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The State of Louisiana ( or ; , ; Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of Americamarker. Its capital is Baton Rougemarker and largest city is New Orleansmarker. Louisiana is the only state divided into parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is Jefferson Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French, Spanish and African cultures that they have been considered somewhat exceptional in the U.S. Before the Americanmarker influx and statehood at the beginning of the 19th century, the territory of current Louisiana State had been a Spanish and French colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous Africans in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture.


Louisiana (also known as New France) was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643–1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane, meaning "Land of Louis". Louisiana was also part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain of the Spanish Empire. The territory was acquired in 1803 by the United Statesmarker through the Louisiana Purchase from France. Once part of the United States, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day New Orleansmarker north to the present-day Canadianmarker border. Part or all of 15 states were formed from the territory.


Map of Louisiana
Aerial view of Louisiana wetland habitats.


Louisiana is bordered to the west by the state of Texasmarker; to the north by Arkansasmarker; to the east by the state of Mississippimarker; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexicomarker.

The surface of the state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands and the alluvial. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, and barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km²). This area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexicomarker and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 miles (1,000 km) and empties into the Gulf of Mexicomarker; the Red Rivermarker; the Ouachita River and its branches; and other minor streams (some of which are called bayous). The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles (15 to 100 km), and along the other rivers the alluvial region averages about 10 miles (15 km) across. The Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own deposits (known as a levee), from which the lands decline toward the low swamps beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile (3 m/km). The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features.

The higher lands and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles (65,000 km²). They consist of prairie and woodlands. The elevations above sea level range from 10 feet (3 m) at the coast and swamp lands to 50 and 60 feet (15–18 m) at the prairie and alluvial lands. In the uplands and hills, the elevations rise to Driskill Mountainmarker, the highest point in the state at only 535 feet (163 m) above sea level. Only two other states, Floridamarker and Delawaremarker, are geographically lower than Louisiana. !

Besides the navigable waterways already named, there are the Sabinemarker (Sah-BEAN), forming the western boundary; and the Pearlmarker, the eastern boundary; the Calcasieu (KAL-cah-shew), the Mermentau, the Vermilion, Bayou Teche, the Atchafalaya, the Boeuf (beff), Bayou Lafourche, the Courtableau, Bayou D'Arbonne, the Macon, the Tensasmarker (TEN-saw), Amite River, the Tchefuncte (CHA-Funk-ta), the Tickfaw, the Natalbany, and a number of other smaller streams, constituting a natural system of navigable waterways, aggregating over in length. These waterways are unequaled in any other state of the nation. The state also has 1,060 square miles (2,745 km²) of land-locked bays; 1,700 square miles (4,400 km²) of inland lakes; and a river surface of over 500 square miles (1,300 km²).

The state also has political jurisdiction over the approximately 3-mile-wide portion of subsea land of the inner continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexicomarker. Through a peculiarity of the political geography of the United Statesmarker, this is substantially less than the 9-mile-wide jurisdiction of nearby states Texasmarker and Floridamarker, who, like Louisiana, have extensive Gulf coastlines.


More about Louisiana:Louisiana has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa), perhaps the most "classic" example of a humid subtropical climate of all the Southeastern states, with long, hot, humid summers and short, mild winters. The subtropical characteristics of the state are due in large part to the influence of the Gulf of Mexicomarker, which even at its farthest point is no more than 200 miles (320 km) away. Precipitation is frequent throughout the year, although the summer is slightly wetter than the rest of the year. There is a dip in precipitation in October. Southern Louisiana receives far more copious rainfall, especially during the winter months. Summers in Louisiana are hot and humid, with high temperatures from mid-June to mid-September averaging 90 °F (32 °C) or more and overnight lows averaging above 70 °F (22 °C). In the summer, the extreme maximum temperature is much warmer in the north than in the south, with temperatures near the Gulf of Mexicomarker occasionally reaching 100 °F (38 °C), although temperatures above 95 °F (35 °C) are commonplace. In northern Louisiana, the temperatures reach above 105 °F (41 °C) in the summer.

Temperatures are generally mildly warm in the winter in the southern part of the state, with highs around New Orleans, Baton Rouge, the rest of south Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico averaging 66 °F (19 °C), while the northern part of the state is mildly cool in the winter with highs averaging 59 °F (15 °C). The overnight lows in the winter average well above freezing throughout the state, with 46 °F (8 °C) the average near the Gulf and an average low of 37 °F (3 °C) in the winter in the northern part of the state. Louisiana does have its share of cold fronts, which frequently drop the temperatures below 20 °F (-8 °C) in the northern part of the state, but almost never do so in the southern part of the state. Snow is not very common near the Gulf of Mexico, although those in the northern parts of the state can expect one to three snowfalls per year, with the frequency increasing northwards.

Louisiana is often affected by tropical cyclones and is very vulnerable to strikes by major hurricanes, particularly the lowlands around and in the New Orleansmarker area. The unique geography of the region with the many bayous, marshes and inlets can make major hurricanes especially destructive. The area is also prone to frequent thunderstorms, especially in the summer. The entire state averages over 60 days of thunderstorms a year, more than any other state except Floridamarker. Louisiana averages 27 tornadoes annually. The entire state is vulnerable to a tornado strike, with the extreme southern portion of the state slightly less so than the rest of the state. Tornadoes are much more common from January to March in the southern part of the state, and from February through March in the northern part of the state.


  • September 1, 2008, Gustav made landfall along the Louisiana coast near Cocodriemarker in southeastern Louisiana. As late as August 31 it had been projected by the National Hurricane Center that the hurricane would remain at Category 3 or above on September 1, but in the event the center of Gustav made landfall as a strong Category 2 hurricane (1 mph below Category 3), and dropped to Category 1 soon after. As a result of NHC's forecasts there had been a massive evacuation of New Orleansmarker amid warnings (for example from the city's mayor, Ray Nagin) that this would be the “storm of the century”, potentially more devastating than Katrina almost exactly three years earlier, but these fears were not realised. Nevertheless, a significant number of deaths were caused by or attributed to Gustav, and around 1.5 million people were without power in Louisiana on September 1.
  • September 24, 2005, Rita (Category 3 at landfall) struck southwestern Louisiana, flooding many parishes and cities along the coast, including Cameron Parish, Lake Charlesmarker, and other towns. The storm's winds further weakened the damaged levees in New Orleans and caused renewed flooding in parts of the city.
  • August 29, 2005, Katrina (Category 3 at landfall) struck and devastated southeastern Louisiana, while breached and undermined levees in New Orleans allowed 80% of the city to flood. Most people had been evacuated but the majority of the population became homeless. The city was virtually closed until October. It is estimated that more than two million people in the Gulf region were displaced by the hurricane, and more than 1,500 fatalities resulted in Louisiana alone. A public outcry criticized governments at the local, state, and federal levels, citing that preparation and response was neither fast nor adequate.

