10 Facts About the Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana Purchase is shown here in green.

The Louisiana Purchase is shown here in green.

The Louisiana Purchase was one of the most important land acquisitions ever to be made by the United States and many say that it was what really qualified the U.S. as a preeminent world power and rival of Europe.

1. What it was?

The Louisiana Purchase was the purchase of land by the United States from France. It was made up of about 828,000 square miles that was taken from the French territory of Louisiane in 1803. It was one of the most important land acquisitions in the history of the country and many say that it allowed the United States to expand even further westward and to become the nation it is today.

2. What was included

The Purchase contained what now equates to portions of 15 states in the US and 2 Canadian provinces. The land that was bought enclosed all of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and of course Louisiana. The land purchased also included parts of what is now Alberta and Saskachewan in Canada. The land that was purchased in the Louisiana Purchase now makes up about 23% of the territory of the United States.

3. What did the French want

The French had long been plagued by wars that had become very costly. Their financial situation was in a wreck and Napoleon Bonaparte realized that opportunity was fading in the New World. His attempts at maintaining the territories in the Caribbean were failing and he wanted a presence in the West for the lucrative sugar trade. After his failed attempts at maintaining order there, he decided that keeping all the territory in North America simply wasn’t worth the trouble.

4. What did the U.S. want

The U.S. understood the importance of the port of New Orleans and had already made previous negotiations to use the port and not be harassed there. The desire of the U.S. was to purchase the port outright so that they could control this very important marketplace. The U.S. went to Paris to negotiate the purchase of the port of New Orleans but was unsuccessful the first time.

5. Thomas Jefferson was president at the time

As President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson faced much opposition to the purchase of the land and many said that it was unconstitutional and undermined the authority of the states in the government. The U.S. constitution didn’t have any provisions for acquiring territory, so he was exploring new bounds of governmental control. He didn’t want France and Spain to have the ability to block American trade across the port of New Orleans.

6. Napoleon recognized it was an important move

While Napoleon Bonaparte didn’t want to just give away his conquered territories, the rivalry between France and England was still very strong. Bonaparte saw selling the land to the U.S. as an opportunity to block the power of England on another front and it was worth it to him. He said that the United States would eventually humble the pride of England.

7. Negotiations

James Monroe and Robert Livingston went to negotiate the purchase in Paris in 1803. They only wanted the port at the time and didn’t imagine how much land they would really end up getting. Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours helped them with the negotiations and had strong political ties to Jefferson and the French authorities. He brought up the idea that the area be much larger to keep Napoleon and the U.S. from going to war over North America.

8. How much

The U.S. negotiators were prepared to spend $10 million on the port of New Orleans, so they were pleasantly surprised when the entire region was offered to them for only $15 million. At the time, purchasing the territory meant doubling the size of the United State. The price of the land included in the purchase was less than 3 cents per acre.

9. Louisiana Purchase Treaty

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed by Robert Livingston, James Monroe, and Barbé Marbois in Paris on April 30, 1803. Thomas Jefferson announced the treaty to the American people on July 4th of that year. It was stated that the Louisiana Purchase was a noble work and that the U.S. could now take its place among the powers of the first rank.

10. Financing

The American government made a down payment on the land in gold totaling $3 million. The rest was financed in bonds by some of the most important banks in Europe at the time and then France cashed the bonds to use the money to pay debts.


Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "10 Facts About the Louisiana Purchase." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 30 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/66/ten-facts-about-the-louisiana-purchase/ >.

Learn more with these Louisiana Purchase websites.



Louisiana Purchase (Ready-for-Chapters)
Louisiana Purchase (Ready-for-Chapters)
by Peter Roop, Connie Roop
(Paperback)
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Price: $3.48

The Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase
by Thomas Fleming
(Hardcover)
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Price: $5.99

A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America
A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America
by Jon Kukla
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Price: $5.48

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

tori December 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm

nice thanks for the help <3

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lexie January 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm

nice. i like the facts. but im writing a paper about it. and i need more…we have to write an editorial and the question is “was the louisiana purchase worth $15 million?” so…i also have to write the supporting and the non-supporting arguments, and i dont really know what to put for the non-supporting argument. maybe you could put a little more facts and stuff like that and things about what im writing about…? thanks(=

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alex September 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

it was worth 15 million $o you know

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carlos February 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

gracias mae por las notas

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tori henner February 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

I think all this information was really helpful thanks for all your help and information.

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jasmine February 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Hi! I have to do this report on Louisiana and its 26 pages. So all the facts helped out a lot. THX! :)

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steffi March 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

does anyone know how to cite this MLA style??? :D thanks! :D

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momonmomom January 13, 2014 at 5:50 am

Shut up

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kristen March 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

good but need more

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christian March 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

awesome

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Tiffany March 23, 2011 at 5:52 am

good but it would be helpful if it had more info… i almost couldnt find what i was looking for! but thanx for the info that i found :)

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abraham March 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

cool

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ANA April 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

HOW DID YOU PEOPLE FIND ALL THESE FACT.I AM DOING A PROJECT ON THE LOUISIANA PURCHAS ,ORAGON TRAIL,AND THE WES WARD EXPANISON .IM ONLY IN SECOND GRADE.I AM HAVING LOTS OF FUN ON IT

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

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Mike April 21, 2011 at 11:45 am

Thanks iam only in 9th grade

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Bruce May 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Thanks to Haiti! the purchase would not have occurred if it wasnt because of Haiti.

