The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary. Benjamin Franklin on the origins of the Louisiana republic
(Non, je leur ai dit), ce qu'il faut aujourd'hui au peuple louisianaise, c'est un trône populaire, entouré d’institutions républicaines, tout à fait républicaines. (Delegate Georges de La Fayette at the Constituent Assembly)
Louisiana (French: Louisiane, Kréyol: Lwizyàn) is an independent state of America. It gained its independence in 1833 during Louisianan Revolution. The republic started as a colony of the Kingdom of France (1682-1791), a Provincial State of the French Republic with self government (1790-1791) and Royalist Louisiana (1791-1833). Until 1833 Louisiana included the territories of Dakota.
Much of Louisiana covers an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretches from the south of the Upper Mississippi River watershed, to the Gulf of Mexico and from the west of the river to the Rocky Mountains.
Louisiana is a democratic representative republic according to the Constitution of the Year (...). The supreme legislative and political authority is the elected unicameral National Assembly. Its representatives are elected according to the electoral districts (parishes) every five years. Each district sends a proper number of delegates as determined by law.
The National Assembly must at least meet annually, and elects the First Consul for a five year mandate. Electing a consul requires three-fifths of the National Assembly or the absolute majority from the last three candidates if in six voting rounds none obtain the three-fifths of votes. Any candidate can be replaced or nominated until the fourth voting round where no new nominations can be put forward. The First Consul is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and is free to name and remove the ministers and secretaries of the Governmental Council. He can also appoint all high officials, prefects, governors, subprefects and inspectors.
Political parties must be registered according to Political Associations Law and its ordinances in order to put candidates in all elections. The recognized parties, historical and present, are the following: Republican Association, National Democrats, Bloc of Radical Republicans, Radical Democratic Union, Concord Alliance, Abolitionist Party, Creole Party, Liberal Party, Constitutional Party, and Leftist Party.
Head of State and Government
Louisiana as a colony of the Kingdom of France (1682-1790) had a Governor-General named by the King of France.
It later became a Provincial State of the French Republic (1790-1791) by decree of the National Convention with a Political Commissioner of the Republic named by the National Convention.
In 1791 with the arrival of the Dauphin, Louisiana de facto became independent from France.
|Portrait||King of France and Emperor of India (at Louisiana)
|Proclaimed and crowned King of France and Emperor in New Orleans.|
|Ordered the failed Texan annexation military campaign in 1830-1831. Executed by guillotine.|
|Republic of Louisiana|
|Portrait||Governor-President of Provisional Government
|Term of office||Political party|
|Marshall Benoît Pelletier||1833-1834||Republican Association|
|Military leader of the Louisianian Revolution. Proclaimed Governor-President. Ceded head of Provisional Government to Lachance due to being named commander-in-chief of Republican Defense Army's campaign in southern Louisiana and the Battles of the Bayou against Loyalists.|
|Jacques Lachance||1834-1835||Republican Association|
|Georges de La Fayette||1835-1837||Republican Association|
|Son of French General Lafayette. Negotiated the Treaty of Chartres (1836) that recognized Dakota's independence.|
|Jacques Lachance||1837-1837||Republican Association, later National Democrats|
|Term of office||Political party|
|Jacques Lachance||1837-1842||National Democrats|
|Georges de La Fayette||1842-1847||Bloc of Radical Republicans|
|Xavier Babineaux||1842-1856||Concord Alliance|
|Reelected in 1847 and 1852. Aided Mexican republicans during the Second War of the Reforms (1847-1848). Died in office.|
|Gaspard Patenaude||1856-1861||Concord Alliance|
Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. It originally covered an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rocky Mountains.
Whereas the earliest settlers of Upper Louisiana mostly came from French Canada, Lower Louisiana was colonized by people from all over the French colonial empire, with various waves coming from Canada, France, and the French West Indies. The establishment of a plantation economy and its demand of labor interned a large population of African slaves (nègre) and a smaller group of escaped slaves (marrons).
The Mississippi Company acquired the monopoly over the slave trade in the area and became its main supplier. It imported approximately 10,000 slaves from Africa between 1719 and 1743. The economy of Lower Louisiana consequently became slave-dependent. As in other French colonies, the treatment of the slaves was regulated by the Code Noir.
