Eberhard Faber tells the vivid story of how American rule forced New Orleans through a vast transition: from the ordered colonial world of hierarchy and subordination to the fluid, unpredictable chaos of democratic capitalism. The change in authority, from imperial Spain to Jeffersonian America, transformed everything. As the city’s diverse people struggled over the terms of the transition, they built the foundations of a dynamic, contentious hybrid metropolis. Faber describes the vital individuals who played a role in New Orleans history: from the wealthy creole planters who dreaded the influx of revolutionary ideas, to the American arrivistes who combined idealistic visions of a new republican society with selfish dreams of quick plantation fortunes, to Thomas Jefferson himself, whose powerful democratic vision for Louisiana eventually conflicted with his equally strong sense of realpolitik and desire to strengthen the American union.
Revealing how New Orleans was formed by America’s greatest impulses and ambitions, Building the Land of Dreams is an inspired exploration of one of the world’s most iconic cities.
Combines extensive research with the best recent scholarship on the period A balanced account of the contributions of the leading personalities Impressive coverage is given to questions of race and territorial expansion Chapter One provides a concise and lucid account of the state of American politics and society in 1789 Extensive chapter bibliographies
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The work will be welcomed by students studying the early republic as well as general readers interested in a stimulating and informative account of the early years of the American nation.