Most of the land was occupied by Native Americans.
In March 1801, the Mississippi river formed the western boundary of the U.S.
The Louisiana Purchase was a deal made between Spain, France and the United States. The territory was sold, bought, and owned by many different groups at different times throughout history.
Around the 1700ís Spain owned the territory. But in 1800, Spain tried to sell the territory to France by a treaty signed by San Ildefonso. Although some people didnít agree with that, it was still sold due to the fact that they need money. Napoleon Bonaparte I, future emperor, was the person who represented France when buying the land. As soon as the French owned the land, the Spanish authorities continued to govern, so Napoleon assigned an army, and a general for the occupation of the land. Spain did get the privilege of controlling the Mississippi River.
The Louisiana Purchase didnít only include Louisiana, and one or two more states, it actually included all, or part of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. That was a total of 800,000 square miles, which almost doubled the size of the U.S. Louisiana was named after a French king, King Louis XIV. Louisiana also means "red stick" in French and that is also why its name is Louisiana, because in Louisiana there is a red cypress tree that was discovered near Baton Rouge. They called the tree "le baton rouge."
The deal between Spain and France wasnít the only deal, Napoleon also decided to sell the territory because he thought it was worthless. Also he didnít know anything about the land that he had bought, he also needed some money to fight with Great Britain. Finally, Jefferson decided to buy the land. He mostly wanted it to control the Port of New Orleans. At first, Jefferson only wanted to buy Louisiana, and Florida, but Napoleon amazed him by selling the whole territory!
The land of the Louisiana Purchase has changed greatly since the 1800ís. There were a lot of deals and many decisions. But now, that land isnít all together with one big name they are individual states. The Louisiana Purchase was certainly one of the biggest land purchases in American history.
Copyright © 2007, Terry Hongell - Pocantico Hills School All rights reserved