In 1811, a U.S. Congressional bill enabled the people of the Territory of Orleans to draft a constitution and apply for admission into the union; the population had reached the necessary 60,000 to do so. Julien Poydras presided over this Constitutional Convention and presented the constitution to President James Madison. It was accepted by Congress, and on April 30, 1812, Louisiana was admitted as the eighteenth state of the Union. The State of Louisiana consisted of the Territory of Orleans, as well as the Florida Parishes east of the Mississippi River, which had been annexed by the U.S. from Spain in 1810. In the state’s first election for governor, William C.C. Claiborne defeated Jacques Villere and served Louisiana from 1812 to 1816.
In the midst of celebrating its new statehood, Louisiana was pulled into a nationwide conflict with Great Britain, the War of 1812, which culminated with the Battle of New Orleans in January of 1815. At that time, American forces commanded by General Andrew Jackson defeated the British and pushed them out of south Louisiana.