Monday, August 23, 2004

Wikinfo - Louisiana Purchase

Wikinfo - Louisiana Purchase. This is the Wikinfo entry for the Louisiana Purchase.

From the site:

In the Louisiana Purchase the United States acquired more than 2,000,000 km2 (800,000 square miles) of territory from France in 1803 for less than $20 million. The French territory of Louisiana included far more land than just the current US State of Louisiana; the lands purchased contained parts or all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, nearly all of Kansas, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains, and Louisiana on both sides of the Mississippi River including the city of New Orleans.

History

In 1802, U.S. President Thomas Jefferson wanted to purchase New Orleans. The city of New Orleans controlled the Mississippi River, which was already important for shipping goods to and from the parts of the USA west of the Appalachian Mountains. Through a treaty with Spain, American merchants had "right of deposit" in New Orleans, meaning they could use the port for their goods. Napoleon Bonaparte returned Louisiana to French control from Spain (Louisiana had been a colony of Spain since 1762). Americans were fearful that they would lose their rights of use to New Orleans. The Jefferson administration decided that the best way to assure long term access to the Mississippi would be to purchase the city of New Orleans and the nearby portions of Louisiana east of the Mississippi. Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston to Paris to negotiate such a purchase.

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