Spain originally claimed this territory but it was also claimed by France who owned it from 1699 to 1762 until they gave it to Spain. Spain, who defeated France in the Seven Years War, took control of the territory west of the Mississippi river. Then, in 1800 France took it back under Napoleon’s rule in the hope of building a new empire in the United States. Extremely skeptical about buying the extra territory, Thomas Jefferson saw it to be unconstitutional. He decided to go through with the purchase to rid France from the region and protect United States trade access to the port of New Orleans and free passage on the Mississippi River.2 Thomas Jefferson also called it “an ample provision for our posterity and a widespread field for the blessings of freedom.”3 The United States only wanted New Orleans because of its exports, but a man named James Madison, Secretary of State, originally paid for the Louisiana Purchase. Pinckney's Treaty, signed with Spain on October 27, 1795, gave Americans the right to transport goods. In 1798 Spain revoked this treaty, prohibiting American use of New Orleans. Louisiana remained negligibly under Spanish control until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the cession to the United States. The ...
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