-Canadian ancestor s
to prevent (someone or something) from being harmed or destroyed: The ancient Egyptians knew ways to preserve dead bodies (from decay). | I think these interesting old customs should be preserved. | (humor) Lord preserve us from these so-called experts!
in a line next to the length of:
Trees grew along the river bank.