History in Charts is a website dedicated to writing about historical topics and diving deeper into the data behind different events, time periods, places, and people. He engaged in back-channel diplomacy with Napoleon on Jefferson's behalf during a visit to France and originated the idea of the much larger Louisiana Purchase as a way to defuse potential conflict between the United States and Napoleon over North America.[11]. The Louisiana Purchase (1803) was a land deal between the United States and France, in which the U.S. acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million. Jefferson justified the purchase by rationalizing, "it is the case of a guardian, investing the money of his ward in purchasing an important adjacent territory; & saying to him when of age, I did this for your good." As quoted by Smithsonian Magazine, historian Charles A. Cerami said, "If we had not made this purchase, it would have pinched off the possibility of our becoming a continental power." French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte ultimately sold the Louisiana territory to the United States for four reasons: the French government needed money, an impending war with Great Britain, the fallout from the Haitian Revolution, and the difficulty in maintaining a North American colony. [24], The opposition of New England Federalists to the Louisiana Purchase was primarily economic self-interest, not any legitimate concern over constitutionality or whether France indeed owned Louisiana or was required to sell it back to Spain should it desire to dispose of the territory. all of the above Napoleon's goal: an American empire. Spain Originally governed New Orleans and the Louisiana Territory up until 1802, but then transferred ownership to France under a secret treaty. [citation needed], During this period, south Louisiana received an influx of French-speaking refugee planters, who were permitted to bring their slaves with them, and other refugees fleeing the large slave revolt in Saint-Domingue. It cannot be understated just how important the Louisiana Purchase was to the United States. [33][35], When Spain later objected to the United States purchasing Louisiana from France, Madison responded that America had first approached Spain about purchasing the property but had been told by Spain itself that America would have to treat with France for the territory.[36]. In the meeting, he said that Napoleon had read an account in the London press that 50,000 British troops might be sent to New Orleans. By early 1803, Napoleon decided to abandon his plans to rebuild France's New World empire. President Jefferson's Secretary of the Treasury. What was the famous thing Napoleon Bonaparte sold? Southern Quarterlynotes, "What is often remembered as a remarkably 'peaceful' transfer of land was in fact predicated on events of enormous violence that took place in the Caribbean.". Advertisement chelseann013 Answer: He needed money to pay for the war with Britain Advertisement Advertisement [18] After the signing Livingston famously stated, "We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our whole lives From this day the United States take their place among the powers of the first rank. When word got around that Napoleon was giving up Louisiana to the Americans, not everybody agreed. The first westward surge of the settlement reached the: What did the South receive in the compromise over the war debts between Hamilton and Jefferson? The French had no active administration over the territory and there were few French settlers. Why is France sold the Louisiana Purchase to the US? The Northerners were not enthusiastic about Western farmers gaining another outlet for their crops that did not require the use of New England ports. Even though Europeans had ostensibly laid claim to Louisiana for centuries, it remained largely undeveloped, with few wanting to move there. This success stuck in Napoleon's craw. Required fields are marked *. Please feel free to fill out our Contact Form. How many amendments make up the Bill of Rights? As detailed by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Americans believed that the acquisition and settlement of new lands to the west were critical to the future development of the country. The Significance of the Zimmermann Telegram. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million and nearly doubled the size of the U.S. [31], Madison (the "Father of the Constitution") assured Jefferson that the Louisiana Purchase was well within even the strictest interpretation of the Constitution. [48], A dispute soon arose between Spain and the United States regarding the extent of Louisiana. To France, it was a backwater sort of like owning Mediterranean Avenue in Monopoly. There was no arguing with Napoleon, who would, after all,crown himself Emperor in 1804. 5057. II, Sec. Napoleon informed his brothers of the sale and asked for their opinion. However, in 1800 Spain had ceded the Louisiana territory back to France as part of Napoleon's secret Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. The question of what to do with the territory brought out deep divisions along sectional lines and ultimately helped lead to the Civil War. The purchase doubled the size of the United States, greatly strengthened the country materially and strategically, provided a powerful impetus to . [6] The territory nominally remained under Spanish control, until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the formal cession of the territory to the United States on December 20, 1803.[7]. However, Livingston was certain that the United States would accept the offer.