World History

Louisiana State History – War, Population, Facts

Native Americans

People have lived in Louisiana for thousands of years. Early cultures include the Woodland peoples and the Mississippian culture. When Europeans arrived in the area, several Native American tribes lived in the land. These tribes include the Choctaw, Natchez, Chitimacha, and Atakapa.

Information about Louisiana State:

Capital Baton Rouge
Population 4,590,241 (Source: 2022 U.S. Census)
Major Cities New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Metairie, Lafayette, Lake Charles
Borders Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Gulf of Mexico
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $281,429.3 million (2023 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Key Industries Agriculture including cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, dairy products, and seafood
Tourism, oil and petroleum mining, food processing, paper products, coal mining, shipping, and chemicals

Flag of Louisiana State:

Europeans Arrive

The first Europeans to arrive in Louisiana were Spanish explorers. First came Panfilo de Narváez in 1528 and then Hernando de Soto in 1543. However, the Europeans never returned and continued to colonize the country for over 100 years. In 1682, French explorer Robert de La Salle descended the Mississippi River and claimed much of the interior of North America for France. He named the country the Louisiana Territory after Louis XIV. Louisiana today is just a small part of this vast territory.

Early Settlers

The city of Natchitoches, Louisiana’s first permanent settlement, was founded by the French in 1714 on the Red River. Over the next few years, French began to settle, especially in areas along the Mississippi River. In 1718 the city of New Orleans was founded. It soon became an important trading port in the region as goods were transported across the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

New Orleans he became the territory’s capital in 1722. Large farms, so-called plantations, have developed near towns and communities in the area. First sugar cane was grown, then cotton. Slaves were imported from Africa to work on the farms. Spain occupied Louisiana in her 1763 and returned it to France in 1800.

Louisiana State Symbols

  • Louisiana State Nickname: Pelican State
  • Louisiana State Slogan: Fall in love with Louisiana all over again [1]; Come as you are. Leave Different.; Sportsman’s Paradise (on its license plate)
  • Louisiana State Motto: Union, justice, and confidence
  • Louisiana State flower: Magnolia
  • Louisiana State bird: Eastern Brown Pelican
  • Louisiana State fish: White Perch, sac-au-lait (fresh water), Spotted sea trout (salt water)
  • Louisiana State tree: Baldcypress
  • Louisiana State mammal: Black bear, Catahoula Leopard Dog
  • Louisiana State foods: Milk, Strawberries, Sweet Potato, Natchitoches Meat Pie, Mayhaw Jelly

Louisiana Purchase

In 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Initially, President Thomas Jefferson wanted to buy New Orleans only because of its importance as a port. However, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to sell the entire territory. The acquisition nearly doubled the size of the United States.

Becoming a State

Originally, Louisiana was organized as the Orléans Territory. The rest of the Louisiana Purchase was known as the Louisiana Territory. On April 30, 1812, Louisiana was incorporated as the 18th state.

The Geography of Louisiana State:

  • Total Size of Louisiana: 43,562 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
  • Geographical Low Point of Louisiana: New Orleans at -8 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Orleans (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Geographical High Point of Louisiana: Driskill Mtn. at 535 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Bienville (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Central Point of Louisiana: Located in Avoyelles County approx. 3 miles southeast of Marksville (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Counties of Louisiana: 64 Parishes (source: National Association of Counties)
  • Bodies of Water of Louisiana: Gulf of Mexico, Atchafalaya Bay, Mississippi River, Red River, Ouachita River, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Grand Lake, White Lake, Calcasieu Lake

War of 1812

From 1812 to 1815, America fought a war against Great Britain called the “War of 1812”. The last major battle of the war was fought in New Orleans. The British invaded New Orleans with an overwhelming force of 11,000 men. However, American forces under General Andrew Jackson counterattacked and defeated the British. This was a great victory for the Americans and contributed to winning the war.

Civil War

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1861, Louisiana seceded from the United States along with the rest of the Southern states. They joined a new nation called the Confederate States of America.

However, part of the Union military strategy was to gain control of the Mississippi River, including the port of New Orleans. In 1862, Union forces occupied New Orleans and held this important port for the remainder of the war. When the war ended in 1865, Louisiana was on the cusp of rebuilding. The state was granted her return to the Union in 1868.

Famous People of Louisiana State:

Andrew Young Jr. Civil rights activist and politician
Reese Witherspoon Actress
Britney Spears Singer
Tyler Perry Actor and filmmaker
Tim McGraw Country music singer
Peyton Manning Professional football player
Lil Wayne Rapper
Karl Malone Professional basketball player
Randy Jackson Music producer and American Idol judge
Mahalia Jackson Singer and civil rights activist
Ellen Degeneres Comedian and talk show host
Louis Armstrong Trumpet player
Terry Bradshaw Professional football player

Interesting Facts of Louisiana State:

Louisiana was named after Louis XIV.

At 34 miles long, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest bridge over water in the world.

Guidan, Louisiana is also known as the “Duck Capital of America.” It must be a cool place!

New Orleans is known as the jazz capital of the world.

Louisiana was part of the Louisiana Territory that the United States purchased from France for her $15 million in 1803.

In Pelican State, the pelican is nearly extinct due to environmental pollution. It is currently being revived due to conservation efforts.

The official state insect is the honey bee.

In New Orleans, fire trucks must stop at red lights, even in an emergency.

Louisiana does not have counties like other US states. There are parishes instead.

The New Orleans Saints have been one of the worst NFL football teams since their inception in 1967. Winning the Super Bowl in 2009 changed all that.

Timeline Overview:

1541 – Hernando de Soto explores the area in search of gold.
1682 – Robert de La Salle claims the French Louisiana Territory.
1714 – Natchitoches is established as the first settlement.
1718 – The city of New Orleans is founded.
1763 – Spain gains control of Louisiana.
1803 – The United States purchases Louisiana as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
1812 – Louisiana becomes the 18th state.
1815 – General Andrew Jackson defeats the British in the Battle of New Orleans, the last major battle of the War of 1812. 1849 – Baton Rouge becomes the state capital.
1861 – Louisiana separates from the United States and joins the Confederate States of America.
1862 – Union forces conquer New Orleans.
1868 – Louisiana is allowed to rejoin the United States.
1901 – Oil is discovered. 1928 – Famous politician Huey Long is elected governor.
1975 – New Orleans Superdome completed.
2005 – Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, devastating New Orleans and killing over 1,800 people.
2010 – A BP oil rig explodes, causing a large offshore oil spill.