The Most Advantageous Land Deal in History – The Purchase of Louisiana

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The United States purchased Louisiana, Florida, and Alaska in the 19th century. America indeed benefited from all those deals. However, each country entered into such transactions based as they were unable to control the respective areas.

There is still a province in the United States called Louisiana. But the area of ​​Louisiana, purchased from France in 1803, is much larger. It is 2,140,000 Square kilometers, 530 million in acres. France sold the area for $ 15 million. That is, the American government spent approximately four cents per acre. At that time, buying an acre for such a sum was a very cheap deal.

France ruled Louisiana since 1699. It was also named after King Louis XIV, then the ruler of France. The area was not a large French settlement, except for New Orleans or La Nouvelle-Orléans, But, because of the Mississippi River, this was an important area.

In 1762, Louisiana came under Spanish rule. Spain also had no special control here. Meanwhile, the American War of Independence began, and the United States was established.

When the United States was established and the 13 old states, they controlled the area from there to western Mississippi. During this time, there was some disagreement between the Americans and the Spaniards over navigating the Mississippi River and using the New Orleans port. Pinckney’s treaty resolved issues.

Since Spain was a weak state, the Americans were not worried about their control of Louisiana. The American political leadership believed that one day it would extend its control to those areas. This situation changed in the early 19th century. In 1800, Spain agreed to cede Louisiana back to France under the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, signed between Spain and France. France assumed control in 1802.

Napoleon and Jefferson

One of Napoleon’s needs, the first consul of the French Republic at the time, was to suppress the slave revolt in Santo Domingo. He planned to turn Louisiana into the granary of France.

The then President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, inquired a little about France’s arrival. Unlike Spain, France was a military power at the time, so Jefferson was worried about Louisiana’s settlement. Even more alarming was those living in the western part of the thirteen colonies.

On this occasion, Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert Livingston to Paris as his agents. The task entrusted to them was to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans and the surrounding area. If that failed, they were instructed to negotiate a military alliance with Brit

Napoleon changed his mind

The military intervention was disrupted when hundreds of French troops sent to San Domingo died of yellow fever. However, after that incident, France was no longer able to retain Louisiana. Accordingly, Napoleon changed his mind.

The two US agents were surprised when the French government agreed to sell Louisiana for $ 15 million. The US government advised them to spend up to $10 million on New Orleans and the surrounding area. But when France offered to sell the whole of Louisiana for $15 million, the Americans took the opportunity.

Foreign Minister Charles Talleyrand opposed the deal, but Napoleon opposed him. Napoleon appointed Treasury Minister François Barbé-Marbois as his representative to negotiate with the Americans. He and the American delegates signed the treaty on May 2, 1803. In December, Louisiana came under American rule.

The purchase of Louisiana by the United States was an event of great significance in world history, particularly advantageous to the economic power of the United States due to its ability to navigate the Mississippi River, its ownership of Louisiana’s land and natural resources, and its ownership of the Port of New Orleans.

Today, parts of 15 states in the United States are in this area, and in some states, the territory is entirely in the area purchased from France. A small part of the north of the area was later ceded to the British and is now a part of Canada.

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