History in the Deep South
The complex history and heritage of the Deep South have created a distinctly American culture that is more a state of mind than a place. The lower Mississippi valley was the homeland of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee before the French, Spanish and British arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries to fight over it.
The Americans finally took it in the 18th century and the defining historical event of the Deep South remains the Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865. Although the Deep South romanticises antebellum plantation life, built on slavery, it is also the birthplace of the modern Civil Rights movement. Today, there are more African-Americans elected to public office in the South than in any other part of the nation.
Travelling through the Deep South is a history lesson in itself!