The history of Mississippi is as long and cultural as its name implies. Mississippi was first settled by the Native American Indians, who had several thousand years of their own history built up near the river. Their influence can still be seen in some of Mississippi's culture. More profound, however, is the influence of Mississippi's second set of settlers, the French.
France sent many different expeditions to Mississippi and eventually claimed it as part of their colony, called New France. There was very little solidity to the state of affairs in New France, however. The colony alternated between French, Spanish, and British rule.
The history of New France, and Mississippi, calmed down a bit in 1798, when Mississippi was declared a state after ceding some territory from both South Carolina and Georgia; this mammoth state eventually grew to double in size.
Mississippi's history became immediately less volatile in 1817, when it was admitted to the Union as the 20th state, giving it some stability and support.
Before and during the Civil War period, Mississippi grew prosperous because of its rich cotton trade. Postwar Mississippi was very different, however. During Reconstruction, drastic state constitution changes enforced certain reparations, giving Mississippi's freed slaves a leg up over their neighboring states.
Since the Civil War, Mississippi has been a beacon of cultural intelligence and beauty. The many different cultures that all brought an influence to the state show in the architecture and throughout the central culture of the state, making Mississippi a place to remember and visit.