Missourian, adj., n.
/mi zoor"ee, -zoor"euh/, n., pl. Missouris, (esp. collectively) Missouri for 3.
1. a state in the central United States. 4,917,444; 69,674 sq. mi. (180,455 sq. km). Cap.: Jefferson City. Abbr.: MO (for use with zip code), Mo.
2. a river flowing from SW Montana into the Mississippi N of St. Louis, Mo. 2723 mi. (4382 km) long.
3. a member of a North American Indian tribe belonging to the Siouan linguistic stock, located on the Missouri River in early historic times and now extinct as a tribe.
4. from Missouri, Informal. unwilling to accept something without proof; skeptical: I'm from Missouri - you'll have to show me that you're right.

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State (pop., 2000: 5,595,211), midwestern U.S. Bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, it covers 69,709 sq mi (180,546 sq km); its capital is Jefferson City.

The Missouri River runs from west to east across the state. The area north of it has rolling hills and fertile plains, the area south has deep valleys and swift streams. The region was originally inhabited by various Indian peoples, one of which, the Missouri, gave the state its name. The first permanent European settlement was made in 1735 at Ste. Genevieve by French hunters and lead miners. St. Louis was founded in 1764. The U.S. gained control of the region in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was part of Louisiana Territory in 1805 and Missouri Territory in 1812. An influx of U.S. settlers occurred after the War of 1812. Missouri became the 24th state in 1821, but only after the Missouri Compromise allowed its admission as a slave state. It suffered much tension between slaveholders and abolitionists, evidenced in the Dred Scott decision in 1857. Missouri remained in the Union during the American Civil War, though its citizens fought on both sides. After the war, its economic growth expanded and was celebrated in the St. Louis Exhibition of 1904. After World War II, its economy shifted from agriculture to manufacturing. It leads the nation in lead production, based mainly in the Ozarks region.
(as used in expressions)

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 flagship of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in World War II and scene of the Japanese surrender. One of the four battleships of the Iowa class that were completed during the war, the USS Missouri numbered among the largest warships afloat, displacing 58,000 tons, carrying a main battery of nine 16-inch guns, and capable of a speed of 35 knots. The ship participated in combat action in the Pacific theatre throughout the later stages of the war.

      Chosen by General Douglas MacArthur, the Allied commander in chief, for the surrender ceremony, the Missouri entered Tokyo Bay flying the flag that had flown over the White House on Dec. 7, 1941. On Sunday morning, Sept. 2, 1945, the nine-man Japanese delegation arrived on board, and, at MacArthur's invitation, Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Mamoru and General Umezu Yoshijiro signed two copies of the document proclaiming “unconditional surrender . . . of all Japanese armed forces.”

      The Missouri was occasionally recommissioned for service in the latter half of the 20th century.

      North American Indian people of the Chiwere branch of the Siouan language (Siouan languages) family. In their historic past the Missouri people, together with the Iowa and the Oto, separated from the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) and moved southwest. The Missouri tribe settled at the confluence of the Grand and Missouri rivers in what is now Missouri, U.S., while the Oto continued to travel up the Missouri and its tributaries to what is now Iowa. Jacques Marquette (Marquette, Jacques) and Louis Jolliet (Jolliet, Louis) encountered the tribe on the Missouri River in 1673. Defeated in a war with the Sauk and Fox in 1798, the remnants of the Missouri scattered to live with the Osage, Kansa, and Oto. By 1805 some of the Missouri people had reassembled, but another defeat, this time by the Osage, dispersed them among the Oto and Iowa.

      Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 2,500 descendants of the combined Oto and Missouri tribes.

Missouri, flag of  constituent state of the United States of America. To the north lies Iowa; across the Mississippi River to the east, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee; to the south, Arkansas; and to the west, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. With the exception of Tennessee, Missouri has more neighbouring states than any other U.S. state. The area of Missouri is 69,697 square miles (180,516 square kilometres). Slightly more than half of the population lives in the two major cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, and their surrounding counties. Jefferson City is the capital.

