The Baton Rouge University Area
This capital city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is situated on the land east of the Mississippi riverbank; in the foot of the boot-shaped state. It is the seat of the East Baton Rouge Parish – an equivalent of what is normally referred to as a county in most other parts of the U.S. The combined government of Baton Rouge and several rural areas are represented by the Metropolitan Council and the Mayor-President.
Artifacts along the local rivers, including the Mississippi river, date early settlers back to 8000 B.C. Indigenous peoples inhabited the Baton Rouge area for thousands of years before Frenchmen began to explore the area in 1699 and settle the land in 1719 with the establishment of a fort.
The population would increase indirectly with the Expulsion of approximately 11,000 Acadians from Acadia by British colonial officers in 1755. Many expelled Acadians settled in Baton Rouge area that would become Acadiana; where they continued their cultural traditions but relabeled themselves as Cajuns.
In 1763, and with the exception of New Orleans, Britain gained all land East of the Mississippi with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. This included Baton Rouge. Land grants would draw in more European-American settlers to the area. The town would be seized by the Spanish during the American Revolutionary War in the Battle of Baton Rouge in 1779.
With the Louisiana Purchase, the United States gained North American land; formerly under the control of the French, which surrounded Spanish West Florida by the United States. It would be claimed by rebels of West Florida who would hold control for 90 days before being seized by American forces ordered by President James Madison who claim the territory was part of the U.S. according to the Louisiana Purchase.
The population would more than double by the time the Civil War broke out; however it would stunt economic growth and once Union Forces entered the territory in 1862, the area would suffer physical damage as well after the one and only confederate attempt to reclaim the city.
The Baton Rouge area would experience another population boost with the arrival of freed slaves; who relocated from rural areas seeking more opportunity and safer communities among other blacks. By 1880, Baton Rouge consisted of 60% blacks. Jim Crow laws emerged during this time until civil rights legislation laws passed in the 1960’s overturned such legislation. The first bus boycott took place in Baton Rouge and influenced the more talked about Montgomery Bus Boycott.