Louisiana

Louisiana

Overview
Louisiana is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

 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
County-equivalent
A county-equivalent in the United States is a term used by the federal government to describe one of the two following governmental subdivisions:#A unit of local government in certain states which is comparable to a county as found in most states....

. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

, multilingual
Multilingualism
Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

 heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French
Culture of France
The culture of France and of the French people has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture and of decorative arts since the seventeenth...

, Spanish
Culture of Spain
The culture of Spain is based on a variety of influences.The Visigothic Kingdom left a sense of a united Christian Hispania that was going to be welded in the Reconquista. Muslim influences were strong during the period of 711 AD to the 15th century, especially linguistically...

, Native American (Indian) and African
Culture of Africa
The culture of Africa encompasses and includes all cultures within the continent of Africa. There is a political or racial split between North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, which is in turn divided into a great number of ethnic cultures...

 cultures that they are considered to be somewhat exceptional in the U.S.
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Timeline

1682   Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovers the mouth of the Mississippi River, claims it for France and names it Louisiana.

1736   Battle of Ackia: British and Chickasaw soldiers repel a French and Choctaw attack on the Chickasaw village of Ackia, near present-day Tupelo, Mississippi. The French, under Louisiana governor Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, had sought to link Louisiana with Acadia and the other northern colonies of New France.

1755   British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council order the deportation of the Acadians. Thousands of Acadians are sent to the British Colonies in America, France and England. Some later move to Louisiana, while others resettle in New Brunswick.

1766   Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish governor of Louisiana, arrives in New Orleans.

1804   Louisiana Purchase: In St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

1812   The Territory of Orleans becomes the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.

1812   Following Louisiana's admittance as a U.S. state, the Louisiana Territory is renamed the Missouri Territory.

1861   American Civil War: The state of Louisiana secedes from the Union.

1872   In Louisiana, P. B. S. Pinchback becomes the first serving African-American governor of a U.S. state.

1935   US Senator from Louisiana, Huey Long, nicknamed "Kingfish", is fatally shot in the Louisiana capitol building.

 
Encyclopedia
Louisiana is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

 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
County-equivalent
A county-equivalent in the United States is a term used by the federal government to describe one of the two following governmental subdivisions:#A unit of local government in certain states which is comparable to a county as found in most states....

. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

, multilingual
Multilingualism
Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

 heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French
Culture of France
The culture of France and of the French people has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture and of decorative arts since the seventeenth...

, Spanish
Culture of Spain
The culture of Spain is based on a variety of influences.The Visigothic Kingdom left a sense of a united Christian Hispania that was going to be welded in the Reconquista. Muslim influences were strong during the period of 711 AD to the 15th century, especially linguistically...

, Native American (Indian) and African
Culture of Africa
The culture of Africa encompasses and includes all cultures within the continent of Africa. There is a political or racial split between North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, which is in turn divided into a great number of ethnic cultures...

 cultures that they are considered to be 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
Louisiana (New France)
Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

 colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous African slaves in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture.

Toponym


Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643–1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de LaSalle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico...

 claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 for France, he named it , meaning "Land of Louis". Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory
Louisiana Territory
The Territory of Louisiana or Louisiana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805 until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed to Missouri Territory...

 stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 border, and included a small part of what is now southwestern Canada.

Geography


Topography


Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

; to the north by Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

; to the east by the state of Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

.

The surface of the state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, and the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, and barrier islands that cover about 20000 square miles (51,799.8 km²). This area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, 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
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

; the Red River
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in the southern United States of America. The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name...

; the Ouachita River
Ouachita River
The Ouachita River is a river that runs south and east through the U.S. states of Arkansas and Louisiana, joining the Tensas River to form the Black River near Jonesville, Louisiana.-Course:...

 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
Levee
A levee, levée, dike , embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels...

), 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 and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25000 square miles (64,749.7 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
Driskill Mountain
Driskill Mountain is the highest natural summit in Louisiana with an elevation of 535 feet above sea level. It lies about 5.3 miles southeast of Bryceland, Louisiana. It is located in the northeast corner of Sec. 32, T. 17 N., R. 5 W. at 32° 25′ 29.32″ N 92° 53′ 47.90″ W within Bienville Parish...

, the highest point in the state at only 535 feet (163 m) above sea level.

Besides the navigable waterways already named, there are the Sabine
Sabine River (Texas-Louisiana)
The Sabine River is a river, long, in the U.S. states of Texas and Louisiana. In its lower course, it forms part of the boundary between the two states and empties into Sabine Lake, an estuary of the Gulf of Mexico. The river formed part of the United States-Mexican international boundary during...

 (Sah-BEAN), forming the western boundary; and the Pearl
Pearl River (Mississippi-Louisiana)
The Pearl River is a river in the U.S. states of Mississippi and Louisiana. It forms in Neshoba County, Mississippi from the confluence of Nanih Waiya and Tallahaga creeks. It is long. The Yockanookany and Strong rivers are tributaries. Northeast of Jackson, the Ross Barnett Reservoir is formed by...

, the eastern boundary; the Calcasieu
Calcasieu River
The Calcasieu River is a river on the Gulf Coast of southwestern Louisiana, U.S.A.. Approximately long, it drains a largely rural area of forests and bayou country, meandering southward to the Gulf of Mexico. The name "Calcasieu" comes from the Native American Atakapa language katkosh, for...

 (KAL-cah-shew), the Mermentau
Mermentau River
The Mermentau River is a river in southern Louisiana in the United States. It enters the Gulf of Mexico between Calcasieu Lake and Vermilion Bay on the Chenier Coastal Plain.The Mermentau River supplies freshwater for the Mermentau Basin...

, the Vermilion
Vermilion River (Louisiana)
The Vermilion River is a river in southern Louisiana in the United States. It is formed on the common boundary of Lafayette and St. Martin parishes by a confluence of small bayous flowing from St. Landry Parish, and flows generally southward through Lafayette and Vermilion parishes, past the...

, Bayou Teche
Bayou Teche
The Bayou Teche is a waterway of great cultural significance in south central Louisiana in the United States. Bayou Teche was the Mississippi River's main course when it developed a delta about 2,800 to 4,500 years ago...

, the Atchafalaya
Atchafalaya River
The Atchafalaya River is a distributary of the Mississippi River and Red River in south central Louisiana in the United States. It flows south, just west of the Mississippi River....

 (a-CHAF-a-LI-a), the Boeuf
Boeuf River
The Boeuf River is a tributary of the Ouachita River in the U.S. states of Arkansas and Louisiana. The river is about long.The Boeuf River's name comes from the French word , which means "bull"....

 (bow), Bayou Lafourche
Bayou Lafourche
Bayou Lafourche, originally called Chetimachas River, is a bayou in southeastern Louisiana, United States, that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The first settlements of Acadians in southern Louisiana were near Bayou Lafourche and Bayou des Écores, which led to a close association of the bayou with...

, the Courtableau, Bayou D'Arbonne, the Macon, the Tensas
Tensas River
The Tensas River is a river in Louisiana in the United States. The river, known as Tensas Bayou in its upper reaches, begins in East Carroll Parish in the northeast corner of the state and runs roughly southwest for more or less in parallel with the Mississippi River...

 (TEN-saw), Amite River
Amite River
The Amite River is a tributary of Lake Maurepas in Mississippi and Louisiana in the United States. It is about long. It starts as two forks in southwestern Mississippi and flows south through Louisiana, passing Greater Baton Rouge, to Lake Maurepas. The lower of the river is navigable...

, the Tchefuncte
Tchefuncte River
The Tchefuncte River drains into Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana in the United States. It is about long.In the 19th century it was an important commercial waterway, where building materials and other products of the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain were loaded to be shipped across the Lake to...

 (CHA-Funk-ta), the Tickfaw
Tickfaw River
The Tickfaw River runs from Amite County in southwest Mississippi to Livingston Parish in southeast Louisiana. Its mouth opens into Lake Maurepas, which conjoins with Lake Pontchartrain.Alternate/historical names and spellings:*Rio De San Vicente...

, the Natalbany, and a number of other smaller streams, constituting a natural system of navigable waterways, aggregating over 4000 miles (6,437.4 km) long.

The state also has political jurisdiction over the approximately 3 miles (4.8 km)-wide portion of subsea
Subsea
Subsea is a general term frequently used to refer to equipment, technology, and methods employed in marine biology, undersea geology, offshore oil and gas developments, underwater mining, and offshore wind power industries.- Oil and gas :...

 land of the inner continental shelf
Outer Continental Shelf
The Outer Continental Shelf is a peculiarity of the political geography of the United States and is the part of the internationally recognized continental shelf of the United States which does not fall under the jurisdictions of the individual U.S...

 in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. Through a peculiarity of the political geography
Political geography
Political geography is the field of human geography that is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, this is substantially less than the 9 miles (14.5 km)-wide jurisdiction of nearby states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 and Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, which, like Louisiana, have extensive Gulf coastlines.

The southern coast of Louisiana in the United States is among the fastest disappearing areas in the world. Rising waters and erosion (both natural and man-made) 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.

Climate



Louisiana has a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Koppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 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
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

, 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
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 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's highest recorded temperature is 114 °F (45.6 °C) in Plain Dealing
Plain Dealing, Louisiana
Plain Dealing is a town in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, United States best known as the birthplace of former U.S. Representative Joe D. Waggonner, Jr. The population was 1,071 at the 2000 census...

 on August 10, 1936 while the coldest recorded temperature is -16 F at Minden
Minden, Louisiana
Minden is a city in the American state of Louisiana. It serves as the parish seat of Webster Parish and is located twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish. The population, which has been stable since 1960, was 13,027 at the 2000 census...

 on February 13, 1899.

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
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. Louisiana averages 27 tornadoes annually, some in part in 2010. 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.

Hurricanes

  • September 1, 2008, Gustav
    Hurricane Gustav
    The name Gustav has been used for five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean:* 1984's Tropical Storm Gustav - Spent most of its existence as a tropical depression hovering over Bermuda, no major damage was reported....

     made landfall along the Louisiana coast near Cocodrie
    Cocodrie, Louisiana
    Cocodrie is an unincorporated fishing, shrimping and crabbing village in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, United States, ten miles south of Chauvin, due south of the larger town of Houma. It is part of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area...

     in southeastern Louisiana. As late as August 31 it had been projected by the National Hurricane Center
    National Hurricane Center
    The National Hurricane Center , located at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, is the division of the National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting weather systems within the tropics between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th...

     that the hurricane would remain at Category 3
    Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
    The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale , or the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale , classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds...

     or above on September 1, but in the event the center of Gustav made landfall as a strong Category 2 hurricane (1 mph below Category 3), and dropped to Category 1 soon after. As a result of NHC's forecasts there had been a massive evacuation of New Orleans amid warnings (for example from the city's mayor, Ray Nagin
    Ray Nagin
    Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr. is a former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Nagin gained international note in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area....

    ) that this would be the “storm of the century”, potentially more devastating than Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

     almost exactly three years earlier, but these fears were not realised. Nevertheless, a significant number of deaths were caused by or attributed to Gustav, and around 1.5 million people were without power in Louisiana on September 1.
  • September 24, 2005, Rita
    Hurricane Rita
    Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

     (Category 3 at landfall) struck southwestern Louisiana, flooding many parishes and cities along the coast, including Cameron Parish, Lake Charles
    Lake Charles, Louisiana
    Lake Charles is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Located in Calcasieu Parish, a major cultural, industrial, and educational center in the southwest region of the state, and one of the most important in...

