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					Title: The Louisiana Purchase

Historical Background: President Jefferson faced a crisis during his first term in office. In 1800 France
re-acquired Louisiana from Spain, but Spanish officials continued to administer the territory. The port of
New Orleans was crucial to the economy in the Western States of the United States. On October 18 th ,
1802 Spanish officials in New Orleans withdrew the Right of Deposit to American commerce. This
meant that American goods brought down the Mississippi on flatboats could not store or deposit their
goods in the port for overseas shipment. This incident causes a major economic threat to the United
States and even the possibility of military action against Spain and France. President Jefferson will resist
the pressure for a military solution and send ambassadors to France in an attempt to purchase New
Orleans and West Florida from France.

Napoleon Bonaparte was very willing to discuss the sale of New Orleans. France’s loss of Saint-
Domingue (present-day Republic of Haiti) ended Frances ability to recapture North American, and the
nation’s needed for cash in its war with Great Britain, made France very interested in a sale of the
territory. France will offer the United States the entire Louisiana Territory. On May 2, 1803 French
ministers and American ambassadors signed a treaty for the purchase of the entire Louisiana Territory for
a total price of $15 million. The Louisiana Purchase more than doubled the size of the United States. At
the cost of about 4cents an acre it was one of the greatest land deals in history. The Louisiana Purchase
also removed the threat of France from North America and provided room for the growth and expansion
of an American Empire.

Correlation to New York State 7/8 Social Studies Core Curriculum:
       Unit Five: Life in the New Nation
               I. New Government in Operation

Suggested Timeframe: One 80 minute block.

Materials and Resources:
   Map of the Louisiana Purchase Territory (attached)
   Map of the United States 1800 (attached)
   Handout - THE AFFAIR OF LOUISIANA: To the U.S. Minister to France (ROBERT R.
       LIVINGSTON) Washington, Apr. 18, 1802 (attached)
   Handout - Napoleon Bonaparte Explains the Need to Sell Louisiana to the United States, 1803
       (attached)
   Handout - Livingston and Monroe to Mr. Madison, PARIS, May 13, 1803 (attached)
   Handout - Convention between the United States of America and the French Republic (attached)
   Handout - From President Thomas Jefferson To the Special Envoy to France (James Monroe)
       Washington, Jan. 13, 1803 (attached)
   Handout - Original Louisiana Purchase Treaty, 1803 (attached)
   Overhead projector, poster paper, markers and tape

Student Objectives: Students will be able to:
    Locate the Louisiana Purchase on a map.
    Analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources
    Explain why President Jefferson wanted the United States to purchase the Louisiana Territory and
       why Napoleon Bonaparte was willing to sell it.
    Evaluate who benefited most from the sale of the Louisiana Purchase.
Teaching Strategies and Methodologies:
          1. As students arrive in class they are to copy and answer the following Bell Ringer
              Question: “Looking at the Map of the United States in 1800 (projected by an overhead
              projector), write a list of concerns or problems would you have as the President of the
              United States.” After making their lists, students will be directed to share their opinions
              with the person next to them. Teacher then calls on students and writes the classes
              choices on the board.

            2. Students are then given the following situation:
                        “You are President Jefferson and you have just been notified that Spanish
                        authorities in the Port City of New Orleans have withdrawn the Right of Deposit.
                        That means that American goods brought down the Mississippi on flatboats
                        would not be allowed access to the Port of New Orleans to store or deposit their
                        goods for overseas shipment. You know that the Port of New Orleans was
                        recently given back to France in 1800 but that Spanish officials still run it.”
               Once the situation is given to the students pass out the following questions.
                        Why is this a problem for the United States?
                        What options can you think of that would correct the problem?
               Once students have written their answers have them first share it with the person next to
               them. Then the teacher will call on students and write their answers to the problem and
               the options they chose on the board and when they are all listed have a short discussion
               about the choices.

            3. After the discussion the class is broken up into groups of four. Each group is given the
               following
                     A folder that contains Primary and Seconday Sources.
                     poster paper, markers and tape
                     Question sheets

            4. Each group with the matierials provided will analyze and interpret the documents in order
               to answer the following questions:
                    Why did President Jefferson want to buy the Port City of New Orleans, and how
                        much was he willing to spend?
                    Was Napoleon Bonaparte of France willing to sell territory to the United States
                        and if so how much territory and for what price?
                    What was the final outcome?
               Once the groups are done their poster sheets will be placed on the board and the teacher
               will choose a person from each group to present their answers. (10min)
            5. When all the answers have been presented and discussed, the teacher will project a map
               outline of the United States and the Louisiana Purchase. Students will discuss the
               geography of the Purchase and the teacher will ask them how the President of the United
               States will know the value of the purchase. This is a lead in to the next day’s lesson on
               Lewis and Clark.