      Located near the centre of the coterminous United States, Missouri is the meeting place of the timberlands of the East and the prairies of the West, of the cotton fields of the South and the cornfields of the North. It has represented the political and social sentiments of a border state since its admission as the 24th member of the Union on Aug. 10, 1821. The question of its admission as a slave or free state produced in Congress the Missouri Compromise (1820), which regulated the spread of slavery in the western territories.

      Missouri was the westernmost state of the nation until the admission of Texas in 1845, and for decades it served as the eastern terminus of the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. For the West, St. Louis (Saint Louis), Missouri's largest city, long was the closest contact with the more settled society and the culture of the East, and for the East the state had a reputation as the chief gateway to the West.

      The Missouri River cuts across the state from Kansas City in the west, through Jefferson City in the centre, to just above St. Louis in the east, where the river joins the Mississippi. Missouri was the name of a group of Indians who lived in the area; the French gave the name to the river, and it was later transferred to the state.

      Missouri ranks high in urbanization and industrial activity, though it maintains a vigorous and diversified agriculture. The rugged Ozark Plateau (Ozark Mountains) is a scenic beauty, and many lively folk traditions persist among its communities. Missouri retains numerous conservative characteristics of the rural life that predominated prior to the 1930s. Its nickname, the Show-Me State, suggests a tradition of skepticism regarding change. In Missouri the Democratic Party does not necessarily represent more liberal political philosophies than does the Republican, and the latter has made inroads into the traditional Democratic orientation. Continuing low tax bases prevent the elaboration of social services, a problem felt most acutely in the two major cities, which have had an increasing loss of wealth to the suburbs, coincident with greatly expanding needs of the cities.

Physical and human geography

The land (Missouri)
  North of the Missouri River, in the glaciated section, Missouri's landscape is characterized by gently rolling hills; open, fertile plains; and well-watered prairie country. South of the Missouri, except in the extreme southeastern corner of the state and along the western boundary, the land is rough and hilly, with some deep, narrow valleys and clear, swift streams. It is a region abounding with caves and extraordinarily large natural springs. Much of the land is 1,000 to 1,400 feet (300 to 425 metres) above sea level. Near the western border, however, the elevation rarely exceeds 700 to 800 feet, and in southeastern Missouri, a part of the alluvial plain of the Mississippi, it is less than 500 feet. The St. Francois Mountains in the eastern Ozarks exhibit igneous granite and rhyolite outcroppings, while the rest of the state is underlain by sedimentary rocks, mainly limestones, dolomites, sandstone, and shale. Missouri is tectonically stable except for the southeastern portion, where small earth tremors occur. The possibility of another devastating earthquake of a magnitude comparable to those centred at New Madrid in 1811–12 cannot be discounted.

Drainage and soils
      Drainage and soil conditions permit farming in all of Missouri's counties, although the Ozark Plateau only supports livestock farming because of the region's thin soil. Northern Missouri is generally well drained, much of it covered by rich glacial and loessial soils. The alluvial soils in the bottom lands along the many rivers and streams, which some soil experts believe to be the most extensive in the nation, also add to the farming potentiality. Except for the rivers that flow generally southeasterly into the Mississippi, many through Arkansas, the Missouri drains most of the state.

      Missouri's many lakes have been created by damming rivers and streams. The Lake of the Ozarks (Ozarks, Lake of the) is a large artificial lake, with an area of approximately 60,000 acres (24,300 hectares) and a shoreline of 1,375 miles (2,213 kilometres). Most have been built primarily to furnish hydroelectric power and to prevent flooding, but they provide Missouri with excellent recreational resources. There also are many natural springs, some of them among the largest in the world.

