Abbreviated as LA by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans when European explorers arrived in the 16th century. Many place names in the state are transliterations of those used in native dialects. The tribes that inhabited Louisiana included the Atakapa, the boocana, the opelousa, the acolapissa, the Tangipahoa and Chitimacha in the southeastern state; the washa, the chawasha, the yagenechito, the Bayougoula and houma (part of the Choctaw Nation), the quinipissa, the okelousa, the Avoyel, the Taensa (part of the Nation Natchez), the tunic and Koroa. Central and northwest Louisiana was part of the Caddo Nation and the Federation of Natchitoches.
Exploration and conquest
Template: VT The first European explorers visited Louisiana in 1528. The SpanishExpedition, led by Pánfilo de Narváez, located the mouths of the Mississippi River. In 1541, Hernando de Soto’s Expedition crossed the region. Later, Spanish interest in Louisiana waned. At the end of the 17th century, French expeditions with sovereign, commercial and religious interests established advanced forts on the Mississippi Riverand on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. With these first settlements, France he claimed this region as his own, and established a French Commercial Empire from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
In 1682 René Robert Cavelier de La Salle named the region Louisiana after King Louis XIV of France. The first permanent settlement, Fort Maurepas (present-day Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi) was founded by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, a French military man from Canada, in 1699. By this time, the French had already built a fort in the mouth of the Mississippi River, which they called La Balise or La Balize, marked in French. In 1721 they built a wooden lighthouse to guide ships on their journey down the river. The French originally claimed the lands on both sides of the Mississippi River, to unite Louisiana with Canada. The following states were part of Louisiana: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
The Natchitoches settlement (along the Red River in present-day northwestern Louisiana) was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau of St. Denis, considered the oldest European settlement in Louisiana. The French settlements had one purpose: to stop the Spanish advance from Texas. Also the end of the Antiguo Camino de San Antonio (also called Camino Real) ended in Natchitoches. It soon became a flourishing port, with cotton land on the riverbanks. Over time, the landowners developed huge estates and built fine houses in small towns, which began to grow. This was repeated in New Orleans and other cities.
The Louisiana settlements aided in the subsequent expansion and exploration of the territory, relying especially on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, from New Orleans to the region called Illinois, in present-day St. Louis (Missouri). Initially Mobile (Alabama), and Biloxi (Mississippi), functioned as capital of the colony. Recognizing the importance of the Mississippi River for commercial and military operations, France made New Orleans the center of civil and military power in 1722. From then until the acquisition of the region by the United States on December 20, 1803, France and Spainthey took turns in controlling the region. In the 1720s, German immigrants settled around the Mississippi, in the region known as the German Coast.
France ceded much of the territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain after the British victory in the Seven Years’ War. It only retained the area around New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. The rest of Louisiana passed into Spanish hands after the 1763 Treaty of Paris. In 1755, during the Spanish rule, several thousand Francophones from the Acadia region (present-day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, in Canada) took refuge in Louisiana, after being expelled by Great Britain. They settled in the southwestern region, called Acadiana. The Spaniards, who wanted a larger Catholic population, welcomed the refugees. The Cajuns are his current descendants. In addition, immigrants from the Canary Islands arrived between 1778 and 1783. In 1800, Napoleonic France acquired Louisiana from Spain, through the Treaty of San Ildefonso, kept secret for two years.
Expansion of slavery
In 1709, French financier Antoine Crozat obtained a monopoly on the Louisiana trade, which stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to present-day Illinois. “This concession allowed him to bring blacks from Africa every year,” says British historian Hugh Thomas. When France sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803, it was accepted that African slaves could bring problems like those produced in neighboring Mississippi, which violated American law. Although Louisiana was, in the early 1800s, a small sugar producer with few slaves, it rapidly increased its production after large farmers began buying slaves from Africa and sold in South Carolina, before Louisiana, where landowners forced captives to work without pay on their plantations.
Despite the efforts of members of the government to enforce antislavery laws in the new territories, slavery remained because it was a good source of labor, large and cheap. The last Spanish governor of Louisiana wrote “Certainly, it is impossible for Lower Louisiana to exist without slaves. And with slavery, the colony has achieved prosperity and well-being.” Forced slavery was mandatory, according to William Clairbone, Louisiana’s first American Governor, because free white workers “couldn’t work in this climate, which is bad for your health.” Hugh Thomas wrote that Clairbone was unable to abolish slavery and the slave trade, as he was under pressure from all over Louisiana.
- CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Louisiana, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Louisiana.
Incorporation into the United States (1803-1860)
As a result of his failures in Haiti, Bonaparte gave up his dreams of his American Empire and sold Louisiana to the United States, who consequently divided it into two territories: The Territory of Orleans, which would eventually become the state of Louisiana in 1812, and the district of Louisiana, which were the lands that did not belong to the Territory of Orleans. A small part of Florida, the Florida parishes, was annexed from the strategic and important Republic of West Florida, proclaimed independent by James Madison in 1810.
Another consequence of the Revolution in Haiti was a greater emigration of refugees to Louisiana, especially New Orleans, and they included free blacks and whites as well as slaves. Other immigrants were Cubans, in 1809. These helped increase the number of Francophones in the region. In 1811, the largest slave revolt in the United States, the German Coast Revolution, took place outside of New Orleans. Around 64 to 500 slaves rose up on the German Coast and marched against the city gates. The revolution took the military forces of the Territory of Orleans by surprise, and it was a great threat to American sovereignty in New Orleans.
Louisiana became a state on April 30, 1812. The western boundary of Louisiana with Spanish Texas remained in dispute until the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, with the Free State of the Sabine, also called “No Man’s Land”, serving as a neutral buffer zone, as well as a haven for criminals. With population growth in the Northwest and Far South of the United States during the first decades of the 19th century, commerce grew in New Orleans.
Products from the new territories were transported up the Mississippi and shipped abroad from New Orleans. By 1840 the city had become the largest slave market in the United States, as well as one of the healthiest cities and the third largest in population in the country. During these decades, more than a million slaves were sold to the new territories. Template: Cr Agriculture in the country, which was mainly based on tobacco and sugar, was diversifying, so many farmers were left with surplus slaves, who were sent to the new territories.