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History (Essay Sample)

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Title: History
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Mississippi is one of the greatest rivers in the world. Steamboats and barges played a great role in the 19th century by contributing in the development of the River and its various tributaries as it allowed the large scale transportation of freight and passengers up and down the river. Through the use of steam power, river boats were developed .These made it possible to navigate in shallow waters as well as up the river against the strong currents. However after the development of railroads, passengers switched to this mode of transport as it was faster and more efficient but the commerce continued to be served by the steamboats up to the early 20th century (Hellen, 1981).
Difficulties that were experienced during the navigation of the Mississippi River
The use of the sailing boats and barges to navigate river Mississippi had its own difficulties as experienced by the sailors. For example there were various forms of gambling that took place on the river boats thus making life hard for the navigators. Besides gambling with one`s life with the boilers aside, there was the presence of sharks around the Mississippi river which were always ready to fleece any suspected intruder. Since the river passed through many cities, the cities often passed ordinances against the gaming houses in town thus making the cheats to shift to the un- regulated waters of the river via river steamers (Hellen, 1981).
There was also gambling with up the river racing boats as bets were often made on the favorite vessel. This resulted to causing of fire outbreaks especially on the wooden deck structures causing severe injuries and loss of properties. Sometimes there arose barge traffic due to the growth of trade thus making the process of crossing the river more cumbersome and time consuming.
During heavy downpour, the Mississippi river canals flooded and this resulted to disasters as some of the sailing boats and barges in the water ways could capsize causing great losses such as lose of freights, destruction of the cities along the banks of the rivers and death of passengers or rescuing team. The floods also slowed down the trading activities since limited amounts of freight could be allowed to move along the Mississippi River as a result of traffic jam on the river that resulted from the tankers and cargoes shifting from the Gulf of Mexico to the rest of the outside world. Moreover boats often took water into their hulls in order to act as ballast so as to enable them settle down in the river to clear bridges thus making them very slow in responding to controls of rudder. In addition to that, the ships moving up the rive...
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