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Louisiana Purchase, 1803

Thomas Jefferson

Louisiana Purchase, 1803: Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd American President who served in office from March 4, 1801 to March 4, 1809. One of the important events during his presidency was the Louisiana Purchase, 1803 that doubled the size of the United States.

Definition and Summary of the Louisiana Purchase, 1803
Summary and definition:
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase was a massive western region of North America, consisting of 828,000 square miles, that was sold by France (Napoleon) to the US for 15 million dollars, about 4 cents per acre.

The lands extended from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains between the Gulf of Mexico and the Canadian border.

Facts about the Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids
Facts about the Louisiana Purchase, 1803 are as follows:

When was the Louisiana Purchase Made? It was finalized on April 30, 1803

Who agreed to the sale of land in the Louisiana Purchase? Napoleon on behalf of France

When did Spain sell the land to France? On October 1, 1800, in the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso

How much did the Louisiana Purchase cost? 15 million dollars, about 4 cents per acre

How much land was purchased in the Louisiana Purchase? 828,000 square miles

Who negotiated the Louisiana Purchase? Robert Livingston and James Monroe on behalf of President Thomas Jefferson for the US and François de Barbe-Marbois on behalf of Napoleon (1769–1821) for France

The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States and later become all, or part, of 15 different states.

What were the east -west borders of the Louisiana Purchase? The land stretched from the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west.

What were the north-south borders of the Louisiana Purchase? The borders to the north it included much of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana up to the border of Canada. The borders to the south were New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico

The purchased land in the Louisiana Purchase included all of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska and parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana.

Jefferson announced the Louisiana Purchase to the American people on July 4, 1803

Opposition was strong to the Louisiana Purchase, it was nearly cancelled by Congress and only passed by the vote of 59-57.

The United States initially only wanted to buy New Orleans and the land around it.

The Louisiana Territory was broken into smaller administration areas, and the territories passed slavery laws similar to those in the southern states. These led to the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and ultimately to the American Civil war (1861-1865).

President Jefferson organized expeditions to explore the new land acquired by the Louisiana Purchase - the Red River Expedition which explored the Southwest, the Pike Expedition led by Zebulon Pike which explored the Great Plains and the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Why was the Louisiana Purchase important and significant?
The Louisiana Purchase was important
and significant because:

It doubled the size of the US and later become all, or part, of 15 different states.

It ended the period of French Colonialism in the Midwest portion of the US

t reduced the power of Spain in the US

The US obtained the port of New Orleans for the exportation of goods

The US the navigation 'rights' on the Mississippi River and Missouri Rivers

It was the beginning of the importance of the United States on the world stage

The land was rich in gold, silver and other ores greatly contributing to the wealth of the US

The massive areas of forests contributed to the lumber industry and economy

The lands opened up new opportunities for Westward Expansion and farming

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids: The Secret Treaty between Spain and France in 1800
In the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso, on October 1, 1800, Spain returned the territory of Louisiana which France had ceded to Spain in 1763. Spain was becoming a weak power and were compensated for the lands by the creation in Tuscany in Europe. Napoleon had secretly acquired the territory through the treaty, but Spain continued to administer it.

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids: New Orleans
Following the signing of the secret treaty, on October 16, 1802, the Spanish intendant at New Orleans, Juan Ventura Morales, declared that Americans could no longer deposit their goods at New Orleans whist they were waiting shipment. This was a direct violation of Pinckney's Treaty of 1795. The Americans were furious. There was outrage at the action of the Spanish. The US Secretary of State, James Madison, protested to the Spanish government, and also warned Napoleon that Americans were prepared to go to war to regain access to New Orleans. The Spanish governor, Don Juan Manuel de Salcedo, said he had not consented to the actions of Morales and, in April 1803, diplomatically restored the right to deposit goods from the United States and to use the port of New Orleans.

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids: Thomas Jefferson and Robert Livingston
Thomas Jefferson and the US government had had enough of the Spanish in New Orleans. The port was vital to the trade of the new nation. News of the secret treaty between France and Spain was suddenly announced with the news that France had got Louisiana from Spain. Jefferson was determined to buy New Orleans from France together with land that lay east from the mouth of the Mississippi with the navigation rights to the river. He sent Robert Livingston, the U.S. Minister to France, to try and buy the land from Napoleon.

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids: Why did Napoleon and France sell Louisiana?
Napoleon had great plans to build an Empire in his new territory but impending war with the British coupled with the threat of war from the United States, together with a slave rebellion in Haiti made him realize that his Important resources should be concentrated in Europe. Napoleon also knew that the British would immediately seize Louisiana if war erupted. He was a clever man and realized that as the British would probably gain Louisiana he might just as well sell the land and profit, rather than lose from the acquisition. Napoleon also knew that by selling the land to the United States it would also deeply annoy and damage his main enemy - Britain.

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids - Negotiations
On April 10, 1803, Napoleon informed his finance minister, François de Barbe-Marbois, that he was considering selling all of Louisiana to the United States. President Jefferson had sent James Monroe to France to work on the negotiations with Robert Livingston in order to purchase New Orleans and the Floridas. The Floridas were the modern-day Gulf coasts of Alabama and Mississippi and the Florida Parishes of Louisiana. The US ambassadors and the French began discussing the purchase of New Orleans. The French minister suddenly asked if the US would not like to buy the whole of Louisiana! James Monroe and Robert Livingston had no authority to buy Louisiana. But the purchase of the whole colony of Louisiana would be a huge benefit to the United States. They were decisive and quickly agreed to pay 15 million dollars for the whole of Louisiana.

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids: The Treaty and the Constitution
The news of the extent of the treaty was a surprise to Jefferson and as a result he was faced with a dilemma. Nowhere in the US Constitution mentioned the power of the government to acquire territory. Some were opposed to the Louisiana Purchase believing that Jefferson did not have the right to make such a large purchase of land. Others raised concerns that the Louisiana Purchase would lead to war with Spain. Opposition was so strong that the Louisiana Purchase was nearly cancelled by Congress and only passed by the vote of 59-57. The Louisiana Purchase was ratified and the money was paid to France.

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 for kids
The vast amount of new land required exploration.
President Thomas Jefferson arranged fort several expeditions including the Red River Expedition that explored the Southwest, the Pike Expedition (led by Zebulon Pike) that explored the Great Plains and the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.

US American History
1801-1828: Evolution Era

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