  • Oct. 3, 2002, Lili (Category 1 at landfall)
  • August 1992, Andrew (Category 3 at landfall) struck south-central Louisiana. It killed four people; knocked out power to nearly 150,000 citizens; and destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars of crops in the state.
  • August 1969, Camille (Category 5) caused a . storm surge and killed 250 people. Although Camille officially made landfall in Mississippimarker and the worst impacts were felt there, it also had effects in Louisiana. New Orleansmarker was spared the brunt of the storm and remained dry, with the exception of mild rain-generated flooding in the most low-lying areas.
  • September 9, 1965, Betsy (Category 3 at landfall) came ashore in Louisiana, causing massive destruction as the first hurricane in history to cause one billion dollars in damage (over ten billion in inflation-adjusted USD). The storm hit New Orleans particularly hard by flooding approximately 35% of the city (including the Lower 9th Wardmarker, Gentilly, and parts of Mid-City), and pushing the death toll in the state to 76.
  • June 1957, Audrey (Category 4) devastated southwest Louisiana, destroying or severely damaging 60–80 percent of the homes and businesses from Cameronmarker to Grand Chenier. 40,000 people were left homeless and more than 300 people were killed in the state.
  • August 10, 1856, Hurricane One (Category 4) made landfall at Last Island, Louisianamarker. The 25 mile long barrier island resort community was devastated by being split into 5 separate islands, and over 200 people were killed.


The underlying strata of the state are of Cretaceous age and are covered by alluvial deposits of Tertiary and post-Tertiary origin. A large part of Louisiana is the creation and product of the Mississippi River. It was originally covered by an arm of the sea, and has been built up by the silt carried down the valley by the great river.

Near the coast, there are many salt domes, where salt is mined and oil is often found. Salt domes also exist in North Louisiana.

Due both to extensive flood control measures along the Mississippi River and natural subsidence, Louisiana is now suffering the loss of coastal land area. State and federal government efforts to halt or reverse this phenomenon are underway; others are being sought. There is one bright spot, however; the Atchafalaya River is creating new delta land in the South-Central portion of the state. This active delta lobe also indicates that the Mississippi is seeking a new path to the Gulf. Much engineering effort is devoted to keeping the river near its traditional route, as the state's economy and shipping depends on it.

Geographic and statistical areas

Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes (the equivalent of counties in most other states). The term "parish" is unique to Louisiana and is due to its French / Spanish heritage; the original boundaries of the civilian county governments were coterminous with the local Roman Catholic parishes.

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Protected areas

Louisiana contains a number of areas which are, in varying degrees, protected from human intervention. In addition to National Park Service sites and areas and a United States National Forest, Louisiana operates a system of state parks and recreation areas throughout the state. Administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System provides a degree of protection for 48 rivers, streams and bayous in the state.

National Park Service

Historic or scenic areas managed, protected, or otherwise recognized by the National Park Service include:

US Forest Service

  • Kisatchie National Forestmarker is Louisiana's only national forest. It includes several hundred thousand acres in central and north Louisiana.

State parks and recreational areas

Louisiana operates a system of 19 state parks, 16 state historic sites and one state preservation area. Louisiana is also home of the High Delta Safari Park close to Shreveport and Monroe.


Interstate highways

United States highways

The Intracoastal Waterway is an important means of transporting commercial goods such as petroleum and petroleum products, agricultural produce, building materials and manufactured goods.


Early settlement

Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans when European explorers arrived in the 16th century. Many place names in the state are transliterations of those used in Native American dialects. Tribes that inhabited what is now Louisiana included the Atakapa, the Boocana the Opelousa, the Acolapissa, the Tangipahoa, and the Chitimacha in the southeast of the state; the Washa, the Chawasha, the Yagenechito, the Bayougoula and the Houma (part of the Choctaw nation), the Quinipissa, the Okelousa, the Avoyel, the Taensa (part of the Natchez nation), the Tunica, and the Koroa. Central and northwest Louisiana was home to a substantial portion of the Caddo nation and the Natchitoches confederacy, consisting of the Natchitoches, the Yatasi, the Nakasa, the Doustioni, the Ouachita, and the Adai.

Exploration and colonization by Europeans

Louisiana regions
The first European explorers to visit Louisiana came in 1528. The Spanishmarker expedition (led by Panfilo de Narváez) located the mouth of the Mississippi River. In 1541, Hernando de Soto's expedition crossed the region.Then Spanish interest in Louisiana lay dormant. In the late 17th century, Frenchmarker expeditions, which included sovereign, religious and commercial aims, established a foothold on the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. With its first settlements, France lay claim to a vast region of North America and set out to establish a commercial empire and French nation stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

In 1682, the French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle named the region Louisiana to honor France's King Louis XIV. The first permanent settlement, Fort Maurepas (at what is now Ocean Springs, Mississippimarker, near Biloximarker), was founded by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, a French military officer from Canada, in 1699. By then the French had also built a small fort at the mouth of the Mississippi at a settlement they named La Balise marker, "seamark" in French. By 1721 they built a wooden lighthouse-type structure to guide ships on the river.

The French colony of Louisiana originally claimed all the land on both sides of the Mississippi River and north to French territory in Canadamarker.The following States were part of Louisiana: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.

The settlement of Natchitochesmarker (along the Red River in present-day northwest Louisiana) was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, making it the oldest permanent European settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory. The French settlement had two purposes: to establish trade with the Spanish in Texasmarker, and to deter Spanish advances into Louisiana. Also, the northern terminus of the Old San Antonio Road (sometimes called El Camino Real, or Kings Highway) was at Natchitoches. The settlement soon became a flourishing river port and crossroads, giving rise to vast cotton kingdoms along the river. Over time, planters developed large plantations and built fine homes in a growing town, a pattern repeated in New Orleans and other places.
Louisiana's French settlements contributed to further exploration and outposts, concentrated along the banks of the Mississippi and its major tributaries, from Louisiana to as far north as the region called the Illinois Country, around present-day St. Louis, Missourimarker. See also: French colonization of the Americas

Initially Mobile, Alabamamarker, and Biloxi, Mississippimarker, functioned as the capital of the colony. Recognizing the importance of the Mississippi River to trade and military interests, France made New Orleansmarker the seat of civilian and military authority in 1722. From then until the United States acquired the territory in the Louisiana Purchase on December 20, 1803, France and Spain traded control of the region's colonial empire.

