Louisiana is a state in the southern United States located on the Gulf Coast. The state capital is the city of Baton Rouge, and the largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana has a population of about 4.6 million people.
Louisiana is known for its rich cultural heritage, which includes French, Spanish, and African influences, jazz and blues music, and the Mardi Gras carnival festival. Louisiana is also famous for its cuisine, which uses local products and recipes such as gumbo, etouffee, fried crab, and rice pancakes.
The state is home to numerous parks and wildlife refuges, such as Katmaya National Park, where you can see more than 400 species of wildlife, including bison, bears, and wolves. Louisiana also has many rivers and lakes, which are popular for fishing and water sports.
Louisiana is important economically because of its oil and gas industries and agriculture, including rice and sugar cane. The state is also home to major ports, including the Port of New Orleans, which is one of the largest ports in the world.
History of the state
The history of Louisiana, one of the southern states of the United States located on the banks of the Mississippi River, goes back to antiquity. Even today you can see the structures which were built by the Indians of the Poverty Point culture 1500-2000 years B.C.
No Europeans set foot on Louisiana until the 16th century. In 1528-1542 during the first Spanish expeditions lands on the Mississippi coast were discovered and later this lucrative region attracted the attention of the French. At the end of the seventeenth century their first settlements appeared there, and in 1682 the land was named after King Louis (Louis) XIV of France.
France and Spain fought for dominance in Louisiana until the middle of the 18th century. In 1756 the Seven Years’ War began, in which almost all European states were involved. The war was also a colonial war, as the overseas interests of France, Great Britain, and Spain were at stake. After the war ended in 1763, the territorial issue was temporarily resolved in favor of the Spaniards. Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, only New Orleans remained under the French flag. But in 1800. Napoleon Bonaparte signed a treaty with Spain that obligated the Spanish to return the land west of the Mississippi River.
At that time the United States, which had gained independence from Great Britain in 1783, was gaining strength, and Napoleon was asked to sell the city. At first the emperor responded with a firm “no,” but problems in the other West Indian colonies of France led him in 1803 to agree to a deal known as the Louisiana Purchase. For only $15 million the United States became the fortunate owners not only of New Orleans, but also of Napoleon’s proposed territories of the future states of Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, and others.
Louisiana is one of the most interesting states in America. Here the traditions of different countries harmoniously intertwine to form a whole new world.
Louisiana retains the legacy of the French and Spanish colonialists even 200 years later. Louisiana’s cities, including New Orleans and the state capital, Baton Rouge, are designed in colonial style. French and Spanish are still the native languages for part of the state’s population.
The state is best known for the legendary city of New Orleans, home of jazz music. It is believed that it was here, on the stages of cafes and restaurants, that jazz began to take its first steps toward fame and later formed as a musical movement. In the early twentieth century, New Orleans was the home of cornetist Buddy Bolden, a barber by trade and musician by vocation, the first bright personality in jazz. In 1901, New Orleans was the birthplace of one of the world’s most celebrated jazz artists, Louis Armstrong.
The city also attracts visitors with its annual Mardi Gras Carnival in the French Quarter in downtown New Orleans. This holiday is the local equivalent of Orthodox Shrovetide and European carnivals before the beginning of Lent. As in Europe, it symbolizes a farewell to winter.
Louisiana was severely damaged in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, which turned out to be the most destructive in the history of the United States.
New Orleans, much of which is below sea level, took the brunt of the damage. At that time 80% of the city was flooded, 1,836 residents died, and the economic damage amounted to $81.2 billion. Reconstruction is still going on, and the city’s residents hope that New Orleans will soon blossom again.
- Official name: Louisiana, a state in the southern United States.
- Administrative divisions: 64 parishes.
- Capital city: Baton Rouge, population 222,004 (2005).
- Languages: English, French, and Spanish.
- Currency: the U.S. dollar.
- Religions: Protestants (60%), Catholics (30%), etc.
- The largest cities are New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport.
- The main ports are New Orleans and Shreveport.
- Most important airports: Louis Armstrong International Airport (New Orleans).
- Important rivers: Mississippi River, Red River.
- Major lakes: Pontchartrain, Grand Lake, and Kalkashu.
- Neighboring states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi.
- Area: 135,382 km2.
- Population: 4,410,796 (2008).
- Population density: 32.6 people/km2.
- Ethnic composition: whites 63%, Afro-Americans 32%, natives of Asia and other continents 5%.
- Highest point: Mount Driskill (163 m).
Climate and weather
- Warm winters (average temperature +12°C) and hot summers (average temperature +28°C).
- Frequent tornadoes and tropical storms.
- Maximum summer temperature: +41°C, minimum winter temperature: -8°C.
- Precipitation: 1500 mm a year.
- Mineral resources: oil, natural gas, salt, sulphur, lignite.
- Industries: chemical, metallurgical, cellulose, woodworking, pharmaceutical, electronic; oil extraction and refining; port industry, transport machine building, shipbuilding.
- Agriculture: cultivation of rice, cotton, sugar cane, forestry, animal breeding, fishery, cultivation of seafood (oysters, river-crayfish).
- French Quarter
- Mardi Gras Carnival and Mardi Gras Park
- National World War II Museum
- Museum of Art
- Saint Louis Cathedral
- City Park (the largest oak grove in the world)
- French Market (Cafe du Monde and Jazz Hall)
- Exhibitions at Tulane University Center
- Capitol (building and garden)
- Louisiana State Museum
- St. Joseph’s Cathedral
- Country Museum (planters’ houses)
- Museum of Voodoo Cultural History
- Alligator Park
- Cane River
Poverty Point National Monument
- As a result of the Louisiana Purchase, the United States acquired 2,100,000 km2 of land for only $15 million, which was about 7 cents per hectare. These lands, given to the U.S. by the treaty of 1803, are where the present-day states are located today: Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, nearly all of South Dakota, and parts of Minnesota, North Dakota. New Mexico. Montana, Wyoming Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, including New Orleans.
- Louisiana is the only U.S. state whose administrative units are called parishes.
- 41% of the coastal wetlands of the United States are in Louisiana.