Hyundai Louisiana, LA. Information Page
Louisiana is a Southern state of the United States of America. It uses the U.S. postal abbreviation LA. The state 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. Among the states, Louisiana has a unique culture, owing to its French colonial heritage. While the state has no declared "official language," its law recognizes both English and French. Today, English is by far the main language of everyday life, but French is spoken by nearly 5% of the population and its influence can be seen in local dialects and in many place names.
Louisiana was long inhabited by Native American tribes before the arrival of Europeans. The lasting mark of the Native Americans can be seen even today in the names used in Louisiana, such as Atchafalaya, Natchitouches (now spelled Natchitoches), Caddo, Houma, Tangipahoa, and Avoyel (Avoyelles Parish).
What follows is a partial list, using current parish boundaries as rough approximations of locations.
The Atakapa were found in southwestern Louisiana in the parishes of Vermilion, Cameron, Lafayette, Acadia, Jefferson Davis, and Calcasieu.
The Chitimachas occupied the southeastern parishes of Iberia, Assumption, St Mary, Lower St. Martin, Terrebone, LaFourche, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Bo St. Charles, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines.
The Bayougoula, part of the Choctaw nation, were found in points directly north of the Chitimachas, in the parishes of St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, East and West Baton Rouge, Livingston, and St. Tammany.
The Houma tribe, was found in East and West Feliciana, and Pointe Coupee parishes; Ironically about 100 miles north of current location of the town named after them.
Portions of Avoyelles and Concordia parishes along the Mississippi River were home to the Avoyel, part of the Natchez nation.
The northeastern parishes of Tensas, Madison, and East and West Carroll were occupied by the Tunica tribe.
The remainder of current day central and north Louisiana was home to a substantial portion of the Caddo nation.
The first European explorers to visit what is now Louisiana were a 1528 Spanish expedition (led by Panfilo de Narváez) that 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 honor of Louis XIV in 1682. The first permanent settlement, Fort Maurepas at what is now Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi, 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 trading outposts and mission settlements in the Illinois Country, as far north as Peoria, Illinois and a number of settlements in the area around near present-day Saint Louis, Missouri. See also: French colonization of the Americas
Initially Mobile, Alabama and Biloxi, Mississippi functioned as the capital 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.
During the period of Spanish rule, several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia made their way to Louisiana following British expulsion; settling largely in the southwestern bayous, they became known as the Cajuns.
In 1800, France's Napoleon Bonaparte re-acquired Louisiana from Spain in the Treaty of San Ildefonso, although this was kept secret for some two years.
In 1803, the United States purchased the French province of Louisiana (see Louisiana Purchase) and divided it into two territories: the Orleans Territory (which became the state of Louisiana in 1812) and the District of Louisiana (which consisted of all the land not included in Orleans Territory). The Florida Parishes were annexed from Spanish West Florida by proclamation of President James Madison in 1810. The western boundary of Louisiana with Spanish Texas remained in dispute until the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1819, with the Sabine Free State serving as a neutral buffer zone as well as a haven for criminals.
There are still remnants of its former status as a possession of France, including: the use of a civil law legal system, based on the Louisiana Civil Code, which is similar to (and often confused with) 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", 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.
Louisiana was a slave state. It did, however, have one of the largest free black populations in the United States. Many of the freed slaves in Louisiana in turn purchased their own slaves, which led to the state having one of the largest numbers of slave owning blacks in America, if not the largest.
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 significant portions of the population had Union sympathies, the Federal government took the unusual step of recognizing the areas of Louisiana under Federal control as a state within the Union with elected representatives who were sent to the congress in Washington, D.C. throughout the rest of the war.
On August 30, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck and devastated a vast area of the state. Estimates are that more than two million people have been displaced by the hurricane and thousands are feared dead. Widespread looting and violence has been reported, especially in New Orleans. The next month, the Southwestern corner of the state was hit by Hurricane Rita. These dual disasters will cost the state tens of billions of dollars immediately, and the long term economic repercussions can only be guessed