Military Review

Buying Louisiana: the beginning of a new era

Louisiana's purchase of 30 on April 1803 was the most important event in stories United States, forever launched this country to imperialism. The vast territory of the then Louisiana (2 100 000 sq. Km) to the current small state with the same name has a conditional relationship. To see this, just look at the historical maps. Speaking the language of simple comparisons, having joined Louisiana, the United States has immediately doubled its territory, having received enormous resources for economic growth and further unrestrained territorial expansion.

After independence, the US government lifted the British ban on settling beyond the Allegan Mountains, and the colonists moved en masse to the West. But the movement had its own geographical limits - they rested against the borders of Louisiana. The history of this territory is quite complicated, and it in turn belonged to the French, the Spaniards, and at the beginning of the XIX century was in the process of another transfer from Spain to France under the Treaty of San Ildefonso.

The United States was interested in acquiring, first of all, New Orleans, through which American trade between the western and eastern margins proceeded. Goods descended through the Mississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean to the East Coast of the United States. Back cargo went the same way. But now the exit from the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico was locked just by New Orleans, and it was this strategic area that the then US President Thomas Jefferson planned to take under control. Speech about the purchase of the whole of Louisiana at that time was not yet, although in the entourage of the head of state such thoughts were already expressed.

Although there was an agreement with Spain on the free transit of many goods, this did not remove the urgency of the problem and more reliable guarantees were required.

In order to conduct a diplomatic sounding of the mission in Paris, the mission was represented by James Monroe (the future fifth US president and author of the famous expansionist Monroe Doctrine) and Robert Livingstone. Pierre-Samuel Dupont, who had extensive contacts with the ruling circles of France, was attached as an assistant to them. Together they were to influence Napoleon Bonaparte and convince him to sell New Orleans and the surrounding territories to the United States.

By 1803, Paris’s relations with London had deteriorated so much that open war became inevitable. Knowing about the uncomfortable position of France, the Americans increasingly made replicas like “sell, or take power”. They were spoken more in private conversations, but the mood of the young state reflected exactly. However, Napoleon himself realized how defenseless are the possessions in the New World. Remembering the sad fate of Acadia, a French possession in North America, previously conquered by the British, the First Consul of the French Republic decided to sell. The future emperor considered war more important than overseas adventures at home.

By the way, there is also an alternative version of events, indicating that the French offer to sell fell upon American diplomats like snow on their heads - after all, they had the means and authority only to purchase New Orleans.

The sale agreement was signed on 30 on April 1803 of the year in Paris, and the actual transfer of sovereignty took place a year later - on March 10 of 1804. The territory was eventually sold for 15 million dollars, of which 11 million 250 thousand, were paid immediately, and the remaining amount went to repay France’s debt to US citizens. The benefits for the United States were colossal from any angle. However, in the United States at that time there was still no consensus about whether this purchase is useful or not, not to mention the sharply aggravated relations with Great Britain and Spain.

The Spaniards, who planned to cover their continental possessions as a French Louisiana shield, spoke out sharply against the deal, but the US ignored their opinion. Caught in an unfavorable strategic position, Spain was later forced to cede Florida.

In Britain, in the 1818 year, after the Anglo-American War 1812-1815, the very north of Louisiana withdrew, after which the border was finally straightened and assumed a modern look.

Having lost Louisiana, France lost all possessions in North America, and only in 1816 did St. Pierre and Miquelon, the tiny islands off the coast of Newfoundland, return to her.

For Russia, the French situation will repeat exactly more than half a century later in the case of Alaska. Having a constant threat in Europe, military conflicts in Central Asia, as well as a turbulent border with China and Japan, the content of the North American possessions seemed to Alexander II an inadmissible luxury. We got rid of the distant and sparsely populated territory through the sale, so as not to lose it by military means.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 29 December 2015 07: 05
    Thank you very much for the article. Is this perhaps the beginning of a new topic? It would be nice. Or maybe I missed something?
    Capture, join, buy, grow, increase by any means --- turned out to be a monster.
    1. Kibalchish
      29 December 2015 07: 10
      Yes it was possible, but it seems that this topic is not interesting to anyone.
      1. Bespectacled
        Bespectacled 29 December 2015 17: 51
        Quote: Kibalchish
        This topic is not interesting to anyone.

