The French Quarter

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The French Quarter
The French Quarter of New Orleans was one of many parts along the Mississippi river area affected by the French Empire. The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carre (Old Square in French) , is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. It was founded by naval officer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville in 1721. It was originally founded as a military style grid. The neighborhood is not very big, with only an area of 0.66 square miles. Bienville was the governor for John Law’s Company of the Indies. New Orleans has gone under many different periods of rule throughout its history. It first was with the French, then it was given to the Spanish, then the Louisiana Purchase occurred, and ever since it has been in the hands of the United States.

The French Quarter was first mainly inhabited by the Choctaw Indians. It wasn’t until viewed by the white man’s eyes until Robert de LaSalle cruised past the city in 1718. Bienville tried to set up a military fort their, now called the Old Spanish Fort. He was successful in doing so except for the trouble with flooding. Obviously Hurricane Katrina flooded this area in 2005, but in 1719 they still had trouble with flooding because of the neighborhood’s low elevation of only 3 feet. Bienville teamed up with two French engineers to design a military style city plan. It was one of the first planned out cities in the United States. The plan has remained to this day with the city surrounded by a grid of 6 by 9 city blocks. If there were any buildings outside of the planned city, they were ordered to be torn down and for the owners to move into the city. But, in 1721 a hurricane leveled the whole town and they were forced to start the building process over again (history does repeat itself). The hurricane turned the area into a swamp with alligators and snakes crawling in them. Because of this, a levee was built to protect the city. This is when the French culture and buildings that are there...
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