New Orleans is a major city on the northern coast of the Gulf of New Spain, and on the Mississippi River. It was founded May 7, 1718, by the French Mississippi Company. The city remained a French colony until 1763, when it was ceded to Spain in the Treaty of Paris. It reverted to French control in 1801, and Napoleon sold it and the rest of the Louisiana Territory to the United States of America in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. The city experianced a population boom due to immigration under American control.
During the War of 1812, the British sent a force to conquer the city. The British, led by Sir Edward Pakenham, decisively defeated the American troops in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. The British Empire occupied the city. When word arrived that the war was over with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, Pakenham ignored the orders to withdraw from the city, stating that, "A thousand men died to take New Orleans. Their sacrifice shalt not be in vain".
New Orleans therefore became the main issue in the next years of American and British politics. It was a widely circulated theory in the United States that Pakenham actually had orders to keep the city. The Americans ended up redeclaring war to retake their major port on the Gulf of New Spain. Their armies could not take the city, as Pakenham's army had been fortifying over the two months they had had it.
In the second half of the war, Britain's plan was bold: Conquer with an army landing in Montreal all the way to New Orleans. Their plan succeeded, and two years later, the war ended with the Meeting of the Armies in New Orleans.