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Painting depicting first raising of the USA flag with the Louisiana Purchase, in main plaza (now Jackson Square), New Orleans. Painting by Thure de Thulstrup on commission to commemorate centennial of the event.

The painting has been praised for the research and historical accuracy which went into the period depiction. The history of New Orleans, Louisiana, traces the city's development from its founding by the French, through its period under Spanish control, then briefly back to French rule before being acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

Jean" near the head of the bayou; this would later be known as the Faubourg St. These early European settlements are now within the limits of the city of New Orleans, though predating its official date of founding.

New Orleans was founded in Spring of 1718 by the French as Nouvelle-Orléans, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.

Two large lakes (in reality estuaries) in the vicinity, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, commemorate respectively Louis Phelypeaux, Count Pontchartrain, minister and chancellor of France, and Jean Frederic Phelypeaux, Count Maurepas, minister and secretary of state.

John (known to the natives as Bayouk Choupique) and the Mississippi River. By the end of the decade, the French made an encampment called "Port Bayou St. Jean" (known to later generations of New Orleanians as "Old Spanish Fort") at the mouth of the bayou in 1701, using as a base a large Native American shell midden dating back to the Marksville culture.

In the 19th century, it was the largest port in the South, exporting most of the nation's cotton output and other products to Western Europe and New England.

It was the largest and most important city in the South; thus it was an early target for capture by the Union during the Civil War.

A year later, the Spanish reasserted control, executing five ringleaders and sending five plotters to a prison in Cuba, and formally instituting Spanish law.

Other members of the rebellion were forgiven as long as they pledged loyalty to Spain.

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