[16]. As it turns out, France, or more accurately its ruler Napoleon Bonaparte, had some good reasons for doing it. ' Weegy: Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States because he would have a hard time managing . [44][42] With the bankers' help, the French and American negotiators settled on a price of 80 million francs ($15 million), down from an initial price of 100 million francs, a sum the Americans could not afford and the financers could not provide. The Kingdom of France had controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. Napoleon sold French Louisiana to the US in 1803 as the Louisiana Purchase. The following year, the District of Louisiana was renamed the Territory of Louisiana. He bought the Louisiana territory from France, which was being led by Napoleon Bonaparte at the time, for 15,000,000 USD. Louverture, as a French general, had fended off incursions from other European powers, but had also begun to consolidate power for himself on the island. Napoleon's brothers, Lucien and Joseph, objected, thinking it a black mark on France's reputation and glory. 55, no. The resources and land from theLouisiana territory considerably helped the United States become the global power it is today. The problem with Saint-Domingue was that its entire economy was supported by and depended entirely upon slavery. While the concept of "manifest destiny" would not make it into the American lexicon until 1845, the idea that the United States had a divine mission to expand had been in place since the earliest colonial times. According to the University of Kentucky, slaves outnumbered free people at least 10 to 1. The Sac and the Fox lived on the northern Mississippi River, the Osage on the Missouri River and on the Arkansas River in present eastern Oklahoma, and the Quapaw at the . As described by Louisiana State University, France even went so far as to send convicts from debtors' prisons to the colony in 1717 in order to increase its settlement. The Louisiana purchase doubled the size of America. pp. [4] New Orleans was already important for shipping agricultural goods to and from the areas of the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains. It was the first and only time that a slave revolt had seen such success, and this epochal event in San-Domingue is linked with the Louisiana Purchase. How did Jefferson acquire Louisiana Territory? While Napoleons reasons were valid, his decision to sell the Louisiana territory certainly came as a surprise. Washington set a precedent by serving ______ terms as President. The first plan of government used by the United States was under the: Who was the President at the time of the Alien and Sedition Act? 53, no. The Real Reason France Sold The Louisiana Territory To The United States, National Museum of American History/Wikimedia Commons, National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons. Napoleon sold France's Louisiana territory because he needed money to fund his wars of conquest in Europe one of the terms of the Louisiana purchase was that the U.S. had to pay the whole price up front in gold. The Louisiana Purchase proved popular with white Americans, who were hungry for more western lands to settle. The Louisiana territory was now worthless to him, and he immediately sought to offload the territory to the United States. Mexico. A U.S. In the 1780s, it produced 60% of the world's coffee and supplied Britain and France with 40% of its sugar. A watershed event in American history, the purchase of the Louisiana . Already at the time, American frontier settlers slowly trickled into the territory. What reason did Madison give Congress for declaring war in 1812? According to the Library of Congress, Napoleon did not have enough troops to occupy Louisiana while simultaneously subduing Saint-Domingue. Francis Scott Key. As the Library of Congress describes, Saint-Domingue was incredibly valuable. ", The Historic New Orleans Collection provides more nuance to the negotiations of the Louisiana Purchase. Why would France decide to give up such a crucial territory for only $15 million, or the bargain basement price of 3-4 cents an acre? On January 1, 1804, Haiti declared its independence. The Federalists strongly opposed the purchase, favoring close relations with Britain over closer ties to Napoleon. Who sold the massive Louisiana Territory to the United States? Timeline of the History of the United States. In January 1802, France sent General Charles Leclerc on an expedition to Saint-Domingue to reassert French control over a colony that had become essentially autonomous under Louverture. On this Wikipedia the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title. To recap, Napoleon ultimately sold the Louisiana territory for the following reasons: In hindsight it is easy for historians to criticize Napoleons decision. In order to lessen the strain of direct taxes on the populace, the French government simply needed more money from other sources. Many members of the House of Representatives opposed the purchase. The United . He bought the Louisiana territory from France, which was being led by Napoleon Bonaparte at the time, for 15,000,000 USD (about $320,000,000 in 2020 dollars). Francis Baring's son Alexander and Pierre Labouchre from Hopes arrived in Paris in April 1803 to assist with the negotiations. The British had re-entered the war and France was losing the Haitian Revolution and could not defend Louisiana. Napoleon Bonaparte used the cash to finance his war efforts, but he was finally and permanently defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. When Joseph continued to object, Napoleon shouted, "You are insolent!" The territory utterly transformed the nation over the next decades, in both good and bad ways. The Similarities And Differences Between The Lewis And Clark Expedition. Undercutting them, Jefferson threatened an alliance with Britain, although relations were uneasy in that direction. