The Louisiana Purchase

President Jefferson signs

The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of about 530,000,000 acres (828,000 sq mi or 2,100,000 km˛) of territory from France in 1803, at the cost of about 3˘ per acre (7˘ per ha); totaling US$15 million or ₣80 million. Including interest, America finally paid $23,213,568 for the Louisiana territory. The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota south of Mississippi River, much of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, northern Texas, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana on both sides of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. (The Oklahoma Panhandle, and southwestern portions of Kansas and Louisiana were still claimed by Spain at the time of the Purchase.) In addition, the Purchase contained small portions of land that would eventually become part of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The land included in the purchase comprises around 23% of the territory of the modern United States. The purchase was an important moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional. Jefferson purchased Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France and Spain having the power to block American traders access to the port of New Orleans.

 

  • U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1873 Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 7th Congress, 2nd Session

  • Bicentennial Events New


    Centennial Events New

    Webmaster note: All States participated in some fashion and several foreign governments.  However I have only provided links to the 14 states actually carved from the Louisiana Purchase in whole or in part, plus Illinois which played a very important part in the colonization of Louisiana.

     

    Many thanks to Terry for the Wonderful Centennial Site!


    Louisiana Purchase Monuments New

    • Arkansas-Louisiana Purchase State Park

    • Louisiana Purchase Monument from the St. Louis Centennial in 1904

     
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