      Missouri is susceptible to the influences of cold Canadian air; of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico; and of drier air from the southwest. Although winds are variable throughout the year, summer winds generally blow from the south and southwest and winter winds from the north and northwest. Rainfall, usually sufficient for crops, varies from around 34 inches (864 millimetres) in the north and northwest to 50 or more inches in the extreme southeast. About one-third of it falls from April to June. Heavy snows are unusual, most snow occurring between December and February. Missouri lies in “Tornado Alley,” the zone of maximum occurrence, and has an average of 27 tornadoes annually. Maximum January temperatures range from about 36° F (2° C) in the north and northwest to 48° F (9° C) in the southeast. The extreme northwest usually has cooler summers than the southeast, but summer temperatures well above 100° F (38° C) may occur in any part of the state.

Plant and animal life
      Originally, about two-thirds of Missouri was forested, and the remainder was covered with prairie grasses. The river bluffs and valleys of the Ozark Plateau have a wide variety of unusual plants, including fameflower, royal catchfly, Trelease's larkspur, coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima), gayfeather, and fringed poppy mallow. Trelease's larkspur and coneflower are found in the wild in Missouri. Elk, deer, bison, and bears once were plentiful, as were such smaller animals as beavers, otters, and mink. After settlement and the development of agriculture, most of the larger animals, with the exception of deer, disappeared, and animals with valuable fur were trapped until near extinction.

Settlement patterns
      Missouri's regions reflect the ethnic, religious, and political persuasions of the residents. The “Bootheel” in the extreme southeast was settled by planters from the South and was appended to Missouri at the time of statehood through the great influence of one planter; it is the centre of Missouri's cotton culture, which has declined due to cotton disease and is being replaced by the cultivation of soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, and rice. The Ozark Mountains area, whose rugged terrain is unsuited to extensive agriculture, has been among the poorer regions of Missouri, but it constitutes one of the great tourist attractions of the state. “Little Dixie” is a block of counties that lies generally north of the Missouri River and extends westward along its banks to the middle of the state. It was initially settled by persons sympathetic to the South. Some of the finest examples of antebellum residences are found there. South of Little Dixie, on the bluffs and uplands south of the Missouri River and west of St. Louis, is a concentration of German settlements, known traditionally as the “Missouri Rhineland.” In the western part of the state, north and east of the Missouri River, is historic “Mormon Country (Mormon).” There, followers of Joseph Smith settled around 1831, first at Independence and subsequently in other counties, until they were driven out by hostile neighbours. In the centre of the state, around Boonville, Franklin, and Columbia, is the “Boone's Lick Country,” where the frontiersman Daniel Boone (Boone, Daniel) and his sons moved from Kentucky to make salt.

      Human settlement has altered Missouri's landscape significantly. Only one-third of the state remains forested, mostly on the hills and slopes of the Ozarks. Nearly all of the prairie land has been brought under cultivation. The damming of streams has produced numerous lakes and reservoirs, and in the southeast, drainage systems have converted former swamps into one of the state's richest agricultural regions. Agriculture in the state traditionally has been characterized by family-owned farms, but, as elsewhere in the nation, the number of farms has been decreasing, while acreage and productivity per farm have increased. Urbanization also has reduced the amount of agricultural land. Although urban settlements are scattered throughout the state, Kansas City and St. Louis are Missouri's important centres of commerce and manufacturing and the nuclei of large metropolitan areas that extend into Kansas on the west and Illinois on the east.

The people (Missouri)
      After the early French settlers, immigration came largely from states to the east and northeast, as well as from the South, with the implantation of its type of economy and society in the Bootheel and in Little Dixie. The first immigrants from abroad—particularly Germans, Irish, and English—came in great numbers after 1820. By 1860 large groups of Germans had settled in Missouri, mainly in St. Louis and just to the west, while many Irish had settled in the city. Between 1860 and 1890 the immigration from Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana exceeded that from the South, while an increasing number of immigrants from Germany arrived, settling mostly in urban centres. Subsequently, St. Louis and Kansas City attracted sizable communities of Italians and Greeks as well as Poles and Jews. By World War II more than 20 different European ethnic groups had settled in rural Missouri.