Although the Code Noir forbade interracial marriages, in practice interracial relationships were formed in New Orleans society. The mulattoes became an intermediate social caste between the whites and the blacks.
During the 18th century, the society of Louisiana became heavily creolized specifically in Lower Louisiana. Social mobility was easier in America than in France at the time. The seigneurial system was not imposed. There were few corporations treated on a hierarchical basis and strictly regulated. Tradesmen managed to build fortunes rather quickly. The large planters of Louisiana were attached to the French way of life.
Provincial State of Louisiana
The French National Convention under the necessity of the defense of the Republic, to spread and share the war effort outside of Europe and add a new war theater in the Americas declared Louisiana a Provincial State with a large degree of self government from the Metropolis.
The self-government as a Provincial State, established an elected legislative body (Provincial Assembly) along a chief executive (Political Commissioner of the Republic) named by the National Convention and assisted by a Provincial Council.
An improvised army, that would later be reinforce with troops from the Metropolis and part of the Fleet that escaped the continental blockade were the start of the Army and Fleet of Louisiana.
However, the abolition of slavery as decreed by National Convention the divided Louisiana between planter in favour of slavery and abolitionist that favored even closer links as department with France. There was also the precedent and terror of Haiti were slavery was de facto abolished after a bloody slave revolt that ended with the establishment of an independent state that was at war with France.
The Dauphin Louis-Auguste arrived in November of 1791 to New Orleans after several months of the proclamation of the Republic and execution of Louis XVII to the bewilderment of local republican authorities. With the Dauphin came also what was left of the royal family and court that was not in prison or guillotined. Also royalist regiments and navy men arrived.
After a brief fight between royalists and republicans the Dauphin - a more resourceful person and with a bigger ego than his father - proclaimed himself Louis XVIII King of France and Emperor of India by the Grace of God bowing to re-establish his authority in Metropolitan France. This was welcomed by the planters of Lower Louisiana, the majority of proprietors, that feared the effects of the abolition of slavery and the turn of events in Haiti. The most important event of this kind was the 1792 slave revolt that was swiftly and mercilessly suppressed.
The French Republic was already fully absorbed with events Europe and Australia and internal troubles stayed off of Louisiana. In 1792 the Dauphin's brother Louis-Charles de Bourbon arrived to Pondicherry as Viceroy of India, adding more troubles for the Republic. The recovery of Royalist India however was considered a greater priority then Louisiana due to its the riches.
Royalist Louisiana during the European Revolutionary Wars was allied to Britain and engaged in attempts to put under its rule the colony of French West Indies, Guyana and Haiti. All these attempts and naval campaigns failed being the worst in terms of loss of men Haiti. The main cause for the defeats was the weak and small Louisianian fleet against the French one that still ranked as the third or fourth one in the World despite its naval defeats in Europe.
Meanwhile in Louisiana, it was business as usual and the firsts steps of the Royalist regime was the derogation of all the republican legislation and this silly stuff of equality has the royalist call it. In 1796 a States-General, was established with high property qualifications for electors and representatives. Louisiana became a sanctuary for royalists, unreformed monarchists, nobles, escaping non-jurors priests and, fleeing white French from Haiti.
The revenue from India sustained an opulent court in Nouvelle-Orleans. Improvements were also made on the city itself. However most of the power and economic influence was kept in landed aristocracy (Grand Notables). Up the Louisiana river on the frontier regions small and middle landholders were cast out of power due to strict property requirements. Also slavery, that diminished its number the further from Nouvelle-Orleans and its environment, created in time two distinct economies: Large plantations exploited by the use of slavery by the Grand Notables and a patchwork of freeholders using mainly free and paid sharecroppers and machinery and all possible agricultural advancements and machinery to save hand labor.
Reaction to Tumults
In 1814 several new measures that benefit Lower Louisiana such as the opening of grain market in order to lower prices, new tolls on river shipping, caused an economic crisis in Upper Louisiana and discontent. Also, the payment of loans for the failed Caribbean and Haitian expeditions fell on Upper Louisiana with new taxes and exceptions on the properties of the Grand Notables. Local assemblies and demands for political participation in Upper Louisiana were crushed and the seizure farms due to unpaid duties became commonplace. Also was the promotion and consolidation of larger land holdings and movement of slaves to Upper Louisiana by the Grand Notables were fiercely contested.
