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State of Louisiana
État de Louisiane
Léta de la Lwizyàn
Flag of Louisiana State seal of Louisiana
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Bayou State • Child of the Mississippi
Creole State • Pelican State (official)
Sportsman's Paradise • Sugar State
Motto(s): Union, Justice and Confidence
Union, justice, et confiance (French)
Lunyon, Jistis, é Konfyans (Louisiana Creole)
before statehood, known as
the Territory of Orleans
Map of the United States with Louisiana highlighted
Official language(s) De jure: None
De facto: English and French
Demonym Louisianan, Louisianais (French)
Lwizyané(èz) (Creole)
Capital Baton Rouge
Largest city New Orleans[1][2][3]
Largest metro area New Orleans metro area
Area  Ranked 31st in the US
 - Total 51,885 sq mi
(135,382 km2)
 - Width 130 miles (210 km)
 - Length 379 miles (610 km)
 - % water 15
 - Latitude 28° 56′ N to 33° 01′ N
 - Longitude 88° 49′ W to 94° 03′ W
Population  Ranked 25th in the US
 - Total 4,410,796 (2008 est.)[4]
 - Density 102.59/sq mi  (39.61/km2)
Ranked 24th in the US
Elevation  
 - Highest point Driskill Mountain[5]
535 ft  (163 m)
 - Mean 98 ft  (30 m)
 - Lowest point New Orleans[5]
-8 ft  (-2 m)
Admission to Union  April 30, 1812 (18th)
Governor Bobby Jindal (R)
Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D)
U.S. Senators Mary Landrieu (D)
David Vitter (R)
U.S. House delegation 6 Republicans, 1 Democrat (list)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Abbreviations LA US-LA
Website http://www.louisiana.gov

The State of Louisiana (Listeni /lˌziˈænə/ or Listeni /ˌlziˈænə/; French: État de Louisiane, [lwizjan]  ( listen); Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed 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 American 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.

Contents

Etymology

Louisiana 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 Mexico of the Mexican Empire. Once part of the United States, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day New Orleans north to the present-day Canadian border.

Geography

Map of Louisiana
Aerial view of Louisiana wetland habitats.

Topography

Louisiana is bordered to the west by the state of Texas; to the north by Arkansas; to the east by the state of Mississippi; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico.

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 Mexico 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 Mexico; the Red River; 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 Mountain, the highest point in the state at only 535 feet (163 m) above sea level. Only two other states, Florida and Delaware, are geographically lower than Louisiana.[citation needed]

Besides the navigable waterways already named, there are the Sabine (Sah-BEAN), forming the western boundary; and the Pearl, 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 Tensas (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 4,000 miles (6,400 km) in length. These waterways are unequaled in any other state of the nation.[citation needed] 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).[citation needed]

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 Mexico. Through a peculiarity of the political geography of the United States, this is substantially less than the 9-mile-wide jurisdiction of nearby states Texas and Florida, which, like Louisiana, have extensive Gulf coastlines.[6]

Climate

Baton Rouge
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
5.9
 
62
42
 
 
5
 
65
44
 
 
5
 
72
51
 
 
5.3
 
78
57
 
 
5.2
 
84
64
 
 
5.8
 
89
70
 
 
5.4
 
91
73
 
 
5.7
 
91
72
 
 
4.5
 
88
68
 
 
3.6
 
81
57
 
 
4.8
 
71
48
 
 
5.2
 
64
43
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: [6]
Lake Charles
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
5.5
 
62
43
 
 
3.3
 
65
47
 
 
3.5
 
70
51
 
 
3.6
 
78
59
 
 
6.1
 
85
66
 
 
6.1
 
90
72
 
 
5.1
 
92
74
 
 
4.9
 
92
74
 
 
6
 
88
70
 
 
3.9
 
81
61
 
 
4.6
 
69
52
 
 
4.6
 
64
46
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: as above
New Orleans
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
5.9
 
64
44
 
 
5.5
 
66
47
 
 
5.2
 
73
53
 
 
5
 
79
59
 
 
4.6
 
85
66
 
 
6.8
 
90
72
 
 
6.2
 
91
74
 
 
6.2
 
91
74
 
 
5.6
 
88
70
 
 
3.1
 
80
61
 
 
5.1
 
72
52
 
 
5.1
 
65
46
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: as above
Shreveport
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
4.9
 
56
36
 
 
4.3
 
61
39
 
 
4.5
 
69
46
 
 
4.6
 
77
54
 
 
4.9
 
84
62
 
 
4.9
 
90
69
 
 
3.8
 
93
73
 
 
2.9
 
93
71
 
 
3.1
 
87
66
 
 
4.4
 
78
55
 
 
4.6
 
67
44
 
 
4.7
 
59
38
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: as above

Louisiana has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa), perhaps the most "classic" example of a humid subtropical climate of all the Southcentral 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 Mexico, 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 Mexico 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 Orleans 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 Florida. 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.[7]

The southern coast of Louisiana in the United States is among the fastest disappearing areas in the world. Rising waters have led to the state losing a land mass equivalent to 30 football fields every day. And as the communities disappear, more and more people are leaving the region.[7]

Hurricanes

  • September 1, 2008, Gustav made landfall along the Louisiana coast near Cocodrie 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.[8] As a result of NHC's forecasts there had been a massive evacuation of New Orleans amid warnings (for example from the city's mayor, Ray Nagin) that this would be the “storm of the century”,[9] 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,[10] and around 1.5 million people were without power in Louisiana on September 1.[11]
  • September 24, 2005, Rita (Category 3 at landfall) struck southwestern Louisiana, flooding many parishes and cities along the coast, including Cameron Parish, Lake Charles, 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)[12] 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 23.4 ft (7.1 m). storm surge and killed 250 people. Although Camille officially made landfall in Mississippi and the worst impacts were felt there, it also had effects in Louisiana. New Orleans 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 Ward, 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 Cameron 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, Louisiana. The 25 mile long barrier island resort community was devastated by being split into 5 separate islands, and over 200 people were killed.

Geology

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.

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 Forest 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.

Transportation

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.

History

Prehistory

Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for many millennia before the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s. During the Archaic period Louisiana was home to the earliest mound complex in North America and one of the earliest dated, complex constructions in the Americas, the Watson Brake site near Monroe.[13] Later, the largest and best-known site in the state was built near modern-day Epps, Louisiana, at Poverty Point. The Poverty Point culture may have hit its peak around 1500 BCE, making it the first complex culture, and possibly the first tribal culture in North America.[14] It lasted until approximately 700 BCE. The Poverty Point culture was followed by the Tchefuncte and Lake Cormorant cultures of the Tchula period, local manifestations of Early Woodland period. The Tchefuncte culture were the first people in Louisiana to make large amounts of pottery.[15] These cultures lasted until 200 CE. The Middle Woodland period starts in Louisiana with the Marksville culture in the southern and eastern part of the state[16] and the Fourche Maline culture in the northwestern part of the state. The Marksville culture takes its name from the Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. These cultures were contemporaneous with the Hopewell cultures of Ohio and Illinois, and participated in the Hopewell Exchange Network. Trade with peoples to the southwest brought the bow and arrow[17] The first burial mounds are built at this time.[18] Political power begins to be consolidated as the first platform mounds at ritual centers are constructed for the developing hereditary political and religious leadership.[18] By 400 CE in the southern part of the state the Late Woodland period had begun with the Baytown culture and later the Coles Creek culture. The Coles Creek culture from 700 to 1200 CE marks a significant change in the cultural history of the area. Population increased dramatically and there is strong evidence of a growing cultural and political complexity. Many Coles Creek sites were erected over earlier Woodland period mortuary mounds, leading researchers to speculate that emerging elites were symbolically and physically appropriating dead ancestors to emphasize and project their own authority.[19]The Mississippian period in Louisiana sees the emergence of the Plaquemine and the Caddoan Mississippian cultures. This period is when extensive maize agriculture is adopted. The Plaquemine culture in the lower Mississippi River Valley in western Mississippi and eastern Louisiana begins in 1200 CE and goes to about 1400 CE. Good examples of this culture are the Medora Site in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and the Emerald Mound, Winterville and Holly Bluff sites in Mississippi.[20] Plaquemine culture was contemporaneous with the Middle Mississippian culture in the Cahokia site near St. Louis, Missouri. This group is considered ancestral to the Natchez and Taensa Peoples.[21] By 1000 CE in the northwestern part of the state the Fourche Maline culture had evolved into the Caddoan Mississippian culture. The Caddoan Mississippians covered a large territory, including what is now eastern Oklahoma, western Arkansas, northeast Texas, and northwest Louisiana. Archeological evidence that the cultural continuity is unbroken from prehistory to the present, and that the direct ancestors of the Caddo and related Caddo language speakers in prehistoric times and at first European contact and the modern Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is unquestioned today.[22]

Many current place names in the state, including Atchafalaya, Natchitouches (now spelled Natchitoches), Caddo, Houma, Tangipahoa, and Avoyel (as Avoyelles), are transliterations of those used in various Native American languages.

Exploration and colonization by Europeans

Louisiana regions

The first European explorers to visit Louisiana came in 1528 when a Spanish expedition led by Panfilo de Narváez located the mouth of the Mississippi River. In 1542, Hernando de Soto's expedition skirted to the north and west of the state (encountering Caddo and Tunica groups) and then followed the Mississippi River down to the Gulf of Mexico in 1543. Then Spanish interest in Louisiana lay dormant. In the late 17th century, French 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, Mississippi, near Biloxi), 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 (or La Balize), "seamark" in French. By 1721 they built a 62-foot (19 m) wooden lighthouse-type structure to guide ships on the river.[23]

The French colony of Louisiana originally claimed all the land on both sides of the Mississippi River and north to French territory in Canada. 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 Natchitoches (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 Texas, 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.

French Acadians, who came to be known as Cajuns, settled the swamps of southern Louisiana, especially in the Atchafalaya Basin.

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, Missouri. See also: French colonization of the Americas

Initially Mobile, Alabama, and Biloxi, Mississippi, functioned as the capital of the colony. Recognizing the importance of the Mississippi River to trade and military interests, France made New Orleans 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 Britain 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 Orleans and the parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. The rest of Louisiana became a colony of Spain after the Seven Years' War by the Treaty of Paris of 1763.

In 1765, during the period of Spanish rule, several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Canada) 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 Mexico to what is now Illinois. "That concession allowed him to bring in a cargo of blacks from Africa every year," the British historian Hugh Thomas wrote.[24]

When France 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 Mississippi though it violated U.S. law to do so.[25] 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 Carolina 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 States Rep. James Hillhouse and by the pamphleteer Thomas Paine to enforce existing federal law against slavery in the newly acquired territory.[26], 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." [25]

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." [27] 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 Haiti.[28]

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.[29]

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 Mountains 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 whence goods could be put on ocean-going vessels. The problem with this route was that the Spanish owned both sides of the Mississippi below Natchez. Napoleon's ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbean sugar trade. By the terms of the Treaty of Amiens of 1800, Great Britain returned ownership of the islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe 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 Domingo 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 828000 square mile 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 Dutch 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. Louis 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.

Demographics

Louisiana population density map.
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1810 76,556
1820 153,407 100.4%
1830 215,739 40.6%
1840 352,411 63.4%
1850 517,762 46.9%
1860 708,002 36.7%
1870 726,915 2.7%
1880 939,946 29.3%
1890 1,118,588 19.0%
1900 1,381,625 23.5%
1910 1,656,388 19.9%
1920 1,798,509 8.6%
1930 2,101,593 16.9%
1940 2,363,516 12.5%
1950 2,683,516 13.5%
1960 3,257,022 21.4%
1970 3,641,306 11.8%
1980 4,205,900 15.5%
1990 4,219,973 0.3%
2000 4,468,976 5.9%
Est. 2008 4,410,796 [4] −1.3%

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.[30]

The center of population of Louisiana is located in Pointe Coupee Parish, in the city of New Roads.[31]

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 [8].

Demographics of Louisiana (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 65.39% 32.94% 0.96% 1.45% 0.07%
2000 (Hispanic only) 2.09% 0.28% 0.06% 0.03% 0.01%
2005 (total population) 64.77% 33.47% 0.97% 1.60% 0.07%
2005 (Hispanic only) 2.52% 0.27% 0.06% 0.03% 0.01%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 0.26% 2.86% 2.26% 11.98% 2.25%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) -0.47% 2.89% 2.47% 12.11% 3.93%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 22.23% -1.03% -0.78% 6.41% -5.82%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Cajun and Creole population

Cajuns and Creoles 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 Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Cajuns remained isolated in the swamps of South Louisiana well into the 20th century.[32] 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.[33]

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, French, 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 Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. 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.

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 Baton Rouge, 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 Philippines, 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.[citation needed]

Economy

Louisiana State Quarter

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.[34]

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, processed foods 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 Orleans and Baton Rouge, is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 4th largest in the world, as well as the largest bulk cargo port in the world.[35]

New Orleans and Shreveport are also home to a thriving film industry.[36] State financial incentives and aggressive promotion have put the local film industry on a fast track. In late 2007 and early 2008, a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) film studio will open in Treme, with state-of-the-art production facilities, and a film training institute.[37] Tabasco sauce, which is marketed by one of the United States' biggest producers of hot sauce, the McIlhenny Company, originated on Avery Island.[38]

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.[39] 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 Center.[40]

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). Federal spending in 2005 and subsequent years since has been exceptionally high due to the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Tax Foundation.

Energy

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 Mexico. 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.[41]

Louisiana was the first site of petroleum drilling over water in the world, on Caddo Lake 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. Interior Department, 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.[citation needed] 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 Houston.

Law and government

Louisiana State Capitol
Louisiana Governor's Mansion

In 1849, the state moved the capital from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Donaldsonville, Opelousas, and Shreveport have briefly served as the seat of Louisiana state government. The Louisiana State Capitol and the Louisiana Governor's Mansion 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 English 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, [9] 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.

