New Orleans (pronounced /nuːˈɔliənz, nuːˈɔlənz/ locally and often pronounced /nuːɔrˈliːnz/ in most other US dialects French: La Nouvelle-Orléans is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana. New Orleans is the center of the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area, the largest metro area in the state.
New Orleans is located in southeastern Louisiana, straddling the Mississippi River. It is coextensive with Orleans Parish, meaning that the boundaries of the city and the parish are the same. It is bounded by the parishes of St. Tammany (north), St. Bernard (east), Plaquemines (south), and Jefferson (south and west). Lake Pontchartrain, part of which is included in the city limits, lies to the north, and Lake Borgne lies to the east.
The city is named after Philippe II, Duc d’Orléans, Regent of France, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is well known for its multicultural and multilingual heritage, cuisine, architecture, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual Mardi Gras and other celebrations and festivals. The city is often referred to as the “most unique” city in America
La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans) was founded May 7, 1718, by the French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville on land inhabited by the Chitimacha. It was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France at the time; his title came from the French city of Orléans. The French colony was ceded to the Spanish Empire in the Treaty of Paris (1763) and remained under Spanish control until 1801, when it reverted to French control. Most of the surviving architecture of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) dates from this Spanish period. Napoleon sold the territory to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, and Creole French. Major commodity crops of sugar and cotton were cultivated with slave labor on large plantations outside the city.
The Haitian Revolution of 1804 established the second republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first led by blacks. Haitian refugees both white and free people of color (affranchis) arrived in New Orleans, often bringing slaves with them. While Governor Claiborne and other officials wanted to keep out more free black men, French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population. As more refugees were allowed in Louisiana, Haitian émigrés who had gone to Cuba also arrived. Nearly 90 percent of the new immigrants settled in New Orleans. The 1809 migration brought 2,731 whites; 3,102 free persons of African descent; and 3,226 enslaved refugees to the city, doubling its French-speaking population.
During the War of 1812, the British sent a force to conquer the city. The Americans decisively defeated the British troops, led by Sir Edward Pakenham, in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.
As a principal port, New Orleans had the major role of any city during the antebellum era in the slave trade. Its port handled huge quantities of goods for export from the interior and import from other countries to be traded up the Mississippi River. The river was filled with steamboats, flatboats, and sailing ships. At the same time, it had the most prosperous community of free persons of color in the South, who were often educated and middle-class property owners.
The population of the city doubled in the 1830s, and by 1840 New Orleans had become the wealthiest and third-most populous city in the nation. It had the largest slave market. Two-thirds of the more than one million slaves brought to the Deep South arrived via the forced migration of the internal slave trade. The money generated by sales of slaves in the Upper South has been estimated at fifteen percent of the value of the staple crop economy. The slaves represented half a billion dollars in property, and an ancillary economy grew up around the trade in slaves – for transportation, housing and clothing, fees, etc., estimated at 13.5 percent of the price per person. All this amounted to tens of billions of dollars during the antebellum period, with New Orleans as a prime beneficiary.
The Union captured New Orleans early in the American Civil War, sparing the city the destruction suffered by many other cities of the American South.
Duration : 0:3:25
Categories: Louisiana Music Tags: African, American, Americans, Armstrong, art, Black, Blue, Cajun, Celebration, creole, Fat, Festival, folk, French, Gras, Hurricane, Jazz, Joint, Juke, Katrina, Louie, Louisiana, Mardi, Mississippi, music, new, NOLA, of, orleans, Quarters, River, Saints, slave, Slaves, south, Southern, Trade, Tuesday, Zydeco
Lousiana culture does seem much more diverse. There are many cajuns still living in a subsistence economy based on hunting, fishing, and gardening. The cajun and creole cuisine is rarely found elsewhere, at least not in high quality. The above-ground cemeteries adds a touch of mystique along with the voodoo history. Louisiana’s dark past as a slave-port and holding place for incoming slaves is a curious look at a gut-wrenching period of U.S. history. People from Lousiana seem to have learned a way to cook any part of any animal and make it a delicacy. Whether it’s soft-shell crabs, or sucking the head out of a crawdad, or turtle soup, they don’t miss much. The French, Carribean, and African influence on dialect and cuisine can’t be missed. The greatest Creole restaurants in the world are in New Orleans, IMHO. Commander’s Palace, Brennans, Arnauds, K-Paul’s, Antoine’s, just to name a few of my favorites. And Jackson Square with it’s Cafe du Monde’s beignets and chickory coffee are an interesting experience.
Texas was largely populated by Czechs, Poles, and Germans. They seemed to assimilate into a homogenized Texan culture much more completely. The main cultural interest in Texas now seems Hispanic. Tex-Mex food and BBQ seems to be the bulk of the Texan cuisine. The best steaks are still in Kansas City. I love visiting Texas to be sure. They are a proud and patriotic people. But their cutural heritage is not so rich and diverse as it is in Louisiana. Texas is wealthier, more modern, with more malls, high-rises, extravagant modern hotels, etc. While New Orleans has more boutique hotels with very attentive staff that take great pride in using your name at every encounter. Louisiana, on the other hand, even before Katrina, was a city largely forgotten when it comes to building standards, and remaining eyesores of buildings that plainly need serious structural improvements for safety and many half-demolished buidings.
Each state has its plusses and minuses, but Lousiana culture remains richer and more diverse in my opinion.
A discussion on the subject of Creoles Vs African/Americans who share the same African Ancestry but not the same Culture
Duration : 0:9:30
Mardi Gras Indians are a New Orleans cultural treasure recently highlighted in the HBO series Treme. “To mask Indian” is a commitment — it takes thousands of hours to sew a new suit. The creations are annual works of art – sculptures of resplendent feathers and beaded workmanship. Tulane Law students are helping Mardi Gras Indians gain the same copyright protection as other artists, to ensure the future of new suits for carnivals to come.
Duration : 0:2:24
Pete Bergeron designed the Louisiana Creole flag in 1987 and, in 1995, the Lafayette-based organization C.R.E.O.L.E., Inc., a heritage preservation group, adopted the flag to represent the cultural and ethnic diversity of Creole Louisiana. Dolores Kay Conque, Bergeron’s sister, hand-stitched the first Creole flag.
The upper left section, a white fleur de lis on a blue field, represents Louisiana’s French heritage. On the lower left and upper right sections, West African heritage is represented, respectively, by the flags of Mali and Senegal. Spanish colonial heritage is depicted by the Tower of Castille — a gold tower on a red field — positioned at the lower right section of the flag. A white cross dividing the four quadrants serves as a symbol of religion in the region.
Historically, Louisiana Creoles share deep cultural and kinship ties not only with Mediterranean Europeans, West Africans and Native Americans, but, as well, with the people of Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
Duration : 0:4:18