      While Missouri's population has grown modestly, people continue to leave the state, a pattern more characteristic of heavily rural or economically less developed states. The northward migration of many blacks from the rural South has altered the racial composition of the population. From 1940 to 1960 the white population increased by 11 percent, whereas the nonwhite population increased 62 percent. By the late 20th century blacks made up more than 10 percent of the state's total population, largely concentrated in St. Louis and Kansas City.

      It is not unusual that a crossroad state should exhibit great religious diversity. The Roman Catholic church, which was dominant until the Louisiana Purchase, remains powerful, particularly in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. After 1803 the chief Protestant denominations as well as many smaller sects were established. Baptists and Methodists predominate, and various Pentecostal groups are well represented throughout the state. Jewish communities have flourishing congregations in the larger cities.

The economy
      Although agriculture has remained important as an income-producing activity, services, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade have forged ahead since World War II. Missouri has become the commercial and industrial leader among all its adjacent states except Illinois and Tennessee. In some types of manufacture, particularly in the production of aerospace and transportation equipment—including automobile assembly—Missouri ranks among the leading states in the nation. Recreation and tourism have surpassed agriculture in economic importance. Much of this growth has been in the larger towns and cities and near the large Ozark lakes.

      The state Department of Economic Development includes several divisions and commissions that have had a significant influence upon the state's economic development. Local chambers of commerce and private financial groups also have stimulated economic growth.

      Workers in Missouri generally have enjoyed the benefits of an expanding economy, but income per capita is below the national average. Unions have had great influence in increasing the salary levels of teachers, clerical workers, and those in trades and crafts. In spite of favourable comparisons with other states in income and revenue, Missouri ranks near the bottom in terms of state tax revenue per capita. As a result, it has suffered from a lack of sufficient revenue to meet the needs and services that modern governmental agencies are expected to provide.

      The state's variety of resources includes lead and iron ore, barite, limestone, timber, and hydroelectric power. Mineral-rich Missouri leads the nation in lead production, and deposits of lead and zinc, as well as iron ores, continue to be discovered. Iron production, however, has ceased, and lead production has decreased because of declining demand. About two-thirds of the forest stand lies in the Ozarks, and since the 1950s industry has made increasing use of these resources. The acreage of many marginal farms in the Ozarks is being given over to recreation, one benefit of which is their return to forest.

Agriculture and industry
      A wide range of crops are grown, including soybeans, the state's most valuable crop, wheat, corn, cotton, rice, and tobacco. More than half of the state's total farm income derives from the sale of animals and animal products, mainly cattle, hogs, and dairy products. In parts of northern Missouri the combined number of cattle and hogs amounts to more than nine times the number of human inhabitants.

      Manufacturing is led by the production of aerospace and transportation equipment, followed by the processing of food and the production of chemicals.

Finance and trade
      Missouri ranks high among the states in commercial and savings and loan bank assets. Federal reserve banks are located in St. Louis and in Kansas City, and the regional offices of the Internal Revenue Service in Kansas City serve much of the Midwest. Kansas City and St. Louis have always been important trading and commercial centres for large regions reaching into neighbouring states, and they rank among the foremost grain and cattle markets of the nation. Farm-related products and automotive sales are the leading sources of revenue for wholesale and retail trade, while business demands predominate the services sector.

      The major flows of traffic within the state are from the east to west along the Missouri valley and southward along the Mississippi. Missouri is served by several interstate highways. Its railroads are linked with most of the nation's major trunk lines, and St. Louis, Kansas City, and Jefferson City are served by Amtrak passenger service. Since 1910 the gradual abandonment of competing parallel lines and short lines built by mining and lumbering companies has led to a considerable reduction in Missouri's railroad mileage. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers, providing more than 1,000 miles of navigable waterways within the state, connect waterborne traffic with New Orleans. St. Louis and Kansas City are regional air hubs.