    , 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
    Hurricane Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

     (Category 3 at landfall) struck and devastated southeastern Louisiana, while breached and undermined levees in New Orleans allowed 80% of the city to flood. Most people had been evacuated but the majority of the population became homeless. The city was virtually closed until October. It is estimated that more than two million people in the Gulf region
    Gulf Coast of the United States
    The Gulf Coast of the United States, sometimes referred to as the Gulf South, South Coast, or 3rd Coast, comprises the coasts of American states that are on the Gulf of Mexico, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and are known as the Gulf States...

     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. The effect of the hurricane sent people scattered across the country.

  • Oct. 3, 2002, Lili
    Hurricane Lili
    Hurricane Lili was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season for the United States. Lili was the twelfth named storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm developed from a tropical disturbance in the open...

     (Category 1 at landfall)
  • August 1992, Andrew
    Hurricane Andrew
    Hurricane Andrew was the third Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States, after the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Andrew was the first named storm and only major hurricane of the otherwise inactive 1992 Atlantic hurricane season...

     (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
    Hurricane Camille
    Hurricane Camille was the third and strongest tropical cyclone and second hurricane during the 1969 Atlantic hurricane season. The second of three catastrophic Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the United States during the 20th century , which it did near the mouth of the Mississippi River...

     (Category 5) caused a 23.4 ft (7.1 m). storm surge and killed 250 people. Although Camille officially made landfall in Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

     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
    Hurricane Betsy
    Hurricane Betsy was a Category 4 hurricane of the 1965 Atlantic hurricane season which caused enormous damage in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana. Betsy made its most intense landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, causing significant flooding of the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into...

     (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
    Gentilly, New Orleans
    Gentilly is a broad, predominantly middle-class and racially diverse section of New Orleans, Louisiana. The first part of Gentilly to be developed was along the Gentilly Ridge, a long stretch of high ground along the former banks of Bayou Gentilly...

    , and parts of Mid-City
    Mid-City New Orleans
    Mid-City is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: City Park Avenue, Toulouse Street, North Carrollton and Orleans Avenues, Bayou St. John and St. Louis Street to the north, North Broad...

    ), and pushing the death toll in the state to 76.
  • June 1957, Audrey
    Hurricane Audrey
    Hurricane Audrey was the first major hurricane of the 1957 Atlantic hurricane season. Audrey was the only storm to reach Category 4 status in June. A powerful hurricane, Audrey caused catastrophic damage across eastern Texas and western Louisiana. It then affected the South Central United States as...

     (Category 4) devastated southwest Louisiana, destroying or severely damaging 60–80 percent of the homes and businesses from Cameron
    Cameron, Louisiana
    Cameron is a census-designated place in and the parish seat of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,965 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area...

     to Grand Chenier. 40,000 people were left homeless and more than 300 people were killed in the state.
  • August 10, 1856, Hurricane One
    1856 Last Island Hurricane
    The Last Island hurricane of 1856 was an intense Atlantic hurricane that destroyed Last Island in southern Louisiana. The first tropical cyclone, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the season, it rapidly intensified before making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. The powerful...

     (Category 4) made landfall at Last Island, Louisiana
    Last Island, Louisiana
    Last Island was a barrier island and a pleasure resort southwest of New Orleans on the south shore of Louisiana, USA. It was destroyed by the Last Island Hurricane of August 10, 1856...

    . The 25 miles (40.2 km) long barrier island resort community was devastated by being split into 5 separate islands, and over 200 people were killed.

Geology



The underlying strata
Stratum
In geology and related fields, a stratum is a layer of sedimentary rock or soil with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers...

 of the state are of Cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 age and are covered by alluvial
Sedimentation
Sedimentation is the tendency for particles in suspension to settle out of the fluid in which they are entrained, and come to rest against a barrier. This is due to their motion through the fluid in response to the forces acting on them: these forces can be due to gravity, centrifugal acceleration...

 deposits of Tertiary
Tertiary
The Tertiary is a deprecated term for a geologic period 65 million to 2.6 million years ago. The Tertiary covered the time span between the superseded Secondary period and the Quaternary...

 and post-Tertiary origin. A large part of Louisiana
Wetlands of Louisiana
The wetlands of Louisiana are water-saturated coastal and swamp regions of southern Louisiana.The Environmental Protection Agency defines wetlands as "those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal...

 is the creation and product of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. It was originally covered by an arm of the sea, and has been built up by the silt
Silt
Silt is granular material of a size somewhere between sand and clay whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar. Silt may occur as a soil or as suspended sediment in a surface water body...

 carried down the valley by the great river.

Near the coast, there are many salt dome
Salt dome
A salt dome is a type of structural dome formed when a thick bed of evaporite minerals found at depth intrudes vertically into surrounding rock strata, forming a diapir....

s, where salt
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

 is mined and oil is often found. Salt dome
Salt dome
A salt dome is a type of structural dome formed when a thick bed of evaporite minerals found at depth intrudes vertically into surrounding rock strata, forming a diapir....

s 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
Atchafalaya River
The Atchafalaya River is a distributary of the Mississippi River and Red River in south central Louisiana in the United States. It flows south, just west of the Mississippi 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
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 in most other states).


  • List of parishes in Louisiana
  • Louisiana census statistical areas
    Louisiana census statistical areas
    The United States Census Bureau has defined 7 Combined Statistical Areas , 8 Metropolitan Statistical Areas , and 17 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the State of Louisiana. The following table describes these areas with the following information:*The name of the Combined Statistical Area , if...

  • Louisiana metropolitan areas
    Louisiana Metropolitan areas
    The U.S. state of Louisiana has a total of eight Metropolitan Statistical Areas . Twenty-nine of Louisiana's sixty-four parishes are classified as metropolitan. As of the 2000 census, these counties had a combined population of 3,340,667...

  • List of cities, towns, and villages in Louisiana
  • Louisiana locations by per capita income
    Louisiana locations by per capita income
    Louisiana has the forty-seventh lowest per capita income in the United States of America, at $16,912 . Its personal per capita income is $26,100 .- Louisiana parishes ranked by per capita income :...


Protected areas


Louisiana contains a number of areas which are, in varying degrees, protected from human intervention. In addition to National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 sites and areas and a United States National Forest
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

, Louisiana operates a system of state parks, state historic sites, one state preservation area
Louisiana State Arboretum
The Louisiana State Arboretum , is an arboretum located on Louisiana Highway 3042, approximately 13 km north of Ville Platte, Louisiana inside of Chicot State Park, USA, and bordering a branch of Lake Chicot...

, one state forest
Alexander State Forest
Alexander State Forest is located in Rapides Parish, Louisiana near the town of Woodworth. It was established in 1923 as a state demonstration forest. It contains both Indian Creek Recreation Area and the Alexander State Forest Headquarters Building...

, and many Wildlife Management Area
Wildlife Management Area
Wildlife Management Areas are protected areas set aside in for the conservation of wildlife and for recreational activities involving wildlife.-United States:In the U.S., WMAs exist in the following states:* Alabama* Florida* Georgia* Louisiana...

s. 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:
  • Cane River National Heritage Area
    Cane River National Heritage Area
    The Cane River National Heritage Area is a United States National Heritage Area in the state of Louisiana. The heritage area is known for its spectacular Creole architecture as well as numerous other sites that preserve the multi-cultural history of the area...

     near Natchitoches;
  • Cane River Creole National Historical Park
    Cane River Creole National Historical Park
    Cane River Creole National Historical Park is located within the Cane River National Heritage Area in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. The United States National Historical Park protects a total of 67 historic structures at two locations, Magnolia Plantation and Oakland Plantation. Both plantation...

     near Natchitoches;
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
    Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
    Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve protects significant examples of the rich natural and cultural resources of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta region. The park, named after Jean Lafitte, seeks to illustrate the influence of environment and history on the development of a unique...

    , headquartered in New Orleans, with units in St. Bernard Parish, Barataria (Crown Point), and Acadiana (Lafayette);
  • New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
    New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
    New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is a U.S. National Historical Parkin the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, near the French Quarter. It was created in 1994 to celebrate the origins and evolution of jazz, America’s most widely-recognized genre of music.The park consists of ...

    ;
  • Poverty Point National Monument at Epps, Louisiana; and
  • Sabine River/Bayou, a designated National Wild and Scenic River
    National Wild and Scenic River
    National Wild and Scenic River is a designation for certain protected areas in the United States.The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was an outgrowth of the recommendations of a Presidential commission, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission...

     near Winn Parish in northern Louisiana.

US Forest Service

  • Kisatchie National Forest
    Kisatchie National Forest
    Kisatchie National Forest, the only National forest in Louisiana, USA, is located in the state's old growth piney hills and hardwood bottoms of seven central and northern parishes. It totals more than of public lands....

     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 22 state parks, 17 state historic sites and one state preservation area
Louisiana State Arboretum
The Louisiana State Arboretum , is an arboretum located on Louisiana Highway 3042, approximately 13 km north of Ville Platte, Louisiana inside of Chicot State Park, USA, and bordering a branch of Lake Chicot...

. Louisiana is also home of the High Delta Safari Park
High Delta Safari Park
The High Delta Drive Thru Safari Park was a safari park located in Delhi, Louisiana between Vicksburg, MS and Monroe, Louisiana, on highway 17 only north of Interstate 20 exit 153. The animal park featured exotic and endangered species....

 close to Shreveport and Monroe.

Transportation


In March 2011, Louisiana ranked as the second bottom "Worst" state (next to number 50 Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

), in the American State Litter Scorecard. The Pelican State suffers from an overall poor effectiveness and quality of its statewide public space cleanliness (primarily from roadway and adjacent litter/debris)--in state and related eradication standards.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is a state government organization in charge of maintaining public transportation, roadways, bridges, canals, select levees, floodplain management, port facilities, commercial vehicles, and aviation which includes 69 airports, in the U.S....

 is the state government organization in charge of maintaining public transportation, roadways, bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

s, canals, select levees, floodplain management, port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 facilities, commercial vehicles, and aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

 which includes 69 airports.

Interstate highways

  • Interstate 10
    Interstate 10 in Louisiana
    Interstate 10, a major transcontinental Interstate Highway in the Southern U.S., runs across the southern part of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It passes through Lake Charles, Lafayette and Baton Rouge before dipping south of Lake Pontchartrain to serve the New Orleans area and then passing through...

  • Interstate 12
    Interstate 12
    Interstate 12 is an intrastate Interstate Highway located entirely within the state of Louisiana. I-12 starts in Baton Rouge at Interstate 10, and travels along the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain before ending at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Interstate 59 near Slidell...

  • Interstate 20
    Interstate 20 in Louisiana
    Interstate 420 was to be a bypass of Monroe, Louisiana. Initially proposed in the late 1950s, this route was to have been only two lanes wide at a cost $29 million with a projected 2,500 to 3,000 ADT in 1964. The project was effectively canceled on October 12, 1964, when then Louisiana...

  • Interstate 49
    Interstate 49
    Interstate 49 is currently an intrastate Interstate Highway located entirely within the state of Louisiana in the southern United States. Its southern terminus is in Lafayette, Louisiana, at Interstate 10 while its northern terminus is in Shreveport, Louisiana, at Interstate 20.-Route...

