True False, Hamilton's financial plans favored the northern states. Napoleons spot on the French throne was not guaranteed and he had neither the time nor resources to wait for the Louisiana territory to bear fruit with war in Europe once again looming. In the meeting, he said that Napoleon had read an account in the London press that 50,000 British troops might be sent to New Orleans. In order to lessen the strain of direct taxes on the populace, the French government simply needed more money from other sources. Through the Louisiana Purchase, the United States' territory doubled at once. The Louisiana territory was now worthless to him, and he immediately sought to offload the territory to the United States. The British had re-entered the war and France was losing the Haitian Revolution and could not defend Louisiana. A group of Northern Federalists led by Senator Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts went so far as to explore the idea of a separate northern confederacy. Its European peoples, of ethnic French, Spanish and Mexican descent, were largely Catholic; in addition, there was a large population of enslaved Africans made up of a high proportion of recent arrivals, as Spain had continued the transatlantic slave trade. The purchase doubled the size of the United States, greatly strengthened the country materially and strategically, provided a powerful impetus to . From March 10 to September 30, 1804, Upper Louisiana was supervised as a military district, under its first civil commandant, Amos Stoddard, who was appointed by the War Department. According to the Library of Congress, the Louisiana Territory was mainly ignored by the French government and remained unprofitable. Aside from the strategic reasons, the United States was the best market to sell the Louisiana Territory. ", This page was last edited on 5 February 2023, at 06:28. The eastern boundary below the 31st parallel was unclear. The Lewis and Clark expedition followed shortly thereafter. The French Revolution and the Politics of Government Finance, 1770-1815. The Journal of Economic History, vol. Otherwise, Louisiana would be an easy prey for a potential invasion from Britain or the U.S.  With tensions increasing with Great Britain, in 1809 Fort Bellefontaine was converted to a U.S. military fort and was used for that purpose until 1826. , In 1803, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, a French nobleman, began to help negotiate with France at the request of Jefferson. Many members of the House of Representatives opposed the purchase. The Louisiana Purchase proved popular with white Americans, who were hungry for more western lands to settle. Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin added that since the power to negotiate treaties was specifically granted to the president, the only way extending the country's territory by treaty could not be a presidential power would be if it were specifically excluded by the Constitution (which it was not). Following French defeat in the Seven Years' War, Spain gained control of the territory west of the Mississippi, and the British received the territory to the east of the river. Lucien said that the legislative chambers of the French government would not approve it, to which Napoleon replied that he would do it without their consent. The Federalists even tried to prove the land belonged to Spain, not France, but available records proved otherwise. The relatively narrow Louisiana of New Spain had been a special province under the jurisdiction of the Captaincy General of Cuba, while the vast region to the west was in 1803 still considered part of the Commandancy General of the Provincias Internas. Britain B. Spain C. RussiaD. When it came to profit and geopolitical importance, Napoleon was far more interested in the Caribbean. The Significance of the Zimmermann Telegram. What's more, as described by Medium, the French ruler believed that a more powerful United States was better for France. Where Saint Domingue would be the crown jewel with its lucrative sugar plantations, Louisiana would be the bread basket supplying the empire with grains. Knowing that war was imminent, Napoleon sensed two opportunities by selling the Louisiana territory. Napoleon Bonaparte sold the land because he needed money for the Great French War. This would allow the Americans to retain clear access to the river. He also realized that with Britain's superior naval power, it would be relatively easy for them to take Louisiana at will. According to the University of Kentucky, slaves outnumbered free people at least 10 to 1. To France, it was a backwater sort of like owning Mediterranean Avenue in Monopoly. As told by Michigan State University, both of them were shocked when the French minister, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, asked how much they would pay for the entire territory. , When Spain later objected to the United States purchasing Louisiana from France, Madison responded that America had first approached Spain about purchasing the property but had been told by Spain itself that America would have to treat with France for the territory.. The first reason that Napoleon sold the Louisiana territory was that the French government was in need of money. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase Europe was held under a temporary peace as a result of the 1802 Treaty of Amiens. 9, no.  In 1808 two military forts with trading factories were built, Fort Osage along the Missouri River in western present-day Missouri and Fort Madison along the Upper Mississippi River in eastern present-day Iowa. The Library of Congress explains how President Thomas Jefferson realized the precariousness of having France as a neighbor. As a result, Napoleon's view of Louisiana transformed from that of an outpost to that of a poker chip, ready to cash in. Advertisement chelseann013 Answer: He needed money to pay for the war with Britain Advertisement Advertisement 1, 1967, pp.  