In the 1720s, German immigrants settled along the Mississippi River in a region referred to as the German Coast.

France ceded most of its territory to the east of the Mississippi to Great Britainmarker in the aftermath of Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War or French and Indian War, as it was known in North America. It retained the area around New Orleansmarker and the parishes around Lake Pontchartrainmarker. The rest of Louisiana became a colony of Spainmarker after the Seven Years' War by the Treaty of Paris of 1763.

In 1755, during the period of Spanish rule, several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia (now Nova Scotiamarker,New Brunswickmarker, and Prince Edward Islandmarker, Canadamarker) made their way to Louisiana following British expulsion after the Seven Years' War. They settled chiefly in the southwestern Louisiana region now called Acadiana. The Spanish, eager to gain more Catholic settlers, welcomed the Acadian refugees. Cajuns descend from these Acadian refugees.

Spanish Canary Islanders, called Isleños, emigrated from the Canary Islands of Spain to Louisiana under the Spanish crown between 1778 and 1783.

In 1800, France's Napoleon Bonaparte acquired Louisiana from Spain in the Treaty of San Ildefonso, an arrangement kept secret for two years.

Expansion of slavery

In 1709, French financier Antoine Crozat obtained a monopoly of commerce in the French dominion of Louisiana that extended from the Gulf of Mexicomarker to what is now Illinoismarker. "That concession allowed him to bring in a cargo of blacks from Africa every year," the British historian Hugh Thomas wrote.

When Francemarker sold the Louisiana territory to the United States in 1803, it was soon accepted that enslaved Africans could be brought there as easily as they were brought to neighboring Mississippimarker though it violated U.S. law to do so. Though Louisiana was, at the start of the nineteenth century, a small producer of sugar with a relatively small number of slaves, it soon became a big sugar producer after plantation owners purchased enslaved people who had been transported from Africa and then to South Carolinamarker before being sold in Louisiana where plantation owners forced the captive labor to work at no pay on their growing sugar cane plantations. Despite demands by United Statesmarker Rep. James Hillhouse and by the pamphleteer Thomas Paine to enforce existing federal law against slavery in the newly acquired territory. , slavery prevailed because it was the source of great profits and the lowest cost labor. The last Spanish governor of the Louisiana territory wrote that "Truly, it is impossible for lower Louisiana to get along without slaves" and with the use of slaves, the colony had been "making great strides toward prosperity and wealth."

Forced slave labor was needed, said William Claiborne, Louisiana's first United States governor, because unforced white laborers "cannot be had in this unhealthy climate." Hugh Thomas wrote that Claiborne was unable to enforce the abolition of trafficking in human beings where he was charged with doing so in Louisiana.

Haitian Migration and Influence

Pierre Laussat (French Minister in Louisiana 1718): "Saint-Domingue was, of all our colonies in the Antilles, the one whose mentality and customs influenced Louisiana the most."

Louisiana and her Caribbean parent colony developed intimate links during the eighteenth century, centered on maritime trade, the exchange of capital and information, and the migration of colonists. From such beginnings, Haitians exerted a profound influence on Louisiana's politics, people, religion, and culture. The colony's officials, responding to anti-slavery plots and uprisings on the island, banned the entry of enslaved Saint Dominguans in 1763. Their rebellious actions would continue to impact upon Louisiana's slave trade and immigration policies throughout the age of the American and French revolutions.

These two democratic struggles struck fear in the hearts of the Spaniards, who governed Louisiana from 1763 to 1800. They suppressed what they saw as seditious activities and banned subversive materials in a futile attempt to isolate their colony from the spread of democratic revolution. In May 1790 a royal decree prohibited the entry of blacks - enslaved and free - from the French West Indies. A year later, the first successful slave revolt in history started, which would lead eventually to the founding of Haitimarker.

The revolution in Saint Domingue unleashed a massive multiracial exodus: the French fled with the slaves they managed to keep; so did numerous free people of color, some of whom were slaveholders themselves. In addition, in 1793, a catastrophic fire destroyed two-thirds of the principal city, Cap Français (present-day Cap Haïtien), and nearly ten thousand people left the island for good. In the ensuing decades of revolution, foreign invasion, and civil war, thousands more fled the turmoil. Many moved eastward to Santo Domingo (present-day Dominican Republic) or to nearby Caribbean islands. Large numbers of immigrants, black and white, found shelter in North America, notably in New York, Baltimore (fifty-three ships landed there in July 1793), Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah, as well as in Spanish Florida. Nowhere on the continent, however, did the refugee movement exert as profound an influence as in southern Louisiana.

Between 1791 and 1803, thirteen hundred refugees arrived in New Orleans. The authorities were concerned that some had come with "seditious" ideas. In the spring of 1795, Pointe Coupée was the scene of an attempted insurrection during which planters' homes were burned down. Following the incident, a free émigré from Saint Domingue, Louis Benoit, accused of being "very imbued with the revolutionary maxims which have devastated the said colony" was banished. The failed uprising caused planter Joseph Pontalba to take "heed of the dreadful calamities of Saint Domingue, and of the germ of revolt only too widespread among our slaves." Continued unrest in Pointe Coupée and on the German Coast contributed to a decision to shut down the entire slave trade in the spring of 1796.

In 1800 Louisiana officials debated reopening it, but they agreed that Saint Domingue blacks would be barred from entry. They also noted the presence of black and white insurgents from the French West Indies who were "propagating dangerous doctrines among our Negroes." Their slaves seemed more "insolent," "ungovernable," and "insubordinate" than they had been just five years before.

That same year, Spain ceded Louisiana back to France, and planters continued to live in fear of revolts. After future emperor Napoleon Bonaparte sold the colony to the United States in 1803 because his disastrous expedition against Saint Domingue had stretched his finances and military too thin, events in the island loomed even larger in Louisiana.

Purchase by the United States

When the United States won its independence from Great Britain in 1783, one of its major concerns was having a European power on its western boundary, and the need for unrestricted access to the Mississippi River. As American settlers pushed west, they found that the Appalachian Mountainsmarker provided a barrier to shipping goods eastward. The easiest way to ship produce was to use a flatboat to float it down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the port of New Orleans, from where goods could be put on ocean-going vessels. The problem with this route was that the Spanish owned both sides of the Mississippi below Natchezmarker. Napoleon's ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbeanmarker sugar trade. By the terms of the Treaty of Amiens of 1800, Great Britain returned ownership of the islands of Martiniquemarker and Guadaloupemarker to the French. Napoleon looked upon Louisiana as a depot for these sugar islands, and as a buffer to U.S. settlement. In October 1801 he sent a large military force to conquer the important island of Santo Domingomarker and re-introduce slavery, which had been abolished in St. Domingue following a slave revolt there in 1792-3, and the legal and constitutional abolition of slavery in French colonies in 1794.