        Not at all ... The topic is very interesting.
    2. Sweles
      Sweles 29 December 2015 10: 32
      strangely everyone mentions the sale of Alaska, but no one remembers that the lands of the future state of Oregon were also sold along with Alaska — these were also Russian possessions, and on these lands there were many wonders such as sequoia.
      1. venaya
        venaya 29 December 2015 12: 36
        Quote: Sveles
        all mention the sale of Alaska, but no one recalls that the lands of the future state of Oregon were also sold along with Alaska - these were also Russian possessions

        You are reporting very important data. There have already been many reports that the actual documents on the sale of even Alaska itself do not exist in nature. Especially this information becomes relevant in connection with the latest events regarding the fires of the State. library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and a similar library in Washington. Destruction of documents is a favorite pastime of some people in which they do a considerable business. Specialists sometimes associate the fire in both libraries precisely with the presence / absence of documents specifically on the legality of the purchase / sale of Alaska. If you have additional information, it is very interesting to get it.
        1. Sweles
          Sweles 29 December 2015 14: 22
          Quote: venaya
          If you have additional information, it is very interesting to get it.

          minimal information everything is covered in darkness, I myself first heard it from Nosovsky on the radio
          N. BOLTYANSKAYA - I see. Let's all the same on the Moscow Tatarstan.

          G.NOSOVSKY - So. Moscow Tataria. Do not think that it was a state on only Siberian lands. It largely captured North America. This, by the way, explains the presence of the Russian population of indigenous North America. Historians cannot explain how it appeared there. Including the population of Alaska, the Russian population of Oregon and so on. Fort Ross on the West Coast. Well, and after this state was defeated during the war with Pugachev, they began to divide it from the east and west. From the west came the Romanovs, who captured the Siberian lands, and from the east came these, then still small United States of America, capturing the Wild West. And, as a result, they collided, there was a famous deal in Alaska, in Oregon, by the way. Many people know about Alaska that it was ceded to the United States, and not everyone knows about Oregon.

          N. BOLTYANSKAYA - Is that also Oregon?

          G.NOSOVSKIY - Even earlier, yes - was ceded. What it means is conceded, it means, now it becomes clear that they divided these territories of this state. This is confirmed by everyone. Therefore, of course, it was beneficial for the winners to close this question and pretend that there was nothing

  2. venaya
    venaya 29 December 2015 07: 38
    The purchase of Louisiana on April 30, 1803 was the most important event in the history of the United States, which forever turned this country to imperialism.

    The North American United States (states - countries) is not at all a country, as many assume, but a real empire, and the history of the creation of this empire is very important to us at the moment. Not knowing the origins and reasons for creating such a state. education on the American continent, it will be difficult for us to consider the prospects of our own country, which naturally worries us more.
    1. Igor39
      Igor39 29 December 2015 08: 50
      What kind of empire is it? The emperor has never been, this is a colony with colonialists.
      1. Mr. Pip
        Mr. Pip 29 December 2015 10: 07
        Quote: Igor39
        What kind of empire is it? The Emperor has never been

        An empire (from Latin imperium - power) is a powerful power uniting different peoples and territories into a single state with a single political center, playing a prominent role in the region or even throughout the world, and also having a predominantly monarchical (or dictatorial) form of government.
        And in general, as you can see, the presence of an emperor is not a prerequisite for the Empire - everything is even exactly the opposite, the emperor is the name of the "office" of the dictator of the Empire, which may not exist, for example, instead of him, the Senate or something else hi
      2. venaya
        venaya 29 December 2015 10: 09
        Quote: Igor39
        What kind of empire is it? The Emperor has never been ...

