This is an extract of my article, with small photos. You will find the complete article with full-sized photos in my e-book As American as Apple Pie !
In the travel series View America, this book narrates events and facts that are common to the entire nation.
Man's migration to America, ancient Indian cultures, New France, the French and Indian War, the 13 original Colonies, the Louisiana Purchase, the Civil War, American territorial expansion, the American Flag, American holidays, and the lighter side of... old US Laws!
This e-book is illustrated with more than 70 full-sized photos and maps.
The Louisiana Purchase concerns an enormous territory in North America, purchased in 1803 by the United States from France. Approximately two million km2 in area, this area included the current states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, the part of Minnesota west of the Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, almost all of Kansas, the parts of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains, and finally the part of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, including the city of New Orleans.
In 1803 Emperor Napoleon I sold all of the French possessions in America to the US.
In 1802, Emperor Napoleon had taken two measures that President Thomas Jefferson found unfavorable to American interests. The first was that French troops were sent to New Orleans and Santo Domingo in Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic) to crush an insurrection.
The second was that the Privilege of Deposit was withdrawn. This privilege had previously been awarded to American traders and allowed them put merchandise in tax-free storage in New Orleans (Nouvelle Orléans), pending their dispatch. Jefferson sent James Monroe to Paris to help Ambassador Robert Livingston realize one of the following four plans.
• The purchase of East and West Florida and New Orleans.
• The purchase of New Orleans.
• The purchase of land on the east bank of the Mississippi River to build an American port.
• Obtaining perpetual rights for navigation and storage.
Although they actually did not have the authority to act on their own, they enthusiastically agreed to an immediate purchase. In early May, the three documents for the sale of Louisiana (carefully predated to 30 April 1803...) were signed. In one formidable stroke the surface of the USA was doubled!
After the sale was concluded, President Jefferson worried about the constitutionality of the land purchase, which had taken place without the agreement of Congress and without a parliamentary amendment to the Constitution. However (and as usual...), a convenient political solution was quickly laced together. By law, the President was allowed to sign a treaty, and so the entire Louisiana Purchase was simply considered to be a treaty, and was ratified as such by the Senate.
It is by far the largest land purchase ever of the United States!