When the army led by Napoleon's brother-in-law Leclerc was defeated by the forces opposed to the re-enslavement of most of the population of St. Domingue, Napoleon decided to sell Louisiana.
Louisiana's bilingual state welcome sign, recognizing its French heritage
Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was disturbed by Napoleon's plans to re-establish French colonies in America. With the possession of New Orleans, Napoleon could close the Mississippi to U.S. commerce at any time. Jefferson authorized Robert R. Livingston, U.S. Minister to France, to negotiate for the purchase of the City of New Orleans, portions of the east bank of the Mississippi, and free navigation of the river for U.S. commerce. Livingston was authorized to pay up to $2 million.

An official transfer of Louisiana to French ownership had not yet taken place, and Napoleon's deal with the Spanish was a poorly kept secret on the frontier. On October 18, 1802, however, Juan Ventura Morales, Acting Intendant of Louisiana, made public the intention of Spain to revoke the right of deposit at New Orleans for all cargo from the United States. The closure of this vital port to the United States caused anger and consternation. Commerce in the west was virtually blockaded. Historians believe that the revocation of the right of deposit was prompted by abuses of the Americans, particularly smuggling, and not by French intrigues as was believed at the time. President Jefferson ignored public pressure for war with France, and appointed James Monroe a special envoy to Napoleon, to assist in obtaining New Orleans for the United States. Jefferson also raised the authorized expenditure to $10 million.

However, on April 11, 1803, French Foreign Minister Talleyrand surprised Livingston by asking how much the United States was prepared to pay for the entirety of Louisiana, not just New Orleans and the surrounding area (as Livingston's instructions covered). Monroe agreed with Livingston that Napoleon might withdraw this offer at any time (leaving them with no ability to obtain the desired New Orleans area), and that approval from President Jefferson might take months, so Livingston and Monroe decided to open negotiations immediately. By April 30, they closed a deal for the purchase of the entire Louisiana territory for 60 million Francs (approximately $15 million). Part of this sum was used to forgive debts owed by France to the United States. The payment was made in United States bonds, which Napoleon sold at face value to the Dutchmarker firm of Hope and Company, and the British banking house of Baring, at a discount of 87 1/2 per each $100 unit. As a result, France received only $8,831,250 in cash for Louisiana.

Dutiful English banker Alexander Baring conferred with Marbois in Paris, shuttled to the United States to pick up the bonds, took them to Britain, and returned to France with the money – which Napoleon used to wage war against Baring's own country.

When news of the purchase reached the United States, Jefferson was surprised. He had authorized the expenditure of $10 million for a port city, and instead received treaties committing the government to spend $15 million on a land package which would double the size of the country. Jefferson's political opponents in the Federalist Party argued that the Louisiana purchase was a worthless desert, and that the Constitution did not provide for the acquisition of new land or negotiating treaties without the consent of the Senate. What really worried the opposition was the new states which would inevitably be carved from the Louisiana territory, strengthening Western and Southern interests in Congress, and further reducing the influence of New England Federalists in national affairs. President Jefferson was an enthusiastic supporter of westward expansion, and held firm in his support for the treaty. Despite Federalist objections, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana treaty on October 20, 1803.

A transfer ceremony was held in New Orleans on November 29, 1803. Since the Louisiana territory had never officially been turned over to the French, the Spanish took down their flag, and the French raised theirs. The following day, General James Wilkinson accepted possession of New Orleans for the United States. A similar ceremony was held in St. Louismarker on March 9, 1804, when a French tricolor was raised near the river, replacing the Spanish national flag. The following day, Captain Amos Stoddard of the First U.S. Artillery marched his troops into town and had the American flag run up the fort's flagpole. The Louisiana territory was officially transferred to the United States government, represented by Meriwether Lewis.

The Louisiana Territory, purchased for less than 3 cents an acre, doubled the size of the United States overnight, without a war or the loss of a single American life, and set a precedent for the purchase of territory. It opened the way for the eventual expansion of the United States across the continent to the Pacific.


Louisiana population density map.

As of July 2005 (prior to the landfall of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita), Louisiana has an estimated population of 4,523,628, which is an increase of 16,943, or 0.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 54,670, or 1.2%, since 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 129,889 people (that is 350,818 births minus 220,929 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 69,373 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 20,174 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 89,547 people. The population density of the state is 102.6 people per square mile.

The center of population of Louisiana is located in Pointe Coupee Parishmarker, in the city of New Roadsmarker.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 4.7% of the population aged 5 and older speak French or Cajun French at home, while 2.5% speak Spanish [2650].

Cajun and Creole population

Cajuns and Creole of French ancestry are dominant in much of the southern part of the state. Louisiana Cajuns are the descendants of French-speaking Acadians from colonial French Acadia, which are now the present-day Canadian provinces of New Brunswickmarker, Nova Scotiamarker and Prince Edward Islandmarker. Cajuns remained isolated in the swamps of South Louisiana well into the 20th century. During the early part of the 20th century, attempts were made to suppress Cajun culture by measures such as forbidding the use of the Cajun French language in schools.

The Creole people of Louisiana are split into two racial divisions. Créole was the term first given to French settlers born in Louisiana when it was a colony of France. In Spanish the term for natives was criollo. Given the immigration and settlement patterns, white Creoles are predominantly of French and Spanish ancestry. As the slave population grew in Louisiana, there were also enslaved blacks who could be called Creoles, in the sense of having been born in the colony.

The special meaning of Louisiana Creole, however, is associated with free people of color (gens de couleur libres), which was generally a third class of mixed-race people who were concentrated in southern Louisiana and New Orleans. This group was formed under French and Spanish rule, made up at first of descendants from relationships between colonial men and enslaved women, mostly African. As time went on, colonial men chose companions who were often women of color, or mixed-race. Often the men would free their companions and children if still enslaved. The arrangements were formalized in New Orleans as plaçage, often associated with property settlements for the young women and education for their children, or at least for sons. Creoles who were free people of color during French and Spanish rule formed a distinct class - many were educated and became wealthy property owners or artisans, and they were politically active. Often these mixed-race Creoles married only among themselves. They were a distinct group between French and Spanish descendants, and the mass of enslaved Africans.