        Something I did not understand. Have you forgotten about the struggle for US independence from the British Empire? By the way about the emperors: In the two largest empires in the world in the history of mankind, both the British and the Spanish, there has never been a position of "emperor". There is something here that does not agree with your assumptions. By the way, in the British Empire, the office of the king (queen) has always been seriously limited by parliament, and this is in the absence of a constitution, and until now. The influence of the royal house on the affairs of the empire has always been purely nominal, that is, simply none, the same is in the United States, you yourself know what depends on the president there. So make the conclusion yourself: the empire or not the empire of the United States, in my opinion, the conclusion is unambiguous.
  3. Nikolay71
    Nikolay71 29 December 2015 07: 51
    Thanks to the author! You get such articles much better than when you write on the topic of the day. I would like to know more about the accession of Florida to the United States. Unlike the joining of Texas and California, this topic is less covered.
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 29 December 2015 07: 52
    By the way, there is an alternative version of the events, indicating that the French offer to sell fell on American diplomats like snow on their heads..And it is possible, in front of Bonoparte lay Europe, ready for use .. why did he need more war on the overseas front ..
    1. venaya
      venaya 29 December 2015 08: 16
      Quote: parusnik
      ... before Bonoparte lay Europe, ready for use .. why did he need another war on the overseas front ..

      Bonaparte is credited with the following expression: "For waging war, the following conditions are necessary: ​​First - money, Second - money and Third - money again." Although Napoleon was the emperor, they ruled him in the same way as the girls of easy virtue.
  5. Mantykora
    Mantykora 29 December 2015 07: 56
    Yes, the European countries captured the colonies, not having the strength to keep them ... The French helped America in the war for independence on their own.
  6. soldner
    soldner 29 December 2015 08: 15
    Americans know how to forget the history of their expansion when it is profitable. In the course of negotiations on Ukraine, I would like to be constantly reminded of how they created separatist formations in their interests, for example, Texas, California. When in 1903 the Colombian government got into a mess, the Americans supported the separatists of Panama, quickly recognized Panama and concluded an agreement on the construction of the Panama Canal. And Kosovo is already a classic of the genre!
  7. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 29 December 2015 08: 28
    Dear Author! It happens that you can't keep track, not because the topic is not interesting, but for a completely different reason. I read some of your articles with pleasure, unfortunately missed some of them. On holidays I will try to read all the articles about America. Also, "The Split Game" ---- started a little bit.
  8. zekaze1980
    zekaze1980 29 December 2015 10: 22
    Modern Americans in America are only guests with Native Americans and that’s it.
  9. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 29 December 2015 10: 41
    Yes, that crazy Napoleon.
  10. bekjan
    bekjan 29 December 2015 18: 43
    Together with Alaska, Russian Northern California left with its Orthodox churches and the "fortress" Fort Ross.
  11. Michael - 235
    Michael - 235 29 December 2015 19: 55
    “The territory was eventually sold for 15 million dollars, of which 11 million 250 thousand, were paid immediately, and the rest went to pay off the debt of France to the citizens of the United States.” Reading such a phrase as if states that the transaction provided only the acquisition of an empty territory. But this territory was inhabited by the indigenous population, which no one legally joined the United States.
  12. lexx2038
    lexx2038 30 December 2015 06: 11
    In short, the United States, this is one sheer fraud. In theory, such an education should not exist. They are saved by a remote geographical location, but now distance is not a hindrance, I hope that our generation will already see their sunset.
  13. fan1945
    fan1945 3 January 2016 18: 39
    It is interesting and useful to know. There is a good analogy with Russian America. It would only be necessary to explain to our fellow citizens that RAC was a private company. But since the partners were the faces of the imperial Family, therefore, it had financial injections
    from the treasury ... By the way, there were numerous proceedings, but none of the parties
    claims to the nasty, did not show ...
    So the "fighters for the return of Alaska" can sleep peacefully. SOLD!
  14. Stilet
    Stilet 9 January 2016 23: 17
    Hawaii was also our 2 years. Can we refund it?
    1. The comment was deleted.