A floodplain or flood plain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river which stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls, which experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. The soils consist of levees and sands deposited during floods. Levees are the heaviest materials and they are deposited first. Floodplains are formed; when a river breaks its banks, it leaves behind layers of alluvium. These build up to create the floor of the plain. Floodplains contain unconsolidated sediments extending below the bed of the stream; these are accumulations of sand, loam, and/or clay, are important aquifers, the water drawn from them being pre-filtered compared to the water in the river. Geologically ancient floodplains are represented in the landscape by fluvial terraces; these are old floodplains that remain high above the present floodplain and indicate former courses of a stream. Sections of the Missouri River floodplain taken by the United States Geological Survey show a great variety of material of varying coarseness, the stream bed having been scoured at one place and filled at another by currents and floods of varying swiftness, so that sometimes the deposits are of coarse gravel, sometimes of fine sand or of fine silt.
It is probable that any section of such an alluvial plain would show deposits of a similar character. The floodplain during its formation is marked by meandering or anastomotic streams, oxbow lakes and bayous, marshes or stagnant pools, is completely covered with water; when the drainage system has ceased to act or is diverted for any reason, the floodplain may become a level area of great fertility, similar in appearance to the floor of an old lake. The floodplain differs, because it is not altogether flat, it has a gentle slope downstream, for a distance, from the side towards the center. The floodplain is the natural place for a river to dissipate its energy. Meanders form over the floodplain to slow down the flow of water and when the channel is at capacity the water spills over the floodplain where it is temporarily stored. In terms of flood management the upper part of the floodplain is crucial as this is where the flood water control starts. Artificial canalisation of the river here will have a major impact on wider flooding.
This is the basis of sustainable flood management. Floodplains can support rich ecosystems, both in quantity and diversity. Tugay forests form an ecosystem associated with floodplains in Central Asia, they are a category of riparian systems. A floodplain can contain 100 or 1,000 times as many species as a river. Wetting of the floodplain soil releases an immediate surge of nutrients: those left over from the last flood, those that result from the rapid decomposition of organic matter that has accumulated since then. Microscopic organisms thrive and larger species enter a rapid breeding cycle. Opportunistic feeders move in to take advantage; the production of nutrients falls away quickly. This makes floodplains valuable for agriculture. River flow rates are undergoing change following suit with climate change; this change is a threat to other floodplain forests. These forests have over time synced their seedling deposits after the spring peaks in flow to best take advantage of the nutrient rich soil generated by peak flow.
Many towns have been built on floodplains, where they are susceptible to flooding, for a number of reasons: access to fresh water. The worst of these, the worst natural disaster were the 1931 China floods, estimated to have killed millions; this had been preceded by the 1887 Yellow River flood, which killed around one million people, is the second-worst natural disaster in history. The extent of floodplain inundation depends in part on the flood magnitude, defined by the return period. In the United States the Federal Emergency Management Agency manages the National Flood Insurance Program; the NFIP offers insurance to properties located within a flood prone area, as defined by the Flood Insurance Rate Map, which depicts various flood risks for a community. The FIRM focuses on delineation of the 100-year flood inundation area known within the NFIP as the Special Flood Hazard Area. Where a detailed study of a waterway has been done, the 100-year floodplain will include the floodway, the critical portion of the floodplain which includes the stream channel and any adjacent areas that must be kept free of encroachments that might block flood flows or restrict storage of flood waters.
Another encountered term is the Special Flood Hazard Area, any area subject to inundation by the 100-year flood. A problem is that any alteration of the watershed upstream of the point in question can affect the ability of the watershed to handle water, thus affects the levels of the periodic floods. A large shopping center and parking lot, for example, may raise the levels of the 5-year, 100-year, other floods, but the maps are adjusted, are rendered
Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd most 34th most populous of the 50 United States, it is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the south, Arkansas and Louisiana to the west. The state's western boundary is defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson, with a population of 167,000 people, is both the state's capital and largest city; the state is forested outside the Mississippi Delta area, the area between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. Before the American Civil War, most development in the state was along riverfronts, as the waterways were critical for transportation. Large gangs of slaves were used to work on cotton plantations. After the war, freedmen began to clear the bottomlands to the interior, in the process selling off timber and buying property. By the end of the 19th century, African Americans made up two-thirds of the Delta's property owners, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land after the financial crisis, which occurred when blacks were facing increasing racial discrimination and disfranchisement in the state.
Clearing of the land for plantations altered the Delta's ecology, increasing the severity of flooding along the Mississippi by taking out trees and bushes that had absorbed excess waters. Much land is now held by agribusinesses. A rural state with agricultural areas dominated by industrial farms, Mississippi is ranked low or last among the states in such measures as health, educational attainment, median household income; the state's catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. Since the 1930s and the Great Migration of African Americans to the North and West, the majority of Mississippi's population has been white, although the state still has the highest percentage of black residents of any U. S. state. From the early 19th century to the 1930s, its residents were majority black, before the American Civil War that population was composed of African-American slaves. Democratic Party whites retained political power through disfranchisement and Jim Crow laws.
