How the “Lousiana purchase” changed America

How the Lousiana purchase changed America


Print page


The Louisiana Purchase, made 211 years ago, almost increased the size of the United States by double of what it was. By any measure, it was one of the most monumental land transactions in history, involving an area larger than today’s France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and the British Isles combined. Nearly all of the 15 Western states would eventually be made from its nearly 830,000 square miles, which expanded north from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, and west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. The price, $15 million, or about four cents an acre; seemed like a risky bargain at this time. What upset most of the American people, was that Thomas Jefferson sent Louis and Clark on a secret expedition that congress funded and he basically went behind everything he said and in a way the people felt that he abused his power of presidency.

The west was rich in gold, silver and other ores, as well as huge forests and endless lands for grazing and farming, the new acquisition would make America increasingly wealthy. Or, as Jefferson put it in his subtle yet effective way, “The fertility of the country, its climate and extent, promise in due season important aids to our treasury, an ample provision for our posterity, and a wide-spread field for the blessings of freedom.”

The “Louisiana territory” was born on April 9, 1682, whenthe French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur (Lord) de La Salle, put a cross and column near the mouth of the Mississippi and read a declaration to a group of Indians. He took control of the whole Mississippi River basin. He stated publicaly, in the name of “the most high, mighty, invincible and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by Grace of God, and the king of France; it was in honor of Louis XIV that he named the land Louisiana.

Westward Expansion: The Louisiana Purchase []


The Lousiana purchase ultimately was about competition between the United States, Britain and Spain, but more so the United States and Britain. The louisiana purchase led to the war of 1812, due to the American colonies expanded west; which the belief of having an already great life get better is “Manifest Destiny“. Britain was worried on losing their territory, so British soldiers gave weapons to the natives and would have them fight against the Americans. At the end of the war, the Americans were more concerned and felt that the natives were a threat to them. The end of the war was won by the Americans and is stated as the second war for independence.