According to INDEXDOTCOM, Louisiana has a rich and storied history. It was first inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Choctaw, Tunica, Natchez, and Houma. In 1682, French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle claimed Louisiana for France. Over the next century, the French established numerous settlements throughout the area. In 1762, France ceded Louisiana to Spain in the Treaty of Fontainebleau. In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte regained control of Louisiana from Spain with the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso. Three years later he sold it to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase for $15 million. This purchase doubled the size of America and set off a wave of western expansion and settlement in what was then known as “The Wild West.” In 1812, Louisiana became an official state in the Union. During this time period it also had a thriving plantation economy based on cotton and sugarcane production that relied heavily on slavery. After the Civil War, Reconstruction began in Louisiana with new laws being enacted to ensure civil rights for African Americans. Despite these changes there were still many struggles over racism and poverty throughout most of 20th century until civil rights reforms were fully implemented in 1965 with passage of The Voting Rights Act. Today Louisiana is known for its vibrant culture and diverse population that includes African Americans, French-speaking Cajuns, Creoles, Native Americans and other ethnic groups who have all left their mark on this great state over its long history. Check Agooddir for more about Louisiana.