Marriage

In 1997, Louisiana became the first state to offer the option of a traditional marriage or a covenant marriage [10]. 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.[42] Same-sex marriages are prohibited.[43]. Louisiana is a community property state.[44]

Elections

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 France. 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 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.[45] 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 all 50 states in America according to Bureau of Justice Statistics from FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

Education

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 has a AAA Minor League baseball team, the New Orleans Zephyrs. The Zephyrs are currently affiliated with the Florida Marlins Northwest Louisiana is home to the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the CHL Central Hockey League who were also members of the now defunct WPHL Western Professional Hockey Leaguewhere the Mubbugs won three consecutive league championships. Shreveport is the home of the Shreveport-Bossier Captains of the American Association (Independent Pro Baseball League).

Louisiana was also home the now defunct Monroe Moccasins, Alexandria Warthogs, and Lake Charles Ice Pirates of the WPHL and the Baton Rouge King Fish, New Orleans Brass and Louisiana Ice Gators of the ECHL East Coast Hockey League

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.[46] 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 University.

Culture

Dishes typical of Louisiana Creole cuisine.

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[47]. 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.[citation needed]

Cajun Culture. The ancestors of Cajuns came from west central France to the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, 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 Lafayette 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 Islanders 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 Parish, 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.

Languages

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,[48] 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".[49] 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 Brooklyn, as both accents were influenced by large communities of immigrant Irish and Italian, but the Yat dialect was also influenced by French and Spanish.

Religion

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.[50]

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.[51]

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.[52] 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.[53]

Current religious affiliations of the people of Louisiana:

Jewish American communities exist in the state's larger cities, notably Baton Rouge and New Orleans.[55] 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-).

Music

See also

References

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  8. ^ Hurricane Gustav makes landfall, weakens to Category 1 storm Fox News, September 2, 2008.
  9. ^ Mandatory evacuations to begin Sunday morning in New Orleans CNN, August 31, 2008.
  10. ^ Associated Press (2008-09-03). "Sixteen deaths connected to Gustav". KTBS. http://www.ktbs.com/news/Sixteen-deaths-connected-to-Gustav--16463/. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  11. ^ Rowland, Michael (2008-09-02). "Louisiana cleans up after Gustav". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/03/2353770.htm?section=justin. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  12. ^ Stewart, Stacy (August 23, 2005). "Tropical Depression Twelve, Discussion No. 1, 5:00 p.m. EDT". National Hurricane Center. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2005/dis/al122005.discus.001.shtml. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  13. ^ Amélie A. Walker, "Earliest Mound Site", Archaeology Magazine, Volume 51 Number 1, January/February 1998
  14. ^ Jon L. Gibson, PhD, "Poverty Point: The First Complex Mississippi Culture", 2001, Delta Blues, accessed 26 Oct 2009
  15. ^ "The Tchefuncte Site Summary". http://www.crt.state.la.us/hp/nhl/parish52/scans/52030001.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  16. ^ "Louisiana Prehistory-Marksville, Troyville-Coles Creek, and Caddo". http://www.crt.state.la.us/archaeology/laprehis/marca.htm. 
  17. ^ "OAS-Oklahomas Past". http://www.ou.edu/cas/archsur/counties/latimer.htm. 
  18. ^ a b "Tejas-Caddo Ancestors-Woodland Cultures". http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/tejas/ancestors/woodland.html. 
  19. ^ Kidder, Tristram (1998). R. Barry Lewis, Charles Stout. ed. Mississippian Towns and Sacred Spaces. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0947-0. 
  20. ^ "Mississippian and Late Prehistoric Period". http://www.nps.gov/seac/outline/05-mississippian/index.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  21. ^ "The Plaquemine Culture, A.D 1000". http://bcn.boulder.co.us/environment/cacv/cacvbrvl.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  22. ^ "Tejas-Caddo Fundamentals-Caddoan Languages and Peoples". http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/tejas/fundamentals/languages.html. 
  23. ^ David Roth, "Louisiana Hurricane History: 18th century (1722–1800)", Tropical Weather - National Weather Service - Lake Charles, LA, 2003, accessed May 7, 2008
  24. ^ The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997: Simon and Schuster. p. 242-43
  25. ^ a b The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997: Simon and Schuster. p. 548.
  26. ^ The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997:Simon and Schuster. p. 548.
  27. ^ The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas. 1997: Simon and Schuster. p. 549.
  28. ^ "The Slave Rebellion of 1791". Library of Congress Country Studies.
  29. ^ http://www.inmotionaame.org/migrations/topic.cfm;jsessionid=f8303469141230638453792?migration=5&topic=2&bhcp=1
  30. ^ [Title=The New York Times 2008 Almanac|Author=edited by John W. Wright|Date=2007|Page=178]
  31. ^ "Population and Population Centers by State - 2000". United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cenpop/statecenters.txt. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  32. ^ "The Cajuns and The Creoles"
  33. ^ Tidwell, Michael. Bayou Farewell:The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast. Vintage Departures: New York, 2004.
  34. ^ "Katrina Effect: LA Tops Nation in Income Growth". 2theadvocate.com. 2007. http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/6728801.html. 
  35. ^ [2] linked from [3], accessed September 28, 2006
  36. ^ Troeh, Eve (1 February 2007). "Louisiana to be Southern Filmmaking Capital?". VOA News (Voice of America). http://voanews.com/english/archive/2007-02/2007-02-01-voa58.cfm. Retrieved 25 December 2008. 
  37. ^ New Jersey Local Jobs - NJ.com
  38. ^ Shevory, Kristina. "The Fiery Family," New York Times, March 31, 2007, p. B1.
  39. ^ Economy
  40. ^ World Culture Economic Forum
  41. ^ "EIA State Energy Profiles: Louisiana". 2008-06-12. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=LA. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  42. ^ http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111053
  43. ^ http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111041
  44. ^ http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=109401
  45. ^ http://www.lsp.org/about_hist.html. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  46. ^ U.S. college athletics by state
  47. ^ French Creole Heritage
  48. ^ Statistics of languages spoken in Louisiana [4] Retrieved on June 18, 2008.
  49. ^ Louisiana State Constitution of 1974 [5] Retrieved on June 18, 2008.
  50. ^ http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/22_2000.asp
  51. ^ For Louisiana's position in a larger religious context, see Bible Belt.
  52. ^  "Louisiana". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Louisiana. 
  53. ^ 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.
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
  55. ^ Isaacs, Ronald H. The Jewish Information Source Book: A Dictionary and Almanac, Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1993. p. 202.

Bibliography

  • 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 (q.v.), among them those by Henry Rightor and John Smith Kendall provide background.

External links

State Government
U.S. Government
News media
Other
Louisiana Geology
Ecoregions
Soil Surveys
Preceded by
Ohio
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on April 30, 1812 (18th)
Succeeded by
Indiana

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Louisiana is a state in the South of the United States of America.

Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas, to the north by Arkansas, to the east by the state of Mississippi, and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana regions
Louisiana regions
  • Alexandria
  • Chalmette - Site of the Battle of New Orleans National Monument
  • Great River Road - Between New Orleans & Baton Rouge.
  • New Roads - Small and Peaceful, yet energetic town on the banks of False River.
  • Slidell
  • Terrebonne Parish
  • Woodworth - One of the fastest growing communities in central Louisiana.

Understand

Louisiana is known for its unique history, its oil/gas and seafood empires, its music, its diverse cultural make-up, including the Cajun culture of Southwest Louisiana and its once dominant Creole culture, its vast wetlands, swamps, bayous, and its sugar & cotton plantations along its waterways.

A word to the wise, The heat in Louisiana can often become unbearable especially during summer months. People not from the South should understand that the humidity can make it feel much hotter than it actually is. Seek shade, wear loose clothes (preferably white) and remember to drink lots of water to help prevent against heat related illnesses.

Talk

Only since 1916 has English been promoted as the official language of Louisiana. For the previous 200 years, French was spoken in much of the southern half of the state. Today, English is spoken by nearly all; however, it is not uncommon to hear conversations in French in the southern and rural parts of the state.

The Southern "drawl" is very rare in the southern part of the state. The native English accent in Acadiana has many distinct sounds due to the people's collective French heritage. In addition, the accent of New Orleans is similar to that of Brooklyn, NY.

  • Avery Island, A few miles southwest of New Iberia is Avery Island, home of the McIlhenny Tabasco factory and a wildlife sanctuary. The island is actually an eight-mile deep salt dome. Visitors can drive and walk through 250 acres of subtropical jungle flora with an amazing array of wildlife.
  • Wildlife Gardens, 5306 North Black Bayou Drive, Gibson, http://www.wildlifegardens.com. 30 acres of preserved swamp where you can walk around a nature trail on shady paths. Apart from the natural wildlife there are ostriches, bobcats, nutria and alligators on display in cages and paddocks and peacocks roam the grounds. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available in four small 'trapper's cabins', adjacent to a small swamp. Each has its own front porch overlooking the water and ideal for gator watching. Staying overnight is a unique experience that kids will love.
  • New Orleans French Quarter is a world famous destination year round, but especially during Mardi Gras. Unique architecture, excellent restaurants, and interesting people make this a great destination in the city.
  • Natchitoches, the oldest town in Louisiana, is a unique small city in north central Louisiana. It was the backdrop of the movie "Steel Magnolias" and has architecture reminiscent of the French Quarter in its Historic District in front of the Cane River Lake. Graceful mansions line the river as well as Bed and Breakfasts. A great destination to visit if you're in the northern part of the state and a hub for nearby Creole plantations along Cane River.
  • Great River Road-Plantation Country, the 70-mile stretch between New Orleans & Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River with Creole and Ante-Bellum sugar plantations, rural settlements, B&Bs, Cajun & Creole restaurants. After the French Quarter, plantations on "Great River Road" represent Louisiana's most visited destination.

Drink

The legal drinking age is 21. However in New Orleans and parts of Acadiana this drinking age is not rigorously enforced. In March 1996, the Supreme Court of Louisiana upheld a previous ruling by Judge Aucoin that the 21 year old drinking age was unconstitutional, violating the Constitution's equal protection clause. However, it later overturned this ruling. Within hours of the first ruling, the state law enforcement community vowed to enforce the current law, until the loophole in the Constitution was closed. More than 10 years later that loophole is still there. Rule of thumb for anyone wanting to party in Louisiana, regardless of age: don't drink and drive. If you are over 18 but under 21, you generally won't have much problem in New Orleans. Just play your cards right, act like the adult that you are, drink responsibly and you'll have a good time. Don't argue with bartenders, police officers or liquor store owners.

Respect

Louisiana (as much of the rest of the South), are known to display the stereotypical "Southern hospitality". However usually it will only be given if you are giving respect back. The pace of life is often more Mediterranean than other parts of the US. Approach locals with a positive attituted and you're apt to make friends; a gruff impatient attitude may generate resentment rather than promptness.

South Louisiana has a large Cajun population; while English is generally understood everywhere French is still spoken by many people especially in South West Louisiana. Louisiana Cajun French is a distinct dialect difficult to understand for many speakers of conventional or Parisian French.

The notorious Hurricane Katrina of 2005 particularly affected the South East of Louisiana with one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. Less well known elsewhere but causing significant damage locally were Hurricane Rita hitting Louisiana's South West a month later, and other areas flooded in Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The disasters are still an emotional subject to many Louisianans. Even those who escaped with little harm often have friends, relatives, and co-workers with more tragic stories. Jokes told elsewhere blaming or insulting Louisianas will bring an negative response here. Some locals may be inclined to share disaster stories with sympathetic vistors, but others prefer not to talk about it-- don't push them.

  • Texas - America's second largest state borders Louisiana to the west. With a rich history and culture, this fiercely independent state measures over 267,000 square miles in area, making it slightly larger than France.
  • Arkansas - Louisiana's northern neighbor, "The Natural State", is home to the Ozark Mountains in the northwest while the south and east of the state has flatter land and shows more of its agricultural heritage.
  • Mississippi - The state's eastern neighbor has Civil War battlefields, scenic parkways, and antebellum charm.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LOUISIANA, one of the Southern States of the United States of America, lying on the N. coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Beginning on the N., its boundary follows eastward the parallel of 33° N., separating Louisiana from Arkansas; then descends the Mississippi river, separating it from the state of Mississippi, southward to 31°; passes eastward on this parallel to the Pearl river, still with the state of Mississippi on the E.; and descends this river to the Gulf. On the W. the Sabine river, from the Gulf to 32° N., and, thence to the parallel of 33°, a line a little W. of (and parallel to) the meridian of 94 W., separate Louisiana from Texas. Including islands in the Gulf, the stretch of latitude is approximately 4° and of longitude 5°. The total area is 48,506 sq. m., of which 3097 sq. m. are water surface (including 1060 sq. m. of landlocked coastal bays called " lakes "). The coast line is about 1500 m.

Physical Features. - Geologically Louisiana is a very recent creation, and belongs to the " Coastal Plain Province." Most of the rocks or soils composing its surface were formed as submarine deposits; the easternmost and southernmost parts are true river deposits. These facts are the key to the state's chorography. The average elevation of the state above the sea is only about 75 ft., and practically the only parts more than 400 ft. high are hills in Sabine, Claiborne and Vernon parishes. The physiographic features are few and very simple. The essential elements are five 1: diluvial plains, coast marshes, prairies, " bluffs " and " pine-hills " (to use the local nomenclature). These were successive stages in the geologic process which has created, and is still actively modifying, the state. They are all seen, spread from N. to S., west of the Mississippi, and also, save only the prairies, in the so-called " Florida parishes " E. of the Mississippi.

