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What are the events leading to the Louisiana Purchase?

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  • 7 years ago
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    The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803 of 828,000 square miles (2,140,000 km2) of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana. The U.S. paid 50 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), for a total sum of 15 million dollars (less than 3 cents per acre) for the Louisiana territory ($233 million in 2012 dollars, less than 42 cents per acre).

    The Louisiana territory encompassed all or part of 15 present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River; most of North Dakota; most of South Dakota; northeastern New Mexico; northern Texas; the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans; and small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

    France controlled this vast area from 1699 until 1762, the year it gave the territory to its ally Spain. Under Napoleon Bonaparte, France took back the territory in 1800 in the hope of building an empire in North America. A slave revolt in Haiti and an impending war with Britain, however, led France to abandon these plans and sell the entire territory to the United States, who had originally intended only to seek the purchase of New Orleans and its adjacent lands.

    The purchase of the territory of Louisiana took place during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, the purchase faced domestic opposition because it was thought to be unconstitutional. Although he agreed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to go ahead with the purchase anyway in order to remove France's presence in the region and to protect both U.S. trade access to the port of New Orleans and free passage on the Mississippi River.

    Throughout the later half of the 18th century, Louisiana was a pawn on the chessboard of European politics. It was originally claimed by Spain, but also claimed by the French, who established most of the colonists as part of New France. Following the Seven Years War and French defeat by Great Britain, Spain gained control of the territory west of the Mississippi River. As the area was being gradually settled by United States migrants, many Americans, including Jefferson, assumed that it would be acquired "piece by piece." The risk of another power taking it from a weakened Spain would make "profound reconsideration" of this policy necessary.

    The city of New Orleans controlled the Mississippi River due to its location; other locations for ports were attempted, but did not succeed. New Orleans was already important for shipping agricultural goods to and from the parts of the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains. Pinckney's Treaty, signed with Spain on October 27, 1795, gave American merchants "right of deposit" in New Orleans, granting them use of the port to store goods for export. Americans used this right to transport products such as flour, tobacco, pork, bacon, lard, feathers, cider, butter, and cheese. The treaty also recognized American rights to navigate the entire Mississippi River, which had become vital to the growing trade of the western territories.

    In 1798 Spain revoked this treaty, prohibiting American use of New Orleans, and greatly upsetting the Americans. In 1801, Spanish Governor Don Juan Manuel de Salcedo took over from the Marquess of Casa Calvo, and restored the right to deposit goods from the United States. Napoleon Bonaparte had gained Louisiana for French ownership from Spain in 1800 under the Treaty of San Ildefonso, after being a Spanish colony since 1762. But the treaty was kept secret. Louisiana remained nominally under Spanish control until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the cession to the United States.

    James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston traveled to Paris to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans in 1802. Their interest was only in gaining control of New Orleans and its environs; they did not anticipate the much larger purchase that would follow.

    Source(s): wikipedia
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  • 4 years ago

    France wanted cash for a war with Britain after pleasant Britain broke the terms of a an contract to depart Malta. The us in the beginning simplest wanted the port metropolis of new Orleans to control the Mississippi River but France used to be reducing its losses in the "new world" and was once selling it inexpensive.

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