In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 400,000 rural blacks left the state for work and opportunities in northern and midwestern cities, with another wave of migration around World War II to West Coast cities. In the early 1960s, Mississippi was the poorest state in the nation, with 86% of its non-whites living below the poverty level. In 2010, 37% of Mississippians were African Americans, the highest percentage of African Americans in any U. S. state. Since regaining enforcement of their voting rights in the late 1960s, most African Americans have supported Democratic candidates in local and national elections. Conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party. African Americans are a majority in many counties of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, an area of historic slave settlement during the plantation era; the state's name is derived from the Mississippi River. Settlers named it after the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to its namesake, major rivers in Mississippi include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo River, the Pascagoula River, the Tombigbee River. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake, Grenada Lake with the largest lake being Sardis Lake. Mississippi is composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 807 feet above sea level; the lowest point is sea level at the Gulf Coast. The state's mean elevation is 300 feet above sea level. Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain; the coastal plain is composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state; the northeast is a region of fertile black earth. The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis and Pascagoula, it is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island, Cat Island.
The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The plain widens north of Vicksburg; the region has rich soil made up of silt, deposited by the flood waters of the Mississippi River. Areas under the management of the National Park Service include: Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site near Baldwyn Gulf Islands National Seashore Natchez National Historical Park in Natchez Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tupelo Natchez Trace Parkway Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery in Vicksburg Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than 20,000: Mississippi has a humid
Kentucky the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, Kentucky is one of four U. S. states constituted as a commonwealth. A part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 26th most populous of the 50 United States. Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky, which houses two of its major cities and Lexington, it is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky is known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries, coal, the "My Old Kentucky Home" historic state park, automobile manufacturing, bluegrass music, college basketball, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In 1776, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County, named for the Kentucky River. The precise etymology of the name is uncertain, but based on an Iroquoian name meaning " the meadow" or " the prairie". Others have put forth the possibility of Kenta Aki, which would come from Algonquian language and, would have derived from the Shawnees. Folk etymology states that this translates as "Land of Our Fathers." The closest approximation in another Algonquian language, Ojibwe translates it more-so to "Land of Our In-Laws", thus making a fairer English translation "The Land of Those Who Became Our Fathers." In any case, the word aki comes out as land in all Algonquian languages. Kentucky is situated in the Upland South. A significant portion of eastern Kentucky is part of Appalachia. Kentucky borders seven states, from the Southeast. West Virginia lies to the east, Virginia to the southeast, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west and Indiana to the northwest, Ohio to the north and northeast.
Only Missouri and Tennessee, both of which border eight states, touch more. Kentucky's northern border is formed by the Ohio River and its western border by the Mississippi River. However, the official border is based on the courses of the rivers as they existed when Kentucky became a state in 1792. For instance, northbound travelers on U. S. 41 from Henderson, after crossing the Ohio River, will be in Kentucky for about two miles. Ellis Park, a thoroughbred racetrack, is located in this small piece of Kentucky. Waterworks Road is part of the only land border between Kentucky. Kentucky has a non-contiguous part known at the far west corner of the state, it exists as an exclave surrounded by Missouri and Tennessee, is included in the boundaries of Fulton County. Road access to this small part of Kentucky on the Mississippi River requires a trip through Tennessee; the epicenter of the powerful 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes was near this area causing the river to flow backwards in some places. Though the series of quakes did change the area geologically and affect the inhabitants of the area at the time, the Kentucky Bend was formed because of a surveying error, not the New Madrid earthquake.
Kentucky can be divided into five primary regions: the Cumberland Plateau in the east, the north-central Bluegrass region, the south-central and western Pennyroyal Plateau, the Western Coal Fields and the far-west Jackson Purchase. The Bluegrass region is divided into two regions, the Inner Bluegrass—the encircling 90 miles around Lexington—and the Outer Bluegrass—the region that contains most of the northern portion of the state, above the Knobs. Much of the outer Bluegrass is in the Eden Shale Hills area, made up of short and narrow hills; the Jackson Purchase and western Pennyrile are home to several bald cypress/tupelo swamps. Located within the southeastern interior portion of North America, Kentucky has a climate that can best be described as a humid subtropical climate, only small higher areas of the southeast of the state has an oceanic climate influenced by the Appalachians. Temperatures in Kentucky range from daytime summer highs of 87 °F to the winter low of 23 °F; the average precipitation is 46 inches a year.