These different elements in the region W. of the Mississippi are arranged from N. to S. in the order of decreasing geologic age and maturity. Beginning with elevations of about 400 ft. near the Arkansas line, there is a gentle slope toward the S.E. The northern part can best be regarded as a low plateau (once marine sediments) sloping southward, traversed by the large diluvial valleys of the Mississippi, Red and Ouachita rivers, and recut by smaller tributaries into smaller plateaus and rather uniform flat-topped hills. The " bluffs " (remnants of an eroded plain formed of alluvion deposits over an old, mature and drowned topography) run through the second tier of parishes W. of the Mississippi above the Red river. Below this river prairie areas become increasingly common, constituting the entire S.W. corner of the state. They are usually only 20 to 30 ft. above the sea in this district, never above 70, and are generally treeless except for marginal timber along the sluggish, meandering streams. One of their peculiar features - the sandy circular " mounds," 2 to 10 ft. high and 20 to 30 or even 50 ft. in diameter, sometimes surmounted by trees in the midst of a treeless plain and sometimes arranged in circles and on radii, and decreasing in size with distance from the centre of the field - has been variously explained. The mounds were probably formed by some gentle eruptive action like that exhibited in the " mud hills " along the Mississippi below New Orleans; but no explanation is generally accepted. The prairies shade off into the coast marshes. This fringe of wooded swamp and sea marsh is generally 20 to 30, but in places even 50 and 60 m. in width. Where the marsh is open and grassy, flooded only at high tides or in rainy seasons, and the ground firm enough to bear cattle, it is used as range. Considerable tracts have also been diked and reclaimed for cotton, sugar and especially for rice culture. The tidal action of the gulf is so slight and the marshes are so low that perfect drainage cannot be obtained through tide gates, which must therefore be supplemented by pumping machinery when rains are heavy or landward winds long prevail. Slight ridges along the streams and bayous which traverse it, and occasional patches of slightly elevated prairie, relieve in a measure the monotonous expanse. It is in and along the borders of this coast swamp region that most of the rice and much of the sugar cane 1 A sixth, less characteristic, might be included, viz. the " pine flats," generally wet, which are N. of Lake Pontchartrain, between the alluvial lands and the pine hills, and, in the S.E. corner of the state, between the hills and the prairie.

of the state are grown. Long bar-like " islands " (conspicuous high land rising above the marsh and prairie) - Orange, Petite Anse, Grand Cote, Cote Blanche and Belle Isle - offer very interesting topographical and geological problems. " Trembling prairies "- land that trembles under the tread of men or cattle - are common near the coast. Most of the swamp fringe is reclaimable. The marshes encroach most upon the parishes of St Charles, Orleans and Plaquemines. In St Charles the cultivable strip of land along the river is only about 3 m. wide. In Orleans the city of New Orleans occupies nearly all the high ground and encroaches on the swamps. In Plaquemines there is practically no cultivable land below Forts Jackson and St Philip, and above there is only a narrow strip.

The alluvial lands include the river flood plains. The principal rivers are the Mississippi, which flows nearly 600 m. through and along the border of the state, the Red river, the Ouachita (or Washita), Sabine and Pearl; all except the last are navigable at all stages of the water. There are many " bayous," several of which are of great importance, both for navigation and for drainage. They may be characterized as secondary outlets of the rivers or flood distributaries. Among them are Bayou Teche, Bayou Plaquemine, Atchafalaya Bayou,' Bayou Lafourche and Bayou Boeuf. Almost all secondary water-courses, particularly if they have sluggish currents, are known as bayous. Some might well be called lakes, and others rivers. The alluvial portion of the state, especially below the mouth of the Red river, is an intricate network of these bayous, which, before their closure by a levee system, served partially, in time of flood, to carry off the escaping surplus of river waters. They are comparatively inactive at all seasons; indeed, the action of the tides and back-waters and the tangle of vegetation in the sombre swamps and forests through which they run, often render their currents almost imperceptible at ordinary water. Navigable waters are said to penetrate all but four of the parishes of the state, their total length approximating 3800 m.

Each of the larger streams, as well as a large proportion of the smaller ones, is accompanied by a belt of bottom land, of greater or less width, lying low as regards the stream, and liable to overflow at times of high water. These flood plains form collectively what is known as the alluvial region, which extends in a broad belt down the Mississippi, from the mouth of the Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico, and up the Ouachita and its branches and the Red river to and beyond the limits of the state. Its breadth along the Mississippi within Louisiana ranges from to to 50 or 60 m., and that along the Red river and the Ouachita has an average breadth of to m. Through its great flood-plain the Mississippi river winds upon the summit of a ridge formed by its own deposits. In each direction the country falls away in a succession of minor undulations, the summits of the ridges being occupied by the streams and bayous. Nearly all of this vast flood-plain lies below the level of high water in the Mississippi, and, but for the protection afforded by the levees, every considerable rise of its waters would inundate vast areas of fertile and cultivated land. The low regions of Louisiana, including the alluvial lands and the coast swamps, comprise about 20,000 sq. m., or nearly one-half the area of the state. The remainder consists of the uplands of prairie and forest.

The alluvial region of the state in 1909 was mainly protected against overflow from the Mississippi river by 754 m. of levee on the Mississippi river within the state, and 84 m. on the Mississippi river, Cypress and Amos Bayou in Arkansas, forming part of the general system which extends through other states, moo m. up to the highlands about the junction of the Ohio river. The state and the national government co-operate in the construction and maintenance of this system, but the Federal government did not give material aid (the only exception being the grant of swamp lands in 1850) until the exceptionally disastrous flood in 1882. For about a century and a half before that time, levee building had been undertaken in a more or less spasmodic and tentative way, first by riparian proprietors, then by local combinations of public and private interests, and finally by the state, acting through levee districts, advised by a Board of Engineers. The Federal government, after its participation in the work, acted through a Board of Engineers, known as the " Mississippi River Commission." The system of 754 m. of Mississippi river levees, within the state, was built almost entirely after 1866, and represents an expenditure of about $43,000,000 for primary construction alone; of this sum, the national government contributed probably a third (the state expended about $24,000,000 on levees before the Civil War). Some of the levees, especially those in swampy regions where outlet bayous are closed, are of extraordinary solidity and dimensions, being 20 to 40 ft. high, or even more, across streams or bayous - formerly outlets - with bases of 8 or 10 ft. to one of height. The task of maintenance consists almost entirely in closing the gaps which occur when the banks on which the levees are built cave into the river. Levee systems on some of the interior or tributary rivers, aggregating some 602 m., are exclusively built and maintained by the state. Louisiana also contributes largely to the 84 m. of levee in Arkansas, necessary to its security from overflow. The improvement of bayous, channels, the 'The original channel of the Red river. It has been so useful in relieving the Mississippi of floods, that the Red river may possibly be permanently diverted again into the bayou artificially.

construction of canals and the drainage of swamp lands also contribute to the protection of the state.

The lakes are mainly in three classes. First come the coast lagoons, many of which are merely land-locked salt-water bays, the waters of which rise and fall with the tides. Of this class are Pontchartrain, Borgne, Maurepas and Sabine. These are simply parts of the sea which have escaped the filling-in process carried on by the great river and the lesser streams. A second class, called " ox-bow" lakes, large in numbers but small in area, includes ordinary cut-off meanders along the Mississippi and Red rivers. A third class, those upon the Red river and its branches, are caused mainly by the partial stoppage of the water above Shreveport by the " raft," a mass of drift such as frequently gathers in western rivers, which for a distance of 45 m. almost completely closed the channel until it was broken up by government engineers. These lakes are much larger at flood season than at other times, and have been much reduced in size by the cutting of a channel through the raft. Lakes of this class are sometimes formed by the choking of the mouth of feeble tributaries by silt deposited by the Red river where the currents meet.

Table of contents

Mineral Resources

Mineral resources are few, but important. In the Tertiary region are found small quantities of iron ore and an indifferent brown coal. The important mineral products are salt, sulphur, petroleum and natural gas. The deposit of rock salt on Petite Anse Island, in the coast swamp region, has been extensively worked since its discovery during the Civil War. The deposit is in places moo ft. thick, and yields salt of extraordinary purity (sometimes 99% pure). There are large deposits also on Orange Island (in places at least 1800 ft. thick), on Week's Island, on Belle Isle and probably beneath the intervening marshes. In 1907 Louisiana ranked sixth among the salt-producing states of the country (after New York, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas and California), its output being valued at $226,892, only a few hundred dollars more than that of Texas. Near Lake Charles, at Sulphur, are very extraordinary sulphur deposits. The beds lie several (for the most part four to six) hundred feet underground and are of disputed origin. Many regard them as products of an extinct volcano; according to others they are of vegetable origin (they are found in conjunction with gypsum). They were discovered before 1870 by searchers after petroleum, but their exploitation remained in the experimental stage until about 1900. The sulphur is dissolved by superheated water forced down pipes, and the water with sulphur in solution is forced upward by hot air pressure through other pipes; the sulphur comes, 99% pure, to the surface of the ground, where it is cooled in immense bins, and then broken up and loaded directly upon cars for shipment. These mines divide with the Sicilian mines the control of the sulphur market of the world. The value of the sulphur taken from the mines of Louisiana in 1907 was a little more than $5,000,000. Evidences of petroleum were discovered long ago, in the very field where in recent years the Beaumont and Vinton wells were bored. In 1909 Jennings was the chief field in Louisiana, lesser fields being at Welsh, Anse la Butte, Caddo and Vinton. The Jennings field, one of the greatest in the United States, produced up to and including 1907 more than 26,000,000 barrels of high-grade oil, twelve-thirteenths of which came from an area of only 50 acres, one well producing a tenth of the entire output. In 1907 the state produced 5,000,221 barrels of petroleum, valued at $4,063,033. Natural gas is found in Caddo parish, about 20 m. N. of Shreveport. The depth of the wells is from 840 to 2150 ft.; two wells completed in 1907 had a daily capacity estimated at 35,000,000 to 50,000,000 ft. Shreveport, Oil City, Blanchard, Mooringsport, Bozier City and Texarkana are supplied with natural gas by pipe lines from this field. Kaolin is found in the state; in 1907 the total value of all clay products was $928,579.

Climate

The climate is semi-tropical and exceptionally equable over large areas. In the S. and S.E. the equable temperature is largely the effect of the network of bays, bayous and lakes, and throughout the state the climate is materially influenced by the prevailing southerly winds from the Gulf of Mexico. Some daily variation in the temperature of adjoining localities is caused by a dark soil in the one and a light soil in the other, but the differences of mean annual temperature are almost wholly due to differences of latitude and elevation. The mean annual temperature for a period of nineteen years (Jan. 1888 to Dec. 1906) ranged from 70° F. at Port Eads, in the extreme S.E., to 65° F. at Lake Providence, in the N.E. The mean temperature of July, the hottest month, is comparatively uniform over the state, varying only from 81° to 83°; the mean for January, the coldest month, varies from 46° in the extreme north to 56° in the extreme south. Even in the coldest localities eight or nine months are wholly free from frost, and in the coast parishes frost occurs only a few days in each year. Rainfall is usually heavy in the S.E., but it decreases toward the N.W. As much as 85.6 in. have fallen within a year at New Orleans, but in this locality the average for a year is about 57.6 in.; at Shreveport the average is 46 in., and for the entire state it is 55 in. Much more rain falls in summer than in any other season, but in some parts the heaviest rainfall is in the spring and in others in the winter. A light fall of snow is not uncommon in the northern parishes, but in the southern part of the state snow falls not oftener than once in three to five years. Hailstorms are infrequent everywhere, but especially so in the south. Only a fourth to a half of the days of the different months are wholly or partly clear even in the north, and in the same district the monthly means of relative humidity vary from 65 to 70.

Fauna

The entire state is included within the Austro-riparian life zone; the higher portions fall within the Carolinian area and the lower portions, including the Gulf and the Mississippi embayment almost to the N.E. corner of the state, constitute a special semitropical region. The native fauna of the state resembles in its general features that of the other Gulf states. The feral fauna was once rather varied. Black bears, wolves and deer are not yet extinct, and more rarely a " wild cat " (lynx) or " panther " (puma) is seen in the swamps. Of smaller mammals, raccoons, squirrels and opossums are very common. Every bayou contains alligators; and reptiles of various species, such as turtles, lizards, horned toads, rattlesnakes and moccasins are abundant. Shrimps, frogs (of great commercial importance), terrapin, clams and oysters are common. Only in very recent years have oysters, though plentiful, become of competitive importance in the national market; they are greatly favoured by state protective legislation. In 1904 a state oyster commission was created to supplant the independent control by the parishes. An important boundary dispute with Mississippi arose over beds lying near the state line. The state leases the beds at a low annual rental in tracts (limited for each person, firm or corporation to 1000 acres), and draws from them a considerable revenue. The avifauna is varied and abundant, comprising eagles, vultures (protected by law), hawks, owls, pelicans, cranes, turkeys, geese, partridges " (called quail or " Bob White " elsewhere), ducks, &c., besides numerous smaller species, many of which are brilliant of plumage but harsh of voice.

Flora

Heavy rainfall, high temperature and fertile soil combine to cover the greater part of the state, and particularly the alluvial regions and the coast swamps, with a most luxuriant subtropical vegetation, both arborescent and herbaceous. Louisiana is justly celebrated for the beauty and fragrance of its flowers. The range of temperature is not sufficient to give the variety of annual wild flowers of more northern climates; nevertheless flowers cover the bottom lands and uplands in great profusion. The upland flora is the more diversified. Flowering annuals are mainly aquatic. Water lilies, water hyacinths, which are an obstruction in many streams, and irises in rich variety give colour to the coast wastes and sombre bayous. Notable among the flora are roses, japonicas, hibiscus shrubs of various species, poinsettias, tea olives, crepe myrtle, jasmines, magnolias, camellias, oleanders, chrysanthemums, geraniums and plumbagos. The value and variety of the timber are very great. Much of the river swamp region is covered with cypress trees festooned with Spanish moss. The most common species in the alluvial regions and, to a less degree, in the drier portions of the swamps and in the stream bottoms of the prairies are various oaks, black, sweet and tupelo gum, holly, cotton-wood, poplar, magnolia sweet bay, the tulip tree, catalpa, black walnut, pecans, hickories, ash, beech and short-leaf pine. On drier and higher soils are the persimmon, sassafras, red maple, elm, black haw, hawthorn, various oaks (in all 10 species occur), hickories and splendid forests of longleaf and loblolly yellow pine.

