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Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History, Volume XVI

edited by Thomas A. Becnel

Agriculture and Economic Development in Louisiana traces the peaks and valleys of Louisiana's economic evolution and concentrates on the period between statehood, 1812, and 1995.

Organized into six major topical divisions: transportation, lumbering, agriculture, general trade and commerce, organized labor, and the modem economy, the transportation, agriculture, and modem economy sections constitute three-fourths of the work.

Transportation is crucial to the development of any market economy, and between 1815 and 1900, Louisiana experienced revolutionary improvements in its transportation infrastructure, as canal construction, improvements to waterways, railroad development, and highway improvements tied the state's subregions more closely together.

The lumbering section traces the rise and fall of Louisiana's once extensive and lucrative cypress industry. In 1914, the Pelican State led the nation in lumber production. Despite a drastic reduction in the extent of forestry activities in Louisiana during the twentieth century, lumbering remains a mainstay of the state's economy, generating approximately $5 billion per annum—approximately twice the income of the poultry, cotton, sugarcane, and marine fisheries industries combined.

Essays on Louisiana's agricultural sector, which has done so much to shape the state's economic character, focus on the sugarcane, cotton, and rice industries. Individual essays examine the evolution of each industry over the course of two centuries.

The final section offers numerous surprising conclusions about Louisiana's postmodern status. It also notes the increasing complexity of Louisiana's economic situation, which can only be fully understood by exploring the pages of this book. 

Hardcover, 700 pages, ©1997

ISBN: 9781887366151

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