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Known for their incredibly long, meandering paths, the Amazon, Nile, and Mississippi rivers make it to the list of the longest rivers not only in their own regions but the rest of the world as well. The Amazon is estimated to be anywhere between 6,259 km and 6,712 km long, automatically qualifying as the second longest river system in the whole world next to the Nile which runs the length of 6,650 km. The Mississippi, meanwhile, runs the length of around 3,730 km, making it the longest river in North America. Although experts still have slightly varying data as to the actual lengths of these three rivers, the record and title they register remain undisputed. The Amazon, Nile, and the Mississippi all cut through several states, making these rivers very important navigational routes.
(Photo credits: www.classroomclipart.com)
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Because of the area these three rivers occupy, it is no wonder that the Amazon, Nile, and the Mississippi carry with them very colorful histories that date back thousands of years ago. Long-ago settlers near the Mississippi depended on the river for survival--food source, protective boundary, and navigational route were just some of the benefits the Native Americans utilized. Modernization eventually took over, and the river became pathways for steamboats, military, and various explorers from various islands. These historical bank is equally shared by the Amazon as it was also a major factor in the emergence of South America's early agrarian systems, the conquest of new lands by explorers who traversed through the river's length, utilization of steamboat navigation around the area, and the modernization of the lands surrounding it. The Nile has long been used as a transport aid in selling, trading, and shipping of goods and people. As in the Amazon and the Mississippi, these were done initially by canoes and eventually by steamboats.
(Photo credits: www.classroomclipart.com)
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Foreign, Political, and Civil Encounters
Because of the richness and unparalleled potential the land areas surrounding these three rivers had, the Amazon, Nile, and the Mississippi rivers became very efficient avenues for seafarers, explorers, and colonialists. Spanish and Portuguese explorers arrived at the shores of the villages surrounding the Amazon. The Mississippi areas were discovered and conquered by Spanish and French explorers, while the Nile has been the object of conquests of explorers and travelers in expeditions. The three rivers also played significant roles in political and civil warfare. The Mississippi river was involved in political border issues, treaties, and civil wars. The Amazon is no different--it was fraught with mutiny threats, regional wars, and power struggles during its pre-colonial and colonial centuries. Disputes in Africa ensued on the claim over water resources that originate in the Nile, involving Egypt as the alleged dominant water consumer.
(Photo credits: http://www.free-extras.com/images/amazon_river-12264.htm)
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Arts and Sports Inspirations
Perhaps due to the enchanting effect their greatness and vastness bring, the Amazon, Nile, and the Mississippi rivers have stirred inspiration, creativity, and drive among the world's most well-known literature and sports giants. Prominent literary figures such as William Faulkner, Agatha Cristie, and Mark Twain, as well as numerous runners, swimmers, and triathletes all drew inspiration from the beauty, mystery, and length of these three rivers in accomplishing literary and sports feats. The Amazon's intensely diversified ecosystems, the Nile's mysterious aura, and the Mississippi's haunting mix of romanticism and modernism are what perhaps drove passionate artists and athletes to conquer these three rivers by pen and by endurance.
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The Amazon, Nile, and the Mississippi will surely continue to inspire more technological, navigational, and artistic advance by virtue of their nature. More than their great length and width, their rich bank of historical, political, and cultural influences through the years are what make them truly three of the most amazing river systems in the world.
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