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Louisiana is a state in the southern region of the US. It lies along the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The state capital is Baton Rouge, but its largest city is New Orleans. The area was previously both a French and Spanish colony. In the 1800s, it was a major sugar producer and an important slave trading center. It joined the Confederacy and afterward implemented Jim Crow laws against African-Americans. The state features a large-volume shipping port and is rich in petroleum. Louisiana has a strong multicultural heritage, featuring French, African, and Haitian influences. The French Quarter in New Orleans is the state’s most popular attraction.