Friday, August 23, 2013


The Louisiana Purchase Agreement

"Let the Land rejoice, for you have bought Louisiana for a Song."

--Gen. Horatio Gates to President Thomas Jefferson, July 18, 1803                  


With the Louisiana Purchase Agreement encompassing present-day Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and numerous other states, in essence, the expansion pushed toward the eventual acquisition of Texas (another slave state), and let's not forget about Nebraska (also carved from the Louisiana Purchase), since it is forever known by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, an act that focused solely on slavery and its expansion, too. After fighting in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and witnessing, among many US gains, the state of Texas as a result of said conflict, General US Grant (later served as 18th US President; Lincoln was 16th) would lead that famous Army of the Potomac and witness tens-of-thousands of deaths during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Perhaps Grant, after the bloody Civil War and after serving as President, had a deeper and more profound insight when he wrote of the Mexican-American War and its results: "Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory." Grant's words are harsh reminders of Popular Sovereignty and Manifest Destiny.

Louisiana Purchase Agreement
The Louisiana Purchase is considered the greatest real estate deal in history, but it also assisted in ushering in the American Civil War. On April 30, 1803, the United States paid France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory (approximately four cents an acre)--828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. The lands acquired stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. Thirteen states were carved from the Louisiana Territory. The Louisiana Purchase consists of three separate agreements between the United States and France: a treaty of cession and two agreements providing for the exchange of monies in the transaction.
(Map) Louisiana Purchase Agreement map.

The Louisiana Purchase nearly doubled the size of the United States, making it one of the largest nations in the world.
Robert Livingston and James Monroe closed on the sweetest real estate deal of the millennium when they signed the Louisiana Purchase Treaty in Paris on April 30, 1803. They were authorized to pay France up to $10 million for the port of New Orleans and the Floridas. When offered the entire territory of Louisiana—an area larger than Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal combined—the American negotiators swiftly agreed to a price of $15 million.
Although President Thomas Jefferson was a strict interpreter of the Constitution who wondered if the U.S. Government was authorized to acquire new territory, he was also a visionary who dreamed of an “empire for liberty” that would stretch across the entire continent. As Napoleon threatened to take back the offer, Jefferson squelched whatever doubts he had and prepared to occupy a land of unimaginable riches. The Louisiana Purchase Agreement is comprised of the Treaty of Cession and the two conventions regarding the financial aspects of the transaction.

In this transaction with France, signed on April 30, 1803, the United States purchased 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million. For roughly 4 cents an acre, the United States doubled its size, expanding the nation westward. Continue to The Louisiana Purchase Agreement: Overview.

Advance to American Expansionism; Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine:

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