The Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 is thought to be the greatest “real estate” deal in history. It was an experiment to incorporate different cultures to become one frontier. It changed what the United States had been at the time as well as what it could become.
It was a territory between the Mississippi river and the Rocky Mountains. It was originally populated by the Native Americans in the South East until the Europeans. They started exploring the area and in 1682 Robert Cavalier, of France, claimed it. He named it Louisiana after their king, King Louis XIV.
The French had dominated American soil for years. But in 1763 France suffered losing Florida to Britain on Spain’s behalf. France turned control of Louisiana to Spain and after the Revolutionary War Britain turned the control of Florida to Spain too. Along the Mississippi River the Americans, Spanish, British and French all were claiming control.
In 1800 after a war period had ended France was a powerful country under the control of Napoleon. Napoleon was looking to exchange Louisiana for a favor from the King of Spain. He promised to never abandon the territory as well as to recognize Spain’s claims of Florida. Napoleon was already looking to expand in Europe, but he wanted Louisiana too.
President Jefferson agreed to help the French with the slaves hoping that he could win over Napoleon Bonaparte. Even though he was going to assist him he was trying to come up with his own plan along the Mississippi. By Napoleon being in Louisiana he feared that it wouldn’t help in for US interests on land or sea so Jefferson thought he might need to make an alliance with Britain. Jefferson prepared for a possible war scenario hoping he could get Napoleon bought out of New Orleans.
President Jefferson sent two ministers: James Monroe and Robert Livingston to France. He sent them with money hoping to purchase New Orleans and