            6.    Once this is done, have each student take out a sheet of paper and write down everything
                 that they have learned about today. While they are doing this pass out the homework
                 (take home quiz) to the class:
                           You are to write an essay that explains Who got the better deal in the
                              Louisiana Purchase and why?
                Next day in class quiz will be collected and a blank numbered map of the United States
                will be projected on the board students will be required to write down the number that
                identifies the Louisiana Purchase Territory.

Evaluation/Assessment:
Groups and group members can be evaluated by the examining the product presented by each group. The
teacher can valuate student responses on the closure activity, the take home quiz essay or a subsequent
quiz or test on the material covered.

About the Author:
J. David Conway is a social studies teacher in the South Colonie Central School District in Colonie, New
York.
Image accessed from Civics Online at http://www.civics-online.org/library/formatted/images/lpurchase.html
                                        The United States in 1800




M ap from the website of the National Park Service at
http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/108lewisclark/108locate1.htm
                                THE AFFAIR OF LOUISIANA

From President Thomas Jefferson
To the U.S. Minister to France (ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON)
Washington, Apr. 18, 1802
The cession of Louisiana and the Floridas by Spain to France works most sorely on
the U.S. On this subject the Secretary of State has written to you fully. Yet I cannot
forbear recurring to it personally, so deep is the impression it makes in my mind. It
compleatly reverses all the political relations of the U.S. and will form a new epoch
in our political course. Of all nations of any consideration France is the one which
hitherto has offered the fewest points on which we could have any conflict of right,
and the most points of a communion of interests. From these causes we have ever
looked to her as our natural friend, as one with which we never could have an
occasion of difference. Her growth therefore we viewed as our own, her misfortunes
ours. There is on the globe one single spot, the possessor of which is our natural
and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans, through which the produce of three-eighths
of our territory must pass to market, and from its fertility it will ere long yield more
than half of our whole produce and contain more than half our inhabitants. France
placing herself in that door assumes to us the attitude of defiance. Spain might
have retained it quietly for years. Her pacific dispositions, her feeble state, would
induce her to increase our facilities there, so that her possession of the place would
be hardly felt by us, and it would not perhaps be very long before some
circumstance might arise which might make the cession of it to us the price of
something of more worth to her. Not so can it ever be in the hands of France. The
impetuosity of her temper, the energy and restlessness of her character, placed in a
point of eternal friction with us, and our character, which though quiet, and loving
peace and the pursuit of wealth, is high-minded, despising wealth in competition
with insult or injury, enterprising and energetic as any nation on earth, these
circumstances render it impossible that France and the U.S. can continue long
friends when they meet in so irritable a position. They as well as we must be blind if
they do not see this; and we must be very improvident if we do not begin to make
arrangements on that hypothesis. The day that France takes possession of N.
Orleans fixes the sentence which is to restrain her forever within her low water
mark. It seals the union of two nations who in conjunction can maintain exclusive
possession of the ocean. From that moment we must marry ourselves to the British
fleet and nation. We must turn all our attentions to a maritime force, for which our
resources place us on very high grounds: and having formed and cemented
together a power which may render reinforcement of her settlements here
impossible to France, make the first cannon, which shall be fired in Europe the
signal for tearing up any settlement she may have made, and for holding the two
continents of America in sequestration for the common purposes of the united
British and American nations. This is not a state of things we seek or desire.


