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Louisiana ParishesLouisiana is divided into 64 parishes in the same way that 48 of the other states of the United States are divided into counties (Alaska is divided into boroughs and census areas).
On March 31, 1807, the territorial legislature divided the state into 19 parishes, without getting rid of the old counties (which continued to exist until 1845).In 1811, a constitutional convention organized the state into seven judicial districts, each consisting of groups of parishes. In 1816, the first official map of the state used the term, as did the 1845 constitution. Since then, the official term has been parishes.
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.
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"
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