Forestry

These forests are the greatest and finest of their kind remaining in the United States. In 1898 it was estimated by Henry Gannett (followed by the Federal census of 1900) that the timbered area covered 28,300 sq. m. Professor C. S. Sargent estimated in 1884 that the stand of short-leaf and long-leaf pines aggregated respectively 21,625 and 26,558 million feet. The timber product of 1900 ($17,294,444) was almost ten times that of 1880 ($1,764,640); and in 1905 the product value ($35,192,374) was more than twice that of 1900. Nevertheless, in 1900 the cypress forests remained practically untouched, only slight impression had been made upon the pine areas, and the hard-wood forests, except that they had been culled of their choicest oak, remained in their primal state (U.S. census). Between 1900 and 1905 furniture factories and planing mills became somewhat important. Pond pine occurs only near the Pearl river. Curly pine is fairly abundant. The eastern pine belt is composed of the long-leaf pine, interspersed with some loblolly. It covers an area of about 3900 sq. m. The south-western pine belt contains the heaviest growth of long-leaf pine timber in the world, covering an area of about 4200 sq. m., and occasionally interspersed with short-leaf pine. The short-leaf growth is especially heavy in the north-western portion of the state, while the long-leaf is found mainly in large masses N. and S. of the Red river around Alexandria as a centre. The cypress forests of the alluvial and overflowed lands in the S. of the state are among the largest and the most heavily timbered known. The hard-woods are found in the river bottoms throughout the state.

Agriculture and Soils. - Agriculture is the chief industry of the state. In 1900 26.2% of the land was in farms, and of this area about two-fifths was improved. The size of the average farm decreased in the two preceding decades from 171.3 to 95.4 acres. The percentage of farms operated by owners (i.e. owners, part owners, owners and tenants, and managers) fell from 64.8 to 42.1% from 1880 to 1900, and the percentage operated by cash tenants increased from 13.8 in 1880 to 24.9 in 1900, and by share tenants from 21.5 in 1880 to 33 o in 190o; the percentage of farms operated by white farmers was 49.8 in 1900. The value of farm property, $19 8,536,906 in 1900, increased 79.8% in the preceding decade. The value of live stock in the latter year was $28,869,506. The total value of all farm products in 1899 was $72,667,302, of which $59,276,092 was the value of the distinctive crops - cotton, sugar and rice. The state bureau of agriculture in 1903 estimated that of the total area 14.9 millions of acres were timber land, 5.7 millions pasture and marsh, and 5 o millions cultivated farm land.

In the N. there are many sandy districts in the uplands, also sandy clays; in the " second bottoms " of the streams fertile sandy loams; abundant tertiary marls in the north-central region; some gypsum in the cretaceous " islands "; and some fossiliferous marls with decomposed limestones. The prairies of south-western Louisiana have much yellow marl underlying them. Alluvial soil and bluff, the location of which has been indicated, are of primary agricultural importance. Reclaimed marsh-land and fresh alluvium (the so-called " front-lands " on rivers and bayous) are choice soil for Indian corn, sugar-cane, perique tobacco, semi-tropical fruits and cotton. The bluff lands are simply old alluvium now well drained and above all floods. The prairies of the S.W. are devoted almost exclusively to rice. On the hills yellow-leaf tobacco can be grown. Cereals and forage plants can be successfully grown everywhere, and varied and profitable agriculture is possible even on the " pine-barrens " or uplands of the N.; but more intelligent and more intensive farming is necessary than that practised by the average " pineywoods " farmer. The alluvial section of lower Louisiana is mostly devoted to sugar, and farther northward to Indian corn and cotton.

Cotton is the principal crop. In 1907 Louisiana ranked eighth in acreage of cotton (1,622,000 acres) among the states of the United States, and in1907-1908the cotton crop (675,428 bales) was eighth among the crops of the states. The average yield per acre varies from about. 45 to 75 bale according to the season. In good seasons and exceptional localities the yield may approach a bale per acre, as in Assumption parish, and in the Mississippi valley at the junction of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. For many years there has been a reaction against the all-cotton farming system. In general, the small cotton farmer was at the mercy of the commission merchant, to whom he mortgaged his crops in advance; but this evil has lessened, and in some districts the system of advancing is either nonexistent or very slightly developed.

In1907-1908all the sugar produced from cane grown in the United States came from Louisiana (335,000 long tons) and Texas (12,000 tons); in the same year cane sugar from Hawaii amounted to 420,000 tons, from Porto Rico to 217,000 tons and from the Philippines to 135,000 tons; and the total yield of beet sugar from the United States was 413,954 tons. Of all the cane grown, an amount between one-sixth and one-quarter - and that the best - must be reserved for seed every other year, and this is a great handicap to the state in competing with other cane regions and with the sugar beet. Of the total sugar consumption of the country in1899-1904Louisiana produced somewhat more than a fifteenth. Since about 1880 there have been central factories, and their increase has been a very prominent factor in the development of the industry, as it has been in Cuba. Though very much of the region S. of the Red river is fairly well suited to sugar-growing, it is still true that sugar cannot, over much of this area, be grown to so great advantage as other crops. Its hold upon the delta region is, however, almost unchallenged, especially since the rice farmers have found in the prairie lands that excel the delta for their purposes. Sugar is grown also in St Landry and the eastern part of Attakapas - a name formerly loosely applied to what are now St Mary, Iberia, Vermilion, St Martin and Lafayette parishes. Though introduced with success from Santo Domingo about the middle of the T 8th century, the sugar industry practically dates from 1796, when Etienne Bore first succeeded in crystallizing and clarifying the syrup. Steam motive power was first introduced on the plantations in 1822. The average product of the ten seasons1894-1904was 299,745 tons. A state sugar experiment station is maintained at Audubon Park in New Orleans, its work embracing the development of seedlings, the improvement of cane varieties, the study of fungus diseases of the cane, the improvement of mill methods and the reconciliation of such methods (for example, the use of sulphur as a bleaching and clarifying agent) with the requirements of " pure food " laws. Good work has also been done by the Audubon sugar school of the state university, founded " for the highest scientific training in the growing of sugar cane and in the technology of sugar manufacture." Tobacco might be grown profitably over a large part of the state, but in reality very little is grown. The strong, black perique of the delta - cultivated very generally in the lower alluvial region before the Civil War, but now almost exclusively in St James parish - is a famous leaf, grown since early colonial times. Bright or yellow plug and smoking leaf are grown on the pine uplands and pine " flats," and a small amount of cigar tobacco on the flats, prairies and " bluffs." The total value of the tobacco crop of 35,000 ib in 1907 was only $to,000, an amount exceeded by each of the other 24 tobacco-growing states, and the crop was about one-twentieth of % of the product of the whole United States.

Rice farming, which had its beginning immediately after the Civil War and first became prominent in the 'seventies, has developed enormously since 1880. From 1879 to 1899 the product increased twenty-five fold. Formerly the grain was raised by preference in the river bottoms, which still yield, almost invariably, the earliest rice of the season and perhaps the finest. The " buckshot clays " of the backlands, which are so stiff that they can scarcely be ploughed until flooded and softened, and are remarkably retentive of moisture, are ideal rice soil; but none of the alluvial lands has an underlying hardpan, and they cannot as a rule be drained sufficiently to make the use of heavy harvesting machinery possible. In 1880 the prairies of the S.W. were opened to settlement by the railway. These prairies are traversed by ridges, which facilitate irrigation, and are underlaid by an impervious subsoil, which facilitates both effective storage and drainage. Thus the use of machinery became possible, and this revolutionized the entire industry. The year 1884 may be taken as the initial date of the new period, and the grain is now harvested exactly as is wheat in the west-central states. Previously the grain had ordinarily been cut with sickles and harvested by hand. The farms were also small, usually from 5 to to acres. They are now very much larger. All the prairies district - the centre of which is Crowley - is becoming one great rice field. Some rice also is grown on the lowlands of the Mississippi valley, notably in Plaquemines, Jefferson and Lafourche parishes. In the decade1881-1890Louisiana produced about half of the total yield of the country, and from 1891 to 1900 about five-sevenths. In 1904 and 1906 the Louisiana crop, about one-half of the total yield of the country, was larger than that of any other state; but in 1905 and in 1907 (6, 1 9 2 ,955 ib and 7,378,000 lb respectively) the Louisiana crop was second in size to that of Texas. Carolina and Honduras rices were practically the only varieties until after 1896. Since that time select Japanese species, chosen for superior milling qualities, have been widely introduced, as the market prejudice in favour of head rice made the large percentage of broken rice a heavy handicap to the farmers. Hundreds of varieties have been tested by the state and federal agricultural experiment stations. A strong tendency to run to red rice (hardier, but not so marketable) has been a second great difficulty to overcome.

Irrigation is almost entirely confined to rice farms. In the prairie region there is abundant water at depths of too to 400 ft. beneath the surface, but this was little used for irrigation for the first few years of the development of this field, when water was pumped from the streams and canals. In 1902 nearly one-eighth of the acreage irrigated was by systems supplied from wells. The irrigated rice area increased 92.9% from 1899 to 1902, and the construction cost of irrigation works ($4747,359 in 1902; $12.25 per irrigated acre) 87.7% in the same years. This increase was almost wholly in the prairie parishes. Of the total irrigated area for rice of 387,580 acres in 1902, 310,670 acres were in the parishes of Calcasieu, Acadia and Vermilion. In the Mississippi valley water is taken from the river by flumes in the levees or by siphons. The danger of floods and the difficulty of drainage make the extension of the practice unprofitable, and the opening of the prairies has made it unnecessary.

Many of the fruits of warm-temperate and semi-tropical lands, whether native or exotic, including oranges, olives, figs, grape-fruit, kumquats and pomegranates are cultivated. Oranges are grown especially on the coast. There are many fine groves on the Mississippi below New Orleans. The fig is a common door-yard tree as in other Gulf and South Atlantic states, and is never killed down by frost. Louisiana produced in 1899 only a fifth as great a value in subtropic fruits as Arizona and Texas combined. Orchard fruits are fairly varied, but, compared with other states, unimportant; and the production of small fruits is comparatively small, the largest crop being strawberries. Oranges and pears are seriously damaged by insect and fungus pests. The total value of fruit products in 1899 was $412,933. Among nuts the native pecan is exceptionally abundant, the product (637,470 lb in 1899) being much greater than that of any other state save Texas.

The total value of cereal products in 1899 was $ 1 4,49 1 ,79 6, including Indian corn valued at $10,327,723 and rice valued at $4, 0 44,4 8 9; in 1907 it was more than $27,300,000, including Indian corn valued at $19,600,000, rice valued at $7,378,000 and oats valued at $223,000. Indian corn is grown only for home use. Dairying interests are not largely developed, and in Texas and the adjoining states the " Texas fever " and " charbon " have done great damage to cattle. Forage crops are little grown, though soil conditions are `. ,vourable. Cowpeas are a common fertilizer. Garden trucking 1s :eery slightly developed, but has been successful where it has been tried. The state maintains a crop pest commission, the duties of which include the inspection of all nursery stock sold in the state.

Manufactures

The state's manufacturing interests have during the last few decades grown greatly in importance. From 1890 to 1900 the capital invested, the cost of materials used and the value of output (in 1goo, $1 21,181,683) increased respectively 22 5'4, 1 47.3 and 109 6%. The value of the factory products in 1900 was $111,397,919; in 1905 it was $186,379,592. Slightly above one-half of the product of 1900 was from New Orleans, and in 1905 about 45.4%. A constitutional amendment of 1902 exempted from parochial and municipal taxes between 1900 and 1910 practically all factories and mines in the state, employing at least five hands. Manufacturing industries are for the most part closely related to the products of the soil, about two-thirds of the value of all manufactures in Igoo and in 1905 being represented by sugar and molasses refining, lumber and timber products, cotton-seed oil and cake, and rice cleaned and polished.

Rice is milled at New Orleans, Crowley, Abbeville, Gayden, Jennings and Lake Charles. Ramie fibre and jute are available for coarse cloth; cotton weaving is almost non-existent. The lumber industry is centred chiefly in Calcasieu parish. Lake Charles, Westlake, Bogalusa, Bon Ami, Carson, Fisher, Fullerton, Leesville, Oakdale and Pickering were the leading sawmill towns of the state in 1908. Of the rarer woods particular mention may be made of curly pine, yielding a wood of beautiful figure and polish; magnolia, hard, close-grained, of fine polish and of great lasting qualities; and cypress, light, strong, easily worked and never-rotting. The timber cut of 1900 was officially stated as 1,214,387 M. ft. B.M., of which two-thirds were of yellow pine and most of the remainder of cypress. In some localities, especially in the " Florida parishes," small quantities of rosin and turpentine are taken from the long-leaf pine, but this industry was unimportant in Louisiana before 1908. Sawdust, slabs, stumps and large quantities of logs are wasted. Other manufactures with a product value in 1905 of between $4,000,000 and $1,000,000 were: bags (not paper); foundry and machine-shop products; planing-mill products; railway cars, construction and repairs; malt liquors; men's clothing; cooperage; food preparations; roasted and ground coffee and spice; fertilizers; cigars and cigarettes; cotton goods; and manufactured ice.

Communications

The length of railway in the state was 1740 m. in 1890 and 4943'55 m. at the end of 1908. By the state constitution of 1898 and by amendments of 1902 and 1904 tax exemptions for ten years were granted to newly-built railroads completed before 1909. The principal roads are the Missouri Pacific (St Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern, New Orleans & North-western and St Louis, Watkins & Gulf), the Southern Pacific (Morgan's Louisiana & Texas Railroad & Steamship Co. and the Louisiana Western), the Texas & Pacific, the Kansas City Southern, the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific, the Louisiana Railway & Navigation Co., the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley, the Illinois Central, and the Louisiana & Arkansas. The Illinois Central, the first railway giving Louisiana connexion with the north, and of immense importance in the trade of New Orleans, has only about 100 m. of double track in the state. The problem of inland waterways has always been a most important one in northern, eastern and southern Louisiana, where there are systems of improved bayous, lakes and canals which, with the levees, make this region something like Holland, on a greater scale. Many bayous are convertible by improvement into excellent drainage and irrigation canals. The canal system is especially well developed in the parishes of the Mississippi delta, where, at the close of 1907, there were about 50 m. of these waterways of decided commercial importance. They serve the trade of Lake Pontchartrain and the Florida parishes, the lumber, coal, fish, oyster and truck trade of New Orleans, and to some extent are the highway of a miscellaneous coasting trade. The most important canal is probably the new Atchafalaya Bay canal (14 ft. deep), opened in 1907, connecting the Atchafalaya river and Morgan City with the Gulf of Mexico. In 1907 active preliminary work was begun on the Louisiana section of a great interstate inland waterway projected by the national government between the Mississippi and Rio Grande rivers, almost parallel to the Gulf Coast and running through the rice and truck-farm districts from the Teche to the Mermenton river (92 m.). The competition of the water lines is felt by all the railways, and the importance of water transportation is rapidly increasing. A state railroad commission, organized in 1899, has power to regulate railway, steamer, sleepingcar, express, telephone and telegraph rates within the state. Foreign commerce is almost wholly centred at New Orleans.