The total of $15million is equivalent to about $337million in 2021 dollars, or 64 cents per acre. Out of anger towards Spain and the unique opportunity to sell something that was useless and not truly his yet, Napoleon decided to sell the entire territory. Napoleon reported told his Minister of Finance Barbe-Marbois in reference to the Louisiana territory: Second, selling the Louisiana territory to the United States could strengthen the nation and thus provide a counterweight against their British foes. Jefferson considered a constitutional amendment to justify the purchase; however, his cabinet convinced him otherwise. Zebulon Pike What nickname were Americans given who wanted war with England? Slaves were routinely terrorized in a race-based social order. Just three weeks earlier, on November 30, 1803, Spanish officials had formally conveyed the colonial lands and their administration to France. Also, Spain's refusal to cede Florida to France meant that Louisiana would be indefensible. , In 1798, Spain revoked the treaty allowing American use of New Orleans, greatly upsetting Americans. The asking price was $125 million. Earlier in 1803, Francis Baring and Company of London had become the U.S. government's official banking agent in London following the failure of Bird, Savage & Bird. In order to finance his dreams of conquest, Napoleon needed money to finance his military operation, which had been growing in an arms race with Britain. On April 11, 1803, just days before Monroe's arrival, Barb-Marbois offered Livingston all of Louisiana for $15million, which averages to less than three cents per acre (7/ha). Lucien later reported in a memoirthat the pair sought out their brother in the Tuileries, where they found the ruler indulging in a bath. So while a slave rebellion helped drive the Louisiana Purchase, the new territory was destined to become a place of suffering and exploitation for the thousands of slaves forced to work there.. A final reason for Napoleons fateful decision was that he foresaw the difficulty in maintaining a French colony in North America across the Atlantic and so close to the United States. ' Weegy: Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States because he would have a hard time managing . Without Saint Domingue, Napoleons dreams of a French colonial empire in the Americas were dashed. The great expansion of the United States achieved by the Louisiana Purchase did receive criticism, though . In the end, Barings and Hopes acquired the $11.25 million in bonds for just $9.44 million. Monroe, along with the minister to France, Robert Livingston, made the inquiry. Spain had not yet completed the transfer of Louisiana to France, and war between France and the UK was imminent.  The territory nominally remained under Spanish control, until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the formal cession of the territory to the United States on December 20, 1803.. According to the memoirs of Franois Barb-Marbois, in what was a prophetic statement foreshadowing the American Civil War, Napoleon said, "Perhaps it will also be objected to me, that the Americans may be found too powerful for Europe in two or three centuries: but my foresight does not embrace such remote fears. The formidable British navy could easily blockade the territory and seize it for themselves. Napoleon Bonaparte used the cash to finance his war efforts, but he was finally and permanently defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. , The eastern boundary of the Louisiana purchase was the Mississippi River, from its source to the 31st parallel, though the source of the Mississippi was, at the time, unknown. Even in 1803, that was dirt cheap. Napoleon sold France's Louisiana territory because he needed money to fund his wars of conquest in Europe one of the terms of the Louisiana purchase was that the U.S. had to pay the whole price up front in gold. National Geographic also adds that it paved the way for the imperial expansion and conquest of the Native American tribes of the West. While Napoleon had his reasons for the sale of the Louisiana territory, the treaty has gone down in history as one of the most impactful for the United States. Why would France decide to give up such a crucial territory for only $15 million, or the bargain basement price of 3-4 cents an acre? The Similarities And Differences Between The Lewis And Clark Expedition. James Monroe 5. miles of land for fifteen million dollars. While 3-4 cents an acre was not a massive deal, from Napoleons perspective he received a large sum of money for land he had just received and had virtually no control over. A watershed event in American history, the purchase of the Louisiana . American Indians were also present in large numbers. The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory in 1803. Undercutting them, Jefferson threatened an alliance with Britain, although relations were uneasy in that direction. Pamela Martin In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte surprised U.S. negotiators with an offer to sell the Louisiana Territory for approximately 4 cents per acre. If Napoleon's designs had succeeded, perhaps his decision to abandon Louisiana would be looked at in history as a bit more shrewd than it seemed at first blush. , Although the foreign minister Talleyrand opposed the plan, on April 10, 1803, Napoleon told the Treasury Minister Franois Barb-Marbois that he was considering selling the entire Louisiana Territory to the United States. Pakenham was ordered to conduct the New Orleans/Mobile campaign even in the middle of the peace negotiations in late 1814. The four decades following the Louisiana Purchase was an era of court decisions removing many tribes from their lands east of the Mississippi for resettlement in the new territory, culminating in the Trail of Tears. The Significance and Purpose of the Treaty of Tordesillas. The purchase originally extended just beyond the 50th parallel. The Kingdom of France had controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. 22755. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/1833473. Livingston and Monroe were only authorized to spend up to $10 million for the purchase of New Orleans and West Florida.