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Louisiana A History



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  • Louisiana : A History
    Louisiana : A History


Covering the lively, even raucous, history of Louisiana from before First Contact through the Elections of 2012, this sixth edition of the classic Louisiana history survey provides an engaging and comprehensive narrative of what is arguably America’s most colorful state.

  • Since the appearance of the first edition of this classic text in 1984, Louisiana: A History has remained the best-loved and most highly regarded college-level survey of Louisiana on the market
  • Compiled by some of the foremost experts in the field of Louisiana history who combine their own research with recent historical discoveries
  • Includes complete coverage of the most recent events in political and environmental history, including the continued aftermath of Katrina and the 2010 BP oil spill
  • Considers the interrelationship between Louisiana history and that of the American South and the nation as a whole
  • Written in an engaging and accessible style complemented by more than a hundred photographs and maps

Author Biography


Bennett H. Wall (deceased) was Professor of History, University of Georgia, and instrumental in the founding and operation of the Louisiana Historical Association (LHA) and the Southern Historical Association (SHA). He was a renowned scholar in southern and U.S. business history.

John C. Rodrigue is Lawrence and Theresa Salameno Professor of History at Stonehill College, in Easton, Massachusetts. He previously taught Louisiana History and other courses at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is the author of several books and scholarly articles on nineteenth-century U.S. and Southern history.


Light Townsend Cummins is the Bryan Professor of History at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and is a foremost expert on the history of the Spanish Borderlands. In 2009 he was appointed as the official State Historian of Texas.

Judith Kelleher Schafer teaches American legal history at Tulane University and has published two prize-winning books: Slavery, the Civil Law, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana (1997) and Brothels, Depravity and Abandoned Women (2011), as well as Becoming Free, Remaining Free (2003).

Edward F. Haas is professor of history at Wright State University in Dayton Ohio. He was named a Fellow of the Louisiana Historical Association and in 1999 he received the Garnie McGinty Lifetime Meritorious Service Award from the LHA. He has published numerous works in Louisiana and New Orleans history and has twice won the L. Kemper Williams Prize for excellence in Louisiana scholarship.

Michael L. Kurtz is a professor emeritus of American History at Southeastern Louisiana University. His publications include Earl K. Long: The Saga of Uncle Earl and Louisiana Politics (1990), Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian’s Perspective (1993), Louisiana Since the Longs (1998), and The JFK Assassination Debates (2006).

Table of Contents

Map 1 Louisiana viii

Map 2 The United States, with Louisiana highlighted ix

Introduction by John C. Rodrigue 1

by Light Townsend Cummins

1 Native Peoples and European Contact 9

2 The Founding of French Louisiana 32

3 Louisiana as a French Colony 52

4 Spanish Louisiana 68

5 The Final Years of Colonial Louisiana 85

Suggested Readings 101

by Judith Kelleher Schafer

6 The Territorial Period 107

7 The Political Development of Antebellum Louisiana 127

8 Life and Labor in Antebellum Louisiana 156

9 Civil War and Reconstruction in Louisiana 197

Suggested Readings 227

by Edward F. Haas

10 Uneasy Interlude, 1877–1892 235

11 Bourbonism, Populism, and a Little Progressivism, 1892–1924 256

12 The Time of the Kingfish, 1924–1935 280

13 The Struggle to Catch Up, 1877–1935 301

Suggested Readings 322

by Michael L. Kurtz

14 Corruption, Reform, and Reaction, 1936–1950 327

15 Reform and Race, 1950–1960 351

16 The Decline of Racism, 1960–1972 376

17 The Era of Edwin Edwards, 1972–1987 393

18 Louisiana at the End of the Century, 1987–2000 418

19 Louisiana in the New Millennium 454

Suggested Readings 478

Appendix I 481

European Rulers with Relation to Louisiana during the Colonial and Territorial Periods 481

Military Commandants and Governors of Louisiana 482

Appendix II 486

A Selective Chronology of Louisiana History 486

Index 493

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