Louisiana Purchase Agreement
Louisiana Purchase Agreement History, Terms, and
The Louisiana Purchase Agreement,
or the Louisiana Purchase, (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Louisiana Sale") was the acquisition by the United States
of America of 828,800 square miles (2,147,000 km2) of the French territory Louisiane in 1803.
The U.S. paid 60 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts
worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), a total cost of $15,000,000 for the Louisiana
|The Louisiana Purchase Agreement Map
|Map of The Louisiana Purchase Agreement
The Louisiana Purchase Agreement
encompassed portions of 15 current U.S. states and 2 Canadian Provinces. The land purchased contained
all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, parts of Minnesota that were south of the Mississippi
River, 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 west 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 Canadian
provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The land included in the purchase comprises around 23% of the territory of the United
The purchase was a vital
moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional.
Although he felt that the U.S. Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase
Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France
and Spain having the power to block American trade access to the port of New Orleans.
Napoleon Bonaparte, upon completion of the Louisiana Purchase
Agreement, stated, “This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United
States, and I have given England
a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride.”
|The Louisiana Purchase Agreement Map of US States
|Map of current US states completely, or mostly, located inside the Louisiana Purchase borders
On April 30, 1803, the Louisiana
Purchase Treaty (called by some, "the letter that bought a continent") was signed by Robert Livingston, James Monroe, and
Barbé Marbois in Paris. Jefferson announced the treaty to the American people
on July 4. After the signing of the Louisiana Purchase agreement in 1803, Livingston made this famous statement, "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." The United States Senate ratified the treaty with a vote of twenty-four to seven on October 20; on the
following day, it authorized President Jefferson to take possession of the territory and establish a temporary military government.
In legislation enacted on October 31, Congress made temporary provisions for local civil government to continue as it had
under French and Spanish rule and authorized the President to use military forces to maintain order. Plans were also set forth
for several missions to explore and chart the territory, the most famous being the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
turned New Orleans over on December 20, 1803, at The Cabildo.
On March 10, 1804, a formal ceremony was conducted in St. Louis to transfer ownership of the
territory from France to the United
Effective on October 1, 1804,
the purchased territory was organized into the Territory of Orleans
(most of which became the state of Louisiana) and the District of Louisiana, which was temporarily
under the control of the governor and judges of the Indiana
(Sources are located
at bottom of page)
Viewing: Lewis & Clark - The Journey of the
Corps of Discovery (1997) (DVD) (240 minutes)
(PBS) (September 28, 2004). Review: Another reliably well-crafted, generally engrossing documentary from Ken Burns, Lewis
& Clark employs the director's now-familiar approach to his subjects, from its elegant juxtaposition of period illustrations
and portraits against newly filmed footage of historic sites to Burns's repertory of accomplished actors to provide gravitas
for quotes from the key figures. Granted the formula has become familiar enough to allow parody, but Burns knows how to invest
his historical investigations with movement and drama, making this four-hour journey a worthwhile trip. Continued below…
by Hal Holbrook, Dayton Duncan's script explicates the agenda presented by Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis and William
Clark, placing it in the context of the young country's gamble in Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase, and the
expedition's goals for opening the West. While preserving the heroic scale of the undertaking, Burns also finds time to delve
into the politics of the venture and the disparate personalities of the two explorers; in particular, Duncan and Burns look
at the career of Lewis, the presidential protégé, his moody demeanor, and his untimely death. The film also looks beyond its
titular leaders to examine the personalities of their corps of soldiers, their boatmen, and the Indians they met and depended
on, most notably their female Shosone guide, Sacagawea. --Sam Sutherland
Recommended Reading: A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present. Review: Consistently lauded for its lively, readable prose, this revised and updated edition
of A People's History of the United States turns traditional textbook history
on its head. Howard Zinn infuses the often-submerged voices of blacks, women, American Indians, war resisters, and poor laborers
of all nationalities into this thorough narrative that spans American history from Christopher Columbus's arrival to an afterword
on the Clinton presidency. Addressing his trademark reversals
of perspective, Zinn--a teacher, historian, and social activist for more than 20 years—explains: "My point is not that
we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus
in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. Continued below…
But the easy
acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western
civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to
save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)--that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with
us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth."
If your last experience of American history was brought
to you by junior high school textbooks--or even if you're a specialist--get ready for the other side of stories you may not
even have heard. With its vivid descriptions of rarely noted events, A People's History of the United
States is required reading for anyone who wants to take a fresh look at the rich, rocky history of America. "Thought-provoking,
controversial, and never dull..."
The History Channel Presents The Revolution
(A&E) (600 minutes). Review: They came of age in
a new world amid intoxicating and innovative ideas about human and civil rights diverse economic systems and self-government.
