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The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was a land deal between the United States of America and France. It was considered to be the largest territory purchase made by the United States Third President, Thomas Jefferson. Acquiring approximately 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River to Rocky Mountains, the Louisiana Purchase extended from the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans up to the Red River to the Canadian River for $15 million; and under four cents an acre.
See the fact file below for more information on the Louisiana Purchase or alternatively, you can download our 28-page The Louisiana Purchase worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
The Purchase Negotiations
- In 1682 Robert de La Salle, a French explorer claimed the entire Mississippi Valley for France, and named it “La Louisane” (meaning Land of Louis) after King Louis XIV. The Valley later became a royal colony in 1699. La Louisiane was given the nickname “Pelican State” because pelicans inhabited the Gulf coast of the region.
- In 1712, King Louis XIV granetd Antoine Crozzat, a merchant and a nobleman to gain control over all foreign and domestic trade in Louisiana. However, he was unable to sustain the colony and lost well over $1 billion. He then petitioned for release from his charter.
- Fearful that the province would again go bankrupt,. Philippe, Duke of Orléans appointed John Law ( a Scottish economist and investment banker) as the Controller General of Finances of France.
- In 1716, John Law founded a private bank, the “Banque Royale” and set up the use of paper money. The Bank was tied to the Company of the East and West Indies, which held a business monopoly of commerce on all the seas. Which then gave rise to the company’s name – “The Mississippi Company”.
- In 1718, the New Orleans became the territorial capital of France, and was named after Philippe Charles II, Duke of Orléans.
- While enduring economic losses in 1720, the Mississippi Company became known as the Mississippi Bubble, which lead to a significant increase in stock prices, followed by a rapid collapse in stock prices.
- In 1731, the Company of the East returned Louisiana to King Louis XIV.
- On February 10, 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed. This resulted in the end of the Seven Years War, also known as the The French and Indian War in North America (1754-1763) between Great Britain and France.
- During the negotiation of The Treaty of Paris, France secretly made an agreement with Spain. The Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762), resulted in France surrendering Louisiana to Spain. Through this treaty, the United States obtained the rights to travel to New Orleans, which allowing them to utilize the New Orleans ports facilities.
- In 1800 a Third Treaty of San Ildefonso is signed on between Napoleon Bonaparte (a French Military General) and King Charles IV of Spain – a secret agreement in which Spain agreed to return Louisiana to France in exchange for territories in Tuscany, Italy.
- In 1801 the Treaty of Aranjuez was issued by King Charles IV of Spain confirming the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso.
The Purchase Negotiations
- Within 24 hours of signing the treaty, Napoleon Bonaparte acquired Louisiana and Mississippi Valley as the Colonial Empire in North America.
- In 1802, the United States rights to trade in the port of New Orleans was revoked by the Spanish Intendant, Juan Morales.
- With the leak of the secret agreement, Napoleon planned for a Colonial Empire and threatened the United States and all of its trading rights and interior settlements. The United States President Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to US Minister Robert Livingston if France took possession: “from that moment we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation.” -Thomas Jefferson
- As a result, Thomas Jefferson wanted to purchase the New Orleans, he then ordered US Minister Livingston and James Monroe aid Livingston to negotiate with Charles Maurice de Talleyrand.
- Napoleon heard how the United States wanted to purchase New Orleans, so he offered the entire Louisiana to the Jefferson for the following reasons:
- In 1799, France weakened with the lost of the Saint Dominique war.
- There weren’t enough troops to control the Louisiana.
- French was under economic crisis.
- France had an impending war with Great Britain.
- Napoleon needed to raise money for his plan to conquer England, in order to build a European Empire.
- Livingston and Monroe quickly closed the deal for the purchase of Louisiana, which was approximately 828,000 square miles. In which they both signed together with French politician François Barbé-Marbois.
- The United States paid $11.25 million in cash to France and $3.75 million was paid to transfer French debt to the United States.
- The Louisiana Purchase was publicly announced on July 4, 1803.
- On October 21, 1803, the United States established a military force in Louisiana to gain full control of the region, where an expedition was planned to chart the territory.
- On December 20, 1803, a flag raising ceremony was held right after when France officially turned over Louisiana to the United States.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
- In May of 1804, Congress approved a $2,500 budget to fund the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Their leader was Captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark served as Lewis’ co-Captain. Both were Army Officer’s and were selected to lead the expedition along side the, which was known as the Corps of Discovery.
- In April 1804, the Corps Discovery expedition was successful. Lewis and Clark reported their successes in writing to President Jefferson, which included 68 different types of minerals and 108 plant species.
- In November of 1804, Toussaint Charbonneau, a French Canadian Explorer (French and Hidatsa translator) and his wife Sacagewea joined the expedition as Lewis and Clark Shoshone Interpreter. Sacagewea was known as the expeditions greatest asset and valuable guide.
- On June 13, 1805, Lewis and Clark discovered four waterfalls at the Great Falls of Missouri River.
- The Corps eventually founded the true Missouri River in May of 1805.
- On November 15, 1805, the Corps reached the Pacific Ocean, and explored the area, where they later established relationships with the Native American tribes.
- According to Lewis and Clark, Louisiana had over 170 plants species over 100 animal species, and an array of minerals.
- The expedition provided information of the magnitude and geology of Louisiana, which said to be able to produce about 140 maps of the Pacific Northwest region.
- On September 23, 1806, The Corps returned to St. Louis.
Louisiana Purchase Legacy
- The US doubled in size, making it one of most the leading nations in the world, which later became Preeminent On The World Stage.
- Indian Removal Act – Thomas Jefferson did not implement this act during his presidency believing that the Native might be able to progress from Savagery to Civilization. However, Native tribes resisted to adopt the Civilization. As a result they were forcefully relocated to the West.
- On March 4, 1805, a second Inaugural address was delivered, which outlined the neutrality in matters of foreign affairs, revenue and religion.
- The Embargo Act of 1807 – Thomas Jefferson signed this Act on December 22, 1807, which prohibited Americans from trading in foreign ports. The Act was a general embargo and intended to protect the Americans against the war between France and Great Britain.
- The Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 was passed on March 1, 1809. This Act permitted Americans from trading in foreign ports, except from those bound from British and French ports.
- To recognize the American neutrality, a Macon’s Bill Number 2 became a law on May 14, 1810. This bill allowed the United States to trade with France and Great Britain.
- On April 30, 1812.Louisiana joined the Union as the 18th U.S. State.
- Louisiana Purchase include the following States, and Provinces: 1. Arkansas 2. Iowa 3. Missouri 4. Kansas 5. Oklahoma 6. Nebraska 7. Minnesota 7. New Mexico 8. South Dakota 9. Texas 10. Wyoming 11. Montana 12. Colorado 13. Louisiana and some portions of Canadian provinces 14. Alberta and 15. Saskatchewan
The Louisiana Purchase Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about The Louisiana Purchase across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use The Louisiana Purchase worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 which was a land deal between the United States of America and France. It was considered to be the largest territory purchase made by the United States Third President, Thomas Jefferson. Acquiring approximately 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River to Rocky Mountains, the Louisiana Purchase extended from the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans up to the Red River to the Canadian River for $15 million; and under four cents an acre.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Louisiana Purchase Facts
- Louisiana Purchase Timeline
- The Purchase Negotiations
- Key People in Louisiana Purchase
- Why did Napoleon sell Louisiana?
- Louisiana Purchase Statistics
- United States 15 states
- Treaty Tricky
- Word Scramble
- French Influences
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Use With Any Curriculum
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