Mississippi River

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  • The Mississippi River was a major waterway for westward expansion into American territory. Through its western tributaries, the Mississippi provided the passageway for the exploration, settlement, and commercial development of America's western territory. It still plays a vital part in the nation's commerce.

    The Mississippi is the second longest river in the United States, flowing more than 2,350 miles from Lake Itasca, near the Minnesota-Canadian border, to the Gulf of Mexico. Its basin drains thirty-two states, east and west, and two Canadian provinces. The river basins of the Mississippi's three major western tributaries—the Missouri River, Arkansas River, and Red River—cover nearly 774,000 square miles, roughly one-quarter of the land of the continental United States. This area includes all or parts of ten states: Kansas, Nebraska, the ...

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