Louisiana Purchase 1803



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The Louisiana Purchase was made in 1803 by Thomas Jefferson. It was America’s purchase of approximately 828,000,000 square miles of territory from France. It doubled the size of the United States. In French money, it was fifty million francs, which is approximately $11,250,000 U.S. dollars. The territory was around 4 cents per acre. To adjust from inflation, the modern financial equivalent spent for the purchase was approximately $236 million in 2014 U.S. dollars which averages to less than 42 cents per acre.

Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana Territory had been controlled by the French from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. The Louisiana Territory purchased included land from 15 present U.S states and two Canadian provinces. It contains land that forms Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. It also includes the are of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, a large portion of North and South Dakota’s, the northeastern section of New Mexico, the northern portion of Texas, and many more. It was one of the largest purchases the United States has ever made.

Manifest Destiny And The Louisiana Territory

Manifest Destiny is the belief or doctrine in the 19th century that says it is the destiny of the U.S. to expand it’s territory over the whole of North America to extend, and enhance its political, social, and economical influences.  It is in fact that the U.S. purchased the Louisiana Territory to help their “Manifest Destiny” plans. Jefferson wanted to make sure the U.S. had control of the Port of New Orleans and the Mississippi River.  Jefferson used his presidential treaty-making powers to craft the agreement.  He sent a secret expedition of Lewis and Clark to explore and map the new territory in order to discover a possible Northwest Passage to the Pacific.  Instead they found the western continental divide in the northern Rocky Mountains but they did make it to the Oregon Pacific coast.