Administration and social conditions
      Missouri is governed under its fourth constitution, ratified in 1945, but the basic structure of government has remained constant since the first constitution of 1820. Governors are elected for four-year terms and may succeed themselves. They have the power of “item veto,” by which they may strike individual provisions from any appropriation bill, except those for public school support or payments on the public debt. Legislative power is vested in the General Assembly, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The House has 163 members, elected for two-year terms, and the Senate has 34 members elected for four-year terms. Each senator represents equivalent population units, whereas each county has at least one representative, regardless of its population. During the early 1960s voters in 42 rural counties had nearly 10 times as many representatives as citizens living in St. Louis, St. Louis county, and Kansas City and surrounding Jackson county. Redistricting was completed in 1971 to establish equality of representation.

      The judicial system is similar to that of most states, with a Supreme Court as the highest tribunal. Below it are the Court of Appeals and 44 circuit courts. An unusual feature of Missouri's judicial system is a method of selecting judges by merit, known as the Missouri Plan and adopted by several other states. Under the plan the governor fills a vacancy in the court by appointing one of a three-member panel selected by a nonpartisan judicial commission. The appointment must be confirmed in a separate nonpartisan ballot in the first general election after the judge has been in office 12 months. The plan applies only for the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and circuit courts in metropolitan St. Louis and Kansas City. In counties outside the two large metropolitan areas, circuit judges and associate circuit judges are elected by voters in partisan elections. Political partisanship is still a consideration in the governor's selection of appointees and in the selection of commission members.

      The city and the county are the most important units of local government. The state has 114 counties plus the city of St. Louis, which is independent of surrounding St. Louis county. Counties are administered by a county commission consisting of three elected commissioners. Counties with a population of more than 85,000 are permitted to adopt their own charters. Missouri was the first state in the nation to permit cities to adopt their own governing charters, and there are now more than 20 cities across the state with home-rule charters. Most Missouri cities have the mayor–council form of government.

      Missouri voters tend to favour Democratic candidates, but they have elected Republican governors and returned Republican majorities to the General Assembly on a number of occasions. Both parties contain liberal and conservative factions. The Democratic Party is somewhat stronger in the two large metropolitan centres, while the Republican Party is strongest in southwestern Missouri and in the rural northern counties.

      Since 1945 many small school districts have consolidated into fewer large ones, and school enrollments and revenues have declined significantly since the early 1970s. Missouri has lagged behind other states in support of public education, while at the same time efforts to desegregate schools in St. Louis and Kansas City have been an additional financial burden.

      Higher education has expanded both in the public and private institutions. The University of Missouri (Missouri, University of) has campuses in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Rolla, in addition to the main and oldest campus in Columbia. There are also several state colleges plus Lincoln University, founded originally for blacks but now enrolling whites. Among the private institutions are Washington University and Jesuit-run St. Louis University, both in St. Louis. Financial support of higher education consistently has been inadequate.

Health and welfare
      The state Department of Social Services and the Department of Mental Health, both established in 1974, provide services for the ill and the indigent. In cooperation with federal agencies, St. Louis and Kansas City have undertaken massive urban-renewal programs to help relieve inner-city problems.

      Though costs of living have risen, especially in the larger population centres, income per capita also has risen. Pockets of poverty exist in depressed rural areas and in city slums, but Missouri generally has not had the severe poverty of states with more heavy industrialization or a greater amount of subsistence farming. The disparities between rich and poor are greatest in and around St. Louis and Kansas City. Because the metropolitan areas of St. Louis and Kansas City cut across state lines, their problems of metropolitan government and management are compounded.

Cultural life
      Diversity characterizes Missouri's cultural milieu, from the centres of fine art, music, and theatre along the St. Louis–Kansas City axis to the folk culture and native crafts of the Ozarks.

      The state has furthered cultural opportunities through the Missouri State Library, established in 1946, and the Missouri State Council on the Arts, created in 1965. The state library has been responsible for the rapid growth of county and regional libraries. The larger cities have their own library systems. The council on the arts has stimulated communities to expand their cultural resources.

      From the state's beginnings, the arts have flourished in Missouri. In painting, George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton have been preeminent. If expatriate poet T.S. Eliot, a St. Louis native, is disqualified, Mark Twain (Twain, Mark) remains Missouri's most distinguished literary figure, world-renowned for his immortalization of mid-19th-century life in Hannibal and along the Mississippi. There are schools of art and design in St. Louis and Kansas City, and music flourishes in both cities. St. Louis's Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen, is a spectacular example of the diverse architectural styles in evidence throughout the state.