From the “The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826” webpage of the Department of Humanities Computing, University of
Groningen, The Netherlands at http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/tj3/writings/brf/jefl146.htm
                           Napoleon Bonaparte Explains the Need to Sell
                               Louisiana to the United States, 1803
   I know the full value of Louisiana, and I have been desirous of repairing the fault of the French
negotiator who abandoned it in1763. A few lines of a treaty have restored it to me, and I have scarcely
recovered it when I must expect to lose it. But if it escapes from me, it shall one day cost dearer to those
who oblige me to strip myself of it than to those to whom I wish to deliver it. The English have
successively taken from France, Canada, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the richest
portions of Asia. They are engaged in exciting troubles in St. Domingo. They shall not have the
Mississippi which they covet. Louisiana is nothing in comparison with their conquests in all parts of the
globe, and yet the jealousy they feel at the restoration of this colony to the sovereignty of France,
acquaints me with their wish to take possession of it, and it is thus that they will begin the war. They
have twenty ships of war in the Gulf of Mexico, they sail over those seas as sovereigns, whilst our affairs
in St. Domingo have been growing worse every day since the death of (General Charles Victor
Emmanuel) Leclerc (in Santo Domingo). The conquest of Louisiana would be easy, if they only took the
trouble to make a descent there. I have not a moment to lose in putting it out of their reach. I know not
whether they are not already there. It is their usual course, and if I had been in their place, I would not
have waited. I wish, if there is still time, to take from them any idea that they may have of ever
possessing that colony. I think of ceding it to the United States. I can scarcely say that I cede it to them,
for it is not yet in our possession. If, however, I leave the least time to our enemies, I shall only transmit
an empty title to those republicans whose friendship I seek. They only ask of me one town in Louisiana,
but I already consider the colony as entirely lost, and it appears to me that in the hands of this growing
power, it will be more useful to the policy and even to the commerce of France, than if I should attempt to
keep it. . . .

    Irresolution and deliberation are no longer in season. I renounce Louisiana. It is not only New
Orleans that I will cede, it is the whole colony without any reservation. I know the price of what I
abandon, I have sufficiently proved the importance that I attach to this province, since my first diplomatic
act with Spain had for its object the recovery of it. I renounce it with the greatest regret. To attempt
obstinately to retain it would be folly. I direct you to negotiate this affair with the envoys of the United
States. Do not every await the arrival of Mr. (James) Monroe: have an interview this very day with Mr.
(Robert) Livingston; but I require a great deal of money for this war, and I would not like to commence it
with new contributions. For a hundred years France and Spain have been incurring expenses for
improvements in Louisiana, for which its trade has never indemnified them. Large sums, which will
never be returned to the treasury, have been lent to companies and my terms, according to the value of
these vast regions to the United States, the indemnity would have no limits. I will be moderate, in
consideration of the necessity in which I am of making a sale. But keep this to yourself. I want fifty
millions (about $9,375,000) and for less than that sum I will not treat. . . .

     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 forsight does not embrace such remote fears. Besides, we may hereafter
expect rivalries among the members of the Union. The confederations, that are called perpetual, only last
till one of the contracting parties finds it to its interest to break them, and it is to prevent the danger, to
which the colossal power of England exposes us, that I would provide a remedy. . . .strengthens for ever
the power of the United States; and I have just given to England a maritime rival, that will sooner of later
humble her pride.

This document can be found in Barbe M arbois, The History of Louisiana (Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1830), pp. 263-264, 274-
275, 276, 312.
Livingston and Monroe to Mr. Madison,
PARIS, May 13, 1803.
SIR: We have the pleasure to transmit to you … a treaty which we have
concluded with the French Republic for the purchase and cession of
Louisiana….

An acquisition of so great an extent was, we well know, not
contemplated by our appointment; but we are persuaded that the
circumstances and considerations which induced us to make it will
justify us in the measure to our Government and country….

The terms on which we have made this acquisition, when compared with
the objects attained by it, will, we flatter ourselves, be deemed
advantageous to our country. We have stipulated, as you will see by
the treaty and convention, that the United States shall pay to the
French Government sixty millions of francs, in stock, bearing an
Interest of six per cent. ; and a sum not exceeding twenty more to our
citizens, in discharge of the debts due to them by France, under the
convention of 1800; and also to exempt the manufactures, productions,
and vessels, of France and Spain, in the direct trade from those
countries, respectively, in the ports of the ceded territory, from
foreign duties for the term of twelve years. The stock is to be
created irredeemable for fifteen years, and discharged afterwards in
three equal annual installments. The interest on it is to be paid in
Europe, and the principal, in case this Government thinks proper to
sell it, disposed of in such manner as will be most conducive to the
credit of American funds. The debts due to our citizens are to be
discharged by drafts on the Treasury….