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samantha orageon May 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

Heyy!!! thnaks for da info it was MAD kool nd helpful. i threw water on my friend. peace boy

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Anna September 14, 2011 at 11:27 am

hey guys this was super helpful! THANKS!!! I’m in 6th grade thanks

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Samantha Gruden October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I LOVE YOU THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP:)

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spongebobfanatic November 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

hey, everyone!! yes, i have to do a time line on 10 items that afeected the U.S., and of course, the louisiana purchase was one of them. so, this provided me with an overflow of knowledge!!! i am in 8th grade.

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Jourdan January 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm

7th grade

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Danielle January 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

awesome im in eight grade and i have to do the louisiana purchase…but i have to find out 8 things about it and a bunch of other stuff…it sucks and its confusing

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RayRay November 9, 2011 at 8:21 am

Well, i was strugglin on my homework.. I was patting my head thinking what duh haaaay I was durin!! I was lost yall REAL LOST! thank ya to the person who posted this mug! I preciate it!

Shout out to spongebobfanatic. That’s my homeboy Yall!!

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spence November 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm

im doing a report on louisiana so it kinda helped. I still need moe though :l

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Kirby November 18, 2011 at 7:06 am

This information was kinda helpful . it was borinq to read but i qot my work done …

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Bob Dylan December 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

Hey , thanks for the information about this stuff!!!!!!!!!!! Smilies

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Bob Dylan December 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

So, I am sitting here thinking why did we send Lewis and Clark? Why not Me and my friend Mitch? Although, we wouldn’t have been alive back then… So baking brownies sounds fun huh? 15 million dollars that was alot back then!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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sarah brandy December 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm

thank you!! this website and these facts jjust helped me with my home work!!! and my study guide thx to this i think i might ace my test!!! :) gracias !!

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Jourdan January 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Thanxs for the help can you provide a picture please.Um are in Ms.Weinke’s class at EMS

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Roze December 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm

some of the information is inaccurate. The United States annexed Texas from Mexico. They did not purchase it. Texas was owned by Mexico and Americans invaded illegally. Ironic isn’t it.

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Cinthia May 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

There was a dispute over that because America said that Texas was part of the purchase, and Texas said that it wasn’t. A lot of the Americans were empresarios and became Mexican citizens. And lastly, no, it’s not very ironic.

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vanessa December 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Thanks for the facts!!:)

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Jourdan January 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Thanxs for the help can you provide a picture please.

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Evangaliene A. Lopez January 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

These facts are very helpful for Essays. I’m doing a 600 word Essay on the Westward Expansion/Louisiana Purchase. I have to compose my thoughts as to when everything took place, and how each event affected each other.

It’s all most complicating, but as I have mentioned before; Composed, organized notes are very helpful. Especially if you thoughts are very un-organized from to much thinking.

Thanks Surfnetkids!

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john January 24, 2012 at 8:06 am

thank you for the facts but maybe a little more

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Leilani January 27, 2012 at 11:48 am

Thanx for the facts it really helped me on my poster project.
It sounds really easy but it’s really hard and complicating.+we need to write an essay that is 25 pages.(=

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Cassie March 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I love this website. I’m doing a project on Lewis & Clarke, and this website helped me soo much. It gives you titles of what the paragraph is about and it is just wonderful.

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cindy li March 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm

hey, this information was totally useful for my s.s project on Louisiana Purchase! I’m in 7th grade!

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destiny April 6, 2012 at 5:08 am

i am in 5th grade and this helped me with my sa on lewis and clarck mabye now you guys can post some pics of the louisiana purchase :)

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Sirge April 14, 2012 at 7:34 am

Dude, i like it…it sure helped out….im from florida.

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swagg kid April 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

It helped me too

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lola May 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

thank u so much i got an A on my history class thank u

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Kandee June 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm

You made a mistake in the LAST paragraph… I think (:
Anyways thanks, this made it eaisier to understand :D

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Derricka October 3, 2012 at 10:07 am

Thanks, helped alot. . . I am in the 10th grade. . pretty cool stuff!<3
Have a great day!(:

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bon-qui-qui December 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

ummm thanks but ur not helping student ur just helping their teachers. thank thats a good ting. from bon-qui-qui bow!

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melaine May 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Well really it is helping both

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kenzie January 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

this really helped with my project

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kenzie January 30, 2013 at 9:13 am

thanks

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Abby Glaub March 14, 2013 at 5:19 am

heyyy uh i need more facts than this bros -_-

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Ayanna April 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

thx

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ashleynewman April 30, 2013 at 9:39 am

i want to thank yall for do all this for are country.. i hope you understand were im coming from…
THANK YOU

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carina mora May 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

hi :)

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Kara October 31, 2013 at 9:25 am

I hope I get an A with these facts! ^.^

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melaine May 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Thanks so much this made my essay so much easier(4 paragraph) I had to write up to ten facts about the Louisiana Purchase. :-D B-)

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melaine May 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

This really helped with my essay

Thanks Surfnetkids!

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