After the Haitian Revolution, the class of free people of color in New Orleans and Louisiana was increased by French-speaking refugees and immigrants from Haiti. At the same time, French-speaking whites entered the city, some bringing slaves with them, who in Haiti were mostly African natives.

Today Creoles of color are generally those who are a mix of African, French, Spanish and Native American heritage, who grew up in the French or Creole-speaking environment and culture. The separate status of Creoles of color was diminished after the US made the Louisiana Purchase, and even more so after the American Civil War. Attempts to regain supremacy made them divide society simply into black and white. Those Creoles who had been free for generations before the Civil War lost some of their standing.

African Americans

Louisiana's population has the second largest proportion of black Americans (32.5%) in the United States, behind neighboring Mississippi (36.3%).

Official census statistics do not distinguish among people of African ancestry. Consequently, no distinction is made between those in Louisiana of English-speaking heritage and those of French-speaking heritage.

Creoles of color, Black Americans in Louisiana with French, African, and Native American ancestry, predominate in the southeast, central, and northern parts of the state, particularly those parishes along the Mississippi River valley.

European Americans

Whites of Southern U.S. background predominate in northern Louisiana. These people are predominantly of English, German, Welsh, and Scots Irish backgrounds, and share a common, mostly Protestant culture with Americans of neighboring states.

Before the Louisiana Purchase, some German families had settled in a rural area along the lower Mississippi valley, then known as the German Coast. They assimilated into Cajun and Creole communities.

In 1840 New Orleans was the third largest and most wealthy city in the nation and the largest city in the South. Its bustling port and trade economy attracted numerous Irish, Italian, German and Portuguese immigrants, of which the first two groups were totally Catholic, and some Portuguese and Germans were, adding to Catholic culture in southern Louisiana. New Orleans is also home to sizable Dutch, Greek and Polish communities, and Jewish populations of various nationalities. More than 10,000 Maltese were reported to come to Louisiana in the early 20th century.

Hispanic Americans

According to the 2000 census, people of Hispanic origin made up 2.4% of the state's population. By 2005, this proportion had increased to an estimated 3 percent of the state's population, and the figure is believed to have increased further since then. The state has attracted an influx of immigrants from various countries of Latin America, such as Mexicomarker, Cubamarker, the Dominican Republicmarker, Hondurasmarker, El Salvadormarker and Nicaraguamarker. New Orleans has one of the largest Honduran American communities in the USA.

Older Cuban American and Dominican communities are present in the New Orleans area, sometimes dating back to the 1920s and even as early as the 1880s, although most of them are immigrants and in the case of Cubans, being anti-Castro regime political refugees.

New Orleans had strong ties to the Spanish empire in the late 18th century. But now the majority of New Orleans' Hispanic population consists of illegal aliens (mostly from Mexico) who settled in the area during the 1990's and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Asian Americans

In 2006 it was estimated that 50,209 people of Asian descent (East Asian, South Asian and other Asian) live in Louisiana. Louisiana's Asian American population includes the descendants of Chinese workers who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, often from the Caribbean. Another wave of Chinese immigration but this time from Southeast Asia occurred in the late 20th century.

In the 1970s and 1980s, numerous Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian refugees came to the Gulf Coast to work in the fishing and shrimping industries. People of Vietnamese ancestry comprise the bulk of Asian Americans in Louisiana. About 95% of Louisiana's Asian population resides in New Orleans, also home to well-established East Indian and Korean communities.

The earliest arrival of Filipinos are the "Manilamen", who worked on Spanish ships from the Philippinesmarker, back in 1763, and who settled down in the Gulf coast, married white "Cajun" and Native American women, and later were absorbed into the local Creole population.


The total gross state product in 2005 for Louisiana was US$168 billion, placing it 24th in the nation. Its per capita personal income is $30,952, ranking 41st in the United States.

The state's principal agricultural products include seafood (it is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world, supplying approximately 90%), cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and eggs, dairy products, and rice. Industry generates chemical products, petroleum and coal products, food processing and transportation equipment, and paper products. Tourism is an important element in the economy, especially in the New Orleans area.

The Port of South Louisiana, located on the Mississippi between New Orleansmarker and Baton Rougemarker, is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemispheremarker and 4th largest in the world, as well as the largest bulk cargo port in the world.

New Orleans and Shreveportmarker are also home to a thriving film industry. State financial incentives and aggressive promotion have put the local film industry on a fast track. In late 2007 and early 2008, a film studio will open in Trememarker, with state-of-the-art production facilities, and a film training institute.Tabasco sauce, which is marketed by one of the United Statesmarker' biggest producers of hot sauce, the McIlhenny Company, originated on Avery Islandmarker.

Louisiana has three personal income tax brackets, ranging from 2% to 6%. The sales tax rate is 4%: a 3.97% Louisiana sales tax and a .03% Louisiana Tourism Promotion District sales tax. Political subdivisions also levy their own sales tax in addition to the state fees. The state also has a use tax, which includes 4% to be distributed by the Department of Revenue to local governments. Property taxes are assessed and collected at the local level. Louisiana is a subsidized state, receiving $1.44 from the federal government for every dollar paid in.

Tourism and culture are major players in Louisiana's economy, earning an estimated $5.2 billion per year. Louisiana also hosts many important cultural events, such as the World Cultural Economic Forum, which is held annually in the fall at the New Orleans Morial Convention Centermarker.

Federal subsidies and spending

Louisiana taxpayers receive more federal funding per dollar of federal taxes paid compared to the average state. Per dollar of federal tax collected in 2005, Louisiana citizens received approximately $1.78 in the way of federal spending. This ranks the state 4th highest nationally and represents a rise from 1995 when Louisiana received $1.35 per dollar of taxes in federal spending (ranked 7th nationally). Neighboring states and the amount of federal spending received per dollar of federal tax collected were: Texas ($0.94), Arkansas ($1.41), and Mississippi ($2.02). Tax Foundation.


Louisiana is rich in petroleum and natural gas. Petroleum and gas deposits are found in abundance both onshore and offshore in State-owned waters. In addition, vast petroleum and natural gas reserves are found offshore from Louisiana in the federally administered Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexicomarker. According to the Energy Information Administration, the Gulf of Mexico OCS is the largest U.S. petroleum-producing region. Excluding the Gulf of Mexico OCS, Louisiana ranks fourth in petroleum production and is home to about 2 percent of total U.S. petroleum reserves. Louisiana's natural gas reserves account for about 5 percent of the U.S. total. The recent discovery of the Haynesville Shale formation in parts of or all of Caddo, Bossier, Bienville, Sabine, De Soto, Red River, Sabine, and Natchitoches parishes have made it the world's fourth largest gas field with some wells initially producing over 25 million cubic feet of gas daily.

