Welcome, honoured members of the Time Travel Club, to our next stop on our journey through time. Before we set off, please ensure that any and all personal belongings (Including Alpacas, we have a holding bay if needed) are secured and that you inter-dimensional feline companion has their seatbelt on (I cannot afford to lose another one, the paperwork is an actual nightmare). Are we all sitting comfortably? No? Well I’m afraid we shall continue anyway, we don’t have all the time in the- hang on, never mind, please make yourself comfortable.
Before we go to our primary destination, we need to take a quick pit stop. The year is 1791 and Haiti is under the rule of Napoleon’s France. The people of Haiti are being forced to grow and harvest valuable sugar crops, as slaves, with which Napoleon wants to make some money. However, the unbreakable fire that is the human spirit previals when Toussaint L’Ouverture leads the slaves in a rebellion. It took 12 long years but the people of Haiti managed to cast out the French and remains the only sucessful slave revolution in the whole of history. Now, what in the world does this have to do with the Lousiana Territory (For it was not yet formally a state), the Purchase of said territory and the USA in general, I hear you ask? (If you didn’t then okay… Well… I don’t really know what to say so please humour me and pretend you did)
We make our second and final stop. We are now in the year 1803, about to witness a rather significant deal. Prior to the Federal Government, the Louisiana Territory was in the possession of one Napoleon Bonaparte who, as I’m sure you are all aware, was the infamous leader and general of France. He wanted to use said territory to feed the effective gold mine that was Haiti. However, when the Haitians decided that they were, and rightly so, a bit sick of being treated like lesser people, the need to feed them vanished, as did the need for the Lousiana Territory. In addition to this, Bonaparte’s wars required a hefty amount of money and the Territory wasn’t particularly useful to him as it was rather far away from France. Thus, negotiations began.
Thomas Jefferson, the President of the United State (As it was one nation up until 1860) of America, was keen on the idea of an ‘Empire of Liberty’ becoming a reality. This idea, in effect, stated that it was the right of every person to be able to own a piece of the land. If this rings a bell, it leads on to the more prominent idea of ‘Manifest Destiny’ but we shall explore that in a later voyage through time. However, he initially wasn’t looking to get the whole Lousiana Territory. His interests were focused on the key southern port of New Orleans which he, through his negotiators James Monroe and Robert Livingstone, was willing to buy for a whopping $10 million.
When the pair arrived in Paris, however, they were offered a rather sweet deal. The French were willing to give the USA the entire Lousiana territory for just $15 million. After an exchange of messages with Jefferson, the deal was agreed upon, though it must be said that it was not approved by Congress (Which was, and still is, not a great thing to do).
As of the 30th April, the size of the USA tripled with the addition of a whopping 828,000 square miles of land (or 1.997594585×10^11 baguettes all laid out according to my calculations, if that helps visualise just how much land the USA managed to get) including areas that would later become the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and many more. At a mere 3 cents an acre, the USA had managed to obtain a very generous helping of land to expand their borders from which the population could grow westward.
In terms of what this contributed to Westward Expansion, I think we can all agree that the addition of 828,000 square miles to move onto was a pretty big helping hand for the growing population of the USA. Not only did it benefit the USA in terms of the amount of land it had at its disposable, it also came at an incredibly low price for such an extensive land mass.
That concludes our first visit to this period in history, please ensure again that all your feline’s are secured before we make the jump back and I hope you can join me next time where we shall explore a general overview of Churchill’s life up to the year 1929. See you next time!
I think I’ve come up with a formula for how this feature is going to work. Basically, the posts will go as follows: USA (1803-1890), Churchill/ Britain (1929-1997) and then either a post based on my own historical interests or a request from you (So please by all means make requests, I will try and accomadate as many as I can). I hope you are enjoying this feature as much as I am beginning to enjoy putting these posts together and please feel free to leave any thoughts or questions in the comments below. I would be more than happy to respond/ answer anything (Nothing inappropriate, mind you). Thank you.