Independent and Republican Louisiana
Louisiana became an increasingly important colony in the early 18th century with the develop the plantation economy of Lower Louisiana. Jean-Baptiste Colbert's economic reforms specially favored Louisiana and Étienne François de Choiseul's colonial population policy.
The Mississippi river is the main waterway of Louisiana, communicating Nouvelle-Orléans to the Great Lakes. Cotton, timber, wheat, corn, coffee, coal, cattle, and food come down the Mississippi to the ports of the river delta. The shops on the banks of the Mississippi also served as warehouses.
Despite having very few shipments from and to France Louisiana became an important commercial and agricultural hub (cotton, wood, rice, wheat and corn) to the Caribbean Sea. Exports of tobacco and indigo to the Metropolis became an important source of income.
Lower and Upper Mississippi evolved in two different societies and economies. The Lower Mississippi established a plantation system based on slave labor for the production cash for export such as rice, sugar, cotton, tobacco, coffee and indigo. The Upper Mississippi was devoted to grain and cereals agriculture, raising horses, cattle and pigs, and also grew tobacco, hemp, flax and grapes in which farmers practiced communal agriculture or cultivated the land with paid and slave laborers. Slavery only became important in mining activities.
Unlike Lower Mississippi, which primarily had been organized in separated homesteads along a river with long rectangular plots stretching back from the river (ribbon plots). The Upper Mississippi although marked with long-ribbon plots, did not reside on them. Instead, settlers resided together in farming villages, more like the farming villages of northern France. Also the main attraction was that colonizers, as in all French America, did not have to pay royal taxes and were free of the hated gabelle and enjoyed a warmer climate than Canada.
- French and Royalist Louisiana
Louisiana is divided into regions. The government was led by a Governor-general (Gouverneur généraux), assisted by the Intendant for Louisiana. In theory, Louisiana was subordinate to Canada, and so it was explored and settled chiefly by French-Canadians rather than colonists from France. Given the enormous distance between Nouvelle-Orléans and Quebec, communications outside cities and forts were limited. The territories of Louisiana were a Governorship of the Viceroyalty since 1665.
However on the establishment of the Viceroyalty of New France (1665) Louisiana gained more autonomy in its administration until the reform of 1720. Louisiana is divided into the following regions:
- Lower Louisiana (Basse-Louisiane) capital Mobile
- Upper Louisiana (Haute-Louisiane) which began north of the Arkansas River, capital Fort de Chartres
- Country of Illinois (Pays des Illinois) which began north of the Upper Mississippi River (ceded to Canada).
- Arkansas Territory
- Missouri Territory
The Reform of 1720 clearly defined two generalities (généralités) divided in sub-delegations and territories. Each generality was in charge of a Commander-Governor and a Commissioner (commissaire-ordonnateur) both named and subject to the supervision of the General-General. The Commander-Governor was the head of the pays and was responsible military affairs, police and the defense of the territories under his administration and the Commissioner of civil, economical and judicial affairs. The Intendant of Louisiana named all sub-delegates of the sub-delegations and territories. General and Superior Councils serve as the main administrative and justice courts presided by the Commissioner and Intendant.
Generalities and Subdelegations:
- Lower Louisiana (Basse-Louisiane) capital Nouvelle-Orléans
- Upper Louisiana (Haute-Louisiane) capital Fort de Chartres
- Dakota (seceded from Louisiana)
- Republican Louisiana
Independent Louisiana is divided in provinces, prefectures or general lands (unorganized territories), parishes or districts and communes.
- Louisiana (Basse-Louisiane) capital Nouvelle-Orléans
- Mobile (Mobile)
- Arkansas (Les Arcansas)
- Missouri (Saint-Louis)
- General lands of Mississippi
- General lands of Kansas
- General lands of Dakota (seceded from Louisiana)
- Until Freedom Law of 1838
- Applied in Saint-Domingue (1687), the rest of the French West Indies (1687), Guyana (1704), OTL Réunion (1723), and Louisiana (1724).