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Louisiana Purchase - Essay Example

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The Mississippi River played a vital role in commerce at that time where the port of New Orleans was the connecting point of trade for ocean-sailing vessels. The…
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Louisiana Purchase
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The Louisiana Purchase is a landmark achievement both in politics and economics of the United s in the 1800s. The Mississippi River played a vital role in commerce at that time where the port of New Orleans was the connecting point of trade for ocean-sailing vessels. The country knew it was necessary to have access to these routes to be able to ship cargo and stimulate trade. The route was originally controlled by the Spaniards and the United States entered into the Pinckney Treaty with Spain effective for three years and signed in 1795. This gave the right of navigation and the merchants’ right of deposit in New Orleans. With the power of France and Napoleon Bonaparte continually rising, Spain signed with France into the Treaty of San Ildefonso which included ceding Louisiana back to France. President Thomas Jefferson grew wary of protecting the interests in New Orleans and the Mississippi as the previous treaty with Spain is in the brink of being revoked. He actively sought to obtain New Orleans and authorized $10 million for its purchase. Luckily, Napoleon’s interest in the Americas was thwarted and he settled his eyes on Europe. Bonaparte sent Talleyrand and Barbe-Marbois who negotiated with Robert Livingston and James Monroe in 1803 for the purchase of the entire Louisiana for $15 million (The Museum Gazette).
This was an important milestone in United States history and highlighted the presidency of Jefferson. “Louisiana doubled the size of the United States literally overnight, without a war or the loss of a single American life, and set a precedent for the purchase of territory” (The Museum Gazette). This became a precedent for the possibility of acquiring territories not only within the continent but including the Pacific. The purchase had oppositions, mainly coming from New England Federalists who felt they were losing grips of their influence because of the expansion. Nevertheless, it was considered as one of the greatest bargains in real estate considering the vastness and size of Louisiana in proportion to its purchase value (Sage 187).
Works Cited
Sage, Henry. U.S. History I: United States History 1607-1865 Text for History 121. Academic American History, 2010. Web. 29 May 2014.
The Museum Gazette. “The Louisiana Purchase.” National Park Services. The Museum Gazette, December 1991. Web. 29 May 2014. Read More
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