  • Interstate 55
    Interstate 55 in Louisiana
    Interstate 55 is a major north–south Interstate Highway that serves the middle of the United States. It runs from Interstate 10 in Laplace, Louisiana - about west of New Orleans to U.S. 41 in Chicago, Illinois.-Route description:...

  • Interstate 59
  • Interstate 110
    Interstate 110 (Louisiana)
    Interstate 110 is an spur route in Baton Rouge, running from Interstate 10 in the city's downtown area north to U.S. Highway 61 and the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in the northern part of the city...

  • Interstate 210
    Interstate 210 (Louisiana)
    Interstate 210 in Louisiana is a bypass route in Lake Charles, in the southwestern part of the state. As a bypass of I-10, both of the ends of I-210 meet with I-10.-Route description:...

  • Interstate 220
    Interstate 220 (Louisiana)
    Interstate 220 in Louisiana is an east–west bypass route around Shreveport, Louisiana in the northwestern corner of the state.-Route description:...

  • Interstate 310
  • Interstate 510
  • Interstate 610
    Interstate 610 (Louisiana)
    Interstate 610 is a long auxiliary route of Interstate 10 that lies entirely within the boundaries of New Orleans, Louisiana.-Route description:...

  • Interstate 910


United States highways

  • U.S. Route 11
    U.S. Route 11
    U.S. Route 11 is a north–south United States highway extending 1,645 miles across the eastern United States. The southern terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 90 in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in eastern New Orleans, Louisiana. The northern terminus is at the United...

  • U.S. Route 51
    U.S. Route 51
    U.S. Route 51 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 1,286 miles from the western suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana to within of the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Much of the highway in Illinois and southern Wisconsin runs parallel to or overlaps Interstate 39...

  • U.S. Route 61
    U.S. Route 61
    U.S. Route 61 is the official designation for a United States highway that runs from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the city of Wyoming, Minnesota. The highway generally follows the course of the Mississippi River, and is designated the Great River Road for much of its route. As of 2004, the highway's...

  • U.S. Route 63
    U.S. Route 63
    U.S. Route 63 is a long north–south United States highway primarily in the Midwestern United States. The southern terminus of the route is at Interstate 20 in Ruston, Louisiana. The northern terminus is at U.S. Route 2 in Benoit, Wisconsin, about east of Duluth, Minnesota. It is not related to U.S...

  • U.S. Route 65
    U.S. Route 65
    U.S. Route 65 is a north–south United States highway in the southern and midwestern United States. The southern terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 425 in Clayton, Louisiana. The northern terminus is at Interstate 35 just south of Interstate 90 in Albert Lea, Minnesota...

  • U.S. Route 71
    U.S. Route 71
    U.S. Route 71 is a north–south United States highway. This original 1926 route has remained largely unchanged by encroaching Interstate highways. Currently, the highway's northern terminus is in International Falls, Minnesota at the Canadian border, at the southern end of the Fort...

  • U.S. Route 79
    U.S. Route 79
    U.S. Route 79 is a north–south United States highway. The route is a northeast-southwest diagonal, with both east–west segments and north–south segments equally mixed. The highway's northern terminus is in Russellville, Kentucky, at an intersection with U.S. Highway 68 and KY 80...

  • U.S. Route 80
    U.S. Route 80
    U.S. Route 80 is an east–west United States highway, much of which was once part of the early auto trail known as the Dixie Overland Highway. As the "0" in the route number indicates, it was originally a cross-country route, from the Atlantic to the Pacific...

  • U.S. Route 84
    U.S. Route 84
    U.S. Route 84 is an east–west United States highway. It started as a short Georgia-Alabama route in the original 1926 scheme, but now extends all the way to Colorado. The highway's eastern terminus is a short distance east of Midway, Georgia, at an intersection with I-95. The road continues...

  • U.S. Route 90
    U.S. Route 90
    U.S. Route 90 is an east–west United States highway. Despite the "0" in its route number, U.S. 90 never was a full coast-to-coast route; it has always ended at Van Horn, Texas. A short-lived northward extension to U.S...

  • U.S. Route 165
    U.S. Route 165
    U.S. Route 165 is a north–south United States highway spur of U.S. Highway 65. It currently runs for 412 miles from U.S. Route 90 in Iowa, Louisiana north to U.S. Highway 70 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The route passes through the states of Arkansas and Louisiana. It passes through the...

  • U.S. Route 167
    U.S. Route 167
    U.S. Route 167 runs for 499 miles from Ash Flat, Arkansas at U.S. Route 62 to Abbeville, Louisiana at Louisiana Highway 14. It goes through the cities of Little Rock, Arkansas, Alexandria, Louisiana, and Lafayette, Louisiana....

  • U.S. Route 171
    U.S. Route 171
    U.S. Highway 171 is a north–south United States highway. This short-route 179-mile highway, entirely within western Louisiana, has remained largely unchanged from its original 1926 route....

  • U.S. Route 190
    U.S. Route 190
    U.S. Route 190, also known as the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway, is an east–west United States highway in Louisiana and Texas. It evolved from the shortest of intrastate routes in 1926 to a length comparable to a main Interstate Highway route, leading from the swamps and pine forests of...

  • U.S. Route 371
    U.S. Route 371
    U.S. Route 371 is a north–south United States highway in the U.S. states of Arkansas and Louisiana. The highway's northern terminus is in De Queen, Arkansas at an intersection with U.S. Highway 70. It is co-signed for its last between Lockesburg, Arkansas and DeQueen with U.S. Highway 59...

  • U.S. Route 425
    U.S. Route 425
    U.S. Route 425 is a north–south United States highway, first commissioned in 1989. Its route number is a "violation" of the usual AASHTO numbering scheme, as it comes nowhere near its implied "parent", U.S. Route 25....


  • The Intracoastal Waterway
    Intracoastal Waterway
    The Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are artificial canals...

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

    In 2011, Louisiana ranked among the five deadliest states for debris/litter –caused vehicle accidents per total number of registered vehicles and population size. Figures derived from the NTSHA show at least 25 persons in Louisiana were killed each year in motor vehicle collisions with non-fixed objects, including debris, dumped litter, animals and their carcasses.

    Prehistory


    Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

     for many millennia before the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century. During the Middle Archaic period, Louisiana was the site of the earliest mound complex in North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

     and one of the earliest dated, complex constructions in the Americas, the Watson Brake
    Watson Brake
    Watson Brake is an archaeological site in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana from the Archaic period. Dated to about 5400 years ago , Watson Brake is considered the earliest mound complex in North America. It is the earliest dated, complex construction in the Americas...

     site near present-day Monroe
    Monroe, Louisiana
    Monroe is a city in and the parish seat of Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 53,107, making it the eighth largest city in Louisiana. A July 1, 2007, United States Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 51,208, but 51,636...

    . An 11-mound complex, it was built about 5400 BP (3500 BCE). The Middle Archaic sites of Caney and Frenchman's Bend have also been securely dated to 5600-5000 BP
    Before Present
    Before Present years is a time scale used in archaeology, geology, and other scientific disciplines to specify when events in the past occurred. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use AD 1950 as the origin of the age scale, reflecting the fact that radiocarbon...

    , demonstrating that seasonal hunter-gatherers organized to build complex constructions in present-day northern Louisiana. The Hedgepeth Site in Lincoln Parish
    Lincoln Parish, Louisiana
    Lincoln Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Ruston. In 2004, its population was estimated to be 42,382...

     is more recent, dated to 5200-4500 BP.

    Nearly 2,000 years later, Poverty Point
    Poverty Point
    Poverty Point is a prehistoric earthworks of the Poverty Point culture, now a historic monument located in the Southern United States. It is from the current Mississippi River, and situated on the edge of Maçon Ridge, near the village of Epps in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.Poverty Point...

    , the largest and best-known Late Archaic site in the state, was built. Modern-day Epps
    Epps, Louisiana
    Epps is a village in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,153 at the 2000 census.The Poverty Point National Monument is located nearby, the most complex earthworks site built by a Late Archaic culture....

     developed near it. The Poverty Point culture
    Poverty Point culture
    Poverty Point culture is an archaeological culture that corresponds to an ancient group of Indigenous peoples who inhabited the area of the lower Mississippi Valley and surrounding Gulf coast from about 2200 BCE - 700 BCE...

     may have hit its peak around 1500 BCE, making it the first complex culture, and possibly the first tribal culture in North America. 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
    Woodland period
    The Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures was from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE in the eastern part of North America. The term "Woodland Period" was introduced in the 1930s as a generic header for prehistoric sites falling between the Archaic hunter-gatherers and the...

    . The Tchefuncte culture were the first people in Louisiana to make large amounts of pottery. These cultures lasted until 200 CE. The Middle Woodland period starts in Louisiana with the Marksville culture
    Marksville culture
    The Marksville culture was an archaeological culture in the lower Lower Mississippi valley, Yazoo valley, and Tensas valley areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and extended eastward along the Gulf Coast to the Mobile Bay area, from 100 BCE to 400 CE. This culture takes its name...

     in the southern and eastern part of the state and the Fourche Maline culture
    Fourche Maline culture
    The Fourche Maline culture was a Woodland Period Native American culture that existed from 300 BCE to 800 CE, in southeastern Oklahoma, southwestern Arkansas, northwestern Louisiana, and northeastern Texas. They are considered to be one of the main ancestral groups of the Caddoan Mississippian...

     in the northwestern part of the state. The Marksville culture takes its name from the Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site
    Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site
    Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site, , also known as Marksville State Historic Site, is a Hopewell tradition earthworks archaeological site in Louisiana, one mile southeast of Marksville in Avoyelles Parish.-Description:...

     in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana
    Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana
    Avoyelles is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Marksville. In 2000, its population was 41,481. The parish is named for the Avoyel Indian tribe.-History:...

    . These cultures were contemporaneous with the Hopewell cultures of Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

     and Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

    , and participated in the Hopewell Exchange Network. Trade with peoples to the southwest brought the bow
    Bow (weapon)
    The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

     and arrow
    Arrow
    An arrow is a shafted projectile that is shot with a bow. It predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other.- History:...

