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After the death of King Louis XIV, the Capitol of French Louisiana was moved to the newly established settlement of New Orleans by order of the French Regent, the Duc du Orlean, in 1722. It was a bulwark against Spanish incursions from Florida and English incursions from Georgia.It was also a well established and populated port and trading center for the second largest river system in what is now the United States (note 1).The French population east of New Orleans and centered mainly around Mobile found themselves in this predicament along with the Acadians of Evangeline fame.
Spain ceded their part Florida to England, but in return, Spain received all of the Louisiana Province west of the Mississippi, including New Orleans.
This transfer of control resulted with the British requiring all citizens of their newly acquired territories, as a requisite for owning property, to pledge allegiance to the King and Church of England.
In spite of the hardships experienced under British rule, the remaining French population in and around Mobile clung to their heritage with the French language finally passing out of use in the early 1970s, more than 200 years after the British attempts to stamp out or destroy the French culture.
Even today, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras is still celebrated here as it was in French Times.
Located in Downtown's stately Southern Market/Old City Hall building, it presents a permanent collection of highlights of the city's vivid and lengthy past.
The African American Heritage Trail shares Mobile's multicultural legacy by introducing visitors to over forty historic sites throughout the city.During this time Mobile received another infusion of French influence in 1815 by way of the arrival of the Napoleonic exiles that settled in and around Mobile. Mobile was now open as an American Port on the second largest river system in the country.At about the same time, the following profound changes were occurring that effected worldwide commerce: the industrial revolution was getting into full swing, invention of the cotton gin, introduction of steam power for river and rail transportation and steam driven lumber and textile mills.This action was taken because of the unresolved issue surrounding the eastern boundary along the Gulf Coast of the Louisiana Purchase made ten years earlier and the heightened Creek Indian unrest and bloodshed in the area brought on in part by conflicts surrounding the War of 1812 and Spain's suspected duplicity with Britain and the Indians.In 1821 a treaty was ratified completing the sale of Spanish Florida to the United States, thus removing any lingering European claims to Mobile.The Mobile Carnival Museum boasts displays on Mardi Gras past, featuring everything from intricate costumes to depictions of early coronations.