Claiming New Orleans for the Early American Republic

AHA Session 5
Thursday, January 3, 2013: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Chamber Ballroom II (Roosevelt New Orleans)
Cathy Matson, University of Delaware
New Orleans and the Wider World
Cathy Matson, University of Delaware

Session Abstract

Session Abstract: 

This panel brings together some of the most exciting new scholarship about New Orleans in its transformative years from the 1790s to the 1820s.  During these years, the city slowly entered a transition from a peripheral place in the Spanish empire to a premier North American commercial port.  New Orleans developed deep ties to the eastern seaboard and the expanding global commerce during years of war and revolution; it also became an essential “Emporium of the West” that connected land- and goods-hungry North Americans to a rich interior.  Yet the city also retained, even deepened, its transnational roots in the French and Spanish empires; as the city’s population burgeoned with expanding opportunities to cross porous imperial boundaries and tap the reservoirs of land and resources in the interior, it also became the magnet for testing  North American expectations about their own independent republic.

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