One of the most culturally diverse of all American states, Louisiana is well known for its French colonial heritage, which has remained evident in the southern parts of the state, especially in New Orleans. However, immigrants from many other countries have also contributed to the state’s rich heritage, and the northern part of the state is noted for its Scotch-Irish heritage.
Located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, which would become a major trade and transportation route into the heartland of the United States, Louisiana originated as a
At first, the French government forced convicts, vagrants, and prostitutes to go to Louisiana, but many of these people were too unhealthy, too unwilling to work, or too unfamiliar with agriculture to make satisfactory colonists. The government then tried offering generous grants, but the French farmers they hoped would go to Louisiana would not
During the early years of French colonization, Native American tribes often attacked new settlements. Eventually, however, tribal infighting and European diseases reduced their numbers until they were no match for the superior military strength of the invaders. Nevertheless, some communities of the Houma, Koasati (Coushatta), Choctaw, and Apalachee peoples still survived in Louisiana in the early twenty-first century.
After Spain acquired Louisiana in 1762, new land grant policies attracted large numbers of European immigrants to the colony, but few of them were from Spain. Thousands were French-speaking
The United States purchased the vast Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, and the state of Louisiana entered the union shortly afterward. These developments attracted more Anglo-American settlers. Many immigrants with
During the 1840’s and 1850’s, many
During the mid-twentieth century, thousands
Brasseaux, Carl A. French, Cajun, Creole, Houma: A Primer on Francophone Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005. Garvey, Joan B., and Mary Lou Widmer. Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans. Rev. ed. New Orleans: Garmer Press, 1997. Lowe, John, ed. Louisiana Culture from the Colonial Era to Katrina. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008. Taylor, Joe Gray. Louisiana: A History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1984.
African Americans and immigrants
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