Introduction of New orleans
Major commercial and industrial city and port on the Mississippi River, 107 mi from its mouth, SE Louisiana. Founded in 1718 by de Bienville, it became the capital of the French colony of Louisiana in 1722. It was ceded to Spain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Smuggling flourished at the port under Spanish rule, and more and more New Orleans became the key to control of the Mississippi River inland . In 1803 France regained the territory, but in the same year Napoleon, embroiled in his European wars, sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The city was incorporated in 1805, and it became the capital of Louisiana when it entered the Union, remaining the capital from 1812 to 1849. The Battle of New Orleans, a crushing victory by Andrew Jackson over the British on January 8, 1815, closed the War of 1812 with a much-needed U.S. victory, even though it was fought after the signing of the peace treaty at Ghent.
New Orleans flourished as a river port for the cotton trade and entry point for the interior, via the early steamboats, during the period of western expansion in the early 19th century. It seceded from the Union in 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War. However, it was soon captured by the Union forces under Admiral David G. Farragut on April 25, 1862, and suffered heavily in the postwar occupation period under General Benjamin Butler. Its recovery during the Reconstruction period was slow.
The famous French quarter is a part of the city and a center of the well-known Mardi Gras celebration. Many of the French Cajuns, exiled from Acadia, settled here. New Orleans’s exotic mix of history and peoples, its unique site and beautiful old buildings have made it a tourist haven. Jazz had its beginnings here among black musicians. The city has been subject to hurricanes but had escaped damage due to a system of levees and pumping stations. This was not the case, however, when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. Several of the levees protecting the city failed, allowing the city to flood. Although the residents of the city were ordered to evacuate, over 1,000 people perished as a result of the hurricane, while the flood waters rendered most of the city uninhabitable. The city has since been drained and its residents were allowed back to begin rebuilding.