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Louisiana Purchase

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Date: 1802 to April 30, 1803
Location: 15 current U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.map
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Categories: US History | Presidential Acts.

Title: The Louisiana Purchase Treaty
Description: Treaty to purchase land from France
Netotiators - Signers: Robert Livingston, James Monroe
President: Thomas Jefferson
Date Enacted: 30 April 1803


The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803 of 828,000 square miles (2,140,000 km2) of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana. The U.S. paid 50 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), for a total sum of 15 million dollars (less than 3 cents per acre) for the Louisiana territory ($233 million in 2011 dollars, less than 42 cents per acre).

The Louisiana territory encompassed all or part of 15 current U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River; most of North Dakota; most of South Dakota; northeastern New Mexico; northern Texas; the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans; and small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Treaty signing

On Saturday, April 30, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed by Robert Livingston, James Monroe, and Barbé Marbois in Paris. Jefferson announced the treaty to the American people on July 4. After the signing of the Louisiana Purchase agreement in 1803, Livingston made this famous statement, "We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our whole lives...From this day the United States take their place among the powers of the first rank."

The United States Senate ratified the treaty with a vote of twenty-four to seven on October 20. On the following day, it authorized President Jefferson to take possession of the territory and establish a temporary military government. In legislation enacted on October 31, Congress made temporary provisions for local civil government to continue as it had under French and Spanish rule and authorized the President to use military forces to maintain order. Plans were also set forth for several missions to explore and chart the territory, the most famous being the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

France turned New Orleans over on December 20, 1803 at The Cabildo. On March 10, 1804, a formal ceremony was conducted in St. Louis to transfer ownership of the territory from France to the United States.

Effective on October 1, 1804, the purchased territory was organized into the Territory of Orleans (most of which became the state of Louisiana) and the District of Louisiana, which was temporarily under the control of the governor and judges of the Indiana Territory.

States Affected

(see map)

  1. Arkansas
  2. Missouri
  3. Iowa
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Kansas
  6. Nebraska
  7. Minnesota
  8. North Dakota
  9. South Dakota
  10. New Mexico
  11. Texas
  12. Montana
  13. Wyoming
  14. Colorado
  15. Louisiana

Links

The Louisiana Purchase on Wikipedia.







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Louisiana Purchase 1803
Louisiana Purchase 1803

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