The Louisiana Purchase Essay

1576 words - 6 pages

Congress isn’t always mired in gridlock, squabbling and scandal that we see today. Some of the nation’s boldest, most decisive legislation has been passed by congress overwhelmingly. One of the most significant acts in the history of the United States was past when the senate accepted Thomas Jefferson’s questionable interpretation of the Constitution and approved the Louisiana Purchase.As well as more than doubling the land area of the United States at the time, this purchase allowed for the largest and most productive trade route in North America to this day (the Mississippi River). It also had a huge impact on the rest of the world, specifically specifically Europe, as well as pushing the United States on the scene as a world power.Before talking about the purchase itself, we must first talk about the history of this area of land.Of course, this area was first settled by the Native Americans, many of whom traded peacefully with the French. The area between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains was settled by the French in the early 18th century, and through various secret and public treaties, the area traded hands between the French and Spanish until the French regained the land in 1800 in The Treaty of San Ildefonso. However, this treaty was not made public, and the area remained under Spanish control until a power transfer to France was made. (Crawely 123-127).Also important to note is the fact that the United States had “right of deposit” in New Orleans through Pickney’s Treaty, which was signed on October 27, 1795, and it lasted (except for a short spurt from 1798-1801) until the French regained control of the area in 1803 . This meant that the U.S. had the right to not only store goods in the port of New Orleans, but also to transport goods from the port. This allowed The United States to transport goods from west of the Appalachian Mountains to the port, and then through a sea route to the East Coast. This route, besides being cheaper and quicker than going over the mountain range, was also safer. Perhaps the most important benefit of Pickney’s treaty, however, was the right of the United States to travel the Mississippi River. This allowed the U.S. to carry goods along the whole length of the river.However, after the French took control of the Louisiana province, Napoleon immediately took away the rights of deposit and travel from the United States, causing worry throughout the country. The French empire was extremely aggressive in expanding their empire. As it turned out, the United States had a reason to worry. Napoleon had dreams of a French Empire in the New World, stretching from the West Indies to the Mississippi Valley in mainland North America. (Blumburg 29-34).His main goal for this part of his empire was to make a massive commercial center from which he could export goods such as sugar, molasses, rum, coffee, and flour from the plantations in the West Indies. These goods could be...

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