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 was a temporary solution. Vente de la Louisiane Expansion of the United States 1803-1804 Modern map of the United States overlapped with territory bought in the Louisiana Purchase (in white) History History Established July 4, 1803 Disestablished October 1, 1804 Preceded by Succeeded by Louisiana (New France) District of Louisiana Territory of Orleans Today part of The rest was history. [56] The maps and journals of the explorers helped to define the boundaries during the negotiations leading to the AdamsOns Treaty, which set the western boundary as follows: north up the Sabine River from the Gulf of Mexico to its intersection with the 32nd parallel, due north to the Red River, up the Red River to the 100th meridian, north to the Arkansas River, up the Arkansas River to its headwaters, due north to the 42nd parallel and due west to its previous boundary. How was the Louisiana Territory acquired? Lucien said that the legislative chambers of the French government would not approve it, to which Napoleon replied that he would do it without their consent. Britain B. Spain C. RussiaD. This was particularly true in the area of the present-day state of Louisiana, which also contained a large number of free people of color. A group of Northern Federalists led by Senator Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts went so far as to explore the idea of a separate northern confederacy. The territory also was only loosely under French control having just been transferred from Spain in 1800. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to think you can establish a global empire, and Napoleon Bonaparte is no exception. As for France, it never seriously established a colonial presence in the Americas again. John Adams 2. Native Americans way of life was forever changed by the unrelenting encroachment of American settlers. To part with the territory so soon after its transfer left many French aristocrats puzzled. This created an unstable situation at the western border which could draw his young country into the Napoleonic Wars. Aside from the strategic reasons, the United States was the best market to sell the Louisiana Territory. Acquisition of Louisiana was a long-term goal of President Thomas Jefferson, who was especially eager to gain control of the crucial Mississippi River port of New Orleans. That leads to the question as to why on Earth would France sell so much land, or at least the rights to it 828,000 acres for what amounted to 4 cents an acre? Napoleon reported told his Minister of Finance Barbe-Marbois in reference to the Louisiana territory: Second, selling the Louisiana territory to the United States could strengthen the nation and thus provide a counterweight against their British foes. Its European peoples, of ethnic French, Spanish and Mexican descent, were largely Catholic; in addition, there was a large population of enslaved Africans made up of a high proportion of recent arrivals, as Spain had continued the transatlantic slave trade. This situation would further expand and strengthen the British empireNapoleons worst-case scenario. In order to finance his dreams of conquest, Napoleon needed money to finance his military operation, which had been growing in an arms race with Britain. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase Europe was held under a temporary peace as a result of the 1802 Treaty of Amiens. Ambassador who was sent to France to negotiate the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. This, together with the successful French demand for an indemnity of 150 million francs in 1825, severely hampered Haiti's ability to repair its economy after decades of war. Even if the British did not seize the territory, the United States also posed a significant future threat. In the early 1800s aside from the city of New Orleans, the Louisiana territory was sparsely populated. Which one of the following men was not a member of Washington's first Cabinet? is the embryo of a tornado which will burst on the countries on both shores . The Federalists even tried to prove the land belonged to Spain, not France, but available records proved otherwise. When it came to profit and geopolitical importance, Napoleon was far more interested in the Caribbean. Throughout the second half of the 18th century, the French colony of Louisiana became a pawn for European political intrigue. Spain had not yet completed the transfer of Louisiana to France, and war between France and the UK was imminent. When Napoleon rose to power in 1799, the French governments finances were in disarray due to the effects of the French Revolution. [citation needed], After the early explorations, the U.S. government sought to establish control of the region, since trade along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers was still dominated by British and French traders from Canada and allied Indians, especially the Sauk and Fox. As discussed in the Journal of Economic History, France had a historically bad reputation for credit and finance due to the upheavals of the French Revolution. [1][2] More recently, the total cost to the U.S. government of all subsequent treaties and financial settlements over the land has been estimated to be around 2.6 billion dollars.