The Louisiana Purchase National-atlas-1970-1810-loupurchase-1.jpg


The Louisiana Purchase

Did you know that the Louisiana Purchase was the largest land purchase in American History? At the turn of the 19th Century, Americans were moving to the west. More land was needed to live and farm.

The Louisiana Territory at that time was owned by France. New Orleans was a huge French settlement. Many Americans were already living in and around New Orleans Due to the Mississippi River, many American ships sailed back and forth on the river. The U.S. Government wanted to protect American shipping and settlements.

So the third US President Thomas Jefferson sent someone to France to buy New Orleans and the surrounding area. Napoleon, who was the Emperor of France said no at first. Later however, Napoleon French leader did sell all of the Louisiana Territory. The area was more than 828,000 square miles. The United States paid a little more than twenty three million dollars for the purchase. Both sides agreed, and in 1803, the Louisiana Territory became American.

With that purchase, the size of the country doubled. What did the land include? Of course at that time, the Louisiana Purchase was more than just a portion of Louisiana. The land purchased included all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. It also included parts of Minnesota, most 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 Louisiana Purchase was a great sale for the United States! Can you imagine what America would be like if that sale had never happened?