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Transcript

Welcome to Louisiana!

By Lucie Devaux

L3 Espol
US Politics

TRRIGER WARNING

THIS PRESENTATION WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO TASTE A CAJUN DISH IN A JAZZ BAR IN NEW ORLEANS!

Index

I. GENERAL PRESENTATION

1. WHERE IS LOUISIANA? STRATEGIC LAND BUT HOSTILE LAND?
2. IDENTITY CARD
3. Timeline
4. FAMOUS PERSON

II, POLICIES AND INSTITUTIONS

1. INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK
2. LEGISLATION ON MARIJUANA
3. LEGISLATION ON DEATH PENALTY
4. MASTER PLAN
5. FRENCH LANGUAGE AT SCHOOL


PART I


General
presentation

Where is Louisiana? Strategic land but hostile land?

In the shape of a boot, Louisiana is bordered by Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.

The Mississippi Delta begins in Baton Rouge. Mississippi is one of the most powerful rivers on the planet (its average flow is 20 000 m3/s) and one of the longest. But it is also a particularly binding site.

The forests and hills of central and northern New Orleans offer a striking contrast to the swamps and lowlands of southern and southwestern New Orleans.

Strategic position on the route of ships between America, Africa and Europe, and at the outlet of the Great American Plain. There is also the opportunity to exploit many resources (especially oil)

Southern Louisiana is exposed to several risks (mainly hurricanes and coastal erosion)

Identity card

Louisiana in the 25th most populous state in the country with an approximate 4.65 million inhabitants as of 2019, placing it directly ahead of Kentucky population wise around 180 000 more inhabitants and directly behind Alabama with 250 000 less inhabitants.

POPULATION

White alone

Black or African American alone

Hispanic or Latino

FLAG

CITIES

TAX

Louisiana is generally considered a low-tax state (35th). The tax rates vary from 2% to 6%, depending upon marital status and income

There is the highest population of alligators in the country there are estimated 1 to 2 million alligators in the wild !

Louisiana is also called « The pelican state », they enjoy the marshy swamplands with plenty of fish, frogs, and crayfish to catch for their dinner!

Baton Rouge became the capital of Louisiana in 1849.

Baton Rouge remained an alternative port in New Orleans, well located on the Mississippi. Still today, its economy is based on the port industry but also on the exploitation of oil, with the 2nd largest refinery in the country.

New Orleans is unlike any other city in the United States: its French quarter with Latin-Creole architecture, its cathedral, antique shops, jazz clubs and lively streets give it an unbridled and impertinent image that suits it very well.

The flag represents, on a blue background, a pelican in its nest above three chicks, opening its chest with its beak. It is a medieval Christian symbol, which represents the Passion of Christ, and also appears on the state seal.

Louisiana was officially proclaimed French territory by the explorer Cavelier de Lasalle, in honor of his king Louis XIV
1682

Timeline of the history of Louisiana State

Recovered by France

1800

1763

Ceded to Spain by the Treaty of Paris

1803

Sold in the United States by Napoleon for 15 millions dollars. It becames the 18th State of the Unions

Louisiana purchased by Thomas Jefferson also included Arcansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma as well as parts of 8 other states and even a little bit of Canada.

The French roots are still apparent everywhere in Louisiana, from the French names for towns to the French dialects like Cajun and Creole spoken by many residents.

Illustration of Louisiana Purchase (1803)

FAMOUS PERSONs


Born in 1958 in Métairie. With her talkshow The Ellen DeGeneres Show become cult, she became one of the best known presenters. Arriving on the benches of the University of New Orleans where she is oriented towards communication, Ellen DeGeneres finally leaves this sector. She does all the little jobs here and there, waitress, house painter, bartender... And continues to cultivate her passion for comedy and stand-up. In the late 1970s, she performed in small local cafes. Ellen DeGeneres conquered little by little, with her legendary humour, until she performed all over the country. She even won the title of "funniest person" in the United States and was the first openly homosexual person to present the Oscars.

ELLEN DE GENERES

LOUIS ARMSTRONG

He was born in 1901 into a poor black family in New Orleans, in the Jane Alley neighbourhood plagued by violence and prostitution. As a child, he sang in the streets of New Orleans in a small vocal group. Growing up in a difficult neighbourhood, he worked in many small jobs (coal-hauling, delivering newspapers, sweeping graves) to help his family. Armstrong was a trumpet virtuoso and an inspired improviser. Through his play, the trumpet became a jazz soloist instrument. He was also an accompanist and ensemble musician. He can be considered the inventor of jazz singing. He played his bitchy voice so recognizable in improvisation, linking the lyrics and melody of the songs in an expressive way.

PART II


POLICIES AND
INSTITUTIONS

STATE STRUCTURE

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As he US is a federal country, each states has its own legal and fiscal system and enjoys a certain autonomy. Two senators and eight members of the House sit in Washington to represent Louisiana

PECULIARITIES OF THE LOUISIANA POLITICAL SYSTEM

Louisiana is the only state to have a legal system based on civil laws from the French and Spanish codes, unlike British laws from the rest of the country. Even if the laws are regularly updated to align with other states, we still find the old Roman tradition. On the contrary, criminal laws are all based on Anglo-American laws.

The local elections are similar to the French system. All candidates present themselves in a first round. If no candidate has more than 50% of the votes, the first two will run in a second round a month later, regardless of the party of the candidates. The rest of the United States presents in the first round only one candidate per party who has been previously appointed to its party.

