Publication Date: January 10, 2006
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The rich and colorful history of Louisiana begins in 1682 when Sieur de La Salle claimed the region for France. After that time, the region was governed under several different flags, including France, Spain, and Great Britain. Readers will learn how secret treaties bounced the colony between French and Spanish rule, creating a unique mix of people and culture and a prosperous plantation economy that grew New Orleans into a major port and trading center. When Thomas Jefferson purchased the land for the United States in 1803, he paid only about 4 cents an acre ($15,000,000)! Louisiana, which doubled the size of the country and gained control of trade along the Mississippi River, helped turn the United States into a world power.
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KEVIN D. ROBERTS is Assistant Professor of History at New Mexico State University.