     The first burial mounds were built at this time. Political power begins to be consolidated as the first platform mound
    Platform mound
    A platform mound is any earthwork or mound intended to support a structure or activity.-Eastern North America:The indigenous peoples of North America built substructure mounds for well over a thousand years starting in the Archaic period and continuing through the Woodland period...

    s at ritual centers are constructed for the developing hereditary political and religious leadership. By 400 CE in the southern part of the state the Late Woodland period had begun with the Baytown culture
    Baytown culture
    The Baytown culture was a Pre-Columbian Native American culture that existed from 300 to 700 CE in the lower Mississippi River Valley, consisting of sites in eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, Louisiana, and western Mississippi. The Baytown Site on the White River in Monroe County, Arkansas is...

     and it was not all that much of a 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
    Morgue
    A morgue or mortuary is used for the storage of human corpses awaiting identification, or removal for autopsy or disposal by burial, cremation or otherwise...

     mounds, leading researchers to speculate that emerging elites were symbolically and physically appropriating dead ancestors to emphasize and project their own authority. The Mississippian period
    Mississippian culture
    The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

     in Louisiana sees the emergence of the Plaquemine
    Plaquemine culture
    The Plaquemine culture was an archaeological culture in the lower Mississippi River Valley in western Mississippi and eastern Louisiana. Good examples of this culture are the Medora Site in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and the Anna, Emerald Mound, Winterville and Holly Bluff sites located...

     and the Caddoan Mississippian culture
    Caddoan Mississippian culture
    The Caddoan Mississippian culture was a prehistoric Native American culture considered by archaeologists as a variant of the Mississippian culture. The Caddoan Mississippians covered a large territory, including what is now Eastern Oklahoma, Western Arkansas, Northeast Texas, and Northwest Louisiana...

    s. This period is when extensive maize
    Maize
    Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

     agriculture is adopted. The Plaquemine culture in the lower Mississippi River
    Mississippi River
    The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

     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
    Medora Site
    The Medora Site is an archaeological site that is a type site for the prehistoric Plaquemine culture period. The name for the culture is taken from the proximity of Medora to the town of Plaquemine, Louisiana. The site is in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and was inhabited from approximately...

     in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
    West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
    West Baton Rouge Parish is one of the sixty-four parishes in the U.S. state of Louisiana, and is the smallest in total area. The parish seat is Port Allen and as of 2010, the population was 23,788. The parish has a highly-rated school system and is one of the few in Louisiana that has privatized...

    , and the Emerald Mound
    Emerald Mound Site
    The Emerald Mound Site , also known as the Selzertown site, is a Plaquemine culture Mississippian period archaeological site located on the Natchez Trace Parkway near Stanton, Mississippi, United States. The site dates from the period between 1200 and 1730 CE...

    , Winterville
    Winterville Site
    The Winterville Site is an archaeological site consisting of platform substructure mounds and plazas that is the type site for the Winterville Phase of the Lower Yazoo Basin region...

     and Holly Bluff
    Holly Bluff Site
    The Holly Bluff Site , sometimes known as the Lake George Site, and locally as “The Mound Place,”) is an archaeological site that is a type site for the Lake George phase of the prehistoric Plaquemine culture period of the area...

     sites in Mississippi. Plaquemine culture was contemporaneous with the Middle Mississippian culture in the Cahokia
    Cahokia
    Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the area of an ancient indigenous city located in the American Bottom floodplain, between East Saint Louis and Collinsville in south-western Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. The site included 120 human-built earthwork mounds...

     site near St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    . This group is considered ancestral to the Natchez
    Natchez people
    The Natchez are a Native American people who originally lived in the Natchez Bluffs area, near the present-day city of Natchez, Mississippi. They spoke a language isolate that has no known close relatives, although it may be very distantly related to the Muskogean languages of the Creek...

     and Taensa
    Taensa
    The Taensa were a people of northeastern Louisiana. They lived on Lake Saint Joseph west of the Mississippi River, between the Yazoo River and Saint Catherine Creek...

     Peoples. 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
    East Texas
    East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

    , and northwest Louisiana. Archeological evidence that the cultural continuity is unbroken from prehistory to the present, and that the direct ancestors of the Caddo
    Caddo
    The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes, who traditionally inhabited much of what is now East Texas, northern Louisiana and portions of southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a cohesive tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma...

     and related Caddo language
    Caddoan languages
    The Caddoan languages are a family of Native American languages. They are spoken by Native Americans in parts of the Great Plains of the central United States, from North Dakota south to Oklahoma.-Family division:...

     speakers in prehistoric times and at first European contact and the modern Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is unquestioned today.

    Many current place names in the state, including Atchafalaya
    Atchafalaya River
    The Atchafalaya River is a distributary of the Mississippi River and Red River in south central Louisiana in the United States. It flows south, just west of the Mississippi River....

    , Natchitouches (now spelled Natchitoches
    Natchitoches, Louisiana
    Natchitoches is a city in and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the Natchitoches Indian tribe. The City of Natchitoches was first incorporated on February...

    ), Caddo, Houma
    Houma, Louisiana
    Houma is a city in and the parish seat of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, and the largest principal city of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's powers of government have been absorbed by the parish, which is now run by the Terrebonne Parish...

    , Tangipahoa
    Tangipahoa
    The Tangipahoa were a Native American tribe that lived in Louisiana, just north of Lake Pontchartrain. It is from them that the modern town of Tangipahoa, Louisiana gets its name.The Tangipahoa were closely related to the Acolapissa...

    , and Avoyel
    Avoyel
    The Avoyel or Avoyelles was a small Natchez-speaking tribe who inhabited land near the mouth of the Red River in the area of present-day Marksville, Louisiana. The indigenous name for this tribe is Tamoucougoula. The word Avoyel is of French derivation and means either "Flint People" or "the...

     (as Avoyelles), are transliterations of those used in various Native American languages.

    Exploration and colonization by Europeans



    The first European explorers to visit Louisiana came in 1528 when a Spanish
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     expedition led by Panfilo de Narváez
    Pánfilo de Narváez
    Pánfilo de Narváez was a Spanish conqueror and soldier in the Americas. He is most remembered as the leader of two expeditions, one to Mexico in 1520 to oppose Hernán Cortés, and the disastrous Narváez expedition to Florida in 1527....

     located the mouth of the Mississippi River. In 1542, Hernando de Soto
    Hernando de Soto (explorer)
    Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European documented to have crossed the Mississippi River....

    '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
    Gulf of Mexico
    The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

     in 1543.
    Then Spanish interest in Louisiana lay dormant. In the late 17th century, French
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     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
    Louis XIV of France
    Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

    . The first permanent settlement, Fort Maurepas (at what is now Ocean Springs, Mississippi
    Ocean Springs, Mississippi
    Ocean Springs is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, about east of Biloxi. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,225 at the 2000 census...

    , near Biloxi
    Biloxi, Mississippi
    Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

    ), was founded by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
    Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
    Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] (16 July 1661 – 9 July 1702 (probable)was a soldier, ship captain, explorer, colonial administrator, knight of...

    , 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)
    La Balize, Louisiana
    La Balize, Louisiana, was the first French fort and settlement near the mouth of the Mississippi River in what became Plaquemines Parish. The village's name meant "seamark". Inhabited by 1699, La Balize was one of the oldest French settlements within the current boundaries of Louisiana...

    , "seamark" in French. By 1721 they built a 62 feet (18.9 m) wooden lighthouse-type structure to guide ships on the river.

    The French colony of Louisiana
    Louisiana (New France)
    Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

     originally claimed all the land on both sides of the Mississippi River
    Mississippi River
    The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

     and north to French territory in Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    .
    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
    Natchitoches, Louisiana
    Natchitoches is a city in and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the Natchitoches Indian tribe. The City of Natchitoches was first incorporated on February...

     (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
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

    , 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. This became 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
    Illinois Country
    The Illinois Country , also known as Upper Louisiana, was a region in what is now the Midwestern United States that was explored and settled by the French during the 17th and 18th centuries. The terms referred to the entire Upper Mississippi River watershed, though settlement was concentrated in...

    , around present-day St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    . See also: French colonization of the Americas
    French colonization of the Americas
    The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...



    Initially Mobile, Alabama
    Mobile, Alabama
    Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

    , and Biloxi, Mississippi
    Biloxi, Mississippi
    Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

    , 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
    German Coast
    The German Coast was a region of early Louisiana settlement located above New Orleans on the Mississippi River – specifically, from east to west, in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James parishes of present-day Acadiana. The four settlements along the coast were Karlstein, Hoffen,...

    .

    France ceded most of its territory to the east of the Mississippi to Great Britain
    Great Britain
    Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

     in the aftermath of Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War
    Great Britain in the Seven Years War
    The Kingdom of Great Britain was one of the major participants in the Seven Years' War which lasted between 1756 and 1763. Britain emerged from the war as the world's leading colonial power having gained a number of new territories at the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and established itself as the...

     or French and Indian War
    French and Indian War
    The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

    , as it is known in North America. It retained the area around New Orleans and the parishes around Lake Pontchartrain
    Lake Pontchartrain
    Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish estuary located in southeastern Louisiana. It is the second-largest inland saltwater body of water in the United States, after the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and the largest lake in Louisiana. As an estuary, Pontchartrain is not a true lake.It covers an area of with...

    . The rest of Louisiana became a colony of Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     after the Seven Years' War
    Seven Years' War
    The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

     by the Treaty of Fontainebleau of 1763.

    In 1765, during the period of Spanish rule, several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia
    Acadia
    Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

     (now Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

    , New Brunswick
    New Brunswick
    New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

    , and Prince Edward Island
    Prince Edward Island
    Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    ) made their way to Louisiana after having been expelled from their homelands by the British during the French and Indian War. They settled chiefly in the southwestern Louisiana region now called Acadiana
    Acadiana
    Acadiana, or The Heart of Acadiana, is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that is home to a large Francophone population. Of the 64 parishes that make up Louisiana, 22 named parishes and other parishes of similar cultural environment, make up the intrastate...

    . The Spanish, eager to gain more Catholic settlers, welcomed the Acadian
    Acadian
    The Acadians are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia . Acadia was a colony of New France...

     refugees. Cajun
    Cajun
    Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

    s descend from these Acadian refugees.

    Spanish Canary Islanders, called Isleños
    Isleños
    Isleño is the Spanish word meaning "islander." The Isleños are the descendants of Canary Island immigrants to Louisiana, Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and other parts of the Americas....

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

    In 1800, France's Napoleon Bonaparte
    Napoleon I of France
    Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

     reacquired Louisiana from Spain in the Treaty of San Ildefonso
    Third Treaty of San Ildefonso
    The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso was a secretly negotiated treaty between France and Spain in which Spain returned the colonial territory of...

    , 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
    Gulf of Mexico
    The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

     to what is now Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

    . "That concession allowed him to bring in a cargo of blacks from Africa
    Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

     every year," the British historian Hugh Thomas
    Hugh Thomas
    Hugh Thomas , is a British historian and life peer.Hugh Thomas may also refer to:* Hugh Thomas , American choral conductor, pianist and educator* Hugh Thomas , Australian rules football coach...

     wrote.

    When France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan 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
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

     though it violated U.S. law to do so. Though Louisiana was, at the start of the 19th 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
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

     before being sold in Louisiana where plantation owners forced the captive labor to work at no pay on their growing sugar cane plantation
    Plantation
    A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

    s. Despite demands by United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     Rep. James Hillhouse
    James Hillhouse
    James Hillhouse was an American lawyer, real estate developer, and politician from New Haven, Connecticut. He represented Connecticut in both the U.S. House and Senate...

     and by the pamphleteer Thomas Paine
    Thomas Paine
    Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

     to enforce existing federal law against slavery in the newly acquired territory., slavery prevailed because it was the source of great profits and the lowest cost labor. The last Spanish governor of the Louisiana territory wrote that "Truly, it is impossible for lower Louisiana to get along without slaves" and with the use of slaves, the colony had been "making great strides toward prosperity and wealth."

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

    Haitian migration and influence


    Pierre Laussat (French Minister in Louisiana 1718): "Saint-Domingue
    Saint-Domingue
    The labour for these plantations was provided by an estimated 790,000 African slaves . Between 1764 and 1771, the average annual importation of slaves varied between 10,000-15,000; by 1786 it was about 28,000, and from 1787 onward, the colony received more than 40,000 slaves a year...

