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The Louisiana Purchase was the obtaining of 828,000 square miles of territory for a extremely low price, and started the Imperial Expansion of the United States from the 13 Colonies to the present 50 states.

This area of land was originally settled by the French, but after France’s defeat in the Seven Year’s War, the territory became Spanish. Louisiana and New Orleans was a very important trading center for the United States, so it came as a shock when the Spanish administer of the territory revoked trade with the United states in 1798. The reason behind this was the acquisition of the territory from the Spanish by the French again. Napoleon Bonaparte wanted this territory to extend his empire to the New World, but it turned out that he needed money more that territory, due to his constant wars in Europe.

As a result, Napoleon offered the 828,000 square mile territory to U.S. President Thomas Jefferson for 15,000,000 Francs in 1803, for less than three cents an acre. Jefferson himself was, ironically, against a strong central government, which would be required by the obtaining of the territory, and he received much criticism from Federalists, but he decided that he couldn’t pass up the offer.

Hoisting of American Colors over Louisiana by Thure de Thulstrup

Hoisting of American Colors over Louisiana by Thure de Thulstrup

In 1804, the treaty to buy the territory was completed, and the Louisiana Territory was given to the Americans. It was a major stepping-stone to American domination of America.

Would you have bought the territory, even if it went against your morals?