In a few short years these men and women would transform themselves into architects of the future through the building of
a new nation – “a nation unlike any before.” From the roots of the rebellion and the signing of the Declaration
of Independence to victory on the battlefield at Yorktown and the adoption of The United States Constitution, THE REVOLUTION tells the remarkable
story of this pivotal era in history. Continued below...
the conventional list of generals and politicians, THE HISTORY CHANNEL® introduces the full range of individuals who helped
shape this great conflict including some of the war’s most influential unsung heroes. Through sweeping cinematic recreations
intimate biographical investigations and provocative political military and economic analysis the historic ideas and themes
that transformed treasonous acts against the British into noble acts of courage both on and off the battlefield come to life
in this dramatic and captivating program. This TEN HOUR DVD Features: History in the Making: The Revolution Behind-the-Scenes
Featurette; Interactive Menus; Scene Selections.
Reading: American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic (Hardcover). Review: From the prizewinning author
of the best-selling Founding Brothers and American
Sphinx, a masterly and highly ironic examination of the founding years of our country. The last quarter of the
eighteenth century remains the most politically creative era in American history, when a dedicated and determined group of
men undertook a bold experiment in political ideals. It was a time of triumphs; yet, as Joseph J. Ellis makes clear, it was
also a time of tragedies—all of which contributed to the shaping of our burgeoning nation. Continued below...
From the first
shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase,
Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting
alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders—Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and
Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically,
an evolution—and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He shows us why
the fact that it was brought about by a group, rather than by a single individual, distinguished it from the bloodier revolutions
of other countries, and ultimately played a key role in determining its success. He explains how the idea of a strong federal
government, championed by Washington, was eventually embraced by the American people, the majority of whom had to be won over,
as they feared an absolute power reminiscent of the British Empire. And he details the emergence of the two-party system—then
a political novelty—which today stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy. But Ellis is equally incisive about
their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans
has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. He demonstrates how these misjudgments, now so abundantly
evident, were not necessarily inevitable. We learn of the negotiations between Henry Knox and Alexander McGillivray, the most
talented Indian statesman of his time, which began in good faith and ended in disaster. And we come to understand how a political
solution to slavery required the kind of robust federal power that the Jeffersonians viewed as a betrayal of their most deeply
held principles. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men
both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is a book that delineates an era of
flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever. About the Author: Joseph J. Ellis received the Pulitzer
Prize for Founding Brothers and the National Book
Award for his portrait of Thomas Jefferson, American Sphinx. He is the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount
Holyoke College. He lives in
Amherst, Massachusetts, with
his wife, Ellen, and their youngest son, Alex.
The History Channel Presents The Presidents
(A&E) (360 minutes). Review: THE PRESIDENTS is
an unprecedented eight-part survey of the personal lives and legacies of the remarkable men who have presided over the Oval
Office. From George Washington to George W. Bush, THE PRESIDENTS gathers together vivid snapshots of all 43 Commanders-in-Chief
who have guided America throughout its history--their powerful personalities, weaknesses, and major
achievements or historical insignificance. Based on the book To the Best of My Ability, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner James
McPherson, THE PRESIDENTS features rare and unseen photographs and footage, unexpected insight and trivia from journalists,
scholars, and politicians such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Wesley Clark, Bob Dole, and former President Jimmy Carter.
Viewed within the changing contexts of each administration, the Presidency has never seemed more compelling
and human. Narrated by Edward Herrmann (The Aviator), this three-DVD (6 HOURS) set is a proud addition to the award-winning
documentary tradition of THE HISTORY CHANNEL®. DVD Features: Feature-length Bonus Program "All The Presidents' Wives"; Timeline
of U.S. Presidents; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection. (6 HOURS); Highly Recommended!
Great for the home, family, and classroom…
Founding Fathers (A&E) (200 minutes). Description: The four programs from the History Channel
in this set profile America's Founding Fathers, noting right at the outset they
were a "mismatched group of quarrelsome aristocrats, merchants, and lawyers." The story of how these disparate characters
fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution
is told by noted historians, and the production is enhanced with beautifully photographed reenactments as well as intelligent
use of period paintings and engravings. The story begins with Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Boston, whose protests against British taxation led to the Boston Tea Party. Moving on to
the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, the brilliant
delegates from the South, particularly George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, appear on the scene, and the story is told
of how an improbable cohesion between the colonies began. Continued below…
characters, including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, appear in turn, and each of the major participants is portrayed in
a biographical profile. How these men all came to act together, despite the stark differences in their backgrounds and temperaments,
becomes the main thread of the story. They were all quite human, as the historians who appear in interviews remind us. Some
of them drank too much, some had illegitimate children, some owned slaves, and some could hardly get along with anyone. Yet
these men with complicated private lives worked together and performed heroically. This is an intelligently rendered and captivating
look at the men who formed the American nation.
Recommended Viewing: Founding
Brothers (A&E) (200 minutes). Description: The political wrangles of a fledgling country may sound dull compared to the drama of a war, but the
early history of the United States only gets more fascinating as the Revolutionary
War is left behind. Founding Brothers, a documentary from the History Channel, examines the struggle to not only establish
democracy, but to give it the economic strength and governmental structure that will allow it to survive and thrive. George
Washington grappled not only with politics, but with questions of style and propriety--how should a president, as opposed
to a king, behave? Understanding the conflicts between Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson will illuminate
ideas that have shaped the government of the U.S.
ever since. Continued below…
provides a wealth of portraits and illustrations from the time, as well as discreet dramatizations, that bring the rise of
party politics to life, humanizing these historical figures with tales of the scandals and squabbles they faced as well as
their political achievements. An excellent introduction to the roots of the American experiment, and a bracing illustration
of what Jefferson
meant when he said of the presidency, "No man will bring out of that office the reputation which carried him into it."
