::Louisiana

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Louisiana entrance sign off Interstate 20 in Madison Parish east of Tallulah.

Louisiana ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} or {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; French: État de Louisiane{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, [lwizjan]; Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States. 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 the local government's equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Plaquemines. Louisiana is bordered by Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, Texas to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.

Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp.<ref name="Keddy 2008">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> 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.<ref name="Keddy 2008" />

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, and African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, the current Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period, a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African slaves as laborers in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, and in 1921, English was made the only official language of the state.<ref name="murphy">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, and four that have not yet received recognition.<ref>Dayna Bowker Lee, "Louisiana Indians in the 21st Century", Louisiana Folklife Program, 2013</ref>


Louisiana sections
Intro  Etymology  Geology  Geography  History  Demographics  Economy  Law and government  National Guard  Education  Sports  Culture  See also  References  Bibliography  External links  

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