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In the mid-19th century, Missouri was the "wild west" for the United States. And into that wild west came a Methodist preacher by the name of Harris G. Joplin. He hoped that by establishing a congregation among the settlers he could provide a peaceful atmosphere for growth in the new state. Though no town arose around that church, the spring and river running through the valley were given his name. Then the ancient and useful metal lead was found in the area. But before it could be mined, the state of Missouri was literally "in the middle" of the American Civil War.
By 1871, though, mining camps began to spring up in the valley and John C. Cox filed a plan with the state to build a city he planned to name Joplin City on the east side of the valley. At about the same time, Patrick Murphy filed a plan for a city on the west side, calling it Murphysburg. The two towns were anything but peaceful with the only law being self defense. The two cities merged and changed their name to "Union City," but this was illegal, leading to a second merger, on March 23, 1873, into the city of Joplin. The metal zinc was found along with the lead and became the "cash crop" of the mines, leading to a "boom town" with growth lasted for a half century. Joplin became a center for the transportation industry that left trucking firms there even after the "Zinc capital of the world" closed most of its mines.
In the latter half of the twentieth century, the city of Joplin saw a leveling of its growth. Efforts were begun to revitalize downtown which continued into the 1980's.
Joplin was not a target on Doomsday and soon became a popular center for refugees from across the region seeking food, water, shelter, medical supplies and safety. The Missouri provisional capital at Springfield fell apart in violence and soon Joplin assumed the role of the provisional capital. Throughout the mid to late 1980's the main goal was to simply survive and gather the necessities of life. In 1990 after having very little contact with outsiders and absolutely no contact with the United States government, Joplin declared her independence, however they did leave the door open to returning to the US if contact were ever to be established.
Intervention In Hot Springs
In 1991 the people of Joplin learned of another city state in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Although they were happy to discover that there were other survivors out there, relations were extremely tense. Hot Springs was run by racist warlords that enslaved Blacks and Hispanics. Upon the urging of some dissidents in Hot Springs, Joplin sent some militia men to help the resistance leaders overthrown the warlords in 1995. The remnants of the former racist government tried to reclaim Hot Springs three times, all of which were defeated with help from Joplin. Since the establishment of a Democratic government, Hot Springs and Joplin have formed a very close partnership and are considering forming a political union of some kind between the two nations.
In 1997 Joplin made contact with Cape Girardeau and they have since formed a very strong alliance. The people of Joplin are among the best educated of the various city states in the Southern United States. In 2009 when Kentucky made contact with Cape Girardeau and expanded into eastern Missouri, Cape Girardeau relayed information they had received from the Kentucky representatives about the rest of the world. Upon hearing that the United States disbanded in 1995 they became interested in a economic, military and political alliance between themselves, Kentucky, Cape Girardeau and Hot Springs. Talks have been very informal but there is a strong feeling that this may be the best way to prosper in the future.
In 2009 Kentucky made contact with Joplin through Cape Girardeau. In late 2009 League of Nations scouts came across Joplin while surveying the Southern region of the former United States.
On May 22, 2011, a major tornado tore through the city of Joplin, and annihilated most of the city directly south of the downtown area and damaging most buildings. The once-burgoning city had been brought to its knees by a natural catastrophe that killed hundreds and left many more homeless and displaced. The city was unable to fully rebuild due to lack of resources, and while some stayed, many refugees naturally went elsewhere to the outlying cities of Carthage, Pittsburg, and Miami while some braved the trek to the isolationist city-state of Springfield. Joplin has yet to recover.
The economy is supported through government jobs, agriculture, law enforcement, the militia and manufacturing. Trading amongst Broken Bow, Cape Girardeau and Hot Springs has also helped stimulate the economy. With the recent contact made with Kentucky, trade among the nations and the possibility of an alliance or merger with Kentucky will only benefit Joplin's economy.
Joplin is a democracy that follows a constitution that is almost identical to that of the former United States. They elect a council of 10 members, along with a Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
Joplin is home to Missouri Southern State University, and two Bible colleges, Ozark Christian College and Messenger College. Joplin is also served by the Joplin Public Library, which is situated on Main Street between the intersections of 3rd and 4th Streets.
Joplin is home to seven public elementary schools. The JHS student population had nearly 2200 students in the 2008-2009 school year. Joplin also has many private schools, such as College Heights Christian School, St. Mary's Catholic School, Martin Luther School, and more. There is also one Independent School, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, which has been running since 2008.
Joplin’s lively interest in cultural activities includes history, arts, concerts, theater and dance. George A. Spiva Center for the Arts features a continuous rotation of famous exhibits, a regional focus gallery, and art instruction for both children and adults. Joplin Little Theater, the oldest continuous community theater west of the Mississippi, allows a creative outlet for local residents. In addition, local colleges and universities offer various cultural opportunities, including the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition. Joplin's Memorial Hall is also a popular venue for concerts and other entertainment events.
In 1991 contact was made with Cape Girardeau and Hot Springs. In 1995 they assisted the current government of Hot Springs overthrow racist warlords, and have helped to defeat them three times since. In the mid 2000's Joplin began to trade with both Cape Girardeau and Hot Springs.