About New Orleans
New Orleans is rich in history and full of hauntings. To fully understand the depths of her ghosts, one must travel to the bayou. But before experiencing the Big Easy, it’s important to familiarize yourself with her history.
A Quick Drive By History of New Orleans
1. New Orleans was founded in 1718 by the French brothers Pierre Le Moyne d’Ibervilleand Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville as La Nouvelle-Orléans, named afterPhilippe II, Duke of Orléans. It was established as a strategic port city at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
2. New Orleans was part of the French colonial empire until 1763 when it was ceded to Spain. It was then returned to French control in 1800 – which the locals were NOT aware of! before being sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
3. Creole Culture: The original definition of “Creole” is an individual born in the “New World” to parents of the “Old World.” New Orleans developed her Creole culture with the city’s dominating influences of French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean traditions. You will notice it in the city’s architecture, cuisine, music, and language.
4. The Battle of New Orleans: During the War of 1812, the British attempted to capture New Orleans but were defeated by American forces with a little help from the Lafitte Pirate Brothers in the famous Battle of New Orleans in 1815, which made Andrew Jackson a national hero.
5. Antebellum South: In the decades leading up to the Civil War, New Orleans thrived as a major port city and trading hub, particularly for cotton and sugar. The city became a center of the slave trade in the American South, though the creation of Code Noir had been in effect since 1724.
6. Civil War and Reconstruction: New Orleans was occupied by Union forces early in the Civil War and remained under martial law for much of the conflict. After the war, during the Reconstruction era, the city saw significant political and social upheaval..
7. 20th Century: New Orleans continued to be a vibrant cultural center, known for its music, cuisine, and festivals such as Mardi Gras. However, the city also faced challenges such as racial segregation, poverty, and periodic flooding from the Mississippi River and hurricanes.
8. Hurricane Katrina: In 2005, the storm caused catastrophic flooding and devastation, leading to one of the most challenging periods in the city’s history as it struggled to recover and rebuild.
9. Modern Era: Since Katrina, New Orleans has made significant strides in recovery and revitalization efforts. The city has focused on rebuilding its infrastructure, revitalizing neighborhoods, and strengthening its resilience to future disasters while preserving its unique cultural heritage.
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