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.

Learn more with these Louisiana Purchase websites.

Cite This Page

"10 Facts About the Louisiana Purchase." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 3 Sep. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/66/ten-facts-about-the-louisiana-purchase/ >.

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  • tori

    nice thanks for the help <3

  • lexie

    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(=

    • alex

      it was worth 15 million $o you know

  • carlos

    gracias mae por las notas

  • tori henner

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

  • jasmine

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

  • steffi

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

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      Shut up

  • kristen

    good but need more

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  • Tiffany

    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 :)

  • abraham


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    • Mike

      Thanks iam only in 9th grade

  • Bruce

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

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

  • http://www.surnetkids.com Anna

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

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  • spongebobfanatic

    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.

    • Jourdan

      7th grade

      • Danielle

        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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  • spence

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

  • Kirby

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

  • Bob Dylan

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

  • Bob Dylan

    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!

  • sarah brandy

    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 !!

    • Jourdan

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

  • Roze

    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.

    • Cinthia

      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.

    • wyatt

      ya that right

  • http://surnetkids.com vanessa

    Thanks for the facts!!:)

  • Jourdan

    Thanxs for the help can you provide a picture please.

  • http://google.com Evangaliene A. Lopez

    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!

  • john

    thank you for the facts but maybe a little more

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    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.(=

  • Cassie

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

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

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    It helped me too

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

  • Kandee

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

  • Derricka

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

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    Thanks Surfnetkids!

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