American Melting Pot: The City of New Orleans

Topics: Slavery, Carnival, New Orleans Pages: 8 (2976 words) Published: June 28, 2013
 In a country containing so much diversity and history, it is practically impossible to locate one city which embodies American diversity. A colony started by the French was the first area to fully integrate culture and religion. The city of New Orleans, now prosperous from its diversity, epitomizes the "American Melting Pot". It is complicated to relate such different backgrounds, but with an overview of history, culture, religion, and integration on a small scale, a reader is capable of applying the values to the American culture as a whole.      In 1699 the first plans for New Orleans were born. French-Canadian, Pierre le Moyen, Sieur d'Iberville left France to found a colony on the Gulf of Mexico. Sieur d'Iberville set up a fur trading for originally on the north gulf coast, then moved the establishment to Dauphin Island. Once again, he moved the fort and created an inland colony near Louisiana. Sieur d'Iberville was in charge of all of France's responsibilities in the southern portion of the territory. Wen Iberville died in 1706 the land under his jurisdiction was given to ho brother, Jean Baptiste de Moyen Sieur de Beinville.      Beinville had great plans for the development of the French colonies and in 1717 he submitted plans for a new settlement to the Company of the West. In 1718 France agreed with Beinville's plans and authorized him to establish the settlement, according to his plans, one hundred miles up the Mississippi. Four years later the capitol of the Louisiana territory was transferred to the new settlement now know as New Orleans.      The new colony was called "New Orleans'; in honor of the Duke d'Orlean. Duke d'Orlean supposedly had something to do with the funding for the new colony. The Duke favored John Law, the founder of the Company of the West, and supported many of the company's ventures, the construction of New Orleans inclusive.      The new, growing colony needed a government, so a democratic council was formed. New Orleans was under the rule of a law making body called the Superior council which was first formed in 1712. The Superior Council was well liked by the people because it was a small representative democracy. During the 1720's and 30's Beinville was replaced as mayor by Sieur de Pierre. The colony did not experience much growth between these years so Beinville was reappointed governor in 1733 and left the colony permanently in 1742.

     Spain took over the government of New Orleans in 1766. The Spanish sent the new governor, Antonio de Ulloa, to reign over their newest asset. Although the colony was completely populated by French, there was not an immediate opposition to the Spanish government. The French had treated the colonists very poorly. The little property that the colony maintained was dependent on France and French markets. The only thing Governor Ulloa desired to do was replace France with Spain and the French markets with Spanish markets. The colonists were originally indifferent to a distant change such as this.

     Finally, in 1768 there was a rebellion against Spanish rule. The leaders of the rebellion all lived in or around the new Orleans settlement. The rebel leaders had power and were prosperous because of their involvement with the Superior Council. The Spanish disbanded the Superior council and replaced it with a town council, named for its meeting place, the Cabillo. The Cabillo had ten members, four seats were elected and six were purchased. The rebels, not agreeing with the new form of government, chased governor Ulloa out of town. The leaders of the rebellion were a arrested, five were shot, one died in jail and the remaining six were incarcerated.

     New Orleans was granted trading rights by Spain in 1795. In 1800 the Treaty of San Ildefenso gave Louisiana back to France. This treaty was a secret, unknown to the colonists. Napoleon Bonaparte induced the Spanish King to return the land to France for...
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