Louisiana, state in the southern United States, on the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River. The French were the original European colonizers of Louisiana, beginning in the early 18th century. After a period of Spanish control it reverted to France. During this colonial period other European and African cultures were introduced into the area. Most of Louisiana was bought by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase; the rest came as a result of the West Florida Rebellion of 1810. Louisiana entered the Union on April 30, 1812, as the 18th state. Louisiana (New France) was named after Louis XIV, one of France's greatest and most powerful kings. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane, meaning "Land of Louis". Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana. The state's three principal cities are New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport.
Louisiana's government is like that of no other state in the United States of America. Louisiana has "parishes" instead of "counties" and each of those parishes, for the most part, are governed by "police juries." Police jurors are elected officials and function in the same way as county commissioners in other states' counties.
At one time, Louisiana had counties. When the Louisiana Territory was purchased by the United States, twelve counties were established, but those large areas proved too hard to govern effectively. In 1807 the state was divided into 19 parishes, and the parish became the local government district.
Each parish was governed by a 12-member jury serving with the parish judges and the justices of the peace. Each jury was charged with the responsibility of "execution of whatever concerns the interior and local police and administration of the parish." In 1811 an act made the members of these assemblies elective, and they were officially designated as the "police jury."
Find a brief history of Louisiana Parishes
|Calcasieu Parish||183,577||1,071||Lake Charles||1840|
|East Baton Rouge Parish||412,852||456||Baton Rouge||1810|
|East Carroll Parish||9,421||422||Lake Providence||1877|
|East Feliciana Parish||21,360||453||Clinton||1824|
|Evangeline Parish||35,434||664||Ville Platte||1908|
|Iberia Parish||73,266||575||New Iberia||1868|
|Jefferson Davis Parish||31,435||652||Jennings||1912|
|Orleans Parish||484,674||181||New Orleans||1807|
|Plaquemines Parish||26,757||845||Pointe A La Hache||1807|
|Pointe Coupee Parish||22,763||557||New Roads||1807|
|Red River Parish||9,622||389||Coushatta||1871|
|St. Bernard Parish||67,229||465||Chalmette||1807|
|St. Charles Parish||48,072||284||Hahnville||1807|
|St. Helena Parish||10,525||408||Greensburg||1810|
|St. James Parish||21,216||246||Convent||1807|
|St. John The Baptist Parish||43,044||219||LaPlace||1807|
|St. Landry Parish||87,700||929||Opelousas||1807|
|St. Martin Parish||48,583||740||Saint Martinville||1815|
|St. Mary Parish||53,500||613||Franklin||1811|
|St. Tammany Parish||191,268||854||Covington||1810|
|Tensas Parish||6,618||602||Saint Joseph||1843|
|West Baton Rouge Parish||21,601||191||Port Allen||1807|
|West Carroll Parish||12,314||359||Oak Grove||1877|
|West Feliciana Parish||15,111||406||Saint Francisville||1824|
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