The Significant Historical Importance Of The Louisiana Purchase

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On the surface, the Louisiana Purchase holds significant historical importance because it was a massive exchange of 828,000,000 square miles of territory and 15 million dollars between France and the United States. However, the historical background and aftereffects of the purchase extend far beyond a shift in land and money. In 1801, Spain returned the Louisiana Territory to France in secret. Americans migrating westward along the Tennessee and Ohio River valleys were highly dependent on free access to New Orleans port and the tributaries of the Mississippi River. This lead the U.S. government to be very wary of Napolean’s possible plans in dominating the entire area surrounding the Mississippi River, limiting New England’s expansion westward. In January of 1803, Thomas Jefferson sends James Monroe to France to assist in negotiations with France. As the war between France and Britain continued to dwindle the French economy, negotiations were smooth and the French offered a much cheaper price for much more land than the U.S. negotiators expected. By the end of the year 1803, the United States formally owned the entire Louisiana Territory.…show more content…
For the bargain price of 15 million dollars, Jefferson managed to double the territory of the United States, and secure the entire central plains area that was so critical to the growth of America. The acquisition of the territory expedited the Westward Expansion process greatly; with freedom to travel along the Mississippi and its tributaries, explorers and settlers like Lewis and Clark had a much easier time navigating and crossing the plains to the west. The territory not only served as a gateway to the west, but also held tremendous natural resources in its own right. The land was mainly unexplored wilderness, so fertile soil and precious metals were abundant

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