The malign influence

It is two and a half centuries since the Seven Years' War ended France's pretensions to power on the North American continent. The war ended with Britain taking Quebec from France and Florida from Spain. Spain was granted Louisiana, from France, as compensation. A generation later, French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Spain, and briefly took Louisiana back again, but promptly sold it to the nascent United States. That tiny interlude aside, French power in North America hs been dead for 250 years. Yet the malign influence lives on.

No-one could seriously dispute that Louisiana and Quebec remain the most racially divided and corrupt jurisdictions in the USA and Canada. A recent Quebecois scandal nearly brought down the Canadian government. Louisiana remains the only state in the Union in which Vote for the crook has ever been a winning electoral slogan. And within the past week the mayor of New Orleans was berating Federal incompetence in assisting with the evacuation, despite the fact federal relief from Houston arrived in his city before his city's own fleet of buses.

Quebec and Louisiana retain some attractive cultural features from their association with France. But their governance suffers still.

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