Louisiana was the first site of petroleum drilling over water in the world, on Caddo Lakemarker in the northwest corner of the state. The petroleum and gas industry, as well as its subsidiary industries such as transport and refining, have dominated Louisiana's economy since the 1940s. Beginning in 1950, Louisiana was sued several times by the U.S.marker Interior Departmentmarker, in efforts by the federal government to strip Louisiana of its submerged land property rights. These control vast stores of reservoirs of petroleum and natural gas.

When petroleum and gas boomed in the 1970s, so did Louisiana's economy. Likewise, when the petroleum and gas crash occurred in the 1980s, in large part due to monetary policy set by the Federal Reserve, Louisiana real estate, savings and loans, and local banks fell rapidly in value. The Louisiana economy as well as its politics of the last half-century cannot be understood without thoroughly accounting for the influence of the petroleum and gas industries. Since the 1980s, these industries have consolidated in Houstonmarker.

Law and government

Louisiana State Capitol
Louisiana Governor's Mansion
In 1849, the state moved the capital from New Orleans to Baton Rougemarker. Donaldsonvillemarker, Opelousasmarker, and Shreveportmarker have briefly served as the seat of Louisiana state government. The Louisiana State Capitolmarker and the Louisiana Governor's Mansionmarker are both located in Baton Rouge.

The current Louisiana governor is Bobby Jindal, the first Indian American to be elected governor. The current U.S. senators are Mary Landrieu (Democrat) and David Vitter (Republican). Louisiana has seven congressional districts and is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by six Republicans and one Democrat. Louisiana has nine votes in the Electoral College.

Civil law

The Louisiana political and legal structure has maintained several elements from the time of French governance. One is the use of the term "parish" (from the French: paroisse) in place of "county" for administrative subdivision. Another is the legal system of civil law based on French, German and Spanish legal codes and ultimately Roman law—as opposed to Englishmarker common law. Common law is "judge-made" law based on precedent, and is the basis of statutes in all other U.S. states. Louisiana's type of civil law system is what the majority of nations in the world use, especially in Europe and its former colonies, excluding those that derive from the British Empire. However, it is incorrect to equate the Louisiana Civil Code with the Napoleonic Code. Although the Napoleonic Code strongly influenced Louisiana law, it was never in force in Louisiana, as it was enacted in 1804, after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. While the Louisiana Civil Code of 1808 has been continuously revised and updated since its enactment, it is still considered the controlling authority in the state. Differences still exist between Louisianan civil law and the common law found in the other U.S. states. While some of these differences have been bridged due to the strong influence of common law tradition, [2651] it is important to note that the "civilian" tradition is still deeply rooted in most aspects of Louisiana private law. Thus property, contractual, business entities structure, much of civil procedure, and family law, as well as some aspects of criminal law, are still mostly based on traditional Roman legal thinking. Model Codes, such as the Uniform Commercial Code, which are adopted by most states within the union including Louisiana, are based on civilian thought, the essence being that it is deductive, as opposed to the common law which is inductive. In the civilian tradition the legislative body agrees a priori on the general principles to be followed. When a set of facts are brought before a judge, he deduces the court's ruling by comparing the facts of the individual case to the law. In contrast, common law, which really does not exist in its pure historical form due to the advent of statutory law, was created by a judge applying other judges' decisions to a new fact pattern brought before him in a case. The result is that historically English judges were not constrained by legislative authority.


In 1997, Louisiana became the first state to offer the option of a traditional marriage or a covenant marriage [2652]. In a covenant marriage, the couple waives their right to a "no-fault" divorce after six months of separation, which is available in a traditional marriage. To divorce under a covenant marriage, a couple must demonstrate cause. Marriages between ascendants and descendants and marriages between collaterals within the fourth degree (i.e., siblings, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, first cousins) are prohibited. Same-sex marriages are prohibited.. Louisiana is a community property state.


From 1898–1965, after Louisiana had effectively disfranchised African Americans and poor whites by provisions of a new constitution, it essentially was a one-party state dominated by elite white Democrats. The franchise for whites was expanded somewhat during the decades, but blacks remained essentially disfranchised until the Civil Rights Movement, culminating in passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In multiple acts of resistance, blacks left the segregation, violence and oppression of the state to seek better opportunities in northern and western industrial cities during the Great Migrations of 1910–1970, markedly reducing their proportion of population in Louisiana. Since the 1960s, when civil rights legislation was passed under President Lyndon Johnson to protect voting and civil rights, most African Americans in the state have affiliated with the Democratic Party. In the same years, many white conservatives have moved to support Republican Party candidates in national and gubernatorial elections. David Vitter is the first Republican in Louisiana to be popularly elected as a U.S. Senator. The previous Republican Senator, John S. Harris, who took office in 1868, was chosen by the state legislature.

Louisiana was unique among U.S. states in using a system for its state and local elections similar to that of modern Francemarker. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, ran in a nonpartisan blanket primary (or "jungle primary") on Election Day. If no candidate had more than 50% of the vote, the two candidates with the highest vote total competed in a runoff election approximately one month later. This run-off did not take into account party identification; therefore, it was not uncommon for a Democrat to be in a runoff with a fellow Democrat or a Republican to be in a runoff with a fellow Republican. Congressional races have also been held under the jungle primary system. All other states (except Washington) use single-party primaries followed by a general election between party candidates, each conducted by either a plurality voting system or runoff voting, to elect Senators, Representatives, and statewide officials. Since 2008, federal congressional elections have been run under a closed primary system — limited to registered party members.

Louisiana has seven seats in to the U.S. House of Representatives, six of which are currently held by Republicans and one by a Democrat. Louisiana is not classified as a "swing state" for future presidential elections.

Law enforcement

Louisiana's statewide police force is the Louisiana State Police. It began in 1922 from the creation of the Highway Commission. In 1927 a second branch, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, was formed. In 1932 the State Highway Patrol was authorized to carry weapons.

On July 28, 1936 the two branches were consolidated to form The Louisiana Department of State Police and its motto became "courtesy, loyalty, service". In 1942 this office was abolished and became a division of the Department of Public Safety called the Louisiana State Police. In 1988 the Criminal Investigation Bureau was reorganized. Its troopers have statewide jurisdiction with power to enforce all laws of the state, including city and parish ordinances. Each year, they patrol over 12 million miles (20 million km) of roadway and arrest about 10,000 impaired drivers. The State police however, is primarily a traffic enforcement agency, with other sections that delve in to trucking safety, narcotics enforcement and gaming oversight.

