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These additional outbreaks of disease and a series of floods caused Bienville to order the town relocated several miles downriver to its present location at the confluence of the Mobile River and Mobile Bay in 1711.

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the French and Indian War.

It then left that union in 1861 when Alabama joined the Confederate States of America, which collapsed in 1865.

As one of the Gulf Coast's cultural centers, Mobile houses several art museums, a symphony orchestra, a professional opera, a professional ballet company, and a large concentration of historic architecture.

In the 18th century, as the French further colonized North America and New Orleans evolved into a bustling port city with strong Catholic roots, Mardi Gras traditions — celebrations of Fat Tuesday, which marks the last opportunity for feasting and revelry before a period of Lenten fasting beginning the following day, Ash Wednesday — spread throughout the region. In New Orleans, elaborate galas were held, to which attendees wore that allowed them to shed strict societal expectations.

Spanish rule in the latter half of the 1700s and Louisiana's subsequent purchase in 1802 by the newly-formed United States saw temporary bans of the festivities, but pleas from New Orleans residents led to the galas' reinstatement in 1823.

It was founded by French Canadian brothers Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, to establish control over France's Louisiana claims.But the most renowned tradition of Mardi Gras — the parades — didn't begin until 1857.That year, the aforementioned men from Mobile created the Comus Organization — the first "krewe," a sort of non-profit secret society that orchestrates parades and galas for Mardi Gras.Mardi Gras has been synonymous with New Orleans for this year's celebration, on Tuesday, marks the 160th anniversary of the city's first parade.But Mardi Gras, sometimes referred to as Carnival (after the pre-Lenten festive season of the same name), has roots that can be traced back to Europe's Middle Ages, far before the Big Easy was founded in 1718.

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