The Flamboyant 19th-Century Creole Aristocrat Who Built New Orleans’ First Suburb

Bernard Marigny Is Famous as a Swashbuckling Gambler, but His Real Estate Developments Shaped the City’s Character

In the New Orleans pantheon of colorful personalities, Bernard Marigny is one of the caricatures: an arch-Creole with a sword in one hand and deck of cards in the other. His persona was said to be that of “swashbuckling gambler, duelist, and playboy.” High living and careless with money, his best-known but apocryphal trait was lighting his cigars with $100 bills. Less remarked upon, but far more significant, were his roles as real estate developer, politician, and slave holder.

Indeed, Marigny was all of these, as well as one of …

Is New Mexico an ‘Incomplete Project’ of the United States?

Brought Into the Union Through Conquest, the State’s Untidy Identity and History of Autonomy Persist

New Mexico has an uneasy and complicated history. After joining the United States by conquest—through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848—its residents didn’t automatically …

The 1950s Were Not a Golden Age for Detroit’s Autoworkers

The Industry’s Booms and Busts Brought Instability That Kept Workers From Getting Ahead

In the popular as well as the political imagination, the 1950s were a golden age for American industrial workers, especially for the hundreds of thousands who toiled in Detroit’s auto …

The Consumer Age Turned Americans Into Gamblers

When the Economy Shifted From Production to Consumption, How You Spent Money Mattered More Than How You Earned It

Today legal gambling in the United States is widely accepted and more prevalent than ever. But as recently as the 1950s, gambling was seen as a fundamentally un-American way to …

The Dazzling 1830 Defense of a Strong Federal Government

New England Statesman Daniel Webster Found Religion in Centralized National Power When it Served His Region’s Interests

For generations, school children memorized the ending to Daniel Webster’s “Second Reply to Hayne,” delivered during the famous Webster-Hayne debate of January 1830. This most-famous-of-debates began in a modest fashion, …