[1][2]. On April 12, 1803, Franois Barb-Marbois met with the Americans. As a result, the State Department describes how the president began military preparations along the Mississippi and sent James Monroe to France with authorization to buy New Orleans and West Florida for up to $10 million. The jewel of the French overseas empire was Saint-Domingue in the Caribbean, which is today's Haiti on the large island of Hispaniola. Jefferson's philosophical consistency was in question because of his strict interpretation of the Constitution. Napoleon Bonaparte sold the land because he needed money for the Great French War. 22755. The British would have likely garrisoned New Orleans and would have occupied it for a very long time because they and their ally Spain did not recognize any treaties and land deals conducted by Napoleon since 1800, especially the Louisiana Purchase. The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804) traveled up the Missouri River; the Red River Expedition (1806) explored the Red River basin; the Pike Expedition (1806) also started up the Missouri but turned south to explore the Arkansas River watershed. The American representatives were prepared to pay up to $10million for New Orleans and its environs but were dumbfounded when the vastly larger territory was offered for $15million. Brown University explains that Saint-Domingue created a tax revenue base of 1 billion livres and exported up to 170 million livres into France on an annual basis. As tensions in Europe continued to grow, the unprofitable territory seemed to be more of a liability than asset. Du Pont was living in the United States at the time and had close ties to Jefferson as well as the prominent politicians in France. [42], Although the War of the Third Coalition, which brought France into a war with the United Kingdom, began before the purchase was completed, the British government initially allowed the deal to proceed as it was better for the neutral Americans to own the territory than the hostile French. At the time of the purchase, the territory of Louisiana's non-native population was around 60,000 inhabitants, of whom half were enslaved Africans. [42] In October 1803, the U.S. Treasury had some $5.86 million in specie on hand, $2 million of which would be used to pay a portion of the debts assumed from France as part of the purchase. Thomas Jefferson 4. Who was President at the time of the Louisiana Purchase? In a letter, Thomas Jefferson wrote that France's repossession of the territory "is the embryo of a tornado which will burst on the countries on both shores of the Atlantic and involve in it's effects their highest destinies.". [12], Although the foreign minister Talleyrand opposed the plan, on April 10, 1803, Napoleon told the Treasury Minister Franois Barb-Marbois that he was considering selling the entire Louisiana Territory to the United States. Why Was Washingtons Farewell Address Important? On March 11, 1803, Napoleon began preparing to invade Great Britain. Your email address will not be published. Why did Napoleon Sell the Louisiana Territory? The Constitution specifically grants the president the power to negotiate treaties (Art. [52] If the territory included all the tributaries of the Mississippi on its western bank, the northern reaches of the purchase extended into the equally ill-defined British possessionRupert's Land of British North America, now part of Canada. He bought the Louisiana territory from France, which was being led by Napoleon Bonaparte at the time, for 15,000,000 USD. [63], The Louisiana Purchase was negotiated between France and the United States, without consulting the various Indian tribes who lived on the land and who had not ceded the land to any colonial power. On the following day, October 21, 1803, the Senate authorized Jefferson to take possession of the territory and establish a temporary military government. However, one has to question whether the French ruler considered the consequences of selling France's interest in Louisiana. [24], Henry Adams and other historians have argued that Jefferson acted hypocritically with the Louisiana Purchase, because of his position as a strict constructionist regarding the Constitution since he stretched the intent of that document to justify his purchase. While 3-4 cents an acre was not a massive deal, from Napoleon's perspective he received a large sum of money for land he had just received and had virtually no control over. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately eighteen dollars per square mile, the United States nominally acquired a total of 828,000sqmi (2,140,000km2; 530,000,000 acres) in Middle America. To Napoleon's line of thinking, if the United States took control of Louisiana, then it would deny Britain the opportunity of conquering it. Jefferson had authorized Livingston only to purchase New Orleans. Napoleon. [30], Other historians counter the above arguments regarding Jefferson's alleged hypocrisy by asserting that countries change their borders in two ways: (1) conquest, or (2) an agreement between nations, otherwise known as a treaty. Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin added that since the power to negotiate treaties was specifically granted to the president, the only way extending the country's territory by treaty could not be a presidential power would be if it were specifically excluded by the Constitution (which it was not). Instead, the area encompasses 15 states and two Canadian provinces according to today's terms. This exact scenario is what happened to Mexico with their province of Tejas during the Texan Revolution. The U.S. claimed that Louisiana included the entire western portion of the Mississippi River drainage basin to the crest of the Rocky Mountains and land extending to the Rio Grande and West Florida. France The Louisiana Purchase was a land purchase made by United States president, Thomas Jefferson, in 1803. This gave Jefferson and his cabinet until October, when the treaty had to be ratified, to discuss the constitutionality of the purchase. On March 9 and 10, 1804, another ceremony, commemorated as Three Flags Day, was conducted in St. Louis, to transfer ownership of Upper Louisiana from Spain to France, and then from France to the United States. Overcoming the opposition of the Federalist Party, Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison persuaded Congress to ratify and fund the Louisiana Purchase.