Population

The population of the state increased in the ten decades from 1810 to 1910 successively by 100 4, 40 6, 6 3.4, 4 6.9, 3 6 '7, 2 ' 7, 2 9.3, 19. o, 23.5 and 19.9%. In 1910 it was 1,656,388 (36.5 per sq. m.). 1 In 1900 47.1% was of negro 1 The population was 76,556 in 18ro; 153,407 in 1820; 215,739 in 1830; 352,411 in 1840; 517,762 in 1850; 708,002 in 1860; 726,915 in 1870; 939,94 6 in 1880; 1,118,588 in 1890; and 1,381,825 in 1900.

blood, as compared with 51.5 in 1890. Seven cities and towns in 1 goo had more than 5000 inhabitants each: New Orleans (287,104), Shreveport (16,013), Baton Rouge (11,269), New Iberia (6815), Lake Charles (6680), Alexandria (5648) and Monroe (5428). The urban element is larger than in any other southern state, owing to the large population of New Orleans. The Acadians (see § History below) to-day are settled mainly in St Mary, Acadia and Vermilion parishes; lesser numbers are in Avoyelles and St Landry; and some are scattered in various other parishes. The parishes of St Mary, Iberia, Vermilion, St Martin and Lafayette are known as the Attakapas country from an Indian name. A colony of Germans sent over by John Law to the Arkansas removed to the Mississippi above New Orleans, and gave to its bank the name of the " German Coast," by which it is still known. In recent years there has been an immigration of Italians into Louisiana, which seems likely to prove of great social and economic importance. The industrial activity of the state has required more labour than has been available. The negroes have moved more and more from the country to the towns, where they easily secure work at good wages. Owing to the inadequate supply of labour two important immigration leagues of business men were formed in 1904 and 1905, and in 1907 the state government began officially to attempt to secure desirable foreign immigration, sending agents abroad to foster it. Roman Catholics greatly predominate among religious denominations, having in 1906 477,774 members out of a total of 778,901 for all denominations; in the same year there were 185,554 Baptists, 79,464 Methodists, 9070 Protestant Episcopalians and 8350 Presbyterians.

Administration

Since the admission of the state to the Union in 1812 there have been eight state constitutions (not counting that of 1861) admirably illustrating - and not less the Territorial government preceding them - the development of American democracy and the problems connected with the negroes. Under the Territorial government the legislative officers were not at first elective. The " parishes " date from 1807; they were based on an earlier Spanish division for religious purposes - whence the names of saints in parish nomenclature. The constitution of 1812 allowed the General Assembly to name the governor from the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes; gave the governor large powers of appointment, even of local functionaries; and required a property qualification for various offices, and even for voters. The constitution of 1845 made the popular suffrage final in the choice of the governor, abolished property qualifications, and began to pare executive powers for the benefit of the General Assembly or the people. From it dates also the constitutional recognition of the public schools. In 1852 even the judges of the supreme court were placed among the officers chosen by popular vote. The constitutions of 1864 and 1868 were of importance primarily as bearing on negro status and national politics. That of 1879 showed a profound distrust of legislative action, bred of reconstruction experiences. Nearly all special legislation was forbidden. The last constitution (1898, with 26 amendments 1898-1906), unlike all others after that of 1812, was not submitted to the people for ratification.

Under this constitution sessions of the General Assembly are biennial (meeting the second Monday in May in even-numbered years) and are limited to sixty days. The number of senators is fixed by the constitution at 39; the number of representatives is to be not more than 116 or less than 98. Any elector is eligible for election as a representative if he has been a citizen of the state for five years and a resident of the district or parish from which he is elected for two years immediately preceding the election; a change of residence from the district or parish from which he was elected vacates the seat of a representative or senator. A senator must be at least 25 years of age. Members of the legislature are elected for four years. Revenue or appropriation bills originate in the House of Representatives, but may be amended by the Senate. Contingent appropriations are forbidden, and the constitution contains a long list of subjects on which special laws may not be passed. The chief executive officers have four-year terms, neither the governor nor the treasurer being eligible for immediate re-election. The governor must be at least 30 years old and must have been a citizen of the United States and a resident of the state for 10 years next preceding his election. Within five days after the passage of any bill by the General Assembly he may veto this measure, which then becomes a law only if passed by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the General Assembly. The lieutenant governor (and then the secretary of state) succeeds to the office of governor if the governor is removed, dies or leaves the state. The five judges of the supreme court of the state are elected by the people for a term of twelve years. The supreme court is almost without exception a court of appeal with jurisdiction in cases involving at least $2000, in cases of divorce, in suits regarding adoption, legitimacy and custody of children and as regards the legality and constitutionality of taxes, fines, &c. The supreme court appoints courts of appeal to judge cases involving less than $2000. The constitution prohibits lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets.

The suffrage clauses are of particular interest, as they accomplish the practical disfranchisement of the negroes. The constitution requires that a voter must (in addition to other qualifications) either be able to show conclusively ability to read and write, or be the owner of property within the state assessed at not less than $300, on which, if personalty, all taxes are paid. But it excepts from these requirements - thus letting down the bars for illiterate whites excluded with negroes by the foregoing clauses - persons who were entitled to vote in some state on or before the 1st of January 1867 (i.e. before the adoption of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution); also the sons or grandsons of such voters, not under 21 years of age, on the 12th of May 1898; and males of foreign birth who have resided in the state for five years next preceding the date of application for registration and who were naturalized prior to 1898. The constitution provides that no person less than 60 years of age shall be permitted to vote unless he has paid an annual poll-tax of one dollar for the two years next preceding the year in which he offers to vote. Convicts not pardoned with an explicit restoration of suffrage privileges are disfranchised - a rare clause in the United States. Suffrage was by this constitution first extended to women tax-payers in questions " submitted to the tax-payers, as such." The creation of a railroad commission was ordered and the preparation of a code of criminal law.

The Louisiana Board of Levee Commissioners was organized in 1865. The state board of health was the first one effectively organized (1855) in the United States. It encountered many difficulties, and until the definite proof of the stegomyia hypothesis of yellowfever inoculation made by the United States army surgeons in Cuba in 1900, the greatest problem seemed insoluble. Since that time conditions of health in New Orleans have been revolutionized (in 1907 state control of maritime quarantine on the Mississippi was supplanted by that of the national government), and smaller cities and towns have been stimulated to take action by her example. Sanitary institutes are held by the state board at various towns each year for the instruction of the public. Boards of appraisers and equalization oversee the administration of the tax system; the cost of collection, owing to the fee system for payment of collectors, was higher than in any other state of the Union until 1907, when the fees were greatly reduced. The state assessment in 1901 totalled $301,215,222 and in 1907 was $508,000,000. Schools and levees absorb about half of all revenues, leaving half for the payment of interest on the state debt (bonded debt on 1st of April 1908, $11,108,300) and for expenses of government. A general primary election law for the selection, by the voters, of candidates for state office came into effect in 1906.

Law

Louisiana has been peculiar among the states of the Union in the history of the development of its legal system. In Louisiana alone (as the state is known to-day), out of all the territory acquired from France as the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, was the civil law so established under French and Spanish rule that it persisted under American dominion. In all the other states formed from the Purchase, the civil law, never existent practically, was early expressly abrogated, and the common law of England established in its place. After O'Reilly established his power in 1769 (see History, below), the Spanish law was supreme. All the old codes of the Peninsula, as well as the laws of the Indies and special royal decrees and schedules, were in force in the colony. The United States left the task of altering the laws to the people, as far as there was no conflict between them and the Constitution of the United States and fundamental American legal customs. Copies of the Spanish codes were very rare, and some of them could not be had in the colonies. Discussions of the Roman Institute and Pandects were common in the deliberations of the courts. Great confusion prevailed in the first years of American dominion owing to the diversities of languages and the grafting of such Anglo-Saxon institutions as the jury upon the older system. A provisional code of judicial procedure, prepared by Edward Livingston, was in effect in 1805 to 1825. The earliest digest, completed in 1808, was mainly a compilation of Spanish laws. The project of the Code Napoleon, however - the code itself not being available in Louisiana, though promulgated in France in 1804 - was used by the compilers in the arrangement and substance of their work; and the French traditions of the colony, thus illustrated, were naturally introduced more and more into the organic commentaries and developments that grew up around the Code Napoleon. This evolution was little marked, so similar in large parts were the systems of France and Spain (although in other parts, due to the Gothic element in the Spanish, they were very different) - a similarity which explains the facility with which O'Reilly and his successors introduced the Spanish laws after 1769. The Louisiana code of 1808 was not, however, exhaustive; and the courts continued to go back to the old Spanish sources whenever the digest was inconclusive. Thus so late as 1819, when the legislature ordered the compilation of such parts of King Alfonso's Siete Partidas (the most common authority in the colony) as were considered in force, this compilation filled a considerable volume. In 18 2r the legislature authorized Livingston to prepare the " Livingston Code " of criminal law and procedure, completed in 1824 (in French and English) and published in 1833, but never adopted by the state. In 1825 legislative sanction was given to the greater part of a civil code prepared by a commission (including Livingston) appointed in 1821, and the French element became steadily more important. In its present form the law shows plainly the Latin and English elements. English law has largely moulded, for example, criminal and commercial law and the law of evidence; the development of the law of corporations, damages, prohibitions and such extraordinary remedies as the mandamus has been very similar to that in other states; while in the fusion of law and equity, and the law of successions, family relations, &c., the civil law of Spain and France has been unaffected.

Education

Schooling was very scant before the creation of the public schools in 1854. Very little was done for education in the French and Spanish period, although the Spanish governors made commendable efforts in this regard; the first American Territorial legislature began the incorporation of feeble " colleges " and " academies." To some of these the state gave financial aid ($1,613,898) before 1845. The public schools were flourishing at the outbreak of the Civil War. War and reconstruction threw upon them the new burden of the black children. The constitution of 1879 was illiberal in this respect, but a healthier public opinion soon prevailed. The money given by the state to the public schools is distributed among the parishes according to their school population, and the constitution of 1898 set a generous minimum to such aid. An annual poll-tax is also collected for the schools from every adult male. Local taxes, besides, are imposed, and these are becoming heavier. The parishes retain primary control of the schools. Institutes, summer schools and rural libraries have been introduced. The salaries of white teachers advanced from a monthly average of $38.87 in 1903 to $61.84 in 1906. The average attendance of enrolled black and white pupils is practically identical, but the enrolment of whites (about 52% in 1902) is somewhat higher and that of the blacks about a third lower than their ratio in the population. The school term for white children is much longer than for negroes, and white teachers are paid much better salaries - in 1906 the average monthly salary of a negro teacher was $29.15. The total enrolment is very low. But progress is now being made very rapidly in the improvement of the educational system. Higher schools include: the State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (1860) at Baton Rouge; Tulane University of Louisiana (1864) in New Orleans; Jefferson College (1864; Roman Catholic) at Convent; the College of the Immaculate Conception (1847; Roman Catholic) in New Orleans; St Charles College (1835; Roman Catholic) at Grand Couteau; St Joseph's College (1849; Roman Catholic) at Baton Rouge; the following colleges for women - Silliman Collegiate Institute (1852; Presbyterian) at Clinton, Mansfield Female College (1854; Methodist Episcopal, South) at Mansfield, the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College for women (a part of Tulane University) in New Orleans and the Louisiana Female College (1856; Baptist) at Keatchie; the State Normal School of Louisiana (1884) at Natchitoches and the New Orleans Normal and Training School; the South-western Louisiana Industrial Institute at Lafayette; the Louisiana Industrial Institute at Ruston; and, among schools for negroes, the Peabody State Normal and Industrial School at Alexandria and New Orleans University (1873; Methodist Episcopal), Luther College (Evangelical Lutheran), Leland University (1870; Baptist), Straight University (Congregational) and Southern University (1883; aided by the state), all in New Orleans.

Charitable and Penal Institutions

The State Board of Charities and Correction, for which the constitution of 1898 first made pro vision, and which was organized under an act of 1904, is composed of six members, appointed by the governor for six years, with the governor as ex-officio chairman. The members of the board serve gratuitously, but elect a salaried secretary. The board has no administrative or executive power, but makes annual inspections of all public charitable, correctional or reformatory institutions, all private institutions which receive aid from, or are used by municipal or parochial authorities, and all private asylums for the insane; and reports annually to the governor on the actual condition of the institutions. Any suggestions as to improvements in institutions must be approved by the majority of the governing body of that institution before they may be put into effect. The charitable institutions include two charity hospitals - at New Orleans (1832) and Shreveport; an Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, a Hotel Dieu, the Touro Infirmary and a Home for Incurables, all at New Orleans; an Institute for the Deaf and Dumb (for whites - there is no state provision for negro deaf and dumb) and an Institute for the Blind, both at Baton Rouge; an Insane Hospital at Jackson and another at Pineville; and the Louisiana Retreat for the Insane at New Orleans. At Monroe there is a State Reform School, and at New Orleans a Coloured Industrial Home and School. There is also a state home for disabled Confederate soldiers at New Orleans on Bayou St John. The State Penitentiary is at Baton Rouge, and a House of Detention at New Orleans; and there are parish prisons. State convicts, and all places in which they are confined or employed, are under the supervision of a Board of Control appointed by the governor. This board may allow commutation or diminution of sentence for good behaviour, meritorious services or exemplary conduct. The leasing or hiring of state convicts is prohibited by the constitution, but parish convicts may be hired or leased for farm and factory work, work on roads and levees, and other public undertakings. Such convicts are classified according to physical ability and a minimum rate is fixed for their hire, for not more than ten hours a day. Many state convicts are employed in levee construction, and there are convict farms at Angola, Hope, Oakley and Monticello.