      The Ozarks abound in folk traditions, tales, and ballads. This region was settled primarily by pioneers from the southern Appalachians, who brought with them traditional songs and ballads, some of which had been brought over from England and Scotland in the 17th century. Native crafts once practiced out of necessity by the pioneers have begun to flourish again in response to the interest of tourists and also because of recognition of the intrinsic merit of the objects made. Quilting, woodworking, basketmaking, and pottery are among some of the most important crafts, and their development is encouraged through the Missouri Federation of Arts and Crafts.

      Besides its universities and colleges, Missouri has outstanding cultural institutions, among them the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the second oldest U.S. civic orchestra and one of the major musical ensembles in the nation. In Kansas City the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art owns one of the finest collections of Asian art in the Western Hemisphere, and the Linda Hall Library has an outstanding scientific collection. Independence is the home of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Fulton, where the British leader Winston Churchill (Churchill, Sir Winston) made his famous “Iron Curtain” speech, has a collection of Churchilliana in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, whose stones were reassembled there after its destruction in the World War II bombings of London.

      High school, college, and professional sports are popular. Kansas City is the home of the professional baseball Royals and the gridiron-football Chiefs. St. Louis is the home of the baseball Cardinals. Increased leisure time and mobility have stimulated an enormous interest in recreation, and Missouri has developed a superb system of state parks and historic shrines and memorials that are attractive to residents and visitors alike. Numerous man-made lakes afford fishing and waterskiing, while the clear, cool rivers of the Ozark Plateau offer pleasure to canoeists, fishers, and campers. The Mark Twain National Forest provides ideal habitat for game animals and songbirds. The Current and Jacks Fork rivers are protected and managed as wild and scenic waterways by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

      The Missouri Press Association, established in 1867, has had an important effect upon the development of the press in the United States. It was responsible for establishing the world's first school of journalism at the University of Missouri and for founding the State Historical Society of Missouri, with the largest membership in the nation. There are numerous local newspapers and journals; newspapers of national distinction include the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, made famous by Joseph Pulitzer, and the Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times.

      Before the coming of European explorers the land that was to become Missouri was the home of a diverse group of Indian tribes whose mounds and other remains dot the state. One of the tribes was called the Missouri.

Exploration and settlement
      The recorded history of the region dates from the settlement of some French lead miners and hunters at Sainte Genevieve, on the western bank of the Mississippi, in about 1735. At some distance from its original site, Sainte Genevieve remains the oldest continuously inhabited white settlement in Missouri. Some 30 years later, Pierre Laclede, a French fur trader from New Orleans, founded St. Louis (Saint Louis). At the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, most of the 10,000 residents of the region were French settlers from the Illinois country, but some Americans had come from Kentucky and Tennessee, which, with Virginia, were the major immediate sources of settlers in following decades.

Statehood, controversy, and war
      The “pull of the West” solidified Missouri's position as a land of passage after it achieved statehood as a slave state in 1821 under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Migrants bound for Texas outfitted in Missouri, and later thousands of people heading west poured through Saint Joseph, Independence, Westport Landing, and the City of Kansas (Kansas City).

      Although slavery had become well established in the Missouri Territory, both on the plantations of transplanted Southerners and in French lead-mining ventures, the abolition movement (abolitionism) drew increasing support, particularly after statehood was granted. In challenging the traditional Southern institution, new arrivals from the North and from Europe challenged also the principle of states' rights. The emotional nature of the controversy gave rise in some instances to mob violence against abolitionists, including the Mormons who gathered in Missouri in the 1830s. Laws were enacted to prohibit teaching any black to read or write and to prevent any free black from entering the state. The case of the Missouri slave Dred Scott (Dred Scott decision), who sued for his freedom on the grounds that his master had for a time moved him into the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin, resulted in a Supreme Court decision (1857) that made slavery legal in all the territories.