In estimating the real value of this country to the United States, a
variety of considerations occur…. By possessing both banks, the whole
revenue or duty on imports will accrue to the United States, which
must be considerable. The value of exports, we have understood, was
last year four millions of dollars. If a portion only of the imports
pass through that channel, (as under our Government we presume they
will,) the amount of the revenue will be considerable. This will
annually increase in proportion as the population and productions in
that quarter do. The value of the lands in the province of Louisiana
(amounting to some hundred millions of acres, of the best quality, and
in the best climate) is perhaps incalculable. From either of these
sources, it is not doubted that the sum stipulated may be raised in
time to discharge the debt….




Excerpts from State papers and Correspondence bearing upon the purchase of the territory of Louisiana. page 256-257 accessed
at http://ia301314.us.archive.org/2/items/statelettersloui00louirich/statelettersloui00louirich_djvu.t xt
                            A Convention between
            the United States of America and the French Republic
The President of the United States of America, and the First Con
sul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, in con
sequence of the Treaty of Cession of Louisiana, which has been
signed this day, wishing to regulate definitively everything which has
relation to the said cession, have authorized, to this effect, the Plenipo
tentiaries, that is to say: the President of the United States has, by
and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, nom
inated for their Plenipotentiaries, Robert R. Livingston, Minister
Plenipotentiary of the United States, and James Monroe, Minister
Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the said United States,
near the Government of the French Republic; and the First Consul of
the French Republic, in the name of the French people, has named,
as Plenipotentiary of the said Republic, the French citizen Barbe
Marbois, who. in virtue of their full powers, which have been
exchanged this day, have agreed to the following articles.

ART. 1. The Government of the United States engages to pay to
the French Government, in the manner specified in the following arti
cles, the sum of sixty millions of francs, independent of the sum
which shall be fixed by any other convention for the payment of the
debts due by France to citizens of the United States.

ART. 2. For the payment of the sum of sixty millions of francs,
mentioned in the preceding article, the United States shall create a
stock of eleven million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, bearing
an interest of six per cent, per annum, payable, half yearly, in London,
Amsterdam, or Paris, amounting, by the half year to three hundred and
thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars, according to the propor
tions which shall bo determined by the French Government, to be paid
at either place: the principal of the said stock to be reimbursed at the
Treasury of the United States, in annual payments of not less than
three millions of dollars each; of which the first payment shall com
mence fifteen years after the date of the exchange of ratifications: this
stock shall be transferred to the Government of France, or to such
person or persons as shall be authorized to receive it, in three months,
at most, after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, and after
Louisiana shall be taken possession of in the name of the Government
of the United States.




Excerpts from State papers and Correspondence bearing upon the purchase of the territory of Louisiana. page 256-257 accessed
at http://ia301314.us.archive.org/2/items/statelettersloui00louirich/statelettersloui00louirich_djvu.t xt
From President Thomas Jefferson
To the Special Envoy to France (James Monroe)
Washington, Jan. 13, 1803

DEAR SIR,

I dropped you a line on the 10th informing you of a nomination I had made
of you to the Senate, and yesterday I enclosed you their approbation not
then having time to write. The agitation of the public mind on occasion of
the late suspension of our right of deposit at N. Orleans is extreme. In the
western country it is natural and grounded on honest motives. In the
seaports it proceeds from a desire for war which increases the mercantile
lottery; in the federalists generally and especially those of Congress the
object is to force us into war if possible, in order to derange our finances, or
if this cannot be done, to attach the western country to them, as their best
friends, and thus get again into power. Remonstrances memorials &c. are
now circulating through the whole of the western country and signing by the
body of the people. The measures we have been pursuing being invisible, do
not satisfy their minds. Something sensible therefore was become
necessary; and indeed our object of purchasing N. Orleans and the Floridas
is a measure liable to assume so many shapes, that no instructions could be
squared to fit them, it was essential then to send a minister extraordinary to
be joined with the ordinary one, with discretionary powers, first however
well impressed with all our views and therefore qualified to meet and modify
to these every form of proposition which could come from the other party.
This could be done only in full and frequent oral communications. Having
determined on this, there could not be two opinions among t he republicans
as to the person. You possess the unlimited confidence of the administration
and of the western people; and generally of the republicans everywhere;
and were you to refuse to go, no other man can be found who does this.




From the “The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826” webpage of the Department of Humanities Computing, University of
Groningen, The Netherlands at http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/tj3/writings/brf/jefl149.htm
Original Louisiana Purchase Treaty, 1803
Image from the website of the National Archives at
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/american_originals_iv/sections/louisiana_purchase_treaty.html

				
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