History

The early history of Louisiana belongs to the romance of American history. It is possible that the mouth of the Mississippi was discovered in 1519 by Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, but this interpretation of his vague manuscript remains conjectural; and that it was discovered by the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez cannot be established. That Hernando de Soto entered the borders of the present state of Louisiana, and that his burial place in the Mississippi was where that river takes the waters of the Red, are probable enough, but incapable of conclusive proof. Survivors of de Soto's expedition, however, descended the Mississippi to its mouth in 1542. Spain set up no claim to the region, and when Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle, came down the river in 1682 from the French possessions to the north, he took possession in the name of France, which hereby gained her first title to the vast drainage basin of the Mississippi. In honour of Louis XIV. the new possession was named " Louisiana " - a name then and until 1812 applied to a much larger area than that of the present state. La Salle attempted to settle a colony in 1684, but missed the Mississippi's mouth and landed in Texas, where he was murdered in 1687 by some of his followers. In 1697, after Ryswick, Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville (1662-1706) was chosen to lead another colony, which reached the Gulf coast early in 1699. Soon after Iberville had built Fort Maurepas (near the present city of Biloxi, Mississippi) in 1699, a fort was erected on the Mississippi river about 40 m. above the mouth.

This was the earliest settlement in what is now the state of Louisiana. It was unhealthy and unprosperous. From 1712 to 1717 " Louisiana," or the French possessions of the Mississippi valley, was held by Antoine Crozat (1655-1738) as a private grant from the king. It proved as great a drain upon his purse as it had proved to the crown, and he willingly parted with it to the so-called " Western Company," afterwards incorporated with the great Company of the Indies. The head of this company was John Law, who, after spreading glowing accounts of the new land, launched his famous " Mississippi scheme " (see LAW, JoHN. The company accomplished much for the colony of Louisiana. Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville (1680-1768), a brother of Iberville, was sent out as governor. For forty years he was the life of the colony. One of his first acts was to found the city of New Orleans on its present site in 1718. In this same year seven vessels were sent from France with stores and immigrants; eleven followed during the next year. Five hundred negroes from the Guinea coast were imported in 1719, and many hundreds more soon followed. The Law company eventually came to an end fatal to its creditors in France, but its misfortunes did not check the prosperity of " Louisiana." The company retained its grant of the colony until 1731, when it reverted to the crown. Meantime New Orleans had become the seat of government in 1722. In 1766 an official census showed a total population of 5552. The years of royal rule were uneventful. Cotton culture began in 1740, and sugar-cane was successfully introduced from Santo Domingo by the Jesuits in 1751. Tafia rum and a waxy, sticky sugar syrup subsequently became important products; but not until the end of the century were the means found to crystallize sugar and so give real prosperity to the industry.

By a secret treaty of the 3rd of November 1762, " Louisiana " was transferred from France to Spain. This treaty was not made public for a year and a half, and Spain did not take full possession of the colony until 1769. By a treaty between Spain and France on the one hand and Great Britain and Portugal on the other, signed at Paris in February 1763, all that portion lying E. of the Mississippi river, the Iberville river, and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain was ceded to Great Britain. The international interests thus created, and others that sprang from them, heavily burdened the diplomacy, and even threatened the safety of the United States after they were placed in possession of the eastern bank of the Mississippi down to 31° in 1783.

The news of the cession of the colony to Spain roused strong discontent among the colonists. Antonio de Ulloa (1716-1795), a distinguished Spanish naval officer and scholar, came to New Orleans in 1766 to take possession for his king. Merchants, people, and many civil officers held toward him from the beginning a hostile attitude; the military, especially, refused to pass into the Spanish service as stipulated in the treaty; and Ulloa was compelled to continue in an ambiguous and anomalous position - which his lack of military force probably first compelled him to assume - ruling the colony through the French governor, Philippe Aubry (who loyally supported him throughout), without publicly exhibiting his powers. The fear of Spanish commercial laws powerfully stimulated resistance to the transfer, and though Ulloa made commercial and monetary concessions, they were not sufficient. When the colonists found protests at Paris unavailing, they turned to the idea of independence, but sought in vain the armed support of the British at Pensacola. Nevertheless they compelled Ulloa to leave the colony or exhibit his credentials. He took his leave in November 1768. The open resistance by the colonists (October 1768) was a carefully planned revolt. There is no doubt that the men who led the Creole opposition contemplated independence, and this gives the incident peculiar interest. In the summer of 1769 Alejandro O'Reilly came to New Orleans with a strong military force (3600 troops). Beginning his rule with an affability that allayed suspicions and securing from Aubry proofs against the popular leaders, he invited them to a reception and arrested them while they were his guests. Five were put to death and others were imprisoned at Havana. O'Reilly put down the rebellion with determination and in accord with the instructions of his king. Regarded without republican sympathies, and in the light of 18th-century doctrines of allegiance, his acts, however severe, in no way deserve the stigma of cruelty ordinarily put upon them. He was liberal and enlightened in his general rule.

Among the incidents of these troubled years was the arrival in Louisiana (after 1765) of some hundreds of French exiles from Acadia, who made their homes in the Attakapas country. There their descendants live to-day, still somewhat primitively, and still in somewhat of the glamour thrown over land and people by the Evangeline of Longfellow.

On the 18th of August 1769 Louisiana was formally transferred to Spain. Spanish law and Spanish tongue replaced the French officially, but the colony remained essentially French. The Spanish rulers made efforts to govern wisely and liberally, showing great complaisance, particularly in heeding the profit of the colony, even at the expense of Spanish colonial commercial regulations. The judicial system was much improved, a better grade of officials became the rule, many French Creoles were appointed to office, intermarriages of French and Spanish and even English were encouraged by the highest officials, and in general a liberal and conciliatory policy was followed, which made Louisiana under Spanish rule quiet and prosperous. Bernardo de Galvez (1756-1794), a brilliant young officer of twentyone, when he became the governor of the colony, was one of the most liberal of the Spanish rulers and of all the most popular. During the American War of Independence he gave valuable aid to the United States; and when Spain finally joined in the war against Great Britain, Galvez, in a series of energetic and brilliant campaigns (1779-1781), captured all the important posts in the British colony of West Florida. The chief interest of the Spanish period lies in the advance of settlement in the western territories of the United States, the international intrigues - British, French and Spanish - involving the future of the valley, the demand of the United States for free navigation on the Mississippi, and the growing consciousness of the supreme importance of the river and New Orleans to the Union. With the Spanish governor Estevan Miro, who succeeded Galvez in 1785, James Wilkinson of Kentucky, arrested at New Orleans with a flat-boat of supplies in 1787, intrigued, promising him that Kentucky would secede from the United States and would join the Spanish; but Wilkinson was unsuccessful in his efforts to carry out this plan. In 1794 Spain, hard pressed by Great Britain and France, turned to the United States, and by the treaty of 1794 the Mississippi river was recognized by Spain as the western boundary of the United States, separating it from Louisiana, and free navigation of the Mississippi was granted to citizens of the United States, to whom was granted for three years the right " to deposit their merchandise and effects in the port of New Orleans, and to export them from thence without paying any other duty than a fair price for the hire of the stores." At the expiration of the three years the Spanish governor refused the use of New Orleans as a place of deposit, and contrary to the treaty named no other port in its place. Spanish rule, however, came unexpectedly to an end by the retrocession of Louisiana to France in 1800; and French dominion gave way in turn in 1803 - as the result of a chain of events even more unexpected, startling, and for the United States fortunate - to the rule of the last-named country. On the 30th of November 1803 the representatives of the French republic received formal possession from the Spanish governor, and on the 20th of December lower Louisiana was transferred to the United States. (See Louisiana Purchase.) By an Act of Congress of the 25th of March 1804,' that portion of the Louisiana Purchase S. of 33° was organized as the Territory of Orleans, and was given a government less democratic than might otherwise have been the case, because it was intended to prepare gradually for self-government the French and Spanish inhabitants of the territory, who desired immediate statehood. The foreign slave-trade was forbidden by this organic act. English was made the official language. The introduction of English law, and the changes made in the judicial and legal systems of Louisiana after 1804 have already been described.

The machinations of Aaron Burr are of interest in connexion with Louisiana annals, and likewise the settlement and revolutionizing of West Florida by Americans. In November 1811 a convention met at New Orleans and framed a constitution under which, on the 30th of April 181 2, the Territory of Orleans became the state of Louisiana. A few days later the portion of West Florida between the Mississippi and Pearl rivers (the present " Florida Parishes ") was included in its boundaries, making them as they are to-day. In this same year the first steamboat reached New Orleans. It descended the Ohio and Mississippi from Pittsburg, whence there had already been a thriving river trade to New Orleans for about thirty years. During the War of 1812 a decisive victory was won by the American forces at Chalmette, near New Orleans, on the 8th of January 1815. Up I Other acts bearing on Territorial government are those of the 31st of October 1803 and the 23rd of March 1805.

to 1860 the development of the state in population, agriculture and commerce was very rapid. Donaldsonville was the (nominal) capital in 1825-1831, Baton Rouge in1849-1864and again after 1882. At other times New Orleans has been the capital, and here too have always been various state offices which in other states ordinarily are in the state capital.

By an ordinance of secession passed on the 26th of January 1861, Louisiana joined the Confederate States. In the first year there was very little military activity in the state, but in April 1862 Admiral D. G. Farragut, with a powerful fleet, ascended the Mississippi past Forts Jackson and St Philip, which defended the approach to New Orleans, and a military force under General B. F. Butler occupied that city The navigation of the river being secured by this success and by later operations in the north ending in July 1863 with the capture of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the state was wholly at the mercy of the Union armies. The intervening months were signalized by the capture of Baton Rouge in May 1862 - the Confederates vainly attempting to recapture it in August. Later, in April 1864, the Confederates under General Richard Taylor won a success against the Unionists under General N. P. Banks at Sabine Cross Roads near Mansfield and were themselves repulsed at Pleasant Hill, these battles being incidental to. a campaign undertaken by the Union forces to crush opposition in western Louisiana. A large portion of the state was occupied by them in 1862-1865. There were various minor skirmishes in 1862 and 1863 (including the capture of the Federal camp at Berwick Bay in June 1863).

As early as December 1862 the Union military government, at President Lincoln's direction, had ordered elections for Congress, and the men chosen were admitted in February 1863. In March 1864 also a state government to supersede the military rule was established under the president's auspices. By 1863 two parties had arisen among the loyal classes: one of radicals, who demanded the calling of a constitutional convention and the abolition of slavery; the other of conservatives. The former prevailed, and by a convention that assembled in April 1864 a constitution was framed closely following that of 1852 but repudiating the debt incurred by Louisiana as one of the Confederate states and abolishing slavery. Two-thirds of the delegates were from New Orleans. The legislature was ordered to establish free schools for the blacks, and was empowered to give them the suffrage: neither of these provisions, however, was carried out. The extent of the Union control is shown by the fact that the legislature of 1864 represented half of the area and two-thirds of the population of the state. The army stood at the back of the new government, and by the end of 1864 Louisiana was apparently " reconstructed." But in 1864 the opposition of Congress to presidential reconstruction had clearly developed, so that the electoral votes of Louisiana (like those of Tennessee) for president were not counted. By the spring of 1866 the ex-Confederates had succeeded in gaining possession of most of the local government and most of the state offices, although not of the governorship. The Republican party naturally became extremely radical. The radicals wished to have negro suffrage in order to get possession of the government. They, therefore, wanted still another constitutional convention. A clause in the constitution of 1864 provided for the reconvening of the convention in certain circumstances, but this clause referred only to necessities prior to the establishment of a government, and had therefore determined. Nevertheless, the radicals, because it was impossible to call a convention through the medium of the state government, took advantage of this clause to reconvoke the old convention at New Orleans. The day set was the 30th of July 1866. The ex-Confederate party determined to prevent the gathering, but the idea of interference by force seems to have been abandoned. A street riot was precipitated, however, incidental to a procession of armed negroes; the metropolitan police fired upon the assembled convention; and altogether some 200 persons, mostly negroes, were killed. This incident raised the crucial question of national politics in 1866: namely, whether the states reconstructed by the president should not again be reconstructed.

This being settled affirmatively, Louisiana was reconstructed with vigour. A constitution of 1868 gave suffrage to the blacks, and disfranchised all whites made ineligible to office under the proposed Fourteenth Amendment to the national Constitution, and also (practically) those who had by word, pen or vote defended secession. Then the state ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, and was declared readmitted to the Union in July 1868. Probably no other southern state suffered equally with Louisiana from the corruption of " carpet-bag," " scalawag," negro legislatures. For four years (1868-1872) the government expenses increased to ten times their normal volume, taxation was enormously increased, and about $57,000,000 of debt was created. But a quarrel broke out among the Republicans (1872), the result of which was the installation of two governors and legislatures, one supported by the Democrats and Liberal Republicans and the other by the radical Republicans, the former being certainly elected by the people. The rivalry of these two state governments, clashes of arms, the recognition by the Federal authorities of the radical Republican government (Pinchback and Kellogg, successively governors) followed. One historic clash in New Orleans (on the 14th of September 1874) between the " White League " (" White Man's Party") and the Republican police is commemorated by a monument, and the day is regarded by Louisianans as a sort of state independenceday. Finally, in 1876, Francis Tillon Nicholls (b. 1834), a Democrat, was chosen governor, but the Republican candidate, S. B. Packard, claimed the election, and with a Republican legislature for a time occupied the State House. In the national election of 1876 there were double returns (Republican: 75,315 for Hayes and 70,508 for Tilden; and Democratic: 83,723 for Tilden and 77,174 for Hayes) from Louisiana, which, as was the case with the double electoral returns from Florida, Oregon and South Carolina, were adjudicated by the Electoral Commission in favour of the Republican electors voting for Hayes. Civil war being threatened within the state President Hayes sent to Louisiana a commission composed of Wayne McVeagh, Gen. J. R. Hawley, Charles B. Lawrence, J. M. Harlan, and John C. Brown, ex-Governor of Tennessee, which was instructed to promote " an acknowledgment of one government within the state." The rival legislatures united, organizing under the Nicholls government, which the commission found was upheld by public opinion. The president ordered the withdrawal of Federal troops from the capitol on the 20th of April 1877, and the white party was thus left in control.

