Louisiana Purchase

Satisfactory Essays
The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was a American

acquirement from France of the formerly Spanish

region Louisiana. When the secret agreement of 1801

was revealed , where Spain went back to Louisiana to

France, excited the uneasiness in the United States

both because Napoleon France was an aggressive

power and because western settlers depended on the

Mississippi River for commerce. In a letter to the

American minister to France Robert R. Livingston,

President stated that “The day that France takes

possession of New Orleans...we must marry

ourselves to the British fleet and the nation.” Late in

1802 the right of deposit at New Orleans, granted to

Americans by the Pinckney Treaty of 1795, was

withdrawn by the Spanish intending (Louisiana was

still under Spanish control). Although Spain soon

restored the right of deposit, the acquisition of New

Orleans became of paramount national interest.

Jefferson instructed Livingston to attempt to

purchase the “Isle of Orleans” and West Florida from

France. He appointed James Monroe minister

extraordinary and plenipotentiary to serve with

Livingston. Congress granted the envoys $2 million

to secure their object. The international situation

favored the American diplomats. Louisiana was of

diminishing importance to France. The costly revolt

in Haiti forced the French emperor Napoleon I to

reconsider his plan to make Hispaniolia the keystone

of his colonial empire, and impending war with Great

Britain made him question the hardness of holding

Louisiana against that great naval power. He

decided to sell Louisiana to the United States. On April

11, 1803, the French foreign minister Charles Maurice

de Talleyrand opened negotiations by asking the

surprised Livingston what the United States would

give for all of Louisiana. Bargaining began in earnest

the next day, on Monroe’s arrival in Paris. On April

29, the U.S. envoys agreed to pay a total of $15 million

to France; about $ 3,750,000 of this sum covered claims

of U.S. Citizen against France, which the U.S..

government agreed to discharge. The treaty, dated

April 30, 1803, was signed overcome by his fears that

Napoleon might change his mind and by the
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