Portal:Louisiana

The Louisiana Portal

Louisiana (/luˌziˈænə/ (About this soundlisten), /ˌlziˈænə/ (About this soundlisten)) or La Louisiane (/lwi.zjan/) (French) is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 19th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties, making it one of only two U.S. states not subdivided into counties (the other being Alaska). The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.

Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp. These contain a rich southern biota; typical examples include birds such as ibises and egrets. There are also many species of tree frogs, and fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape and has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas. These support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants. Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, and four that have not received recognition.

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by a mixture of 18th–century French, Haitian, Spanish, French Canadian, Native American, and African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the U.S. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, the present–day U.S. state of Louisiana had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture. In the post–Civil War environment, Anglo Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, and in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, and the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve, foster, and promote their respective historic, linguistic, and cultural origins". (Full article...)

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Louisiana is a state located in the Southern United States. According to the 2010 United States Census, Louisiana is the 25th most populous state with 4,533,479 inhabitants and the 33rd largest by land area spanning 43,203.90 square miles (111,897.6 km2) of land. Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes, which are equivalent to counties, and contains 308 incorporated municipalities consisting of four consolidated city-parishes, and 304 cities, towns, and villages. Louisiana's municipalities cover only 7.9% of the state's land mass but are home to 45.3% of its population.

According to the 2015 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes, residents of any unincorporated area may propose to incorporate as a municipality if the area meets prescribed minimum population thresholds. Municipal corporations are divided based on population into three classes: cities, towns, and villages. Those having five thousand inhabitants or more are classified as cities; those having less than five thousand but more than one thousand inhabitants are classified as towns; and those having one thousand or fewer inhabitants are classified as villages. The governor may change the classification of the municipality if the board of aldermen requests a change and a census shows that the population has increased or decreased making it eligible for a different classification. Municipalities are granted powers to perform functions required by local governments including the levy and collection of taxes and to assume indebtedness. (Full article...)

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The history of the area that is now the U.S. state of Louisiana, began roughly 10,000 years ago. The first traces of permanent settlement, ushering in the Archaic period, appear about 5,500 years ago.

The area formed part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex. The Marksville culture emerged about 2,000 years ago out of the earlier Tchefuncte culture. It is considered ancestral to the Natchez and Taensa peoples. About 1,000 years ago, the Mississippian culture emerged from the Woodland period. The emergence of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex coincides with the adoption of maize agriculture and chiefdom-level complex social organization beginning in circa 1200 AD. The Mississippian culture mostly disappeared around the 16th century, with the exception of some Natchez communities that maintained Mississippian cultural practices into the 18th century. (Full article...)

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