The Louisiana city of New Orleans still retains much of its French-infused heritage, and many of its residents hold on to aspects of French and European culture that date back to colonial times, including language, culture and cuisine. Quickly recognizing the possibilities for shipping at the Mississippi Delta where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexicothe early settlers from France founded the city of New Orleans 17 years later. Engineers deed 66 squares of a walled village, naming the streets after French royalty.
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The city quickly grew into a rich port city, shipping timber, minerals, agricultural products and, perhaps most notably, high-quality furs from the Mississippi Valley and the interior of the still-unexplored continent, transported downriver to New Orleans for quick delivery to Europe. Unlike the Puritans who first settled in New England in the 17th century, the French colonists were Catholic and, though still religious, they had a flair for fine living and dining.
New Orleans quickly developed a unique, French-infused cuisine and, years later, it grew into a music mecca with a rich African American culture, spawning its own take on jazz and blues music in the 20th century. Infollowing the brutal French and Indian Warthe government of France negotiated the Treaty of Fontainebleau with their counterparts in Spain.
The treaty effectively ceded the territory of Louisiana and the island of Orleans—essentially what is now New Orleans—to the Spaniards. The French saw the move as an inducement deed to persuade the Spanish to end the Seven-Years War. Ultimately, they feared the English would win the conflict, and French influence over New Orleans and the surrounding territory would come to an inglorious end. The Treaty of Fontainebleau was kept secret for nearly a year, and once the French colonists learned of its existence, they revolted.
With an already diverse population of French, Creole and Africans both slaves and free settlersthe Spanish had a difficult time governing the colony. Although they afforded settlers there more freedom than they did those of their other colonies in South America, for examplethere were ificant restrictions imposed on trade.
Less than 40 years later, perhaps weary of governing a troublesome colony, and feeling the threat of an ambitious French military leader, the brash young Napoleon BonaparteSpain relinquished the Louisiana Territory and New Orleans back to France via another secret treaty, the Treaty of San Ildefonso, in However, faced with a slave uprising on the island of Saint Domingue what is now the Dominican Republic and Haiti and the specter of a war with Great Britain over control of Louisiana, Napoleon had a decision to make: Rather than send troops to defend New Orleans, which the British saw for its value as a port, and the surrounding territory, the military leader dispatched 20, soldiers to Saint Domingue to quell the slave revolt, leaving New Orleans and French Louisiana essentially defenseless in the event of a British attack.
Seeing an opportunity, Thomas JeffersonPresident of the United States at the time, and his Secretary of State James Madisondecided to fashion an alliance of sorts with the French government. Part and parcel of this relationship was the future governance of Louisiana. It may be more than years since the French have controlled New Orleans, but their influence is obvious in the city to this day—in culture, cuisine, language and geography.
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And, of course, there is the French Quarter itself, with its streets still bearing the names given them by the early French settlers and its French- and Spanish-influenced architecture. Finally, there are the obvious links between the French and the Cajun and Creole cultures. Cajuns and Creoles are two distinct groups, with long histories as Louisianans, who can trace their roots to France and Quebec, though Creoles can also cite Spanish, African and Caribbean influences as well. These two cultures have their own languages Cajun closely resembles Frenchcuisine, music and traditions, and are part of what makes New Orleans a unique city today.
Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Founded by the French, ruled for 40 years by the Spanish and bought by the United States The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in and ended in the late s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. On May 8,Joan of Arca teenage French peasant, successfully led a French force to break the siege.
Inshe was The obelisk, dedicated inhonored a group of white supremacists who, 20 years earlier, had initiated a clash with black police Contrary to popular belief, Great Britain and the United States were still officially in a state of war when they clashed in New Orleans. While British and American diplomats negotiating in Live TV. This Day In History.
History Vault. Religious Differences, Cultural Differences Unlike the Puritans who first settled in New England in the 17th century, the French colonists were Catholic and, though still religious, they had a flair for fine living and dining.
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