After 1877 the state prospered markedly in all material respects. Of subsequent political events perhaps the most notable, besides the practical disfranchisement of the negroes, are those connected with the Louisiana State Lottery Company (1868-1893). For the renewal of its privileges in 1890 the company finally agreed to give the state $1,250,000 yearly, and despite strenuous opposition by a powerful party the legislature voted a renewal, but this measure was vetoed by the governor. The United States government, however, forbade lotteries the use of the mails, and the company withdrew its offers. The constitution of 1898 prohibits lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets within the state. In 1891 the lynching of eleven Italians at New Orleans gave rise to grave difficulties involving Italy, the United States, and the state of Louisiana. Since 1 9 00 a white Republican Party has made some headway in Louisiana politics, but in national and state elections the state has been uninterruptedly and overwhelmingly Democratic since 1877.

Governors Of Louisiana 1 French Domination 1682-1762. A. le Moyne, Sieur de Sauvolle (died in office).1699-1701J. B. le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville..1701-1713M. de Muys, appointed 1707, died en route, Bienville continuing to serve.

Lamothe Cadillac. ..1713-1716Sieur de Bienville, acting governor.1716-1717De l'Epinay..1717-1718Sieur de Bienville.1718-17241 Terms of actual service in Louisiana; Gayarre is the authority for the French and Spanish period.

Boisbciant, ad interim. Perier .

Sieur de Bienville. .

Marquis de Vaudreuil. .

L. Billouart, Chevalier de Kerlerec. D'Abbadie. .

Philippe Aubry. .

Bibliog Ra Phy. - Compare the bibliography under NEW Orleans and consult also the following. For general description: The Geology and Agriculture of Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Agric. Exper. Station, pts. 1-6, 1892-1902); also publications of U.S. Geological Survey, e.g. Water Supply and Irrigation Papers, No. 101, " Underground Waters of Southern Louisiana." For fauna and flora: publications of U.S. Biological Survey (Department of Agriculture, Bibliographies). For climate: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Climate and Crop Service, Louisiana series (monthly). For soil and agri 1 Did not openly assume power or supersede Aubry.

' Captain-general charged to establish order and settle Unzaga as governor.

3 At first, till 1779, only acting governor.

Actual exercise of power 20 days.

5 Counted out by partisan returning-board and not recognized by U.S. government.

6 Not recognized by U.S. government.

7 Lieut.-governor, succeeded on Sanders's election to U.S. Senate.

culture: the above state geological report and material on irrigation in publications of the U.S. Geological Survey and in the U.S. Census publications; also Commissioners of Agriculture of the State of Louisiana, Annual Report (Baton Rouge, biennial until 18 99); State Agricultural Society, Proceedings (annual); Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Bulletin of the Agricultural Experiment Station and Biennial Report of same (Baton Rouge); U.S. Department of Agriculture, various publications of the divisions of botany, agrostology, pomology, forestry, farmers' bulletins, &c. For manufactures and other industries: primarily the publications of the national Census, 1900, and preceding decades. For commerce and communications: Railroad Commissioners of Louisiana, Annual Report (New Orleans, 1900 ff.); U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission, Statistics of Railways (annual, Washington); on river navigation and river improvements, especially of the Mississippi, an enormous mass of material in the Annual Reports of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army (consult Index to Reports of same, 1866-1900, 3 vols., Washington, 1902, and cp. article on 1ilississIPPI River); on river commerce see U.S. Census of 1880, vol. 4 (report on steam navigation of the United States by T. C. Purdy), and Census of 1890 (report on transportation by T. J. Vivian; Rivers of the Mississippi Valley). For population: various national censuses and Bulletins of the Bureau of Census, 1900, e.g. No. 8, " Negroes in the United States "; on the Acadians, In Acadia, The Acadians Song and Story (New Orleans, 1893; compiled by M. A. Johnston). For pictures of Creole life and traits, George W. Cable, The Creoles of Louisiana (New York, 1884), and his later writings; but Mr Cable's views of the Creoles are very unpopular in Louisiana; for other views of them, and for a guide to the English and Creole literature of Louisiana, consult Alcee Fortier, Louisiana Studies - Literature, Customs and Dialects, History and Education (New Orleans, 1894). For administration: see reports of the various executive officers of the state (Baton Rouge); the various constitutions are printed in the report of the Secretary of State, as well as in B. Perley Poore's Constitutions (2 vols., Washington, 1877); a special account of the government of the territorial period may be found in D. Y. Thomas, History of Military Government in Newly Acquired Territory of the United States (Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, vol. xx. No. 2, 1904); for the Civil War and Reconstruction period compare below, also American Historical Association, Annual Report, 1892; (for courts during Civil War); also John R. Ficklen, History and Civil Government of Louisiana (Chicago, New York, c. 1899), a brief and popular account; on education, in addition to the Biennial Reports of the Board of Education, consult annual reports of the U.S. Commissioner of Education.

For history: the standard work is that of Charles E. A. Gayarre, coming down to the war, based on deep and scholarly research, and greatly altered in successive editions. The style is that of the classic school, that of Prescott and Motley, full of colour, characterization and spirit. The editions are as follows: Romance of the History of Louisiana (New York, 1837, 1848); Histoire de la Louisiane (2 vols., Nouvelle Orleans, 1846-1847); Louisiana: its Colonial History and Romance (N.Y., 1851); Louisiana: its History as a French Colony,. Third Series of Lectures (N.Y., 1852); then, based upon the preceding, History of Louisiana: The French Domination (2 vols., N.Y., 1854) and The Spanish Domination (N.Y., 1854); a second edition of the last two works, supplemented by The American Domination (N.Y., 1866-1867, 4 vols. in 3); a third edition of the whole (4 vols., New Orleans, 1885); a final edition, edited by Alcee Fortier (New Orleans, 1905). The History and General Description of New France of P. F. X. de Charlevoix (best ed. by J. G. Shea, New York, 1866, 6 vols.) is a famous old work, but now negligible. Judge F. X. Martin's History of Louisiana (2 vols., New Orleans, 1827-1829, later ed. by J. F. Condon, continued to 1861, New Orleans, 1882) is also valuable and supplements Gayarre. Le Page du Pratz, author of Histoire de la Louisiane (3 vols., Paris, 1758; 2 vols., London, 1763), was the first historian of Louisiana. BerquinDuvallon, Vue de la colonie espagnole du Mississippi (Paris, 1805; published in English under the name of John Davis, New York, 1806); L. N. Baudry de Lozieres, Voyage a la Louisiane (Paris, 1802) and Second Voyage a la Louisiane (Paris, 1803) may be mentioned among the travels just preceding, and A. Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana (New York, 1811), among those just following the establishment of American dominion. The Histoire de la Louisiane, et de la cession de colonie par la France aux EtatsUnis (Paris, 1829; in English, Philadelphia, 1830) by Barbe-Marbois has great importance in diplomatic history. The rarest and most valuable of early memoirs and much archive material are embodied in Benj. F. French's Historical Collections of Louisiana (5 series, N.Y., 1846-1853) and Historical Collections of Louisiana and Florida, New Series (N.Y., 1869, 1875). Documentary materials on the greater " Louisiana " between the Gulf of Mexico and Canada will be found in the Jesuit Relations, edited by R. G. Thwaites (Cleveland, 1896 ff.); and on early voyages in Pierre Margry, Decouvertes et etablissements des Francais (6 vols., Paris, 1879-1888). John G. Shea published an edition of Louis Hennepin's Description of Louisiana.... Translated from the Edition of 1683, &c. (New York, 1880). On this greater " Louisiana " the student should also consult the works of Francis Parkman. And see publications of the Louisiana Spanish Domination 1762 (1769)-1803. Antonio de Ulloa 11766-1768Alejandro O'Reilly'.1769-1770Luis de Unzaga.1770-1777Bernardo de Galvez 3. ...1777-1785Estevan Miro (ad interim 1785-1786)1785-1791F. L. Hector, Baron de Carondelet. 30 Dec.1791-1797M. Gayoso de Lemos (died in office)1797-1799Francisco Bouligny, Jose M. Vidal, acting mili tary and civil-political governors 1799 Sebastian de Casa Calvo de la Puerta, Marquis de Casa Calvo. ..1799-1801Juan M. de Salcedo. .. ...1801-1803French Domination 1800-1803.4 Laussat, Colonial Prefect.. 30 Nov.-20 Dec. 1803 American Domination since 1803. Territorial Period. William C. C. Claiborne (appointed 1803)1804-1812Statehood Period. William C. C. Claiborne, Democratic Republican1812-1816Jacques Villere, Democratic Republican..1816-1820Thomas B. Robertson, Democratic Republican (resigned). Henry S. Thibodaux, Democratic Republican (acting). .

Henry S. Johnson, Democratic Republican Pierre Derbigny, Democratic Republican (died in office) .

Armand Beauvais and Jacques Dupre (acting) Andre B. Roman, Whig. Edward D. White, Whig. Andre B. Roman, Whig. Alfred Mouton, Whig.. Isaac Johnson, Democrat. Joseph Walker, Democrat. Paul O. Hebert, Democrat. Robert C. Wickliffe, Democrat. Thomas O. Moore, Democrat. George F. Shepley, Military Governor Henry W. Allen, Confederate.. Michael Hahn, Unionist and Military James M. Wells, Democrat (acting) .

Benjamin F. Flanders, Military. .

Joshua Baker, Military .

Henry C. Warmoth, Republican .

Pinckney B. S. Pinchback, Republican (acting) John McEnery, 5 Democrat-Liberal Republican William P. Kellogg, Radical Republican.. Stephen B. Packard, 6 Radical Republican (con testant) .

Francis T. Nicholls, Democrat. .

Louis A. Wiltz, Democrat (died in office). Samuel D. McEnery, Democrat (Lieutenant Governor, succeeded).. Samuel D. McEnery, Democrat. Francis T. Nicholls, Democrat. Murphy J. Foster, Democrat. William W. Heard, Democrat. Newton C. Blanchard, Democrat Jared Y. Sanders, Democrat. P. M. Lambemont, 7 Democrat .

1820-1822-1822-18241824-1828-1828-18291829-1831-1831-18351835-1839-1839-18431843-1846-1846-18501850-1853-1853-18561856-1860-1860-18621862-1864-1864-18651864-1865-1865-186718671867-1868-1868-1873 1873 1873-1873-187718771877-1880-1880-188 11881-1884-1884-18881888-1892-1892-19001900-1904-1904-19081908-1910-1910.

1724-1726 1726-1733-1733-1743 1743-1753 1753-1;63 1763-1765-1765-1769Historical Society (New Orleans). Of brief general histories there is that of J. R. Ficklen above cited, another by the same author in collaboration with Grace King (New Orleans, 1902) and another (more valuable) by Albert Phelps (Boston, 1905), in the American Commonwealth Series. For the Reconstruction period see bibliography under United States.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Map of US highlighting Louisiana

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Louisiana

Plural
-

Louisiana

  1. A state of the United States of America. Capital: Baton Rouge. Largest city: New Orleans.

Derived terms

Translations

See also

External links


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

State of Louisiana
État de Louisiane
Flag of Louisiana State seal of Louisiana
Flag of Louisiana Seal of Louisiana
Nickname(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: Bayou State
Child of the Mississippi
Creole State
Pelican State
Sportsman's Paradise
Sugar State
Motto(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: Union, justice, and confidence
Union, justice et confiance
Lunyon, justis et confyans
Map of the United States with Louisiana highlighted
CapitalImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Baton Rouge
Largest cityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif New Orleans [1]
AreaImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked {{{AreaRank}}}Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total {{{TotalAreaUS}}} sq miImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
({{{TotalArea}}} km²Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Width {{{WidthUS}}} miles ({{{Width}}} kmImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Length {{{LengthUS}}} miles ({{{Length}}} km)
 - % water {{{PCWater}}}
 - Latitude {{{Latitude}}}
 - Longitude {{{Longitude}}}
PopulationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked {{{PopRank}}}Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total (2000Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif) {{{2000Pop}}}
 - DensityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif {{{2000DensityUS}}}/sq mi 
{{{2000Density}}}/km² ({{{DensityRank}}})
ElevationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  
 - Highest point {{{HighestPoint}}}
535 ft  (163 m)
 - Mean 98 ft  (30 m)
 - Lowest point New Orleans[2]
-8 ft  (-2 m)
Admission to UnionImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  {{{AdmittanceDate}}} ({{{AdmittanceOrder}}})
GovernorImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif {{{Governor}}}
U.S. SenatorsImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif {{{Senators}}}
Congressional DelegationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif ListImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Time zoneImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif {{{TimeZone}}}
Abbreviations Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif US-LAImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Web site www.louisiana.gov

The State of Louisiana [<font/> IPA: /luːˌiːziˈænə/ or /ˌluːziˈænə/, French: État de Louisiane, pronounced Image:ltspkr.png/lwizjan/<font/>] is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge and the most populous city is New Orleans. The largest parish by population is Jefferson Parish and largest by area is Terrebonne Parish (Louisiana is the only state divided into parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties). The New Orleans metropolitan area is Louisiana's largest.

Louisiana has a unique multicultural and multilingual heritage. Originally part of New France, Louisiana is home to many speakers of Cajun French and Louisiana Creole French. African American/Franco-African, and French/French Canadian form the two largest groups of ancestry in Louisiana's population.

