Industry and Agriculture

Cotton and the Civil War

Theme and Time Period

If slavery was the corner stone of the Confederacy, cotton was its foundation. At home its social and economic institutions rested upon cotton; abroad its diplomacy centered around the well-known dependence of Europe…upon an uninterrupted supply of cotton from the southern states.

Frank L. Owsley Jr.

Not Just Farms Anymore: The Effects of World War II on Mississippi’s Economy Lesson Plan


While the nation was transformed economically by the Second World War effort, individual states were changed as well. Evidence of this transformation can still be seen within Mississippi through the state’s military facilities and manufacturing companies. These types of industries were created for national defense during World War II and still impact the state’s economy today.


Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, 3, and 4


Grades 7 through 12

Girls’ Tomato Clubs in Mississippi: A “Glimpse” Into Women’s History Lesson Plan


A study of the Girls’ Tomato Club movement in Mississippi offers a brief glimpse into the lives of a portion of the state’s female population at the turn of the century. From a very modest beginning, the movement became a part of the national 4-H Club network and was a predecessor to women’s home demonstration clubs which played a significant role in both the education and social life of rural women.

Economic Development in the 1930s: Balance Agriculture with Industry Lesson Plan


One of the primary goals of Mississippi governors and politicians of the 1930s was to stimulate economic growth in the state. Columbia's mayor, Hugh White, was elected governor of Mississippi in 1935. His political aspirations included developing the economic industrial base of the state through a plan that became known as BAWI (Balance Agriculture with Industry).  Even though few of the firms that were established under White's plan still exist, this economic vision acted as a catalyst in changing economic goals for a historically agricultural state.

Catfish Farming in Mississippi Lesson Plan


A casual discussion of Mississippi’s official state symbols in the classroom usually will produce some humorous answers. For example, the “mosquito” is the state insect, or perhaps it’s the fire ant! Rather than identifying the large-mouth bass as the state fish, students often will name the catfish and will only most reluctantly acquiesce when corrected. For years, the catfish has been favorite “eating” of Mississippians, many of whom caught them right out of a river or pond or bought them fresh from a local fisherman.

The Seafood Industry in Biloxi: Its Early History, 1848-1930 Lesson Plan


In the 19th century, a large seafood industry developed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast due in large part to new canning methods, production of commercial ice, financial investors, and the development of the railroad in the region. By the early 1900s, the coastal city of Biloxi became known as the “Seafood Capital of the World.” Workers migrated to the city for seasonal work in the factories, settled in the area, and added to the cultural landscape.

Farmers, the Populist Party, and Mississippi (1870-1900) Lesson Plan


As a whole, American society experienced economic prosperity due to the enormous industrialization in 19th-century America. Even though the United States thrived economically at this time, segments of society failed to benefit from the country’s industrial and financial transformation. American farmers experienced great difficulty in making the transition to a more urban and industrialized society. Out of this difficulty grew political organizations that addressed the grievances and concerns of the American farmer.

Good Roads: Building the "Old Spanish Trail" Lesson Plan


The first automobile to arrive in Mississippi arrived at Biloxi in 1900. This revolutionary change in transportation will ultimately impact every aspect of daily life. It will create a need for better road infrastructure and changes in local and state laws. The development of highways and interstates will better connect the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the rest of the state and to the nation.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 3 and 4.

Teaching Level

Grades 7 through 12