Saturday, March 10, 2012

On this Day in History -The Louisiana Purchase

1804 map of Louisiana

FIRST: Before you read today's blog I would like to ask you a question. Do you know who Josephy Kony is? If you don't -well, you should. My friend Teddy Leddy writes a great blog from Ireland called Gubu-World and he calls Josephy Kony the world's most evil man. I could not agree more. Kony is without question the most purely evil person in history -and that takes in a lot of evil dudes. Ted posted a video clip about Kony on his blog and I would like to ask you to take a few minutes to watch it. It is important. Just click here and it will take you there. Thanks.

Now back to my blog....

I know you probably forgot but the United States got a whole lot bigger on this day in 1803. The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition by the United States of America of 828,000 square miles of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana. The U.S. paid 60 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 Purchase 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; nearly all of South Dakota; northeastern New Mexico; northern Texas; the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. (Parts of this area were still claimed by Spain at the time of the purchase.)

In addition, the purchase contained small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The purchase, which doubled the size of the United States, comprises around 23% of current U.S. territory.

The purchase was a vital achievement in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional. Although he believed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase Louisiana to protect United States trade access to the port of New Orleans and free passage on the Mississippi River.

Napoleon Bonaparte, upon completion of the agreement stated, "This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have given England a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride."

Live Long and Prosper...

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