Louisiana (i/luːˌiːziˈænə/ or i/ˌluːziˈænə/; French: État de Louisiane, ; Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.
Much of the state was 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 ibis 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 orchids and carnivorous plants.
Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French, Spanish, Native American (Indian) and African cultures that they are considered to be somewhat exceptional in the U.S. Before the American influx and statehood at the beginning of the 19th century, the territory of current Louisiana State had been both a Spanish and French colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous African slaves in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture.
Famous quotes containing the word louisiana:
“The recent attempt to secure a charter from the State of North Dakota for a lottery company, the pending effort to obtain from the State of Louisiana a renewal of the charter of the Louisiana State Lottery, and the establishment of one or more lottery companies at Mexican towns near our border, have served the good purpose of calling public attention to an evil of vast proportions.”
—Benjamin Harrison (18331901)
“I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonderd how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone
there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,”
—Walt Whitman (18191892)