The study of historic architectural styles provides us a unique way to learn how our ancestors lived and worked, how and what they built, and what they thought about themselves and their society as expressed in their buildings. Mississippi has a wide variety of architectural styles. Here is an overview of them.
Studying the architecture of the communities in our state can reveal new insights into our history and culture. Using examples of a log cabin and a more ornate Federal style house, students can easily draw conclusions about differences in ways of living. This lesson will encourage further investigation of a variety of architectural styles used throughout the state’s history and a consideration of how our buildings reflect who we are and the realities of our world from one time period to another.
The land that became the state of Mississippi had been claimed by European powers for nearly a century prior to it first coming under American jurisdiction. Between the late 1600s and the late 1700s, France, Great Britain, and Spain each established extensions of their respective colonial empires within the region. During these efforts they attempted to form political, military, and economic alliances with the area’s original inhabitants, including the Choctaw and Chickasaw peoples and numerous smaller tribal entities.
From 1699 to 1763, the future state of Mississippi was a part of the French colony of Louisiana. During these years, the French explored the region, established settlements and military outposts, engaged in political and economic relations with the area’s Native American people, and sought to establish a profitable economy. Though France was ultimately unable to achieve its goals in the region, the years of French control of the area have left a lasting impression on Mississippi and form a crucial part of its unique cultural heritage.
Americans have always been a people on the move. The first settlers at Jamestown and Plymouth had barely established a foothold in the early 1600s when they began to push into the continent’s interior. Adventurous settlers, anxious to improve their fortunes, took up new lands in the west, confidently expecting them to be better than the lands they left behind. Westward movement of the colonists continued throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Emblems, banners, standards, and flags are an ancient tradition that date from the early Roman Empire.
Flags are powerful symbols that signify dominion and sovereignty and express personal and political allegiance to a state or nation. Mississippi did not officially adopt a state flag until 1861, when it seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America. Prior to that time, several flags had flown over the territory that would become the state of Mississippi on December 10, 1817.1