The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of 828,000 square miles (2,140,000 sq km) of the French territory Louisiane in 1803. The cost was 60 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000). Including interest, the U.S. finally paid $23,213,568 for the Louisiana territory.
The Louisiana Purchase encompassed portions of 15 current U.S. states and 2 Canadian Provinces and was an important moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional. Although he felt that the U.S. Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France and Spain having the power to block American trade access to the port of New Orleans.
This is a live lecture given at Harvard, with all of the paper shuffling, hesitations, and background noise of such an event. Twice the narrator refers to the Missouri River, off the Mississippi, as the Mississippi without referencing the branch. The author also notes that no one knows the proper pronunciations of important Indian names of those days because there were no audio recordings to authenticate those names. The author also emphasizes that the Louisiana Purchase is a generally underestimated event in American history and deserves at least some attention. This live lecture has many of these sidebars not available on strictly adhered-to written works. Enjoy the spontaneity and enthusiasm of the author and narrator.
The featured tracks are:
2. Timeline of The Louisiana Purchase
3. Decision to Purchase
6. Domestic Support & Opposition
7. Boundaries and Details
8. Treaty Signing
9. The Three Negotiators: Francois Barbe-Marbois, Robert Livingston & James Monroe
10. Reading of The Louisiana Purchase
11. Simply Discussion.