Spectacles of the street : performance, power, and public space in antebellum New Orleans

dc.contributor.advisorFoley, Neilen
dc.creatorFrink, Sandra Margaret, 1967-en
dc.date.accessioned2011-08-02T19:36:27Zen
dc.date.available2011-08-02T19:36:27Zen
dc.date.issued2004-05en
dc.descriptionen
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation uses New Orleans as a lens through which to examine the multiethnic, multi-racial, and multi-national social world of the nineteenth-century urban streets. It traces the alliances and conflicts that emerged as individuals, groups and the state asserted their political, cultural and economic power in the public spaces of the city. The population of New Orleans soared during the early nineteenth century as migrants from other sections of the United States, immigrants from Europe, and slaves from Africa and the Caribbean joined the already diverse population of French, Spanish, and African Creoles. Additional groups formed based on occupation, religious affiliation or other markers whose composition crossed the lines of race, ethnicity and gender and whose public expressions remained regular features of life in the city. By examining the interaction of these groups in different spaces of the city—the levee, dance halls, churches, squares, and markets, among others—it is possible to discern how each contributed to altering the public culture of antebellum New Orleans. Drawing from insights in social history, urban studies, race and gender theory, and cultural geography, “Spectacles of the Street” both revises the historical narrative of viii New Orleans and contributes to our general understanding of identity formation in nineteenth-century urban centers. Scholars usually argue that New Orleans became “Americanized” during this period because of the growing influence of elite, white, Protestant Americans in the city. I challenge this assessment by demonstrating how different groups helped to recast the political culture of the city. In addition, the cultural admixture of free blacks, slaves, and immigrants in New Orleans offers the opportunity to explore issues of acculturation that were replicated in other antebellum cities. Rather than focus on group identity in isolation, however, I illustrate how different groups formed relationships with one another, with the changing urban landscape, and with the state. On the eve of the Civil War, no single group remained unchanged or achieved dominance in the city. Instead, the public culture of New Orleans continued to be shaped by the interconnected, and often unstable, relationships formed among the diverse residents in its urban spaces.
dc.description.departmentHistoryen
dc.format.mediumelectronicen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/12771en
dc.language.isoengen
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.rights.restrictionRestricteden
dc.subjectNew Orleans (La.)--History--19th centuryen
dc.subjectNew Orleans (La.)--Social conditionsen
dc.subjectPublic spaces--Louisiana--New Orleansen
dc.titleSpectacles of the street : performance, power, and public space in antebellum New Orleansen
thesis.degree.departmentHistoryen
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austinen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
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