The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 Essay

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 Essay

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The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was one of the most destructive in the history of the United States, proving that the levee only policy was a failure and the limits of human control over the river. The beginning of the flood, from the initial crevasse, poured out “468,000 second-feet onto the Delta that triple the volume of a flooding Colorado, more than double a flooding Niagara Falls and the entire upper Mississippi ever carried” (pg 203). The flood of 1927 “shifted perceptions of the role and responsibility of the federal government… shattered the myth of a quasi-feudal bond between Delta blacks and the southern aristocracy...accelerated the great migration of blacks north. And it altered both southern and national politics....” (pg 422). America is a product of the flood of 1927 in shaping the political, social, and economic structure. With each reoccurring disaster, America, in that region, continues to face the same issues regarding social conditions and poor working conditions that failed to be addressed.
The fallout of the 1927 flood demonstrates the one of many continuing struggle in dominating the Mississippi River despite understanding the true nature of the river. For example, “The average gauge readings through the last three months of 1926… of the three largest rivers… was the highest ever known… no one at the Weather Bureau or the Mississippi River Commission correlated or even compiled this information” (pg 175). The failure in understand the nature of the river prelude to more elaborate control schemes by expanding the federal government’s responsibility in seizing full control of the Mississippi River from states jurisdiction. The U.S Army Corps of Engineers is fully responsible in constructing va...


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...The flood of 1927 granted limited compensation for the sacrificed residents with strict claims procedures. There were “no banks, business, or government agency ever made a voluntary payment to the victims to fulfill the self-proclaimed moral obligation…” (pg 360). The issues of social conditions and poor working conditions continue to resurface because the line between federal government’s roles to its citizens remains indirect with lack of socialist reform and maintain the ideals of individual altruism. The federal government maintains the stance that the free market and private enterprise will bring about recovery. The problem is that the free market and private enterprise base the loans to businesses and individuals on income or some sort of collateral for credit access. The already poor have not collateral and will continue to remain poor in this system.

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