(Wilderness Area) Mississippi River
- Country –
- Terrain Type – Aquatic Terrain
- Notable residents –
The Mississippi River is the chief river of the North American continent. Native Americans live along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Most are hunter-gatherers or herders, but some have formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. The river serves as a barrier – forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the Colonies – then as a vital transportation and communications link. The Mississippi has several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, forming pathways for the western expansion. Formed from thick layers of this river’s silt deposits, the Mississippi River Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country.