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Thomas Jefferson. “ Delay is preferable to error.”. and the Louisiana Purchase. In 1790 this is what the territory of Louisiana looked like to Thomas Jefferson and to the American public. The United States is a growing nation …….
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Thomas Jefferson “ Delay is preferable to error.” and the Louisiana Purchase
In 1790 this is what the territory of Louisiana looked like to Thomas Jefferson and to the American public.
Exports are increasing yearly and the use of the Mississippi River is a key issue. The port of New Orleans becomes the object of discussion among the Republicans. A secret deal between Spain and France is discovered concerning the Louisiana Territory. Jefferson sends Robert Livingston to France to seek the purchase of New Orleans and the adjacent territory. A slave revolt in Haiti creates disaster for Napoleon and his dreams of an expanded North American empire. European concerns allows Napoleon to offer the territory for sale on April 10, 1803. Monroe and Livingston secure money from Dutch and British for the purchase of the Louisiana Territory.
This is the treaty that the United States and France signed. The purchase price is $15 million dollars. This is substantially more than the $2 million Jefferson had asked for the purchase of the port of New Orleans.
This is the cover of the treaty as displayed in the national archives in Washington.
The treaty will give rise to many concerns. One aspect of the treaty becomes clear. With the acceptance of the treaty the United States will double in size and become one of the largest nations in the world.
Concerns The treaty does not have a clear definition of boundaries. It is not clear if France has the right or legal title to sell the territory. President Jefferson is uncertain if he has the constitutional authority to purchase the land. Jefferson is concerned about the prospect of immediate statehood because he does not think the native Creoles are ready for American citizenship. To quell any attempts of rebellion Jefferson sends 7,000 troops to the territory. The Louisiana Territory is divided into 2 districts.
The governments of France, Spain and the United States exchange flags March 9-10, 1804 officially recognizing the territory as being part of the United States of America.