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

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

By Shane Bernard

University Press of Mississippi
Released: 2016-11-03
Hardcover (272 pages)

Teche: A History of Louisiana s Most Famous Bayou (America s Third Coast Series)
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Recipient of a 2017 Book of the Year Award presented by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

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.

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.

Hidden History of Acadiana

By William J. Thibodeaux

The History Press
Released: 2019-07-22
Paperback (160 pages)

Hidden History of Acadiana
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Tragedy and destruction abound in this region and in these pages, but heroism, glory and Cajun flair come in equal measure. From the improbable Thoroughbred Twenty-Twoinit, which defied odds and burned Vegas oddsmakers at Evangeline Downs, to the destitute Reconstruction-era Cajuns who sought recompense from the federal government after the war, history comes to life in these retellings by historian and yarn spinner William Thibodeaux. Before "serial killer" was a term, a vile murderer stalked the streets of then-tiny Lafayette, inciting unimaginable terror. All too familiar are harrowing tales of locals who battened down the hatches as horrible storms roared forth. From the hills to the bayous, Acadiana has quite a story to tell, especially for those who lean in close to listen.

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.

Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press)

By Sophie White

Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press
Hardcover (352 pages)

Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press)
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In eighteenth-century New Orleans, the legal testimony of some 150 enslaved women and men--like the testimony of free colonists--was meticulously recorded and preserved. Questioned in criminal trials as defendants, victims, and witnesses about attacks, murders, robberies, and escapes, they answered with stories about themselves, stories that rebutted the premise on which slavery was founded.

Focusing on four especially dramatic court cases, Voices of the Enslaved draws us into Louisiana's courtrooms, prisons, courtyards, plantations, bayous, and convents to demonstrate how enslaved people viewed and experienced their worlds. As they testified, these individuals charted their movement between West African, Indigenous, and colonial cultures; they pronounced their moral and religious values; and they registered their responses to labor, to violence, and, above all, to the intimate romantic and familial bonds they sought to create and protect. Their words--punctuated by cadences of Creole and rich with metaphor--produced riveting autobiographical narratives as they veered from the questions posed by interrogators.

Carefully assessing what we can discover, what we might guess, and what has been lost forever, Sophie White offers both a richly textured account of slavery in French Louisiana and a powerful meditation on the limits and possibilities of the archive.

Italian Louisiana: History, Heritage & Tradition (American Heritage)

By Alan G. Gauthreaux

The History Press
Released: 2014-02-04
Paperback (160 pages)

Italian Louisiana: History, Heritage & Tradition (American Heritage)
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At the close of the nineteenth century, Louisiana's ports hosted an influx of Italian immigrants. Like so many immigrant communities before, acclimating to their new home was not easy. Though the Italian contribution to Louisiana's culture is palpable and celebrated, at one time ethnic Italians were constantly embroiled in scandal, sometimes deserved and sometimes as scapegoats. The new immigrants hoped that they would be welcomed and see for themselves the "streets paved with gold." Their new lives, however, were difficult. Italians in Louisiana faced prejudice, violence and political exile for their refusal to accept the southern racial mores. Author and historian Alan Gauthreaux" "documents the experience of those Italians who arrived in Louisiana over one hundred years ago..

The Atchafalaya River Basin: History and Ecology of an American Wetland

By Bryan P. Piazza

Texas A&M University Press
Released: 2013-02-28
Hardcover (320 pages)

The Atchafalaya River Basin: History and Ecology of an American Wetland
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In this comprehensive, one-volume reference, Nature Conservancy scientist Bryan P. Piazza poses five key questions:
―What is the Atchafalaya River Basin?
―Why is it important?
―How have its hydrology and natural habitats been managed?
―What is its current state?
―How do we ensure its survival?

For more than five centuries, the Atchafalaya River Basin has captured the flow of the Mississippi River, becoming its main distributary as it reaches the Gulf of Mexico in south Louisiana. This dynamic environment, comprising almost a million acres of the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Mississippi River Deltaic Plain, is perhaps best known for its expansive swamp environments dominated by baldcypress, water tupelo, and alligators. But the Atchafalaya River Basin contains a wide range of habitats and one of the highest levels of biodiversity on the North American continent.    

Piazza has compiled and synthesized the body of scientific knowledge for the Atchafalaya River Basin, documenting the ecological state of the basin and providing a baseline of understanding. His research provides a crucial resource for future planning. He evaluates some common themes that have emerged from the research and identifies important scientific questions that remain unexplored.

Louisiana Legacies: Readings in the History of the Pelican State

By Allured

Brand: Wiley-Blackwell
Released: 2013-01-22
Paperback (350 pages)

Louisiana Legacies: Readings in the History of the Pelican State
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Showcasing the colorful, even raucous, political, social, and unique cultural qualities of Louisiana history, this new collection of essays features the finest and latest scholarship.

  • Includes readings featuring  recent scholarship that expand on traditional historical accounts
  • Includes material on every region of Louisiana
  • Covers  a wide range of fields, including social, environmental, and economic history
  • Detailed, focused material on different areas in Louisiana history, including women’s history as well as the state’s diverse ethnic populations

Louisiana Coloring and Activity Book

By Karren Bennett

Independently published
Paperback (62 pages)

Louisiana Coloring and Activity Book
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Learn all about Louisiana!

 

Fun Louisiana Activity Book for kids with a lot of different activities including mazes, dot-to-dot, coloring, and more!

 

Keep your kids busy, entertained, and having fun while they learn. Filled with many types of activities, it will stimulate the brain, inspire creativity, and develop fine-motor skills. This book is the perfect workbook for preschoolers and kids aged 4-12 who want to color, solve word puzzles, connect dots, solve mazes, and be creative. Suitable for both boys and girls, this activity book makes a great travel book or vacation workbook. It can also be taken on long car rides to pass the time. Makes a great gift for kids!

 

This kids activity book features:

  • Large 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages in paperback
  • Large 20 print
  • Printed on high-quality white paper for easy reading and writing
  • Word search; word scramble, connect the dots; mazes; matching, fun facts, state symbols, Cajun phrases, festivals, and the history of Louisiana

 

Over 50 Activities to Boost Your Brain Power and Learn About Louisiana!

 

Add To Cart Today! Enjoy playing puzzles.

 



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