     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 18th 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
    Haiti
    Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

    .

    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
    Baltimore
    Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

     (fifty-three ships landed there in July 1793), Philadelphia, Norfolk
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

    , Charleston
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

     and Savannah
    Savannah, Georgia
    Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

     as well as in Spanish Florida
    Spanish Florida
    Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of Florida, which formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire. Originally extending over what is now the southeastern United States, but with no defined boundaries, la Florida was a component of...

    . 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
    German Coast
    The German Coast was a region of early Louisiana settlement located above New Orleans on the Mississippi River – specifically, from east to west, in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James parishes of present-day Acadiana. The four settlements along the coast were Karlstein, Hoffen,...

     contributed to a decision to shut down the entire slave trade in the spring of 1796.

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

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

    Purchase by the United States


    When the United States won its independence from Great Britain in 1783, one of its major concerns was having a European power on its western boundary, and the need for unrestricted access to the Mississippi River. As American settlers pushed west, they found that the Appalachian Mountains
    Appalachian Mountains
    The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

     provided a barrier to shipping goods eastward. The easiest way to ship produce was to use a flatboat
    Flatboat
    Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with (mostlyNOTE: "(parenthesized)" wordings in the quote below are notes added to...

     to float it down the Ohio
    Ohio River
    The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

     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
    Natchez, Mississippi
    Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

    . Napoleon's ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbean
    Caribbean
    The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

     sugar trade. By the terms of the Treaty of Amiens of 1800, Great Britain returned ownership of the islands of Martinique
    Martinique
    Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

     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
    Santo Domingo
    Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River...

     and re-introduced 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.

    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

    , 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
    James Monroe
    James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

     a special envoy to Napoleon, to assist in obtaining New Orleans for the United States. Jefferson also raised the authorized expenditure to $10 million.

    However, on April 11, 1803, French Foreign Minister Talleyrand surprised Livingston by asking how much the United States was prepared to pay for the entirety of Louisiana, not just New Orleans and the surrounding area (as Livingston's instructions covered). Monroe agreed with Livingston that Napoleon might withdraw this offer at any time (leaving them with no ability to obtain the desired New Orleans area), and that approval from President Jefferson might take months, so Livingston and Monroe decided to open negotiations immediately. By April 30, they closed a deal for the purchase of the entire Louisiana territory of 828000 square miles (2,144,510.2 km²) for 60 million Francs
    French franc
    The franc was a currency of France. Along with the Spanish peseta, it was also a de facto currency used in Andorra . Between 1360 and 1641, it was the name of coins worth 1 livre tournois and it remained in common parlance as a term for this amount of money...

     (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
    Government bond
    A government bond is a bond issued by a national government denominated in the country's own currency. Bonds are debt investments whereby an investor loans a certain amount of money, for a certain amount of time, with a certain interest rate, to a company or country...

    , which Napoleon sold at face value to the Dutch
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     firm of Hope and Company
    Hope & Co.
    Hope & Co. is the name of a famous Dutch bank that spanned two and a half centuries. Though the founders were Scotsmen, the bank was located in Amsterdam, and at the close of the 18th century it had offices in London as well.-Early days:...

    , and the British banking house of Baring
    Barings Bank
    Barings Bank was the oldest merchant bank in London until its collapse in 1995 after one of the bank's employees, Nick Leeson, lost £827 million due to speculative investing, primarily in futures contracts, at the bank's Singapore office.-History:-1762–1890:Barings Bank was founded in 1762 as the...

    , at a discount of 87½ per each $100 unit. As a result, France received only $8,831,250 in cash for Louisiana.

    Dutiful English banker Alexander Baring
    Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton
    Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton PC was a British politician and financier.-Background:Baring was the second son of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet, and of Harriet, daughter of William Herring...

     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
    Federalist Party (United States)
    The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801...

     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
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

     on March 9, 1804, when a French tricolor was raised near the river, replacing the Spanish national flag. The following day, Captain Amos Stoddard
    Amos Stoddard
    Amos Stoddard was born on October 26, 1762 to Anthony and Phebe Stoddard in Woodbury, Connecticut. He married Catherine Tallman. He died at Fort Meigs on May 11, 1813, where he was the artillery commander. Before this, he was commandant of Upper Louisiana.-Military and political career:He served...

     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
    Meriwether Lewis
    Meriwether Lewis was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark...

    .

    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




    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 104.9 people per square mile.

    The center of population
    Center of population
    In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

     of Louisiana is located in Pointe Coupee Parish
    Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana
    Pointe Coupee Parish, pronounced "Pwent Koo-Pay" and , is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is New Roads. As of 2000, the population was 22,763....

    , in the city of New Roads
    New Roads, Louisiana
    New Roads is a city in and the parish seat of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, United States. The center of population of Louisiana is located in New Roads . The population was 4,996 at the 2000 census. The city's ZIP code is 70760...

    .

    According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 4.7% of the population aged 5 and older speak French
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     or Cajun French
    Cajun French
    Cajun French is a variety or dialects of the French language spoken primarily in Louisiana, specifically in the southern and southwestern parishes....

     at home, while 2.5% speak Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    .

    Cajun and Creole population


    Cajun
    Cajun
    Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

    s and Creole
    Louisiana Creole people
    Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. The term was first used during colonial times by the settlers to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to those born in the Old World...

    s of French
    French people
    The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

     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
    Acadia
    Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

    , which are now the present-day Canadian provinces of New Brunswick
    New Brunswick
    New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

    , Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

     and Prince Edward Island
    Prince Edward Island
    Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

    . Cajuns remained isolated in the swamps of South Louisiana well into the 20th century. During the early part of the 20th century, attempts were made to suppress Cajun culture by measures such as forbidding the use of the Cajun French
    Cajun French
    Cajun French is a variety or dialects of the French language spoken primarily in Louisiana, specifically in the southern and southwestern parishes....

     language in schools.

    The Creole
    Creole peoples
    The term Creole and its cognates in other languages — such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kreol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. — have been applied to people in different countries and epochs, with rather different meanings...

     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
    Free people of color
    A free person of color in the context of the history of slavery in the Americas, is a person of full or partial African descent who was not enslaved...

     (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
    Plaçage
    Plaçage was a recognized extralegal system in which white French and Spanish and later Creole men entered into the equivalent of common-law marriages with women of African, Indian and white Creole descent. The term comes from the French placer meaning "to place with"...

    , 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
    Haitian Revolution
    The Haitian Revolution was a period of conflict in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Haitian republic...

    , 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. In 1809, nearly 10,000 refugees from Saint-Domingue
    Saint-Domingue
    The labour for these plantations was provided by an estimated 790,000 African slaves . Between 1764 and 1771, the average annual importation of slaves varied between 10,000-15,000; by 1786 it was about 28,000, and from 1787 onward, the colony received more than 40,000 slaves a year...

     arrived from Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

    , where they had first fled, to settle en masse in New Orleans. They doubled that city’s population and helped preserve its French language and culture for several generations.

    Creoles of color today are frequently racially mixed, being of African, French
    French people
    The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

     (and/or Spanish
    Spanish people
    The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

    ) and Native American
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

     heritage. Their families have historically adhered to the French or Creole-speaking environment and culture. The separate status of Creoles of color was diminished after the Louisiana Purchase, and even more so after the American Civil War. Those Creoles who had been free for generations before the Civil War lost some of their legal and social standing.

    African Americans


    Louisiana's population has the second largest proportion of black Americans (32.1% according to 2010 census) in the United States, behind neighboring Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

     (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, multiracial 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.
    Southern United States
    The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

     background predominate in northern Louisiana. These people are predominantly of English
    English people
    The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

    , Huguenot French, Welsh
    Welsh people
    The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

    , 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
    German Coast
    The German Coast was a region of early Louisiana settlement located above New Orleans on the Mississippi River – specifically, from east to west, in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James parishes of present-day Acadiana. The four settlements along the coast were Karlstein, Hoffen,...

    . 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
    Irish American
    Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

    , Italian
    Italian American
    An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

    , Spanish
    Spanish American
    A Spanish American is a citizen or resident of the United States whose ancestors originate from the southwestern European nation of Spain. Spanish Americans are the earliest European American group, with a continuous presence since 1565.-Immigration waves:...

    , Portuguese
    Portuguese American
    Portuguese Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates in the southwest European nation of Portugal, including the offshore island groups of the Azores and Madeira....

     and German
    German American
    German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

     immigrants, of which the first four groups were totally Catholic, with some Germans also being Catholic, thus adding to the Catholic culture in southern Louisiana. New Orleans is also home to sizable Dutch, Greek
    Greek American
    Greek Americans are Americans of Greek descent also described as Hellenic descent. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimation, there were 1,380,088 people of Greek ancestry in the United States, while the State Department mentions that around 3,000,000 Americans claim to be of Greek descent...

     and Polish
    Polish American
    A Polish American , is a citizen of the United States of Polish descent. There are an estimated 10 million Polish Americans, representing about 3.2% of the population of the United States...

     communities, and Jewish populations of various nationalities. More than 10,000 Maltese
    Maltese American
    Maltese American is a citizen or resident of the United States with ethnic origins in the southern European nation of Malta.-History:The first immigrants from Malta in the United States arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. Many Americans assumed Malta was part of Italy. In some cases "Born Malta,...

     were reported to come to Louisiana in the early 20th century. Croatians are credited with developing the state's commercial oyster industry.

    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
    Latin America
    Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

    , such as Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

    , Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

    , the Dominican Republic
    Dominican Republic
    The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

    , Honduras
    Honduras
    Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

    , El Salvador
    El Salvador
    El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

     and Nicaragua
    Nicaragua
    Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

    . New Orleans has one of the largest Honduran American
    Honduran American
    A Honduran American is an American of Honduran descent. The number of Hondurans in the U.S. in 2005 was estimated at 459,653.- US communities with high percentages of people of Honduran ancestry :...

     communities in the USA.

    Older Cuban American
    Cuban American
    A Cuban American is a United States citizen who traces his or her "national origin" to Cuba. Cuban Americans are also considered native born Americans with Cuban parents or Cuban-born persons who were raised and educated in US...

     and Dominican American
    Dominican American
    A Dominican American is any American who has origins in the Dominican Republic.Immigration records of Dominicans in the United States date from the late 19th century, and New York City has had a Dominican community since the 1930s...

     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
    Fidel Castro
    Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

     political refugees.

    In 1763, after the signing of the Treaty of Fontainebleau
    Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762)
    The Treaty of Fontainebleau was a secret agreement in which France ceded Louisiana to Spain. The treaty followed the last battle in the French and Indian War, the Battle of Signal Hill in September 1762, which confirmed British control of Canada. However, the associated Seven Years War continued...

     at the end of the Seven Years War, Louisiana was ruled by the Spanish empire for the next 36 years
    Louisiana (New Spain)
    Louisiana was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1764 to 1803 that represented territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans...

    . During this time some Spanish peoples, especially Canary Islanders settled in the area down river from New Orleans, now St. Bernard Parish, and in other parts of the Southeast of the state. These would form the basis of Louisiana's Isleño population.

    Asian Americans


    In 2006, it was estimated that 50,209 people of Asian descent
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

     (East Asian, South Asian and other Asian) live in Louisiana.

