Happy 300th birthday, New Orleans!

Tommy talks with Blake Gilpin, Assistant Professor of History at Tulane, about the founding of New Orleans and how it became such an important city.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Tommy Tucker may seventh the unofficial birthday of the city of new long ones 300 years old history will be made with our first female mayor. A new long ones but a lot has happened before that in play guilt and joins us right now misses and professor of history. Had to Elaine good morning senator. Caloric thank you for taking time with us. No problem I worry about fifteen minutes and you got 300 years of his treated to a condensed sides suggest pressing your birth SE gig on. You're oh. Yeah you got fifteen minutes on on C with the issue would be. I mean I think the most important places started. The relevance of New Orleans to. To the United States would really you know comes with a being we've via Wi you know purges but. Obviously we're back seat 300 years old but before then. Where the anniversary because we're talking about French in the Spanish. And all the imperial power that were sort of dirt kicking around India. And here is before they. For Europeans really had to establish a firm place in the continent. Only SE a professor and an amnesty and around before bud. So it's 300 years ago. And some money arrives at this god for Sagan plays at that time with mosquitoes that setters said what what makes him decide to stay here. Well it that. Actually think that actually just been shall see yesterday you know we go out there say they like what he's got. Propelled people to stay here. To come here and they got the good plays itself out it's a lot of mountains and valley's great. It's really. The reason why you're in error attracted to the world is really the river. And that's why do you know. The river and should be. Sort things that would bring people to. Specifically that that that's what was attractive about Portland that it would not require that ran out yet situation would vote. So. It was really late. The reason why Jefferson pushed it to. Buy it because of strategic importance. The Mississippi. And its proximity ocean. Our new war and this is it sort of exploding across the nineteenth century after after that so. There's a real. Look at all that this was really important ways to get that sort of what you are your keen powers had known before that. Armed so. They establish first. Tents and then they build buildings Ornette. Yeah that's pretty much the way any settlement in the premier. Whispers Stewart it was sort rudimentary. You know makeshift housing in any Donald more permanent. I do a lot of Chinese we're talking about. New Orleans and it's like earliest years because of the all wood for real powers involved. All the people who were. A year on to begin resort in the premiere in and and all of these offshoot so all those people were competing for up up hole hole hole in the world. And even went to Louisiana purges it did it wasn't unanimous some people's letter was a foolish thing to do. Oh yeah I mean. There's actually game that it is reignited in the last a year to. Because. It's always sole leader in the the greatest real estate deal in history. Because but what you are actually paid for wood or in the US government asked Kate what the white. To purchase all the way to we've via virgin they didn't actually buys. That we can't hurt you still. You know corporate Albert strike. You are up fifteen million dollars but what ends up happening is it cost billions of dollars that. 300 years essentially. To actually purchase all of that we from the Americans from other Asians. The sort of a long convoluted process. Bellamy telling kids and home pay attention that exactly when you some money on jeopardy one game all right professor at. So professor how do we go from being swamped in tents in mosquitoes and lord knows what humidity. To becoming the Jules one of the jewels cities of the cells and then how to we get left behind Atlanta and Houston. With whom went one time I believe we competed did we know. I mean we've New Orleans was relieved probably the most important. City in the United States. In the middle nineteenth century so it's not just that we were competing with a winning use and I think at that time. The world this far more important to national economy. To sort of the flavor and spirit of the south and basically every way. And we had a pretty big banking industry here do we non financials are. We don't want this setters so southern banking. And that it's basically all because about slavery I mean that was really. Engine that propelled. Two warlords and it's such a prominent position in the nation. This is the BO. Sort of would be part of slavery itself was in new warlords largely because Mississippi. And the sugar boom and then in the hot glue really means New Orleans I mean it was the I'm pretty sure it's the third largest port in the world. Arm on the eve of the civil force or talking about it orbits. And in its hugely important place in. In in the in the world economy. At that time is not just sort of in itself or just India region it Trulia. It's sort of fundamental every it was going on worldwide. So it was a different and Atlanta in terms of slave trade. Yet and it never it was a real setter of the slave trade itself to slavery was what are you export economy in Georgia and Atlanta has some extent but. It's New Orleans really was functioning of as the super conduit for. Fully grown crops and leave themselves so the number we optioned rookie place in doubt that or ones. That's stuff that historians sort of been by disgusting that much more links in the last. Decade or so. Which really establishes the importance of New Orleans. On how central at this sort economic. Activity here work you can nation not just to the region or. Is really you know. It was it was a really propelling the economic engine the United States. So at what point is it in the sixties. Or fifties and 191960s. That we are competing with the Houston and then all of a sudden they used to hit the accelerator and leave us in the dust. Yeah I mean it's a long I would it is it's really this century after the civil war that war alone kind of not in in a precipitous decline but it is that sort decade by decade. We're losing. You know people and you know economic competition from those cities becoming much more intense so it's I mean New Orleans going to it's buried long process. You know this did did the shifted away from agriculture so all the things that propelled the world and into the war front. I mean some of the market and in the civil war slavery ends. Our but also that importance of these crops in the economic fortunes of like. Italy that are used in that's not what's propelling those cities. That. So it's horrible law slow process nodded but we do or plummet in nowhere book the size of the city. Plummet in terms of evened it into gear and others southern cities or the port. Changes very dramatically over that century although O. Important world is still really important now but that's sort of been combat in the last few decades rather than. But long term historical truth any final thought process. I mean. The reason why people celebrated cities that it. Is the most unique city in the United States I mean this is historically true it is certainly anybody uses here understand that what it is. Now. Thank you sir I appreciate your time. Outgrow bill wave Blake Gelb and I guess assistant professor of history and to lay.