The sheriff in each parish is the chief law enforcement officer in the parish. They are the keepers of the local parish prisons which house felony and misdemeanor prisoners. They are the primary criminal patrol and first responder agency in all matters criminal and civil. They are also the official tax collectors in each parish.

The sheriffs are responsible for general law enforcement in their respective parishes. However, Orleans parish is the only parish to have two (2) Sheriff's Offices. Orleans Parish has two elected sheriffs—one criminal and one civil. With the exception of Orleans Parish each parish in Louisiana has one elected sheriff. Orleans Parish is an exception, as here the general law enforcement duties fall to the New Orleans Police Department. In 2006 a bill was passed which will consolidate the two sheriffs' departments into one in 2010.

Most parishes are governed by a Police Jury. Eighteen of the sixty-four parishes are governed under an alternative form of government under a Home Rule Charter. They oversee the parish budget and operate the parish maintenance services. This includes parish road maintenance and other rural services.

Louisiana had the highest murder rate of any state in 2008 (11.9 murders per 100,000) which marked the 20th consecutive year (1989-2008) that Louisiana has posted the highest per capita murder rate of the 50 states in America according to Bureau of Justice Statistics from FBI Uniform Crime Reports.


Sports teams

As of 2005, Louisiana is nominally the least populous state with more than one major professional sports league franchise: the National Basketball Association's New Orleans Hornets and the National Football League's New Orleans Saints. Louisiana also has a AAA Minor League baseball team, the New Orleans Zephyrs. The Zephyrs, currently affiliated with the Florida Marlins, became the only Louisiana professional team to win a Championship, when they won the AAA World Series in 1998.

It should also be noted that from 1901–1959, New Orleans had a Double-A baseball team known as the Pelicans who won many league titles

Louisiana also has a proportionally high number of collegiate NCAA Division I sports for its size; the state has no Division II teams and only one Division III team. Baton Rouge is also home to the six-time College World Series Champions and the NCAA AP (1958) and two-time BCS National Champions, the 2003, and 2007 Tigers of Louisiana State Universitymarker.


Louisiana is home to many, especially notable are the distinct culture of the Creoles and Cajuns.

Creole culture is a cultural amalgamation that takes a little from each of the French, Spanish, African, and Native American cultures. The Creole culture is part of White Creoles' and Black Creoles' culture. Originally Créoles referred to native-born whites of French-Spanish descent. Later the term also referred to descendants of the white men's relationships with black women, many of whom were educated free people of color. Many of the wealthy white men had quasi-permanent relationships with women of color outside their marriages, and supported them as "placées". If a woman was enslaved at the beginning of the relationship, the man usually arranged for her manumission, as well as that of any of her children.

Creoles became associated with the New Orleans area, where the elaborated arrangements flourished. Most wealthy planters had houses in town as well as at their plantations. Popular belief that a Creole is a mixed Black / French person came from the "Haitian" connotation of an African French person. There were many immigrants from Haiti to New Orleans after the Revolution. Although a Black Creole is one type of Creole, it is not the only type, nor the original meaning of Creole. All of the respective cultures of the groups that settled in southern Louisiana have been combined to make one "New Orleans" culture. The creative combination of cultures from these groups, along with Native American culture, was called "Creole" Culture. It has continued as one of the dominant social, economic and political cultures of Louisiana, along with Cajun culture, well into the 20th century. Some believe it has finally been overtaken by the American mainstream.

Cajun Culture. The ancestors of Cajuns came from west central France to the provinces of New Brunswickmarker and Nova Scotiamarker, Canadamarker, known as Acadia. When the British won the French and Indian War, the British forcibly separated families and evicted them because of their long-stated political neutrality. Most captured Acadians were placed in internment camps in England and the New England colonies for 10 to 30 years. Many of those who escaped the British remained in French Canada. Once freed by England, many scattered, some to France, Canada, Mexico, or the Falkland Islands. The majority found refuge in south Louisiana centered in the region around Lafayettemarker and the LaFourche Bayou country. Until the 1970s, Cajuns were often considered lower-class citizens, with the term "Cajun" being somewhat derogatory. Once flush with oil and gas riches, Cajun culture, food, music, and their infectious "joie de vivre" lifestyle quickly gained international acclaim.

A third distinct culture in Louisiana is that of the Isleños, who are descendants of Spanish Canary Islandersmarker who migrated from the Canary Islands of Spain to Louisiana under the Spanish crown beginning in the mid-1770s. They settled in four main settlements, but many relocated to what is modern-day St. Bernard Parishmarker, where the majority of the Isleño population is still concentrated. An annual festival called Fiesta celebrates the heritage of the Isleños. St Bernard Parish has an Isleños museum, cemetery and church, as well as many street names with Spanish words and Spanish surnames from this heritage. Isleño identity is an active concern in the New Orleans suburbs of St. Bernard Parish, LA. Some members of the Isleño community still speak Spanish - with their own Canary Islander accent. Numerous Isleño identity clubs and organizations, and many members of Isleños society keep contact with the Canary Islands of Spain.


Louisiana has a unique linguistic culture, owing to its French and Spanish heritage. According to the 2000 census, among persons five years old and older, 90.8% of Louisiana residents speak only English (99% total speak English) and 4.7% speak French at home (7% total speak French). Other minority languages are Spanish, which is spoken by 2.5% of the population; Vietnamese, by 0.6%; and German, by 0.2%. Although state law recognizes the usage of English and French in certain circumstances, the Louisiana State Constitution does not declare any "de jure official language or languages". Currently the "de facto administrative languages" of the Louisiana State Government are English and French.

There are several unique dialects of French, Creole, and English spoken in Louisiana. There are three unique dialects of the French language: Cajun French, Colonial French, and Napoleonic French. For the Creole language, there is Louisiana Creole French. There are also two unique dialects of the English language: Cajun English, a French-influenced variety of English, and what is informally known as Yat, which resembles the New York City dialect, particularly that of historical Brooklynmarker, as both accents were influenced by large communities of immigrant Irish and Italian, but the Yat dialect was also influenced by French and Spanish.


The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 1,382,603; Southern Baptist Convention with 868,587; and the United Methodist Church with 160,153.

Like other Southern states, the population of Louisiana is made up of numerous Protestant denominations, comprising 60% of the state's adult population. Protestants are concentrated in the northern and central parts of the state and in the northern tier of the Florida Parishes. Because of French and Spanish heritage, whose descendants are Cajun and French Creole, and later Irish, Italian, and German immigrants, there is also a large Roman Catholic population, particularly in the southern part of the state.

