Louisiana History - the history of Louisiana
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Louisiana   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Louisiana History

   
 

Louisiana History


In pre-Columbian times, the area that is today the state of Louisiana was home to many Native American peoples. These included the Atakapa, Chitmacha, Bayougoula, Houma, Avoyel, Tunica and Caddo.

The first Europeans to visit the region were Spanish explorers in the 16th century. In 1528, Panfilo de Narvaez's expedition visited the mouth of the Mississippi River, and in 1541, Hernando de Soto crossed the region. The French began arriving in the late 17th century and quickly established settlements. Robert Cavelier de La Salle named the region "Louisiana" in honor of the French King, Louis XIV, in 1682. And a settlement, Fort Maurepas, was established in 1699 (at what is now Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi.

The French colony of Louisiana contained land on both sides of the Mississippi River and extended all the way to Canada, including all or part of the following present-day states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

Following the Seven Years' War (generally known in the US as the "French and Indian War"), control of most of the territory east of the Mississippi River, with the exception of the area around New Orleans passed to the British, and the rest of French Louisiana became a colony of Spain. During this period, French-speaking refugees from Acadia (French colonies in Canada and New England) arrived in what is today Southwest Louisiana, their descendants eventually becoming known as the Cajun people.

In 1800, France reacquired Louisiana from Spain in a secret treaty, however three years, in 1803, the territory was sold to the United States, in the Louisiana Purchase.

The United States divided Louisiana into two parts; the Orleans Territory (which was to become the state of Louisiana in 1812), and the District of Louisiana (which was all the rest of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase).

A boundary dispute then arose between the US and Spain over West Florida, with the Spanish insisting that this region had not been sold back to France in 1800. However, in the meantime, British settlers have moved into the area, and rebelled against Spain in 1810 forming the short-lived West Florida Republic, which was later annexed to the United States (eventually becoming Louisiana's Florida Parishes) by Presidential proclamation.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), Louisiana seceded and joined the Confederates States of America. New Orleans was captured by the Union in the Spring of 1862, and because a significant part of the state's population had pro-Union sympathies, those parts of the state which were under federal control were designated as a state within the Union - even going so far as having their own representatives in the Congress.

Following the Civil War, Louisiana went through a difficult period of Reconstruction. For a brief period, the idea of equality for former slaves flourished, but soon segregation, Jim Crow laws, and racial discrimination were imposed. The famous court case, Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the US Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation was legal so long as it did not result in obvious inequality ("separate but equal") was a result of these events in Louisiana. Racial segregation lasted for the best of a century, only being abolished in the 1960s, as a result of the nationwide Civil Rights struggle.

In the first half of 20th century, New Orleans became an important center for jazz music. During the period of the Great Depression, the state's Governor, Huey Long, became famous for his radical populist and redistribution policies.

In 2005, Louisiana (along with other states on the Gulf of Mexico coast) was hit by Hurricane Katrina. In particular, when New Orleans was battered by the hurricane, the city's levees and flood walls were breached, and much of the city, which was largely below sea level, was flooded.


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Louisiana: A History

Wiley-Blackwell
Paperback (552 pages)

Louisiana: A History
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Covering the lively, even raucous, history of Louisiana from before First Contact through the Elections of 2012, this sixth edition of the classic Louisiana history survey provides an engaging and comprehensive narrative of what is arguably America’s most colorful state.

  • Since the appearance of the first edition of this classic text in 1984, Louisiana: A History has remained the best-loved and most highly regarded college-level survey of Louisiana on the market
  • Compiled by some of the foremost experts in the field of Louisiana history who combine their own research with recent historical discoveries
  • Includes complete coverage of the most recent events in political and environmental history, including the continued aftermath of Katrina and the 2010 BP oil spill
  • Considers the interrelationship between Louisiana history and that of the American South and the nation as a whole
  • Written in an engaging and accessible style complemented by more than a hundred photographs and maps

A History of Louisiana (Classic Reprint)

By Grace King

Forgotten Books
Paperback (336 pages)

A History of Louisiana (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from A History of Louisiana

Every effort has been made to secure accuracy of detail; but as some errors may have crept in, the authors will be glad to receive notice of any that meet the eye of the critic.

If a subsequent edition is demanded, the authors expect to enrich their work with further illustrations. Especially do they hope to obtain portraits of all the State governors - a task which it has been found impossible to accomplish in time for this edition.

It may be added that all the artistic and mechanical portion of the work was done in New Orleans - the book is entirely a home product.

