14 Interesting Facts About Louisiana Purchase

Adding 828,000 square miles to the land of United States, Louisiana Purchase was one of the largest purchases in the chapters of US history. Doubling the size of US, Louisiana Purchase played a vital role in making US rank one on world’s stage. The Louisiana Purchase took place during the term of third US president Thomas Jefferson. In President Jefferson’s words, Louisiana Purchase was “an ample provision for posterity and a widespread field for the blessings of freedom”. Here are some interesting facts about Louisiana Purchase:

Louisiana Purchase Image: emaze.com

1. This time the US borrowed

Napoleon in 1806

Louisiana was bought for more price than the United States could afford, and Napoleon Bonaparte wanted money as soon as possible to prepare himself for war against Great Britain. So, to pay money the US had to borrow from two European banks at 6% rate of interest.
Source: history.com, image: wikimedia.org

2. Opposition ahead

Louisiana transfer opposition
Louisiana transfer opposition

Louisiana Purchase was not welcomed by all. There were many leaders in the United States who were against it. The Congress almost canceled it and was passed by 59-57 votes only.
Source: american-historama.org, image: wikimedia.org

3. Indirect reason for American civil war

The Union, 1852
A symbolic group portrait eulogizing legislative efforts, including the Compromise of 1850

The territory was fragmented into small administrative areas. These small territories passed slavery laws similar to that of the south which leads to Missouri Compromise of 1820 and ultimately to American Civil War.
Source: wikipedia, image: legendsofkansas.com

4. Booster for economy

The land was rich in gold, silver, and many other ores. Moreover, the massive forest cover contributed to the growth of the industry. All these factors greatly contributed to the wealth and economy of United States and also opened opportunities for westward expansion and farming.
Source: american-historama.org

5. The US on world stage

Marked as one of the most notable achievements of President Thomas Jefferson, Louisiana Purchase played a prominent role in reducing the power of Spain over the US. French colonialism in the Midwest portions of US ended. It marked the beginning of importance of United States on world Stage.
Source: american-historama.org

6. Source for new opportunities

The Louisiana Purchase strengthened the nation as a whole resulting in an enormous increase in commerce, mining, and agriculture. It provided individuals with new opportunities to create lives for themselves and enthuse the spirit of independence, curiosity, and cooperation.
Source: encyclopedia.com

7. Offer Louisiana

Louisiana purchase signing of treaty
Louisiana Purchase signing of treaty

France failed to control slave revolution in Haiti, war with the Great Britain and financial difficulties, all these factors evoked Napoleon to offer Louisiana up for sale to the United States.
Source: history.com, image: youtube.com

8. Future President in the poor house

James Monroe
James Monroe

The Louisiana negotiations put three-year governor of Virginia James Monroe in a proverbial poor house. The Broke Monroe sold his silver flatware, porcelain plates and White and Gold China tea set to raise money but he remained in debt for the rest of his life.
Source: history.com, image: wikimedia.org

9. America’s major fear

Spain and France signed a secret treaty surrendering Louisiana to France in 1801 proving a great threat to America. Moreover, there was a fear that if America did not have purchased New Orleans from France, it could have led to war. That was the reason Jefferson sent envoys to France to try and secure its purchase. As a result, envoys returned with an agreement to buy entire Louisiana.
Source: americanhistory.about.com

10. Geographical outlook

louisiana and the louisiana purchase

Stretching from the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west and from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Canadian border in the north, Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of US. Today’s Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, parts of Minnesota and Louisiana west of Mississippi River, including New Orleans, big parts of North and northeastern New Mexico, South Dakota, northern Texas, some parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado as well as portions of Canadian provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan, all were included in one of the largest historical purchases.
Source: wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org

11. Initial Plan

The US wanted to have control over New Orleans and the lands around it for the export of goods. But Napoleon offered the territory to America on April 11, 1803.
Source: history.com

12. 18th US State

Louisiana was the first state to be carved from the territory after the Louisiana agreement. Exactly after nine years; it was admitted into the Union as the 18th U.S. state.
Source: history.com

13. Corps of Discovery Expedition

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson

Corps of Discovery Expedition was commissioned by President Jefferson. It was led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Exploring the acquired territory of Louisiana was also among the various objectives of Expedition.
Source: american-historama.org, image: wikimedia.org

14. Treaty without any specific boundaries

Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark

When William Clark and Meriwether Lewis explored the north part of Louisiana, the exact boundaries of the newly acquired territory were yet to be figured out. As per the analysis of old French maps, the United States claimed West Florida, an area along the Gulf Coast in present-day Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Spain disputed this until the Adams-Onis Treaty gave the United States all of Florida in exchange for surrendering its claim to Texas. Great Britain and the United States agreed to establish a border between them from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains in 1818.
Source: history.com, image: wikimedia.org