Since French Creoles were the first settlers, planters and leaders of the territory, they have traditionally been well represented in politics. For instance, most of the early governors were French Creole Catholics. Although nowadays constituting only a plurality but not a majority of Louisiana's population, Catholics have continued to be influential in state politics. As of 2008 both Senators and the Governor were Catholic. The high proportion and influence of the Catholic population makes Louisiana distinct among Southern states.

Current religious affiliations of the people of Louisiana:

Jewish American communities exist in the state's larger cities, notably Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The most significant of these is the Jewish community of the New Orleans area, with a pre-Katrina population of about 12,000. The presence of a significant Jewish community well established by the early 20th century also made Louisiana unusual among Southern states, although South Carolina and Virginia also had influential populations in some of their major cities from the 18th and 19th centuries. Prominent Jews in Louisiana's political leadership have included Whig (later Democrat) Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884), who represented Louisiana in the U.S. Senate prior to the American Civil War and then became the Confederate Secretary of State; Democrat Adolph Meyer (1842–1908), Confederate Army officer who represented the state in the U.S. House from 1891 until his death in 1908; and Republican Secretary of State Jay Dardenne (1954-).


See also


  1. [1] NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved on October 24, 2006.
  2. Hurricane Gustav makes landfall, weakens to Category 1 storm Fox News, September 2, 2008.
  3. Mandatory evacuations to begin Sunday morning in New Orleans CNN, August 31, 2008.
  4. Sturtevant, William C. (1967): Early Indian Tribes, Cultures, and Linguistic Stocks, Smithsonian Institution Map (Eastern United States).
  5. David Roth, "Louisiana Hurricane History: 18th century (1722–1800)", Tropical Weather - National Weather Service - Lake Charles, LA, 2003, accessed May 7, 2008
  6. The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997: Simon and Schuster. p. 242-43
  7. The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997: Simon and Schuster. p. 548.
  8. The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997:Simon and Schuster. p. 548.
  9. The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997: Simon and Schuster. p. 549.
  10. " The Slave Rebellion of 1791". Library of Congress Country Studies.
  11. http://www.inmotionaame.org/migrations/topic.cfm;jsessionid=f8303469141230638453792?migration=5&topic=2&bhcp=1
  12. [Title=The New York Times 2008 Almanac|Author=edited by John W. Wright|Date=2007|Page=178]
  13. " The Cajuns and The Creoles"
  14. Tidwell, Michael. Bayou Farewell:The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast. Vintage Departures: New York, 2004.
  15. [2] linked from [3], accessed September 28, 2006
  16. New Jersey Local Jobs - NJ.com
  17. Shevory, Kristina. "The Fiery Family," New York Times, March 31, 2007, p. B1.
  18. Economy
  19. World Culture Economic Forum
  20. http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111053
  21. http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111041
  22. http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=109401
  23. http://www.lsp.org/about_hist.html. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  24. U.S. college athletics by state
  25. French Creole Heritage
  26. Statistics of languages spoken in Louisiana [4] Retrieved on June 18, 2008.
  27. Louisiana State Constitution of 1974 [5] Retrieved on June 18, 2008.
  28. http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/22_2000.asp
  29. For Louisiana's position in a larger religious context, see Bible Belt.
  30. Other Southern states—such as Maryland and Texas—have longstanding indigenous Catholic populations, and Florida's largely Catholic population of Cuban emigres has been influential since the 1960s. Yet, Louisiana is still unusual or exceptional in its extent of aboriginal Catholic settlement and influence. Among states in the Deep South (discounting Florida's Panhandle and much of Texas) the historic role of Catholicism in Louisiana is unparalleled and unique. Among the states of the Union, Louisiana's unique use of the term parish (French la parouche or "la paroisse") for county is rooted in the pre-statehood role of Catholic church parishes in the administration of government.
  31. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
  32. Isaacs, Ronald H. The Jewish Information Source Book: A Dictionary and Almanac, Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1993. p. 202.


  • The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana's Cane World, 1820-1860 by Richard Follett Louisiana State University Press 2007. ISBN 978-0807132470
  • The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997: Simon and Schuster. p. 548.
  • Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World by David Brion Davis 2006: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195339444
  • Yiannopoulos, A.N., The Civil Codes of Louisiana (reprinted from Civil Law System: Louisiana and Comparative law, A Coursebook: Texts, Cases and Materials, 3d Edition; similar to version in preface to Louisiana Civil Code, ed. by Yiannopoulos)
  • Rodolfo Batiza, The Louisiana Civil Code of 1808: Its Actual Sources and Present Relevance, 46 TUL. L. REV. 4 (1971); Rodolfo Batiza, Sources of the Civil Code of 1808, Facts and Speculation: A Rejoinder, 46 TUL. L. REV. 628 (1972); Robert A. Pascal, Sources of the Digest of 1808: A Reply to Professor Batiza, 46 TUL. L. REV. 603 (1972); Joseph M. Sweeney, Tournament of Scholars Over the Sources of the Civil Code of 1808,46 TUL. L. REV. 585 (1972).
  • The standard history of the state, though only through the Civil War, is Charles Gayarré's History of Louisiana (various editions, culminating in 1866, 4 vols., with a posthumous and further expanded edition in 1885).
  • A number of accounts by 17th and 18th century French explorers: Jean-Bernard Bossu, François-Marie Perrin du Lac, Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix, Dumont (as published by Fr. Mascrier), Fr. Louis Hennepin, Lahontan, Louis Narcisse Baudry des Lozières, Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe, and Laval. In this group, the explorer Antoine Simon Le Page du Pratz may be the first historian of Louisiana with his Histoire de la Louisiane (3 vols., Paris, 1758; 2 vols., London, 1763)
  • François Xavier Martin's History of Louisiana (2 vols., New Orleans, 1827–1829, later ed. by J. F. Condon, continued to 1861, New Orleans, 1882) is the first scholarly treatment of the subject, along with François Barbé-Marbois' Histoire de la Louisiane et de la cession de colonie par la France aux Etats-Unis (Paris, 1829; in English, Philadelphia, 1830).
  • Alcée Fortier's A History of Louisiana (N.Y., 4 vols., 1904) is the most recent of the large-scale scholarly histories of the state.
  • The official works of Albert Phelps and Grace King and the publications of the Louisiana Historical Society and several works on the history of New Orleans , among them those by Henry Rightor and John Smith Kendall provide background.

External links

State Government
U.S. Government
News media
Louisiana Geology
Soil Surveys

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