    The earliest Asians to settle in the region were Filipinos
    Filipino American
    Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

    , who were originally sailors on the Spanish galleon route from the Philippines to Mexico
    Manila Galleon
    The Manila galleons or Manila-Acapulco galleons were Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines, and Acapulco, New Spain . The name changed reflecting the city that the ship was sailing from...

    . The "Manilamen" may have arrived in Southeast Louisiana as early as the mid-1760s, perhaps the earliest Asians to settle in North America, when Louisiana came under Spanish colonial rule
    Louisiana (New Spain)
    Louisiana was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1764 to 1803 that represented territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans...

    . The Filipinos were attracted to the bayous of Louisiana because of its resemblance to the mangrove swamps
    Mangrove
    Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

     of Manila Bay
    Manila Bay
    Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila , in the Philippines.The bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world...

    . They became shrimpers and fishermen, and they developed a community at St. Malo
    Saint Malo, Louisiana
    Saint Malo was a small fishing village that existed in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana on the shore of Lake Borgne from the mid 18th century into the early 20th century, when it was destroyed by the New Orleans Hurricane of 1915. It was the first settlement of Filipinos in the United...

     in modern St. Bernard Parish
    St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
    St. Bernard Parish is a parish located southeast of New Orleans in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Chalmette, the largest city in the parish. As of 2000, its population was 67,229. It has been ranked the fastest-growing county in the United States from 2007 to 2008 by the U.S....

    . The Filipinos continued arriving in Louisiana until the Mexican Revolution in 1815 ended the galleon trade route. Most of the Manillamen intermarried into the neighboring Isleño population and disappeared from history. Modern Filipinos began settling in Louisiana during the Twentieth Century, after the annexation of the Philippines by the United States.

    The first significant wave of Chinese
    Chinese American
    Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

     migration took place during Reconstruction after the American Civil War. Local planters
    Plantations in the American South
    Plantations were an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum .-Planter :The owner of a plantation was called a planter...

     imported Cantonese contract workers
    Coolie
    Historically, a coolie was a manual labourer or slave from Asia, particularly China, India, and the Phillipines during the 19th century and early 20th century...

     from Cuba and California as a low-cost substitute for slave labor. By 1870, the Chinese had begun migrating from the plantations to the cities, especially New Orleans
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

    , forming a Chinatown that existed from the 1880s until its removal by WPA development
    Works Progress Administration
    The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

     in 1937. The Chinese dominated the city's laundry industry during this period, as they had in other American cities. But by the 1940s, the younger generation of American-born Chinese
    American-born Chinese
    An American-born Chinese or "ABC" is a stereotype that describes a person born in the United States of Chinese ethnic descent, a category of Chinese American. Many are second-generation born after the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 were free from limits on immigration from East Asia...

     were already entering college and abandoning the laundry industry.

    Subsequent waves of immigration have brought many Chinese from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, as well as Indians
    Indian American
    Indian Americans are Americans whose ancestral roots lie in India. The U.S. Census Bureau popularized the term Asian Indian to avoid confusion with Indigenous peoples of the Americas who are commonly referred to as American Indians.-The term: Indian:...

    , Middle Easterners, Koreans
    Korean American
    Korean Americans are Americans of Korean descent, mostly from South Korea, with a small minority from North Korea...

    , Japanese
    Japanese American
    are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

    , Southeast Asians, and other Asians
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    , to New Orleans, Baton Rouge
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

    , and other cities in the state. The Vietnamese
    Vietnamese American
    A Vietnamese American is an American of Vietnamese descent. They make up about half of all overseas Vietnamese and are the fourth-largest Asian American group....

     began migrating to the southern part of the state and the Gulf Coast region after the Fall of Saigon
    Fall of Saigon
    The Fall of Saigon was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front on April 30, 1975...

     in 1975. Since then, the Vietnamese have become one of the largest Asian populations in the state. The Vietnamese have also come to dominate the fishing and shrimping industry in Southeast Louisiana.

    Despite their relatively small population, several Asians have held high office in this state. Harry Lee, a Chinese American, was a federal judge, candidate for governor, and sheriff of Jefferson Parish
    Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
    Jefferson Parish is a parish in Louisiana, United States that includes most of the suburbs of New Orleans. The seat of parish government is Gretna....

    , an office he held for 27 years, from 1979 until his death in 2007. The first Vietnamese American to be elected to Congress
    United States Congress
    The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

     was Joseph Cao
    Joseph Cao
    Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2009 until 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party. In April 2011, he announced he will be a candidate for Attorney General of Louisiana in 2011, however in September 2011 he pulled out of the race.He was the first...

     of New Orleans, in 2008. In 2007, former congressman Bobby Jindal
    Bobby Jindal
    Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is the 55th and current Governor of Louisiana and formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives. He is a member of the Republican Party....

     of Baton Rouge was elected governor of Louisiana, the first Indian American to be elected governor of any state.

    Economy



    The total gross state product
    Gross state product
    Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state or province...

     in 2010 for Louisiana was US$213.6 billion, placing it 24th in the nation. Its per capita personal income is $30,952, ranking 41st in the United States.

    The state's principal agricultural products include seafood (it is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world, supplying approximately 90%), cotton
    Cotton
    Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

    , soybean
    Soybean
    The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

    s, cattle
    Cattle
    Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

    , sugarcane
    Sugarcane
    Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

    , poultry
    Poultry
    Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

     and eggs, dairy
    Dairy
    A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...

     products, and rice
    Rice
    Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

    . The seafood industry directly supports an estimated 16,000 jobs. Industry generates chemical products, petroleum
    Petroleum
    Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

     and coal
    Coal
    Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

     products, processed foods and transportation equipment, and paper
    Paper
    Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

     products. Tourism is an important element in the economy, especially in the New Orleans area.

    The Port of South Louisiana
    Port of South Louisiana
    The Port of South Louisiana is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 9th largest in the world. It is the largest bulk cargo port in the world....

    , located on the Mississippi
    Mississippi River
    The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

     between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is the largest volume shipping port
    Port
    A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

     in the Western Hemisphere
    Western Hemisphere
    The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

     and 4th largest in the world, as well as the largest bulk cargo
    Bulk cargo
    Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. This cargo is usually dropped or poured, with a spout or shovel bucket, as a liquid or as a mass of relatively small solids , into a bulk carrier ship's hold, railroad car, or tanker truck/trailer/semi-trailer body...

     port in the world.

    New Orleans and Shreveport
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Shreveport is the third largest city in Louisiana. It is the principal city of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana and is the 109th-largest city in the United States....

     are also home to a thriving film industry. State financial incentives and aggressive promotion have put the local film industry on a fast track. In late 2007 and early 2008, a 300000 square feet (27,870.9 m²) film studio was scheduled to open in Treme
    Treme
    Tremé is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are Esplanade Avenue to the north, North Rampart Street to the east, St. Louis Street to the south and North Broad Street to the west...

    , with state-of-the-art production facilities, and a film training institute.
    Tabasco sauce
    Tabasco sauce
    Tabasco sauce is the brand name for a hot sauce produced by US-based McIlhenny Company of Avery Island, Louisiana. Tabasco sauce is made from tabasco peppers , vinegar, and salt, and aged in white oak barrels for three years. It has a hot, spicy flavor...

    , which is marketed by one of the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    ' biggest producers of hot sauce, the McIlhenny Company, originated on Avery Island.

    Louisiana has three personal income tax
    Income tax
    An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

     brackets, ranging from 2% to 6%. The sales tax
    Sales tax
    A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

     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
    Use tax
    A use tax is a type of excise tax levied in the United States. It is assessed upon otherwise "tax free" tangible personal property purchased by a resident of the assessing state for use, storage or consumption of goods in that state , regardless of where the purchase took place...

    , which includes 4% to be distributed by the Department of Revenue to local governments. Property taxes are assessed and collected at the local level. Louisiana is a subsidized state, receiving $1.44 from the federal government for every dollar paid in.

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

    As of January 2010, the state's unemployment rate was 7.4%. An African American is three times as likely as a white person to be unemployed in Louisiana.

    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
    Petroleum
    Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

     and natural gas
    Natural gas
    Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

    . 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
    Outer Continental Shelf
    The Outer Continental Shelf is a peculiarity of the political geography of the United States and is the part of the internationally recognized continental shelf of the United States which does not fall under the jurisdictions of the individual U.S...

     (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico
    Gulf of Mexico
    The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

    . According to the Energy Information Administration
    Energy Information Administration
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and...

    , 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. One third of the oil produced in the United States comes from offshore
    Offshore oil and gas in the United States
    Offshore oil and gas in the United States provides a large portion of the nation’s oil and gas supply. Large oil and gas reservoirs are found in the sea nearby Louisiana, Texas, California, and Alaska...

    , and 80% of offshore production
    Offshore drilling
    Offshore drilling refers to a mechanical process where a wellbore is drilled through the seabed. It is typically carried out in order to explore for and subsequently produce hydrocarbons which lie in rock formations beneath the seabed...

     comes from deep water off Louisiana. The oil industry employs about 58,000 Louisiana residents and has created another 260,000 oil-related jobs, accounting for about 17% of all Louisiana jobs.

    Louisiana's natural gas reserves account for about 5 percent of the U.S. total. The recent discovery of the Haynesville Shale
    Haynesville Shale
    The Haynesville Shale is an informal, popular name for a rock formation that underlies large parts of southwestern Arkansas, northwest Louisiana, and East Texas. It lies depths of 10,500 to 13,000 feet below the land’s surface. It is part of a large rock formation, which is known by geologists as...

     formation in parts of or all of Caddo, Bossier, Bienville, Sabine, De Soto, Red River, Sabine, and Natchitoches parishes have made it the world's fourth largest gas field with some wells initially producing over 25 million cubic feet of gas daily.
    Louisiana was the first site of petroleum drilling
    Oil well
    An oil well is a general term for any boring through the earth's surface that is designed to find and acquire petroleum oil hydrocarbons. Usually some natural gas is produced along with the oil. A well that is designed to produce mainly or only gas may be termed a gas well.-History:The earliest...

     over water in the world, on Caddo Lake
    Caddo Lake
    Caddo Lake is a lake and wetland located on the border between Texas and Louisiana, in northern Harrison County and southern Marion County in Texas and western Caddo Parish in Louisiana. The lake is named after the Southeastern culture of Native Americans called Caddoans or Caddo, who lived in...

     in the northwest corner of the state. The petroleum and gas industry, as well as its subsidiary industries such as transport and refining
    Oil refinery
    An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas...

    , have dominated Louisiana's economy since the 1940s. Beginning in 1950, Louisiana was sued several times by the U.S. Interior Department
    United States Department of the Interior
    The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native...

    , in efforts by the federal government
    Federal government of the United States
    The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

     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
    1973 oil crisis
    The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

     in the 1970s, so did Louisiana's economy. 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' headquarters have consolidated in Houston, but many of the jobs that operate or provide logistical support to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude-oil-and-gas industry remained in Louisiana .

    Law and government




    In 1849, the state moved the capital from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Donaldsonville
    Donaldsonville, Louisiana
    Donaldsonville is a city in and the parish seat of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States, along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The population was 7,605 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:Acadians began to settle in the area in...

    , Opelousas
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Opelousas is a city in and the parish seat of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies at the junction of Interstate 49 and U.S. Route 190. The population was 22,860 at the 2000 census. Although the 2006 population estimate was 23,222, a 2004 annexation should put the city's...