John Adams (HBO Miniseries) (2008) (501 minutes). Description:
Based on David McCullough's bestselling biography, the HBO miniseries John Adams is the furthest thing from a starry-eyed
look at America's founding fathers and the brutal path to independence. Adams (Paul Giamatti),
second president of the United States,
is portrayed as a skilled orator and principled attorney whose preference for justice over anti-English passions earns enemies.
But he also gains the esteem of the first national government of the United States, i.e., the Continental Congress, which
seeks non-firebrands capable of making a reasoned if powerful case for America's break from England's monarchy. The first
thing one notices about John Adams' dramatizations of congress' proceedings, and the fervent pro-independence violence in
the streets of Boston and elsewhere, is that America's roots don't look pretty or idealized here. Some horrendous things happen
in the name of protest, driving Adams to push the cause of independence in a legitimate effort
to get on with a revolutionary war under the command of George Washington. But the process isn't easy: not every one of the
13 colonies-turned-states is ready to incur the wrath of England,
and behind-the-scenes negotiations prove as much a part of 18th century congressional sessions as they do today. Continued
peek into a less-romanticized version of the past, John Adams is also a story of the man himself. Adams' frustration at being
forgotten or overlooked at critical junctures of America's early development--sent abroad
for years instead of helping to draft the U.S. Constitution--is detailed. So is his dismay that the truth of what actually
transpired leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence has been slowly forgotten and replaced by a rosier myth.
But above all, John Adams is the story of two key ties: Adams' 54-year marriage to Abigail
Adams (Laura Linney), every bit her husband's intellectual equal and anchor, and his difficult, almost symbiotic relationship
with Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane) over decades. Giamatti, of course, has to carry much of the drama, and if he doesn't
always seem quite believable in the series' first half, he becomes increasingly excellent at the point where an aging Adams becomes bitter over his place in history. Linney is marvelous, as is Dillane, Sarah Polley as
daughter Nabby, Danny Huston as cousin Samuel Adams, and above all Tom Wilkinson as a complex but indispensable Ben Franklin.
Recommended Reading: John Adams, by David McCullough (Simon
& Schuster). From Publishers Weekly: Here a preeminent master of narrative history
takes on the most fascinating of our founders to create a benchmark for all Adams biographers.
With a keen eye for telling detail and a master storyteller's instinct for human interest, McCullough (Truman; Mornings on
Horseback) resurrects the great Federalist (1735-1826), revealing in particular his restrained, sometimes off-putting disposition,
as well as his political guile. The events McCullough recounts are well-known, but with his astute marshaling of facts, the
author surpasses previous biographers in depicting Adams's years at Harvard, his early public life in Boston and his role in the first Continental Congress, where he helped shape the philosophical
basis for the Revolution. McCullough also makes vivid Adams's actions in the second Congress,
during which he was the first to propose George Washington to command the new Continental Army. Continued below...
Later on, we
see Adams bickering with Tom Paine's plan for government as suggested in Common Sense, helping push through the draft for
the Declaration of Independence penned by his longtime friend and frequent rival, Thomas Jefferson, and serving as commissioner
to France and envoy to the Court of St. James's. The author is likewise brilliant
in portraying Adams's complex relationship with Jefferson, who ousted him from the White
House in 1800 and with whom he would share a remarkable death date 26 years later: July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after
the signing of the Declaration. (June) Forecast: Joseph Ellis has shown us the Founding Fathers can be bestsellers, and S&S
knows it has a winner: first printing is 350,000 copies, and McCullough will go on a 15-city tour; both Book-of-the-Month
Club and the History Book Club have taken this book as a selection.
Sources: The American Pageant
by David M. Dennedy, Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey; Godlewski, Guy; Napoléon et Les-États-Amis, P.320, La Nouvelle
Revue Des Deux Mondes, July-September, 1977; Meinig, D.W. The Shaping of America: Volume 2, Yale University Press,
1993; Duke, Marc; The du Ponts: Portrait of a Dynasty, P.77-83, Saturday Review Press, 1976; Malone, Michael P.; Roeder, Richard
B., Lang, William L. (1991). Montana-A History of Two Centuries.
Seattle: University of Washington Press. pp. 30; Miller, Robert J.; Elizabeth Furse (2006). Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis
& Clark, and Manifest Destiny. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 71-72; Rodriguez, Junius P. (2002). The Louisiana
Purchase. ABC-CLIO. pp. xxv-xxvi; Thomas, Fleming (2003). The Louisiana Purchase.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p.149; Schoultz, Lars (1998). Beneath the United
States. Harvard University Press. pp. 15-16; Hämäläinen, Pekka (2008). The Comanche Empire. Yale University Press.
p. 183; Weber, David J. (1994). The Spanish Frontier in North America. Yale University Press. pp. 223, 293.