New Orleans

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The uniqueness of New Orleans

New Orleans is nationally known as one of the unique cities ofAmerica. The social construction of this uniqueness began from the city’s establishment by the French. This social identity was progressively built upon when the colony came under the control of the Spanish, and then reverted to French power before being sold to America in the Louisiana Purchase. The presence of these different cultural groups influenced the development of New Orleans economically and culturally giving the city a diverse heritage that is uncommon amongst most American cities.
In 1699, French explorers Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’lberville and Jean-Bapiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville found the mouth of the Mississippi river and established the first European settlement on the golf coast (Gwynedd-Mercy College 2012). Bienville would establish the settlement of New Orleans on the high ground along Mississippi (Gwynedd-Mercy College 2012). To economically develop the new settlement France sent prisoners, slaves and servants (Gwynedd-Mercy College 2012). It was from these inhabitants that the bawdy side of New Orleans’s lifestyle was established (Gwynedd-Mercy College 2012). The foundation of New Orleans’s social identity was constructed from French culture, but spatially was given new dimensions when the Spanish took control. The Spanish presence added a new set of cultural traditions and ideologies that were integrated socially, beginning the city’s journey towards multiculturalism (Gwynedd-Mercy College 2012).
The landscape of New Orleans structurally and socially consisted of French architecture and culture. However, the addition of new cultural groups allowed for the integration of non-French architecture and caused the construction of Creole culture (Hirsch and Logsdon 1999). The landscape changed after a series of fires in 1788 and 1794 which nearly destroyed all of the French building this allowed the integration of Spanish architecture in New Orleans

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