Encyclopedia > Louisiana

  Article Content


(In Detail[?]) (Full size)
State nickname: Pelican State

(In Detail)
Capital Baton Rouge
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 31st
134,382 km2
112,927 km2
21,455 km2
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 22nd
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

April 30, 1812
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
29°N to 33°N
89°W to 94°W
210 km
610 km
163 meters
30 meters
-2.5 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-LA
Louisiana is a southern state of the United States of America. It uses the U.S. postal abbreviation LA.

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

Table of contents


Louisiana was long inhabited by Native American tribes including the Chocktaw[?], Tchopitoulas[?], and (list?) others. The first European explorers to visit what is now Louisiana was a Spanish expedition in 1528 led by Panfilo de Navaez which located the mouth of the Mississippi River. Some 13 years later Hernando de Soto's expedition crossed through the region. Thereafter the region was long neglected by the Spanish authorities, and the next explorers were French. Louisiana was named by the French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle in honour of Louis XIV in 1682. The first permanent settlement was founded by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville in 1699.

The French colony of Louisiana originally claimed a great region of land on both sides of the Mississippi River and north to Canada. Most of the settlement concentrated along the banks of the Mississippi and its major tributaries, with little European settlement north of present-day Saint Louis, Missouri other than fur-trappers and small trading posts. See also: French colonization of the Americas

Initially Biloxi, Mississippi functioned as the capital city of the colony; from 1722 on New Orleans fulfilled that role.

Most of the territory to the east of the Mississippi was lost to Great Britain in the French and Indian War, except for the area around New Orleans and the parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. The rest of Louisiana became a colony of Spain by the Treaty of Fountainebleau[?] of 1762.

In 1800 France's Napoleon Bonaparte re-acquired Louisiana from Spain in the Treaty of San Ildefonse[?], although this was kept secret for some two years.

In 1803 the United States of America purchased the Louisiana territory[?] from the French Republic.

See: Louisiana Purchase

The southern portion of the Louisiana Territory was granted statehood within the USA in 1812.

There are still remnants of its former status as a possession of France, including: the use of a civil law legal system, the Napoleonic Code (like France, and unlike the rest of the United States, which uses a common law legal system derived from England), the term "parishes" being used to describe the state's sub-divisions as opposed to "counties", French as an official language (the only state that has French as an official language), etc.

In 1849 the capital moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Donaldsonville, Opelousas, and Shreveport have also briefly served as the seat of governments of Louisiana.

In the American Civil War Louisiana seceded from the Union on January 26, 1861. New Orleans was captured by Federal troops on April 25, 1862. As some portion of the population had Union sympathies, unusually the portions of Lousiana under Federal control were recognized as a state within the Union and elected representatives who were sent to the congress in Washington, D.C. through the rest of the war.

Law and Government

The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge and its governor is Murphy J. "Mike" Foster[?] (Republican). Its two U.S. senators are John B. Breaux[?] and Mary Landrieu, (both Democrats). See:List of Louisiana Governors Geography See List of Louisiana parishes

The Mississippi River empties out of the southern portion of the state into the Gulf of Mexico.


The total gross state product in 1999 for Louisiana was $129 billion, placing it 24th in the nation. Its Per Capita Personal Income was $23,334, 45th in the nation. The state's principal agricultural outputs include seafood, cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and eggs ,dairy products, and rice. Its industrial outputs include chemical products, petroleum and coal products, food processing, transportation equipment, paper products, and tourism.


As of 2000, the state's population was 4,468,976.

See also: List of famous people from Louisiana, Music of Louisiana

Important Cities and Towns


Colleges and Universities

Professional Sports Teams

Miscellaneous Information

Two separate historically Francophone communities exist in Louisiana. The ancestors of Creoles generally came to Louisiana directly from France or from the French colonies in the Caribbean and settled in New Orleans or in South Eastern Louisiana.

The ancestors of the Cajuns are the Acadians, a French-descended people of what are now New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. When the British won the French and Indian War, the British forced all of the citizens to take a pledge of allegiance. Most Acadians declined and emigrated from Canada, most of them fleeing to the South Western portion of Louisiana, centered in the region around Lafayette.

There is also a place named Louisiana in the State of Missouri: see Louisiana, Missouri.

USS Louisiana was named in honor of this state.

External Links

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... or Jordanis was a 6th century historian. He was an Ostrogoth and was a notary of Gothic kings in Italy. At the time of Justinian, he was a Christian and possibly ...

This page was created in 28 ms