    , and Shreveport
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Shreveport is the third largest city in Louisiana. It is the principal city of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana and is the 109th-largest city in the United States....

     have briefly served as the seat of Louisiana state government. The Louisiana State Capitol
    Louisiana State Capitol
    The Louisiana State Capitol building is the capitol building of the state of Louisiana, located in Baton Rouge. The capitol houses the Louisiana State Legislature, the governor's office, and parts of the executive branch...

     and the Louisiana Governor's Mansion
    Louisiana Governor's Mansion
    The Louisiana Governor's Mansion is the official residence of the Governor of Louisiana and his or her family. The Governor’s Mansion was built in 1963 when Jimmie Davis was Governor of Louisiana. The Mansion overlooks Capital Lake near the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge...

     are both located in Baton Rouge.

    The current Louisiana governor is Bobby Jindal
    Bobby Jindal
    Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is the 55th and current Governor of Louisiana and formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives. He is a member of the Republican Party....

    , the first Indian American
    Indian American
    Indian Americans are Americans whose ancestral roots lie in India. The U.S. Census Bureau popularized the term Asian Indian to avoid confusion with Indigenous peoples of the Americas who are commonly referred to as American Indians.-The term: Indian:...

     to be elected governor. The current U.S. senators
    United States Senate
    The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

     are Mary Landrieu
    Mary Landrieu
    Mary Loretta Landrieu is the senior United States Senator from the State of Louisiana and a member of the Democratic Party.Born in Arlington, Virginia, Landrieu was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana...

     (Democrat) and David Vitter
    David Vitter
    David Vitter is the junior United States Senator from Louisiana and a member of the Republican Party. Previously, he served in the United States House of Representatives, representing the suburban Louisiana's 1st congressional district. He served as a member of the Louisiana House of...

     (Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

    ). Louisiana has seven congressional district
    Congressional district
    A congressional district is “a geographical division of a state from which one member of the House of Representatives is elected.”Congressional Districts are made up of three main components, a representative, constituents, and the specific land area that both the representative and the...

    s and is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives
    United States House of Representatives
    The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

     by six Republicans and one Democrat. Louisiana has nine votes in the Electoral College
    United States Electoral College
    The Electoral College consists of the electors appointed by each state who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each presidential election...

    .

    Civil law


    The Louisiana political and legal structure has maintained several elements from the times of French and Spanish governance. One is the use of the term "parish" (from the French: paroisse) in place of "county
    County (United States)
    In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

    " for administrative subdivision. Another is the legal system of civil law
    Civil law (legal system)
    Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

     based on French, German and Spanish legal code
    Legal code
    A legal code is a body of law written by a governmental body, such as a U.S. state, a Canadian Province or German Bundesland or a municipality...

    s and ultimately Roman law
    Roman law
    Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

    —as opposed to English common law
    Common law
    Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

    . Common law is "judge-made" law based on precedent
    Precedent
    In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a legal case that a court or other judicial body may apply when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts...

    , 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
    British Empire
    The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

    . However, it is incorrect to equate the Louisiana Civil Code with the Napoleonic Code
    Napoleonic code
    The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon — is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified...

    . 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
    Louisiana Purchase
    The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

     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, 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
    Uniform Commercial Code
    The Uniform Commercial Code , first published in 1952, is one of a number of uniform acts that have been promulgated in conjunction with efforts to harmonize the law of sales and other commercial transactions in all 50 states within the United States of America.The goal of harmonizing state law is...

    , 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
    Covenant marriage
    In some parts of the United States, a covenant marriage is a legally distinct kind of marriage, in which the marrying couple agree to obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more limited grounds for divorce...

    . In a covenant marriage, the couple waives their right to a "no-fault" divorce after six months of separation, which is available in a traditional marriage. To divorce under a covenant marriage, a couple must demonstrate cause. Marriages between ascendants and descendants and marriages between collaterals within the fourth degree (i.e., siblings, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, first cousins) are prohibited. Same-sex marriages are prohibited. Louisiana is a community property
    Community property
    Community property is a marital property regime that originated in civil law jurisdictions and is now also found in some common law jurisdictions...

     state.

    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
    Great Migration (African American)
    The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

     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
    David Vitter
    David Vitter is the junior United States Senator from Louisiana and a member of the Republican Party. Previously, he served in the United States House of Representatives, representing the suburban Louisiana's 1st congressional district. He served as a member of the Louisiana House of...

     is the first Republican in Louisiana to be popularly elected as a U.S. Senator. The previous Republican Senator, John S. Harris
    John S. Harris
    John Spafford Harris was an American politician for the state of Louisiana and member of the Republican Party. Born in Truxton, New York, Harris was a delegate to the Louisiana state constitutional convention in 1868. He was a member of Louisiana State Senate in 1868 and the first Republican U.S....

    , who took office in 1868, was chosen by the state legislature.

    Louisiana is unique among U.S. states in using a system for its state and local elections similar to that of modern France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan 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
    Washington Initiative 872 (2004)
    Initiative 872 was an Initiative to the People in 2004 that replaced the "Montana Primary" being used in Washington State with a Top-two primary...

    ) use single-party primaries followed by a general election between party candidates, each conducted by either a plurality voting system
    Plurality voting system
    The plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies...

     or runoff voting
    Two-round system
    The two-round system is a voting system used to elect a single winner where the voter casts a single vote for their chosen candidate...

    , to elect Senators, Representatives, and statewide officials. Between 2008 and 2010, federal congressional
    United States Congress
    The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

     elections were run under a closed primary system — limited to registered party members. However, upon the passage of House Bill 292, Louisiana once again adopted a nonpartisan blanket primary for its federal congressional elections.

    Louisiana has seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, six of which are currently held by Republicans and one by a Democrat. The state will lose a House seat at the end of the 112th Congress due to stagnant population growth enumerated by the 2010 United States Census. Louisiana is not classified as a "swing state
    Swing state
    In United States presidential politics, a swing state is a state in which no single candidate or party has overwhelming support in securing that state's electoral college votes...

    " for future presidential elections, as it regularly supports Republican candidates.

    Law enforcement


    Louisiana's statewide police force is the Louisiana State Police
    Louisiana State Police
    The Louisiana State Police is the state police department of Louisiana, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state, headquartered in Baton Rouge. It was created to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of people in Louisiana. It falls under the authority of the Louisiana...

    . It began in 1922 from the creation of the Highway Commission. In 1927 a second branch, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, was formed. In 1932 the State Highway Patrol was authorized to carry weapons.

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

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

    The sheriffs are responsible for general law enforcement in their respective parishes. Orleans Parish is an exception, as there the general law enforcement duties fall to the New Orleans Police Department. Prior to 2010, Orleans parish was the only parish to have two (2) Sheriff's Offices. Orleans Parish divided Sheriff's duties between criminal and civil, with a different elected sheriff overseeing each aspect. In 2006 a bill was passed which eventually consolidated the two sheriffs' departments into one parish Sheriff responsible for both civil and criminal matters.

    Most parishes are governed by a Police Jury
    Police Jury
    In the U.S. state of Louisiana, the typical governing body of the parish is called the Police Jury. Not every parish is governed by a Police Jury, but 41 of the 64 parishes use this system....

    . Eighteen of the 64 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 2010 (11.2 murders per 100,000) which marked the 22nd consecutive year (1989–2010) that Louisiana has posted the highest per-capita murder rate of any U.S. state. Louisiana is also the only state with an average per capita murder rate (14.5 per 100,000) at least twice as high as the U.S. average (6.9 per 100,000) during that period according to Bureau of Justice Statistics from FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

    National Guard


    Louisiana has over 9,000 Soldiers in the Louisiana Army National Guard
    Louisiana Army National Guard
    The Louisiana Army National Guard is a component of the United States Army and the United States National Guard. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. In fact, the National Guard is the only United States military force...

     including both the 225th Engineer Brigade and the 256th Infantry Brigade. Both these units have seen overseas service in either Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

    , Afghanistan
    Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

    , or both. The Louisiana Air National Guard
    Louisiana Air National Guard
    The Louisiana Air National Guard is the air force militia of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is, along with the Louisiana Army National Guard, an element of the Louisiana National Guard...

     has over 2,000 airmen and its 159th Fighter Squadron has likewise seen overseas service in combat theaters. Training sites include Camp Beauregard
    Camp Beauregard
    For the American Civil War site, see Camp Beauregard Memorial in Water Valley.Camp Beauregard is a U.S. Army installation located northeast of Pineville, Louisiana, primarily in Rapides Parish, but also extending northward into Grant Parish. It is currently operated by the Louisiana National Guard...

     near Pineville, LA, Camp Villerie near Slidell, LA, Camp Minden near Minden, LA, England Air Park (formerly England Air Force Base
    England Air Force Base
    England Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base in Louisiana, located Northwest of Alexandria and about Northwest of New Orleans....

    ) near Alexandria, LA, Gillis Long Center near Carville, LA, and Jackson Barracks
    Jackson Barracks
    Jackson Barracks is a military base in New Orleans, Louisiana. The base was established in 1834 and known as New Orleans Barracks prior to 7 July 1866 when it was renamed in honor of Andrew Jackson who first advocated a US military base here....

     in New Orleans, LA.

    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
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

    's New Orleans Hornets and the National Football League
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

    's Super Bowl XLIV
    Super Bowl XLIV
    Super Bowl XLIV was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference champion New Orleans Saints to decide the National Football League champion for the 2009 season. The Saints defeated the Colts by a score of...

     Champions New Orleans Saints
    New Orleans Saints
    The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are members of the South Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League ....

    . Louisiana has a AAA Minor League baseball team, the New Orleans Zephyrs
    New Orleans Zephyrs
    The New Orleans Zephyrs are a minor league baseball team based in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The Zephyrs play in the Pacific Coast League and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. The Zephyrs play their home games at Zephyr Field....

    . The Zephyrs are currently affiliated with the Florida Marlins
    Florida Marlins
    The Miami Marlins are a professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. Established in 1993 as an expansion franchise called the Florida Marlins, the Marlins are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Marlins played their home games at...

    . Northwest Louisiana Was home to the now defunct Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
    Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
    The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs were a professional ice hockey team which played in the Bossier City-Shreveport metropolitan area of Louisiana. From 1997 to 2001 the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs were members of the Western Professional Hockey League, until the a 2001 merger between the WPHL with the...

     of the CHL Central Hockey League
    Central Hockey League
    The Central Hockey League is a mid-level professional hockey league, owned by Global Entertainment Corporation. Its current champions are the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, which defeated the Colorado Eagles four games to three in the 2011 playoffs....

    The Mudbugs won the 2011 Presidents Cup as CHL Champions.They were also members of the now defunct WPHL Western Professional Hockey League
    Western Professional Hockey League
    The Western Professional Hockey League is a defunct minor professional ice hockey league.It operated in the United States from 1996 to 2001, with teams in the southern United States, mainly Texas. The league started with six teams in the 1996-1997 season and grew to 18 teams in 1999-2000...

     where the Mudbugs won three consecutive league championships. Shreveport is the home of the Shreveport-Bossier Captains of the American Association (Independent Pro Baseball League).

    At one time, Louisiana was home to an NBA basketball team called the New Orleans Jazz. The team relocated to Utah and is now called the Utah Jazz.

