Why did the French explore the Mississippi river?
The French explored the Mississippi because they wanted to find new lands and build trading posts.
The name Mississippi comes from the French "Messipi" - the French rendering of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Algonquin) name for the river, "Misi-ziibi," meaning "Great River." Hernando De Soto, the Spanish Conquistador and explorer named the Mississippi River Rio de Espiritu Santo ("River of the Holy Spirit") after finding it. It was later named the Mississippi.