The authors desire to thank the librarians of the Fisk, the Howard, and the State Libraries for uniform courtesy and kindness in putting at their disposal the rich historical treasures from which the materials of this work are drawn.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

Teche: A History of Louisiana's Most Famous Bayou (America's Third Coast Series)

By Shane K. Bernard

University Press of Mississippi
Hardcover (272 pages)

Teche: A History of Louisiana s Most Famous Bayou (America s Third Coast Series)
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Shane K. Bernard's Teche examines this legendary waterway of the American Deep South. Bernard delves into the bayou's geologic formation as a vestige of the Mississippi and Red Rivers, its prehistoric Native American occupation, and its colonial settlement by French, Spanish, and, eventually, Anglo-American pioneers. He surveys the coming of indigo, cotton, and sugar; steam-powered sugar mills and riverboats; and the brutal institution of slavery. He also examines the impact of the Civil War on the Teche, depicting the running battles up and down the bayou and the sporadic gunboat duels, when ironclads clashed in the narrow confines of the dark, sluggish river.

Describing the misery of the postbellum era, Bernard reveals how epic floods, yellow fever, racial violence, and widespread poverty disrupted the lives of those who resided under the sprawling, moss-draped live oaks lining the Teche's banks. Further, he chronicles the slow decline of the bayou, as the coming of the railroad, automobiles, and highways reduced its value as a means of travel. Finally, he considers modern efforts to redesign the Teche using dams, locks, levees, and other water-control measures. He examines the recent push to clean and revitalize the bayou after years of desecration by litter, pollutants, and invasive species. Illustrated with historic images and numerous maps, this book will be required reading for anyone seeking the colorful history of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

As a bonus, the second part of the book describes Bernard's own canoe journey down the Teche's 125-mile course. This modern personal account from the field reveals the current state of the bayou and the remarkable people who still live along its banks.

Louisiana:History Of An American State

By Anne Campbell

Brand: 2007
Hardcover (594 pages)

Louisiana:History Of An American State
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An upper elementary or middle school textbook. Contains many color illustrations, as well as maps and charts.

The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

By Ned Sublette

Brand: Chicago Review Press
Paperback (368 pages)

The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
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Named one of the Top 10 Books of 2008 by The Times-Picayune.
 
Winner of the 2009 Humanities Book of the Year award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.
Awarded the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for 2008.
 

New Orleans is the most elusive of American cities. The product of the centuries-long struggle among three mighty empires--France, Spain, and England--and among their respective American colonies and enslaved African peoples, it has always seemed like a foreign port to most Americans, baffled as they are by its complex cultural inheritance.

 

The World That Made New Orleans offers a new perspective on this insufficiently understood city by telling the remarkable story of New Orleans’s first century--a tale of imperial war, religious conflict, the search for treasure, the spread of slavery, the Cuban connection, the cruel aristocracy of sugar, and the very different revolutions that created the United States and Haiti. It demonstrates that New Orleans already had its own distinct personality at the time of Louisiana’s statehood in 1812. By then, important roots of American music were firmly planted in its urban swamp--especially in the dances at Congo Square, where enslaved Africans and African Americans appeared en masse on Sundays to, as an 1819 visitor to the city put it, “rock the city.” 

 

This book is a logical continuation of Ned Sublette’s previous volume, Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, which was highly praised for its synthesis of musical, cultural, and political history. Just as that book has become a standard resource on Cuba, so too will The World That Made New Orleans long remain essential for understanding the beautiful and tragic story of this most American of cities.

The History of Louisiana: Or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing a Description of the Countries That Lie On Both Sides of the ... Inhabitants, Soil, Climate, and Products

By Le Page Du Pratz

Andesite Press
Hardcover (436 pages)

The History of Louisiana: Or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing a Description of the Countries That Lie On Both Sides of the ... Inhabitants, Soil, Climate, and Products
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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

Louisiana: A History

By Light Townsend Cummins & Edward F. Haas

Brand: Wiley-Blackwell
Paperback (513 pages)

Louisiana: A History
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From its ancient Indian peoples to its troubled beginning as a French colony to the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana has a history that, whatever else one might say about the state, has never been dull. This fifth edition of our classic survey history of Louisiana reflects a re-examination on the part of its esteemed team of authors of recent historical findings as well as of their own research, ensuring that Louisiana: A History will continue to present the most comprehensive and current account of the many different peoples that have and currently do make the rich, colorful land known as Louisiana their home.

Haunted History of Louisiana Plantations, A (Haunted America)

By Cheryl H. White PhD

The History Press
Released: 2017-09-25
Paperback (128 pages)

Haunted History of Louisiana Plantations, A (Haunted America)
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Louisiana plantations evoke images of grandeur and elegance. Beyond the façade of stately homes are stories of hope and subjugation, tragedy and suffering, shame and perseverance and war and conquest. After sixteen workers axed most of the Houmas House's ancient oak trees, referred to as "the Gentlemen," eight of the surviving trees eerily twisted overnight in grief over the losses wrought by a great Mississippi River flood. An illegal duel to reclaim lost honor left the grounds of Natchez's Cherokee Plantation bloodstained, but the victim's spirit may still wander there today. A mutilated slave girl named Chloe still haunts the halls of the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville. Cheryl H. White and W. Ryan Smith reveal the dark history, folklore and lasting human cost of Louisiana plantation life.

Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana's Free People of Color

Brand: Louisiana State University Press
Released: 2000-08-01
Paperback (368 pages)

Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana s Free People of Color
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The word Creole evokes a richness rivaled only by the term's widespread misunderstanding. Now both aspects of this unique people and culture are given thorough, illuminating scrutiny in Creole, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary history of Louisiana's Creole population. Written by scholars, many of Creole descent, the volume wrangles with the stuff of legend and conjecture while fostering an appreciation for the Creole contribution to the American mosaic.
The collection opens with a historically relevant perspective found in Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson's 1916 piece "People of Color of Louisiana" and continues with contemporary writings: Joan M. Martin on the history of quadroon balls; Michel Fabre and Creole expatriates in France; Barbara Rosendale Duggal with a debiased view of Marie Laveau; Fehintola Mosadomi and the downtrodden roots of Creole grammar; Anthony G. Barthelemy on skin color and racism as an American legacy; Caroline Senter on Reconstruction poets of political vision; and much more. Violet Harrington Bryan, Lester Sullivan, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Sybil Kein, Mary Gehman, Arthi A. Anthony, and Mary L. Morton offer excellent commentary on topics that range from the lifestyles of free women of color in the nineteenth century to the Afro-Caribbean links to Creole cooking.
By exploring the vibrant yet marginalized culture of the Creole people across time, Creole goes far in diminishing past and present stereotypes of this exuberant segment of our society. A study that necessarily embraces issues of gender, race and color, class, and nationalism, it speaks to the tensions of an increasingly ethnically mixed mainstream America.

A History of Louisiana Volume 1

By Alcee Fortier

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (128 pages)

A History of Louisiana Volume 1
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From the preface: “A native of Louisiana and a member of a family which established itself in Nero Orleans shortly after the foundation of that city in 1718, the author of this book may be permitted to say that he has written it con amore—avec amour, as he prefers to say in the language of his venerated ancestors. It was indeed a labor of love to relate the history of Louisiana, from the discovery of the great Mississippi by the knightly De Soto to our own times. How pleasant it was to accompany La Salle down the mighty river to the Gulf of Mexico, to witness the heroic efforts of Iberville and Bienville to colonize Louisiana, to see the growth, of New Orleans and be introduced to the brave men and gentle women who dwelt, in the eighteenth century, in the little town which they already considered delightful and which they compared with pride to the Paris of Louis XV! How ennobling the Revolution of 1768, when a handful of men rose against the oppression of a powerful foreign government and thought of establishing a republic on the banks of the Mississippi! How interesting the campaigns of Bernardo de Galvez against the British, which have given the Louisianians of to-day the right of belonging to the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution! The colonial history of French and of Spanish Louisianians highly instructive and interesting, but no less so is the history of American Louisiana. On December 20, 1803, Laussat transferred the province to the United States, and the Louisianians became, from that time, true Americans. Under the leadership of Jackson, they helped to repel the British from American soil, and from 1815 to 1861, aided by worthy citizens from other parts of the Union, they strove earnestly to develop the wonderful resources of their State. When the Civil War broke out the men of Louisiana fought bravely for rights which they held sacred, and the women displayed a patriotism, a courage, fully equal to that of the men. More apparent still was that fortitude during the terrible years which followed the tear, until the people regained, in 1877, the right of self-government, and made use of it to enjoy prosperity, liberty, and happiness. It is natural that the author of this book should take pride in relating the history of the events which took place on the soil of Louisiana for the last two hundred years. In nearly all of these events men of his name or of his blood took part. In spite of this personal interest in the history of Louisiana, the author has striven earnestly and honestly to be impartial and just in his narrative of facts and in his judgment of men. However, he has not refrained from expressing indignation at vnworthy deeds and praise for noble actions. In his opinion, impartiality does not preclude interest in events and warmth in relating them. History is not a mere chronicle of facts. It deals with the inner life of men, with their customs and manners, as well as with their political and warlike deeds. An attempt has therefore been made in this work to depict both the inner and the outward life of the people of Louisiana, and for that purpose they have often been allowed to express their feelings in their own words. The author has endeavored to revive the men and women of the past, to show them with their hearts throbbing with warm blood, with all the impulses of humanity. He knows very well that he has not succeeded in this arduous task, but he asserts again that he has striven to do full justice to all the persons whose names he has mentioned. There is malice against none, if there is sometimes severity.”


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