    Louisiana was also home of 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 IceGators
    Louisiana IceGators
    The original Louisiana IceGators were an ECHL team based in Lafayette, Louisiana from 1995 until the end of the 2005 season. The team played its home games at the Cajundome and were last an affiliate of the NHL Minnesota Wild and the AHL Houston Aeros....

     of the ECHL East Coast Hockey League The IceGators are now a member of the SPHL Southern Professional Hockey League
    Southern Professional Hockey League
    The Southern Professional Hockey League is a low-level professional ice hockey league based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with teams located in the southeastern United States.- History :...



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

    Louisiana also has a proportionally high number of collegiate NCAA Division I sports for its size; the state has no Division II teams and only one Division III team. Baton Rouge is also home to the six-time College World Series Champions and the NCAA AP (1958) and three-time National Champions, the 1957, 2003 (BCS), and 2007 (BCS) Tigers of Louisiana State University
    Louisiana State University
    Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, most often referred to as Louisiana State University, or LSU, is a public coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The University was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name...

    .

    It should also be noted, that according to usafootball.com the State of Louisiana in 2010 produced the most NFL players per capita wise. This is the 2nd year in a row that the state holds that distinction.

    Culture


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

    Creole
    Creole peoples
    The term Creole and its cognates in other languages — such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kreol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. — have been applied to people in different countries and epochs, with rather different meanings...

     culture is a cultural amalgamation that takes a little from each of the French, Spanish, African, and Native American cultures. The Creole culture is part of White Creoles' and Black Creoles' culture. Originally Créoles referred to native-born whites of French-Spanish descent. Later the term also referred to descendants of the white men's relationships with black women, many of whom were educated free people of color. Many of the wealthy white men had quasi-permanent relationships with women of color outside their marriages, and supported them as "placées". If a woman was enslaved at the beginning of the relationship, the man usually arranged for her manumission
    Manumission
    Manumission is the act of a slave owner freeing his or her slaves. In the United States before the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished most slavery, this often happened upon the death of the owner, under conditions in his will.-Motivations:The...

    , 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.

    Cajun Culture. The ancestors of Cajun
    Cajun
    Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

    s came from west central France to the provinces of New Brunswick
    New Brunswick
    New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

     and Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , known as Acadia
    Acadia
    Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

    . When the British won the French and Indian War
    French and Indian War
    The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that 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
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...

     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
    Isleños
    Isleño is the Spanish word meaning "islander." The Isleños are the descendants of Canary Island immigrants to Louisiana, Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and other parts of the Americas....

    , who are descendants of Spanish Canary Islanders
    Canary Islands
    The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

     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
    St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
    St. Bernard Parish is a parish located southeast of New Orleans in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Chalmette, the largest city in the parish. As of 2000, its population was 67,229. It has been ranked the fastest-growing county in the United States from 2007 to 2008 by the U.S....

    , 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, 90.8% of Louisiana residents speak only English
    English language
    English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

     (99% total speak English) and 4.7% speak French
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     at home (7% total speak French). Other minority languages are Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    , which is spoken by 2.5% of the population; Vietnamese
    Vietnamese language
    Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

    , by 0.6%; and German
    German language
    German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

    , by 0.2%. Although state law recognizes the usage of English and French in certain circumstances, the Louisiana State Constitution does not declare any "de jure official language or languages". Currently the "de facto administrative languages" of the Louisiana State Government are English and French.

    There are several unique dialects of French, Creole, and English spoken in Louisiana. There are two unique dialects of the French language
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

    : Cajun French
    Cajun French
    Cajun French is a variety or dialects of the French language spoken primarily in Louisiana, specifically in the southern and southwestern parishes....

     (predominant after the Great Upheaval of Acadians from Canada) and Colonial French
    Colonial French
    Colonial French or Colonial Louisiana French is one of the three dialects into which Louisiana French is typically divided . Formerly spoken widely in what is now the U.S...

    . For the Creole language, there is Louisiana Creole French
    Louisiana Creole French
    Louisiana Creole is a French Creole language spoken by the Louisiana Creole people of the state of Louisiana. The language consists of elements of French, Spanish, African, and Native American roots.-Geography:...

    . There are also two unique dialects of the English language
    English language
    English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

    : Cajun English
    Cajun English
    Cajun English is the dialect of English spoken by Cajuns living in southern Louisiana and, to some extent, in eastern Texas. Cajun English is significantly influenced by Cajun French, the historical language of the Cajun people, a direct descendant of Acadian French, which differs somewhat from...

    , a French-influenced variety of English, and what is informally known as Yat
    Yat (New Orleans)
    Yat is a dialect of English spoken in the Greater New Orleans Area. The term refers to those people who speak with the Yat accent and dialect of New Orleanians throughout the city...

    , which resembles the New York City dialect, particularly that of historical Brooklyn
    Brooklyn
    Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

    , as both accents were influenced by large communities of immigrant Irish
    Irish people
    The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

     and Italian, but the Yat dialect was also influenced by French and Spanish.

    Colonial French
    Colonial French
    Colonial French or Colonial Louisiana French is one of the three dialects into which Louisiana French is typically divided . Formerly spoken widely in what is now the U.S...

     was the predominant language of Louisiana
    Louisiana (New France)
    Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

     during the French colonial period and was spoken primarily by the white settlers; the black/creole
    Louisiana Creole people
    Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. The term was first used during colonial times by the settlers to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to those born in the Old World...

     population spoke mostly creole
    Louisiana Creole French
    Louisiana Creole is a French Creole language spoken by the Louisiana Creole people of the state of Louisiana. The language consists of elements of French, Spanish, African, and Native American roots.-Geography:...

    . Cajun French
    Cajun French
    Cajun French is a variety or dialects of the French language spoken primarily in Louisiana, specifically in the southern and southwestern parishes....

     was only introduced in Louisiana after the Great Upheaval of Acadians from Canada during 1710-1763. The Cajun people and culture
    Cajun
    Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

     (hence the Cajun language as well) did not appear immediately but was rather a slow evolution from the original Acadian
    Acadian
    The Acadians are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia . Acadia was a colony of New France...

     culture with influences from local cultures. English and its associated dialects became predominant only after the Louisiana Purchase
    Louisiana Purchase
    The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

     and even then it still retained some French influences as seen with Cajun English
    Cajun English
    Cajun English is the dialect of English spoken by Cajuns living in southern Louisiana and, to some extent, in eastern Texas. Cajun English is significantly influenced by Cajun French, the historical language of the Cajun people, a direct descendant of Acadian French, which differs somewhat from...

    . Cajun French
    Cajun French
    Cajun French is a variety or dialects of the French language spoken primarily in Louisiana, specifically in the southern and southwestern parishes....

     and Colonial French
    Colonial French
    Colonial French or Colonial Louisiana French is one of the three dialects into which Louisiana French is typically divided . Formerly spoken widely in what is now the U.S...

     have somewhat merged since English took over.

    Religion


    The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church
    Roman Catholic Church
    The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

     with 1,382,603; Southern Baptist Convention
    Southern Baptist Convention
    The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

     with 868,587; and the United Methodist Church
    United Methodist Church
    The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

     with 160,153.

    Like other Southern states, the population of Louisiana is made up of numerous Protestant denominations, comprising 60% of the state's adult population. Protestants are concentrated in the northern and central parts of the state and in the northern tier of the Florida Parishes
    Florida Parishes
    The Florida Parishes , also known as the North Shore region, are eight parishes in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Louisiana, which were part of West Florida in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Unlike much of Louisiana, this region was not part of the Louisiana Purchase, as it had been...

    . Because of French and Spanish heritage, whose descendants are Cajun and French Creole, and later Irish, Italian, Portuguese and German immigrants, there is also a large Roman Catholic population, particularly in the southern part of the state.

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

    Current religious affiliations of the people of Louisiana:
    • Christian
      Christianity
      Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

      : 90%
      • Protestant
        Protestantism
        Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

        : 60%
        • Evangelical Protestant 31%
        • Historically black Protestant: 20%
        • Mainline Protestant 9%
      • Roman Catholic
        Roman Catholicism in the United States
        The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

        : 28%
      • Other Christian: 2%
        • Jehovah's Witnesses
          Jehovah's Witnesses
          Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

          : 1%
    • Other Religions: 2%
      • Islam
        Islam
        Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

        : 1%
      • Buddhism
        Buddhism
        Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

        : 1%
      • Judaism
        Judaism
        Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

        : less than 0.5%
    • Non-religious (unaffiliated): 8%


    Jewish American
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

     communities exist in the state's larger cities, notably Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The most significant of these is the Jewish community of the New Orleans area, with a pre-Katrina population of about 12,000. The presence of a significant Jewish community well established by the early 20th century also made Louisiana unusual among Southern states, although South Carolina and Virginia also had influential populations in some of their major cities from the 18th and 19th centuries. Prominent Jews in Louisiana's political leadership have included Whig (later Democrat) Judah P. Benjamin
    Judah P. Benjamin
    Judah Philip Benjamin was an American politician and lawyer. Born a British subject in the West Indies, he moved to the United States with his parents and became a citizen. He later became a citizen of the Confederate States of America. After the collapse of the Confederacy, Benjamin moved to...

     (1811–1884), who represented Louisiana in the U.S. Senate prior to the American Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

     and then became the Confederate
    Confederate States of America
    The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

     Secretary of State; Democrat Adolph Meyer
    Adolph Meyer
    Adolph Meyer was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing the state of Louisiana. He served nine terms as a Democrat from 1891 until his death in office in 1908.-Biography:...

     (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
    Jay Dardenne
    John Leigh "Jay" Dardenne, Jr. , has been Louisiana's Republican lieutenant governor since November 22, 2010. He won a special election to the position held in conjunction with the regular November 2 general election. At the time, Dardenne was Louisiana secretary of state...

     (1954–).

    See also


    • Gulf of Mexico
      Gulf of Mexico
      The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

    • List of National Register of Historic Places in Louisiana
    • List of people from Louisiana

    • Mississippi River
      Mississippi River
      The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

    • U.S. state
      U.S. state
      A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...



    External links




    Geology links


    Government


    U.S. government

    • Energy Profile for Louisiana
    • USDA Louisiana Statistical Facts
    • USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Louisiana: Steve Scalise
      Steve Scalise
      Stephen Joseph "Steve" Scalise is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party...

       – Website: Cedric Richmond
      Cedric Richmond
      Cedric Levon Richmond is the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district, which includes most of New Orleans. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life and education:...

       – Website & Campaign Website: Jeff Landry
      Jeff Landry
      Jeffrey Martin "Jeff" Landry is the U.S. Representative for . He is a member of the Republican Party and the Tea Party Caucus.-Early life, education, and military service:...

       – Website: John C. Fleming
      John C. Fleming
      John Calvin Fleming, Jr. is a Minden, Louisiana physician, the author of the book Preventing Addiction, and the Republican U.S. representative from Louisiana's 4th congressional district...

       –: Rodney Alexander
      Rodney Alexander
      Rodney McKinnie Alexander is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district covers twenty-two parishes in roughly the northeast quadrant of the state...

       – Website: Bill Cassidy
      Bill Cassidy
      William "Bill" Cassidy is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life, education and career:...

      : Charles Boustany
      Charles Boustany
      Charles William Boustany, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life, education, and medical career:...

       – Website

    News media


    Ecoregions


    Soil surveys


    Tourism