Contents

Namesake

Louisiana (New France) was named after Louis XIV, king of France from 1643-1715. When René-Robert Cavelier claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane, meaning "Land of Louis". Louisiana was once part of the Louisiana Territory which once stretched from present-day New Orleans to across the present day Canadian border. The territory was acquired in 1803 by the United States by way of the Louisiana Purchase. Part or all of 15 states were formed from the territory.

An alternative explanation of the name is that Louisiana is a combination of Louis the XIV and his wife Anna of Austria. This, however, is false. While his mother was Anne of Austria, Louis the XIV was married to Marie-Thérèse.

Geography

Map of Louisiana

Topography

The state is bordered to the west by the state of Texas; to the north by Arkansas; to the east by the state of Mississippi; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico.

The surface of the state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands and the alluvial, including coast and swamp regions. The alluvial regions, including the low swamps and coast lands, cover an area of about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km²); they lie principally along the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 miles (1,000 km) and ultimately empties into the Gulf of Mexico; the Red River; the Ouachita River and its branches; and other minor streams. The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles (15 to 100 km), and along the other rivers it averages about 10 miles (15 km). The Mississippi flows upon a ridge formed by its own deposits, from which the lands incline toward the low swamps beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile (3 m/km). The alluvial lands along other streams present very similar features. These alluvial lands are never inundated, save when breaks occur in the levees by which they are protected against the floods of the Mississippi and its tributaries. These floods, however, do not occur annually, and they may be said to be exceptional. With the maintenance of strong levees, these alluvial lands would enjoy perpetual immunity from inundation.

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 Mountain the highest point in the state at only 535 feet (163 m) above sea level. Only two other states in the union, Florida and Delaware, are geographically lower than Louisiana, though several other states, such as Kansas and Nebraska, are geographically flatter.

Besides the navigable rivers already named (some of which are called bayous), there are the Sabine (Sah-BEAN), forming the western boundary, and the Pearl, the eastern boundary, the Calcasieu (KAL-cah-shoe), the Mermentau, the Vermilion, the Teche, the Atchafalaya, the Boeuf (buff), the Lafourche (Luff-OOSH), the Courtableau, the D'Arbonne, the Macon, the Tensas (TEN-saw), the Amite, the Tchefuncte, the Tickfaw, the Natalbany, and a number of other streams of lesser note, constituting a natural system of navigable waterways, aggregating over 4,000 miles in length, which is unequalled in the United States. 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).

Climate

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 Mexico, 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 Mexico occasionally reaching 100 °F (38 °C), although temperatures above 95 °F (35 °C) are commonplace. In northern Louisiana, temperatures frequently 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 Orleans 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 averaging more thunderstorms than any other state except Florida. Louisiana averages 27 tornadoes annually. The entire state is vulnerable to a tornado strike, with the extreme southern portion of the state slightly less 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.[3]

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Louisiana Cities °F/°C
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Baton Rouge 62/42 17/6 65/44 18/7 72/51 22/11 78/57 26/14 84/64 29/18 89/70 32/21 91/73 33/23 91/72 33/22 88/68 31/20 81/57 27/14 71/48 22/9 64/43 18/6
Lake Charles 62/43 17/6 65/47 18/8 70/51 21/11 78/59 26/15 85/66 29/19 90/72 32/22 92/74 33/23 92/74 33/23 88/70 31/21 81/59 27/15 69/49 21/9 64/45 18/7
New Orleans 64/44 18/7 66/47 19/8 73/53 23/12 79/59 26/15 85/66 29/19 90/72 32/22 91/74 33/23 91/74 33/23 88/70 31/21 80/61 27/16 72/52 22/11 65/46 18/8
Shreveport 56/36 13/2 61/39 16/4 69/46 21/8 77/54 25/12 84/62 29/17 90/69 32/8 93/73 34/23 93/71 34/22 87/66 31/19 78/55 26/13 67/44 19/7 59/38 15/3
[4]

Hurricanes

  • August 29, 2005, Katrina (Category 4 at landfall[4]) struck and devastated southeastern Louisiana, while damaged levees in New Orleans allowed parts of the city to flood. 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, with more than 1,500 fatalities in Louisiana alone. Public outcry criticized the government at the local, state, and federal levels, citing that the response was neither fast nor adequate. The hurricane and the challenge to protect wetlands are featured in the documentary film Hurricane on the Bayou.
  • August 1992, Andrew (Category 3 at landfall) struck south-central Louisiana, killing 4 people, knocking out power to nearly 150,000 citizens and destroying hundreds of millions of dollars of crops in the state.
  • September 9, 1965, Betsy (Category 3 at landfall) came ashore in Louisiana causing massive destruction, being 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 Ward, Gentilly, and parts of Mid-City), pushing the death toll in the state to 76.
  • August 1969, Camille (Category 5) had a 23.4 ft (7.1 m). storm surge and killed 250 people. Although Camille officially made landfall in Mississippi and the worst impacts were felt there, it effects were still felt in Louisiana. However, New Orleans was spared from the brunt of the storm and remained dry with the exception of some mild rain-generated flooding in only the extremely low-lying areas.
  • June 1957, Audrey (Category 4) devastated southwest Louisiana, destroying or severely damaging 60–80 percent of the homes and businesses from Cameron to Grand Chenier. 40,000 people were left homeless and over 300 people were killed in the state.

Geology

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.

Owing to the extensive flood control measures along the Mississippi river and to natural subsidence, Louisiana is now suffering the loss of coastal land area. State and federal government efforts to halt or reverse this phenomenon are under way; 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.

Protected areas

Louisiana contains a number of areas which are, in varying degrees, protected from human intervention. In addition to several stations of the National Park Service, and a federally recognized national forest, Louisiana itself operates, among other programs, 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
Areas under the management and protection of the National Park Service include:

National Forest

State parks and recreational areas
Louisiana operates a system of 19 state parks, 16 state historic sites and one state preservation area.

History

See main article: History of Louisiana

Early settlement

Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans when European explorers arrived in the 17th century. Many place names in the state are transliterations of those used in Native American dialects. Among the tribes that inhabited what is now Louisiana included the Atakapa, the Opelousa, the Acolapissa, the Tangipahoa, 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 and 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 Quachita, and the Adai.[5]

Exploration and colonization by Europeans

Louisiana regions

The first European explorers to visit Louisiana came in 1528. The Spanish 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, French 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.

The French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle named the region Louisiana to honor France's King Louis XIV in 1682. The first permanent settlement, Fort Maurepas (at what is now Ocean Springs, near Biloxi), was founded by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, a French military officer from Canada, in 1699.

The French colony of Louisiana originally claimed all the land on both sides of the Mississippi River and north to French territory in Canada. 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 Natchitoches (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 Texas, 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 Nachitoches. 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 Peoria and present-day St. Louis. See also: French colonization of the Americas

Initially Mobile and Biloxi functioned as the capital of the colony; recognizing the importance of the Mississippi River to trade and military interests, France made New Orleans the seat of civilian and military authority in 1722. From then until the Louisiana Purchase made the region part of the United States on December 20, 1803, France and Spain would trade 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.

Most of the territory to the east of the Mississippi was lost to the Kingdom of Great Britain in the French and Indian War, except for the area around New Orleans and the parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. The rest of Louisiana became a colony of Spain after the Seven Years' War by the Treaty of Paris of 1763.

During the period of Spanish rule, several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia (now Nova Scotia, Canada) made their way to Louisiana following British expulsion; settling largely in the southwestern Louisiana region now called Acadiana. The Acadian refugees were welcomed by the Spanish, and descendants came to be called Cajuns.

Canary Islanders, called Isleños, migrated 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 some two years.

Purchase by the United States

See main article: Louisiana Purchase

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 Mountains provided a barrier to shipping goods eastward. The easiest way to ship produce was to build a flatboat and float down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the port of New Orleans, from which goods could be put on ocean-going vessels. The problem with this route was that the Spanish owned both sides of the Mississippi below Natchez. Napoleon's ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbean sugar trade. By terms of the Treaty of Amiens of 1800, Great Britain returned ownership of the islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe 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 retake the important island of Santo Domingo, lost in a slave revolt in the 1790s.

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 for up to $2 million of the City of New Orleans, portions of the east bank of the Mississippi, and free navigation of the river for U.S. commerce.

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, a strange thing happened. 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, and 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 special envoy to Napoleon, to assist in obtaining New Orleans for the United States. Jefferson boosted the authorized expenditure of funds to $10 million.

On April 11, 1803, Talleyrand asked Robert Livingston how much the United States was prepared to pay for Louisiana. Livingston was confused, as his instructions only covered the purchase of New Orleans and the immediate area, not the entire Louisiana territory. James Monroe agreed with Livingston that Napoleon might withdraw this offer at any time. To wait for 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 828,000 square miles (2,145,000 km2) 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 Dutch 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, Napoleon received only $8,831,250 in cash for Louisiana. Dutiful 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 - and Napoleon used these funds to wage war against Baring's own country.

When news of the purchase reached the United States, President 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 in the autumn of 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. Louis 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 ran the stars and stripes 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 literally 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, and its consequent rise to the status of world power.

Demographics

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 center of population of Louisiana is located in Pointe Coupee Parish, in the city of New Roads [5].

The oldest Louisianian ever was Addie Cook. Cook, a lifetime New Orleanian, was born on August 27, 1867 and died on December 3, 1978, at the age of 111 in a New Orleans nursing home.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 4.66% of the population aged 5 and over speak French or Cajun French at home, while 2.53% speak Spanish [6]. {{US DemogTable|Louisiana|03-22.csv|= | 65.39| 32.94| 0.96| 1.45| 0.07|= | 2.09| 0.28| 0.06| 0.03| 0.01|= | 64.77| 33.47| 0.97| 1.60| 0.07|= | 2.52| 0.27| 0.06| 0.03| 0.01|= | 0.26| 2.86| 2.26| 11.98| 2.25|= | -0.47| 2.89| 2.47| 12.11| 3.93|= | 22.23| -1.03| -0.78| 6.41| -5.82}}

The six largest ancestries in the state of Louisiana are:

Ancestry Percentage Main article:
African (32.5%) Of Total) See African American
Flag of France French (16.2%) See French / French Canadian
Flag of the United States American (10.1%) See British American
Template:Country data Germany German (7.1%) See German American
Template:Country data Republic of Ireland Irish (7%) See Irish American
Template:Country data Italy Italian (4.4%) See Italian American

African-American and Franco-African Population

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 African-American heritage and those who consider themselves Franco-African or Créole, though their respective cultural identities may be quite different.

Franco-Africans and African-American blacks, who made up a majority of the state's population during much of the 19th century, dominate much of the southeast, central, and northern parts of the state, particularly those parishes along the Mississippi River valley. But in recent years, the percentage of whites in those areas has grown, as large numbers of white senior citizens have begun to relocate there because of the friendly atmosphere, mild winters, low taxes, and beautiful scenery.

Creole and Cajun Population

Creoles and Cajuns of French Canadian and Acadian ancestry are dominant in much of the southern part of the state. While many people elsewhere in the United States use "creole" to refer to mixed-race peoples, Louisiana creoles also may be whites of French ancestry or people of predominantly African (black) backgrounds.

Other Europeans

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, German, and Italian immigrants.

Southern White Population

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

Asians

Louisiana's Asian population includes the descendants of Chinese workers who arrived in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, often from the Caribbean. 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. About 95% of Louisiana's Asian population resides in New Orleans.

In 2006 it was estimated that 50,209 people of Asian descent live in Louisiana.

Economy

Louisiana was the first site of oil drilling over water in the world, near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The oil 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. Interior Department, in efforts by the Federal Government to strip Louisiana of its submerged land property rights, which stored vast reservoirs of oil and natural gas.

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

Louisiana State Quarter

The total gross state product in 2005 for Louisiana was US168 billion, placing it 24th in the nation. Its per capita personal income is US$30,952, ranking 41st in the United States.[6]

The state's principal agricultural products include seafood (it is the biggest producer of crayfish in the world), 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.

The Port of South Louisiana, located on the Mississippi between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 4th largest in the world. It is the largest bulk cargo port in the world.[7]

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.

Transportation

See also: List of numbered highways in Louisiana

    This article uses material from the "Louisiana" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

    Simple English

    State of Louisiana
    État de Louisiane
    File:Flag of [[File:|100px|State seal of Louisiana]]
    Flag of Louisiana Seal of Louisiana
    Also called: Bayou State, Child of the Mississippi,
    Creole State, Pelican State, Sportsman's Paradise,
    Sugar State
    Saying(s): Union, justice, and confidence
    Official language(s) de jure: none
    de facto: English & French
    Capital Baton Rouge
    Largest city New Orleans [1]
    Area  Ranked 31st
     - Total 51,885 sq mi
    (134,382 km²)
     - Width 130 miles (210 km)
     - Length 379 miles (610 km)
     - % water 16
     - Latitude 29°N to 33°N
     - Longitude 89°W to 94°W
    Number of people  Ranked 22nd
     - Total (2010) {{{2010Pop}}}
     - Density {{{2010DensityUS}}}/sq mi 
    {{{2010Density}}}/km² (22nd)
    Height above sea level  
     - Highest point Driskill Mountain[2]
    535 ft  (163 m)
     - Average 98 ft  (30 m)
     - Lowest point New Orleans[2]
    -8 ft  (-2 m)
    Became part of the U.S.  April 30, 1812 (18th)
    Governor Bobby Jindal (R)
    U.S. Senators Mary Landrieu (D)
    David Vitter (R)
    Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
    Abbreviations LA US-LA
    Web site www.louisiana.gov

    Louisiana is one state of the United States of America.

    Louisiana is in the south of the U.S.A. To the west of Louisiana is Texas. To the north is Arkansas. To the east is the state of Mississippi. To the south is the Gulf of Mexico.

    The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge. The largest city is New Orleans.

    The south end of the Mississippi River is in Louisiana.

    The size of Louisiana is 134,382 km². In the year 2000 4,468,976 people were in Louisiana.

    The governor of Louisiana is Bobby Jindal.

    References

    frr:Louisiana


    pcd:Louisiane








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