THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
President Thomas Jefferson knew the river drew the continent together and that farmers needed it. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was the gateway to commerce on the Mississippi providing a route for global trade to and from the United States. Today Louisiana’s five ports on the Lower Mississippi River comprise the largest port complex on Earth.
America became an order of magnitude due to The Mississippi River. Formed nearly two million years ago no river has played a greater part in the development and expansion of America than the Mississippi.
In 1803 new settlers’ survival in the United States hinged on the Mississippi’s development as an artery for commerce. Farmers needed an outlet to float their produce to market. Corn, cotton, tobacco, indigo, sugar, pelts, and hides traveled downriver.
THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE ECONOMY
It all happens here. New Orleans is the key exit to North America. The Mississippi forms the foundation of the economy allowing producers to ship their surplus to the rest of the world. Louisiana’s port system is as important today as at any point during the history of the Republic. Regard New Orleans as the place where the bulk commodities of agriculture go out to the world and the bulk commodities of industrialism come in.