Kentucky experiences four distinct seasons, with substantial variations in the severity of summer and winter. The highest recorded temperature was 114 °F at Greensburg on July 28, 1930 while the lowest recorded temperature was −37 °F at Shelbyville on January 19, 1994, it has four distinct seasons, but experiences the extreme cold as far northern states, nor the high heat of the states in the Deep South. Temperatures seldom drop below 0 degrees or rise above 100 degrees. Rain and snowfall totals about 45 inches per year. There are big variations in climate within the state; the northern parts tend to be about 5 degrees cooler than those in western parts of the state. Somerset in the south-central part receives 10 more inches of rain per year than, for instance, Covington to the north. Average temperatures for the entire Commonwe
Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, Missouri to the northwest; the Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017; the state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians. What is now Tennessee was part of North Carolina, part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861.
Occupied by Union forces from 1862, it was the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war. Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state besides Virginia, more soldiers for the Union Army than the rest of the Confederacy combined. Beginning during Reconstruction, it had competitive party politics, but a Democratic takeover in the late 1880s resulted in passage of disenfranchisement laws that excluded most blacks and many poor whites from voting; this reduced competition in politics in the state until after passage of civil rights legislation in the mid-20th century. In the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided by massive federal investment in the Tennessee Valley Authority and, in the early 1940s, the city of Oak Ridge; this city was established to house the Manhattan Project's uranium enrichment facilities, helping to build the world's first atomic bombs, two of which were dropped on Imperial Japan near the end of World War II.
Tennessee's major industries include agriculture and tourism. Poultry and cattle are the state's primary agricultural products, major manufacturing exports include chemicals, transportation equipment, electrical equipment; the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation's most visited national park, is headquartered in the eastern part of the state, a section of the Appalachian Trail follows the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Other major tourist attractions include the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga; the earliest variant of the name that became Tennessee was recorded by Captain Juan Pardo, the Spanish explorer, when he and his men passed through an American Indian village named "Tanasqui" in 1567 while traveling inland from South Carolina. In the early 18th century, British traders encountered a Cherokee town named Tanasi in present-day Monroe County, Tennessee; the town was located on a river of the same name, appears on maps as early as 1725. It is not known whether this was the same town as the one encountered by Juan Pardo, although recent research suggests that Pardo's "Tanasqui" was located at the confluence of the Pigeon River and the French Broad River, near modern Newport.
The meaning and origin of the word are uncertain. Some accounts suggest, it has been said to mean "meeting place", "winding river", or "river of the great bend". According to ethnographer James Mooney, the name "can not be analyzed" and its meaning is lost; the modern spelling, Tennessee, is attributed to James Glen, the governor of South Carolina, who used this spelling in his official correspondence during the 1750s. The spelling was popularized by the publication of Henry Timberlake's "Draught of the Cherokee Country" in 1765. In 1788, North Carolina created "Tennessee County", the third county to be established in what is now Middle Tennessee; when a constitutional convention met in 1796 to organize a new state out of the Southwest Territory, it adopted "Tennessee" as the name of the state. Tennessee is known as The Volunteer State, a nickname some claimed was earned during the War of 1812 because of the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from Tennessee during the Battle of New Orleans.
Other sources differ on the origin of the state nickname. This explanation is more because President Polk's call for 2,600 nationwide volunteers at the beginning of the Mexican–American War resulted in 30,000 volunteers from Tennessee alone in response to the death of Davy Crockett and appeals by former Tennessee Governor and Texas politician, Sam Houston. Tennessee borders eight other states: Virginia to the north. Tennessee is tied with Missouri as the state bordering the most other states; the state is trisected by the Tennessee River. The highest point in the state is Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet (
An alluvial plain is a flat landform created by the deposition of sediment over a long period of time by one or more rivers coming from highland regions, from which alluvial soil forms. A floodplain is part of the process, being the smaller area over which the rivers flood at a particular period of time, whereas the alluvial plain is the larger area representing the region over which the floodplains have shifted over geological time; as the highlands erode due to weathering and water flow, the sediment from the hills is transported to the lower plain. Various creeks will carry the water further to a river, bay, or ocean; as the sediments are deposited during flood conditions in the floodplain of a creek, the elevation of the floodplain will be raised. As this reduces the channel floodwater capacity, the creek will, over time, seek new, lower paths, forming a meander; the leftover higher locations natural levees at the margins of the flood channel, will themselves be eroded by lateral stream erosion and from local rainfall and wind transport if the climate is arid and does not support soil-holding grasses.
