New Orleans History

Published: 2021-09-13 03:20:09
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Category: History Other

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New Orleans may be the most written about of all American cities. Yet, very few serious studies have been made that haven't fallen into either the "moonlight and magnolia" romantic view or become stridently critical, perhaps baffled at a place which constantly confounds preconceptions. Tropical in climate, lush in setting, exotic in architecture, sensual, if not hedonistic, in atmosphere, New Orleans is a worldly, yet bustling seaport whose very name evokes romance and myths. No wonder, then, that most writers perpetuate old myths, create new ones, or at the least get lost in the intellectual and critical miasma that is as natural to New Orleans as the fogs of the swamps and lakes that surround it. It is the intent of this book to penetrate the myths, fable and romance that have so often obscured the true uniqueness of New Orleans--that it is a city where no city, in fact, should be and has been a remarkably successful city for a very long period of time. To do so, we shall examine the peculiar geographical, geological, political, social, and economic conditions that determined New Orleans' founding and growth.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

All cities' destinies are largely determined by geography and geology, but New Orleans' more so than most. It would, in fact, be impossible to understand the history and economic development of New Orleans without some knowledge of its unique situation and site. For, New Orleans' economic fate--indeed, its raison d'etre--as well as the pattern of its internal physical growth have been shaped by the Mississippi River. From its beginnings, New Orleans has been a city wed to river and ocean; an almost natural dock for the transshipment of goods.

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