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(Non, je leur ai dit), ce qu'il faut aujourd'hui au peuple louisianaise, c'est un trône populaire, entouré d’institutions républicaines, tout à fait républicaines. (Delegate La Fayette at the Constituent Assembly)Louisiana (French: Louisiane, Kréyol: Lwizyàn) is an independent state of America. It gained its independence from France in 18XX during the European Revolutionary Wars.
Much of Louisiana covers an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretches from the south of the Upper Mississippi River watershed, to the Gulf of Mexico and from the west of the river to the Rocky Mountains.
Louisiana was an administrative division of the Viceroyalty of New France until 1763 when Canada was handed to Britannia. Louisiana was bordered by the Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain to the west, and French Canada to the east.
Louisiana is a democratic representative republic according to the Constitution of the Year V. The supreme legislative and political authority is the elected unicameral National Assembly. Its representatives are elected according to the electoral districts (parishes) every four years. Each district sends a proper number of delegates as determined by law. The National Assembly must at least meet annually, and elect the President for a four year mandate. Electing a president requires three-fifths of the congress. The President is free to name and remove the ministers and secretaries of the Governmental Council.
- Pierre Clément de Laussat (provisional president)
- Julien de Lallande Poydras
Political parties must be registered according to Political Associations Law and its ordinances in order to put candidates in all elections. The recognized parties, historical and present, are the following: Republican Association, Freedom Party, Radical Democratic Union, Abolitionist Party, Creole Party, Liberal Party, Constitutional Party, and Leftist Party.
Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. It originally covered an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rocky Mountains.
Whereas the earliest settlers of Upper Louisiana mostly came from French Canada, Lower Louisiana was colonized by people from all over the French colonial empire, with various waves coming from Canada, France, and the French West Indies. The establishment of a plantation economy and its demand of labor interned a large population of African slaves (nègre) and a smaller group of escaped slaves (marrons).
The Mississippi Company acquired the monopoly over the slave trade in the area and became its main supplier. It imported approximately 10,000 slaves from Africa between 1719 and 1743. The economy of Lower Louisiana consequently became slave-dependent. As in other French colonies, the treatment of the slaves was regulated by the Code Noir.
Although the Code Noir forbade interracial marriages, in practice interracial relationships were formed in New Orleans society. The mulattoes became an intermediate social caste between the whites and the blacks.
During the 18th century, the society of Louisiana became heavily creolized specifically in Lower Louisiana. Social mobility was easier in America than in France at the time. The seigneurial system was not imposed. There were few corporations treated on a hierarchical basis and strictly regulated. Tradesmen managed to build fortunes rather quickly. The large planters of Louisiana were attached to the French way of life.
Louisiana became an increasingly important colony in the early 18th century with the develop the plantation economy of Lower Louisiana. Jean-Baptiste Colbert's economic reforms specially favored Louisiana.
The Mississippi river is the main waterway of Louisiana, communicating Nouvelle-Orléans to the Great Lakes. Cotton, timber, wheat, corn, coffee, coal, cattle, and food come down the Mississippi to the ports of the river delta. The shops on the banks of the Mississippi also served as warehouses.
Despite having very few shipments from and to France Louisiana became an important commercial and agricultural hub (cotton, wood, rice, wheat and corn) to the Caribbean Sea. Exports of tobacco and indigo to the Metropolis became an important source of income.
Lower and Upper Mississippi evolved in two different societies and economies. The Lower Mississippi established a plantation system based on slave labor for the production cash for export such as rice, sugar, cotton, tobacco, coffee and indigo. The Upper Mississippi was devoted to grain and cereals agriculture, raising horses, cattle and pigs, and also grew tobacco, hemp, flax and grapes in which farmers practiced communal agriculture or cultivated the land with paid and slave laborers. Slavery only became important in mining activities.
Unlike Lower Mississippi, which primarily had been organized in separated homesteads along a river with long rectangular plots stretching back from the river (ribbon plots). The Upper Mississippi although marked with long-ribbon plots, did not reside on them. Instead, settlers resided together in farming villages, more like the farming villages of northern France. Also the main attraction was that colonizers, as in all French America, did not have to pay royal taxes and were free of the hated gabelle and enjoyed a warmer climate than Canada.
- French Louisiana
Louisiana is divided into regions. The government was led by a Governor-general (Gouverneur généraux), assisted by the Intendant for Louisiana. In theory, Louisiana was subordinate to Canada, and so it was explored and settled chiefly by French-Canadians rather than colonists from France. Given the enormous distance between Nouvelle-Orléans and Quebec, communications outside cities and forts were limited. The territories of Louisiana were a Governorship of the Viceroyalty since 1665.
However on the establishment of the Viceroyalty of New France (1665) Louisiana gained more autonomy in its administration until the reform of 1720. Louisiana is divided into the following regions:
- Lower Louisiana (Basse-Louisiane) capital Mobile
- Upper Louisiana (Haute-Louisiane) which began north of the Arkansas River, capital Fort de Chartres
- Country of Illinois (Pays des Illinois) which began north of the Arkansas River (ceded to Canada).
- Arkansas Territory
- Missouri Territory
The Reform of 1720 clearly defined two generalities (généralités) divided in sub-delegations and territories. Each generality was in charge of a Commander-Governor and a Commissioner (commissaire-ordonnateur) both named and subject to the supervision of the General-General. The Commander-Governor was the head of the pays and was responsible military affairs, police and the defense of the territories under his administration and the Commissioner of civil, economical and judicial affairs. The Intendant of Louisiana named all sub-delegates of the sub-delegations and territories. General and Superior Councils serve as the main administrative and justice courts presided by the Commissioner and Intendant.
Generalities and Subdelegations:
- Lower Louisiana (Basse-Louisiane) capital Nouvelle-Orléans
- Upper Louisiana (Haute-Louisiane) capital Fort de Chartres
- Republican Louisiana
Independent Louisiana is divided in provinces, prefectures or general lands (unorganized territories), parishes or districts and communes.
- Louisiana (Basse-Louisiane) capital Nouvelle-Orléans
- Mobile (Mobile)
- Arkansas (Les Arcansas)
- Missouri (Saint-Louis)
- General lands of Mississippi
- General lands of Kansas
- General lands of Dakota