These processes, over geologic time, will form the plain, a region with little relief, yet with a constant but small slope. The Glossary of Landform and Geologic Terms, maintained by the United States' National Cooperative Soil Survey, defines an "alluvial plain" as "a large assemblage of fluvial landforms that form low gradient, regional ramps along the flanks of mountains and extend great distances from their sources" Use of "alluvial plain" as a general, informal term for a broad flood plain or a low-gradient delta is explicitly discouraged; the NCSS glossary instead suggests "flood plain". Mississippi Alluvial Plain, Oxnard Plain, Laguna de Santa Rosa in the United States North China Plain in China Mesaoria in Cyprus Po Valley in Italy Indo-Gangetic Plain and Punjab in India Canterbury Plains, Southland Plains, Waikato Plains in New Zealand Multiple sites in Switzerland Mesopotamia in Iraq and Kuwait Mekong Delta in Vietnam Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt in the Netherlands Alluvial fan Alluvium Coastal plain Desert pavement River delta
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an
The Mississippi Delta known as the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, is the distinctive northwest section of the U. S. state of Mississippi which lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth", because of its unique racial and economic history, it is 200 miles long and 87 miles across at its widest point, encompassing circa 4,415,000 acres, or, some 7,000 square miles of alluvial floodplain. Covered in hardwood forest across the bottomlands, it was developed as one of the richest cotton-growing areas in the nation before the American Civil War; the region attracted many speculators who developed land along the riverfronts for cotton plantations. As the riverfront areas were developed first and railroads were slow to be constructed, most of the bottomlands in the Delta were undeveloped after the Civil War. Both black and white migrants flowed into Mississippi, using their labor to clear land and sell timber in order to buy land. By the end of the 19th century, black farmers made up two-thirds of the independent farmers in the Mississippi Delta.
In 1890 the white-dominated state legislature passed a new state constitution disenfranchising most blacks in the state. In the next three decades, most blacks lost their lands due to tight credit and political oppression. African Americans had to resort to tenant farming to survive, their political exclusion was maintained by the whites until after the gains of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. African Americans developed the musical forms of jazz; the majority of residents in several counties in the region are still black, although more than 400,000 African Americans left the state during the Great Migration in the first half of the 20th century, moving to northern and western industrial cities. As the agricultural economy does not support many jobs or businesses, the region has had to work hard in order to diversify that economy. Lumbering is important and new crops such as soybeans have been cultivated in the area by the largest industrial farmers. At times, the region has suffered heavy flooding from the Mississippi River, notably in 1927 and 2011.
Despite the name, this region is not part of the delta of the Mississippi River. Rather, it is part of an alluvial plain, created by regular flooding of the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers over thousands of years; the land contains some of the most fertile soil in the world. It is two hundred miles long and seventy miles across at its widest point, encompassing 4,415,000 acres, or, some 7,000 square miles of alluvial floodplain. On the east, it is bounded by bluffs extending beyond the Yazoo River, it includes all or part of the following counties: Washington, Western DeSoto, Carroll, Western Panola, Bolivar, Leflore, Sharkey, Tunica, Western Holmes, Western Yazoo, Western Grenada and Warren. Lexington is part of the delta; the shifting river delta at the mouth of the Mississippi on the Gulf Coast lies some 300 miles south of this area, is referred to as the Mississippi River Delta. The two should not be confused. From 1900 to 1930 planters recruited Chinese immigrants as field hands, although the earliest Chinese were recorded in Bolivar County in 1870.
Most Chinese immigrants worked becoming merchants in the small rural towns. As these have declined, along with other Delta residents ethnic Chinese have moved to cities or other states, their descendants represent most of the ethnic Asian residents of the Delta recorded in censuses. While many Chinese have left the Delta, their population has increased in the state. In the 21st century, about one-third of Mississippi's African-American population resides in the Delta, which has many black-majority state legislative districts. Much of the Delta is included in Mississippi's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Bennie Thompson. For more than two centuries, agriculture has been the mainstay of the Delta economy. Sugar cane and rice were introduced to the region by European settlers from the Caribbean in the 18th century. Sugar and rice production were centered in southern Louisiana, in the Arkansas Delta. Early agriculture included limited tobacco production in the Natchez area and indigo in the lower Mississippi.
Yeoman French farmers, supported by extensive families, had begun the back-breaking land clearing. Colonists tried to enslave the Native Americans. In the 18th century, the French and English ended Native American slavery, imported enslaved Africans instead. In the early years, African laborers brought critical knowledge and techniques for the cultivation and processing of both rice and indigo. Hundreds of thousands of Africans were captured and transported as slaves from West Africa to North America; the invention of the cotton gin in the late 18th century made profitable the cultivation of short-staple cotton. This type could be grown in the upland areas of the South, leading to the rapid development of King Cotton throughout what became known as the Deep South; the demand for labor drove the domestic slave trade, more than one million African-American slaves were forced by sales into the South, taken in a forced migration from families in the Upper South. After continued European-American settlement in the area, Congressional passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 extinguished Native A