Louisiana is divided into 64 civilian parishes, represented by a "police jury": the sheriff, the coroner, the clerk of court and his assessor. They are also elected for four years by state voters. Parishes are administrative districts. As an example, the Acadiana region (Cajun country) is divided into eight parishes. Louisiana is the only state to still use this division into parishes, in the rest of the United States, they are counties.

PARTY SYSTEM

The state of Louisiana, althought traditionnally conservative due to its southern past, is rather politically divided. For decades, the low purchasing power of the Louisiana population has tipped the balance towards Democrats. Louisiana's political tendencies are therefore complex and usually fascinate observers.

New Orleans, a city of great tolerance, is traditionally democratic. In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama was widely elected in Louisiana,

The north of the state differs because of its proximity to rich Texas and its remoteness from New Orleans. In 2012 and 2016, Trump won a majority of the vote, as in all the Deep South states.

Current Governor John Bel Edwards is a Democrat (the only Deep South governor at the time of his election), succeeding Republican Bobby Jindal. One of John Bel Edwards' first decisions was to extend the Medicaid program to 300,000 poor Louisiana residents.

legislation on marijuana

2021 was an incredibly successful year, with the Louisiana legislature adopting limited decriminalization, moving towards legalization and expanding the medical cannabis program (the flower is now available to patients!). New Orleans City Council has pardoned past and future violations of its municipal ordinance and has recently stopped issuing subpoenas for simple possession.

This legislation will prevent thousands of Louisiana residents from being incarcerated for small amounts of cannabis. The sentence for possession of up to 14 grams (or 0.49 ounces) of cannabis has been reduced to a fine of up to $100. For those who cannot pay, the court must use its discretion for alternatives, such as works of general interest or instalments.

Louisiana was the incarceration capital of the United States until recently. While the legislature has reduced several sanctions over the years, many have continued to be breathtaking and tear families apart.

LEGISLATION ON

DEATH PENALTY

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the American state of Louisiana . Although it remains a legal sanction, there have been no executions in Louisiana since 2010. There have been 28 executions since 1977

Highlights… Former death row inmates exonerated many times in Louisiana (2012, 2014 and 2017)

A death sentence without trial?

In 1997 the Louisiana parliament passed a law tolerating murder (under certain conditions, of course). If someone catches a person in his house or with the intention of stealing his car, he is entitled to shoot him and kill him (carrying a weapon is legal in this state). Watch out for car confusion, be sure of your property.

MASTER PLAN: A Local politic in response to environmental crisis

WHY?

In late summer 2005, New Orleans and the entire south coast of the United States faced the most costly natural-induced disaster ever recorded on American soil: Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana is an “unsustainable” territory, with very high exposure to climate threats, where efforts are no longer sufficient to curb increasing exposure to natural risk, particularly through the Mississippi Delta, which is very restrictive.

WHAT?

In response to this environmental crisis experienced by the Louisiana territory, major work was undertaken from 2005, and even more in 2012 with the adoption of the "Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast", a large-scale operation that brings together engineers, scientific experts, association and elected officials, and is managed by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, an institution dependent on the Louisiana government. This program will invest $50 billion over the next 50 years. It brings together more than 140 different scientific projects, some unique and new, combining structural measures and so-called “soft” measures.

WHO?

The Louisiana legislature decided that protection and restoration could no longer be done in isolation, and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (QRPA) was created to implement this policy.

WHEN?

2005 (following Hurricane Katrina) and deepening in 2012 (following Hurricane Sandy), then new plan in 2017, and finally now in anticipation of 2023

WHERE?

On the Louisiana Coastal Zone

Projects included: barrier island restoration, oyster barrier reef, structural protection, bank stabilization, shoreline protection, marsh creation…

An educational politic of French immersion program

WHAT?

The most common model of French immersion in Louisiana appears to be that of "partial immersion in elementary school". In practice, it is an optional teaching program allowing students to continue in English the normal curriculum of the State of Louisiana in English and literature classes. The other courses, math, arts, science, and social life, are taught by a primary school teacher, which is about 50% of the teaching time in a day, hence the word “partial” when it comes to immersion. The proportions may vary from one institution to another, but instruction must be in French for at least 50% of the class day.

WHY?


First of all, to build on history. Louisiana is one of the few areas in America where French is a language of heritage. It is part of the local culture, there is a family history, we often find grandparents who still speak French. And language can be linked to music, food and history. If Louisiana is doing so well, it is also because of its rich francophone history. It was through the activism of its advocates that the state was able to reconnect with its multiple francophone roots. The Cajuns did an important job. Southwestern Louisiana became an Acadian country by the middle of the 18th century.

WHO?

In Louisiana, it’s the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, the Louisiana State Council of Elementary and Secondary Education. who has the constitutional and legislative authority to make decisions governing the state’s public education system. This council also exercises budgetary responsibility for all funds allocated or allocated by the state to schools under its jurisdiction. Acting as a quasi-legislative body, the State Council adopts policies and regulations that have the force of law in Louisiana. Immersion schools are now home to more than 5,000 students and demand exceeds supply, with hundreds of students on waiting lists.

WHERE?

In Louisiana, immersion programs are offered in the following parishes: Acadie, Assomption, Bâton-Rouge-Est, Calcasieu, Lafayette, Orléans, Saint-Landry and Saint-Martin. In Calcasieu, Orléans and Bâton-Rouge-Est, similar programs are permitted in Spanish.

WHEN?

Launched in 1983

THanks for your attention!