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The Settlement of New Orleans

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1 The Settlement of New Orleans

2 1. Native Americans Along Bayou St. John and the lake front
Used river and lake to trade French Market was trading post Built homes out of palmetto leaves and tree branches Ate mudfish and crawfish; hunted wild animals The Native Americans introduced the French to the great portage along Bayou St John. It allowed people to trade north and east via the lake and north and south via the river. The port became an ideal location.

3 2. Spanish Explorers Hernando de Soto was in Florida
First European to see Mississippi River Crossed river in 1541 Not interested in settling or taking it Hostile Native Americans

4 Looking for adventure Gold Religious freedom Opportunity to improve life

5 Spanish wanted gold Large colony in the Caribbean, North and South America River large and annoying No gold found in the marshes / swamps

6 3. French Explorers Robert LaSalle claimed LA for France in 1699
Brothers Iberville and Bienville explored the area at mouth of river Iberville was killed when he couldn’t find mouth on the return Bienville longtime governor of LA

7 John Law People didn’t want to live in LA
Swamp, hot, bugs, far from home Businessman sold promise of great land Not many came France sent prisoners and unemployed to settle LA John Law said there were rivers of gold and kind Indians. The area was sure to become the next great tobacco growing empire. Sadly, tobacco didn’t grow too well in the swamp land. He was able to entice many Germans who settled along the German Coast, 20 miles upriver. Unlike their French counterparts, they were successful in cultivating the land. John Law’s experiment was called the “Mississippi Bubble”. It introduced the concept of paper money, state banking and created many millionaires but eventually destroyed the French economy. John Law had to run away and hide after the bubble popped. There’s a fantastic cartoon here:

8 Not Successful Hurricanes destroyed new colony
Difficult time with river, low land Couldn’t grow vegetables in swamp Unable to harness potential of port They had such a difficult time settling the area that many were forced to come. Prisoners could work off their prison term in New Orleans. The unemployed and poor could get a second chance. The problem was finding women for them. Some of the lower class ladies were sent to be wives, as well as good Catholic orphan girls (as shown in the picture above).

9 4. Enslaved Africans Taken from Africa within one year of setting up city Put to task of building city- clearing trees, building houses, levees Planted cash crops (cotton, sugar, tobacco) Like the Germans, Africans were much more skilled than the French in working the land, cultivating rice and growing okra from Africa. Legend has it that okra seeds were stowed away, hidden in the shirts of slaves traveling here only to be planted in Louisiana and become the base of the roux of our favorite local stew: gumbo.

10 5. Spanish take over Treaty of Fontainebleau (secret) and Treaty of Paris (public) Broke up Americas between Spain and Britain Secret until 1764 Wanted to dump expensive colony

11 Spanish Rule At first passive in the takeover
More serious about colony Opened up port (Treaty of San Lorenzo) Rebuilt French Quarter because of fires Progressive slave laws Colony begins being profitable The Spanish were initially slow in taking over Louisiana. Military men were the main source of Spanish settlers. When they moved to Louisiana, they easily adapted to the Catholic, European culture, even speaking French and taking up residence in the French Quarter. However, once the French began resisting their take over, things got serious. There was a revolt in the city, with people storming the French Quarter and insisting the Spanish leave. This ended with the leaders of the revolt being captured and killed (their heads were impaled on stakes and posted along Esplanade Ave by the Mint!) In 1788 and 1794, there was a huge fire in the Quarter, destroying 80% of it. The Spanish rebuilt it, passing codes requiring wells on property, brick buildings and tall fire walls between buildings. Spanish architecture can be seen throughout the Quarter: archways, courtyards and iron work on balconies. The Spanish had hugely progressive slave laws (an oxymoron, no doubt). They had a policy of “coartacion”, or compensation. This allowed slaves to buy their freedom, with or without permission from their masters.

12 6. Cajuns Canada won by British
Treaty of Paris gave 18 months for French Canadians to leave if they wanted Many Acadians left Came to French colony (now Spanish) The story of their removal from Canada is disturbing. The men were called to local churches for a meeting and never returned. They were dragged to boats and shipped all over the place: France, the Carolinas and of course French speaking Louisiana.

13 Cajun Life Lived along bayous Fur trapping Fishing Hunting
Country living With increased land loss in Louisiana, their very existence is threatened.

14 7. Spain Gives LA Back to France
Treaty of San Ildefonso Napoleon wanted to revive French Empire Was conquering land all over 1800

15 8. Louisiana Purchase 1803 Spain gave Louisiana to France in 1800…
Nothing happened. France dealing with insurrection in Haiti France runs out of money Sells LA to America in Louisiana Purchase

16 New Orleans becomes American?
Still very French (Creole) Divided city RICH city Steamship invented in 1811 Port becomes profitable Golden Era of New Orleans

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