      The 1850s were years of increasing dissension, worsened by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 that set slave- and free-state advocates at one another's throats for control of those adjoining territories. Missouri already was moving toward a free-state economy, however, and the state stayed within the Union during the Civil War. Missourians fought on both sides, but those in the Union army outnumbered those in the Confederate army by nearly 4 to 1. Conflict occurred in the state, much of it guerrilla warfare along the Kansas border. After the war, Confederate sympathizers were dealt with harshly; overall, however, Reconstruction was not as severe as in the Deep South.

The 20th century
      The continued growth of Missouri in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was celebrated in the famous St. Louis Exposition in 1904. The state remained heavily rural and agricultural, however, until the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II brought about vast movements of people into the cities.

      Three important developments have shaped the economy of Missouri since World War II: the shift from agriculture, mining, and lumbering to manufacturing, particularly of durable goods, and services; large investments in public and social services, highways, and rural electrification; and population growth, particularly near the large reservoirs and in the peripheries of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield. Rural areas of Missouri have attracted many new plants that employ a small number of workers, but two-thirds of the manufacturing employment remains concentrated in the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas. Small towns have changed rapidly, their relative success depending to a large degree on geography and transportation. Some towns near large cities have grown as they have been brought into the commuting zone by improved highways, but most villages have suffered economic stagnation as the rural population has declined and the remaining residents shifted their commercial support to the larger towns.

Edwin J. Westermann Milton D. Rafferty

Additional Reading
Writers' Program, Missouri: A Guide to the “Show Me” State (1941, reprinted as Missouri: The WPA Guide to the “Show Me” State, 1998), provides good and still-useful information on the state's people and economy and the cultural landscape of its cities and small towns. Milton D. Rafferty, Missouri (1983), includes discussion of physical, economic, political, and cultural topics, and his Historical Atlas of Missouri (1982) presents maps of the state's historical geography, economy, and social conditions. DeLorme Mapping Company, Missouri Atlas & Gazetteer (1998), focuses on the state's topography. Milton D. Rafferty, Russel L. Gerlach, and Dennis J. Hrebec, Atlas of Missouri (1970), emphasizes economics and political and demographic resources, divisions, and concentrations. Local geography and history are detailed in Robert L. Ramsey, Our Storehouse of Missouri Place Names (1952, reprinted 1991). Russel L. Gerlach, Settlement Patterns in Missouri (1986), is a concise work. Noel P. Gist et al. (eds.), Missouri: Its Resources, People, and Institutions (1950), contains essays and studies on every aspect of the state's develoment.Historical treatments include Louis Houck, A History of Missouri from the Earliest Explorations and Settlements Until the Admission of the State into the Union, 3 vol. (1908; reissued 3 vol. in 1, 1971), the definitive history up to statehood; William E. Parrish (ed.), A History of Missouri (1971– ), a comprehensive historical survey; Paul C. Nagel, Missouri (1977, reprinted 1988); and Duane Meyer, The Heritage of Missouri, 3rd ed. (1982), perhaps the best one-volume history of the state.Milton D. Rafferty Ed.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Missouri — (spr. suh ), Hauptnebenfluß des Mississippi, entsteht aus drei Quellflüssen (Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin) bei Gallatin in Montana, fließt erst nördl., dann ostwärts durch Montana und Dakota, dann südöstl. durch Dakota, zuletzt östl. durch… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Missouri — originally a name for a group of native peoples among Chiwere (Siouan) tribes, from an Algonquian word recorded c.1700, lit. people of the big canoes. The expression I m from Missouri, you ll have to show me is attested from at least c.1880.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Missouri [2] — Missouri (spr. suh ), einer der westl. der Ver. Staaten von Amerika, 179.058 qkm, (1900) 3.106.665 E.; im Innern Hochebene, im SW. gebirgig; Boden fruchtbar; Landwirtschaft; Bergbau in Kohle, Zink , Blei und Eisenerz. Mittelpunkt Saint Louis;… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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