The Louisiana Purchase

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“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” does that sound familiar? If so, it is because nearly everyone in America knows these words like the back of their hand. However, most do not consider their importance. These words are a part of the Pledge of Allegiance. Pay attention to the beginning, “one nation,” a nation that changed significantly with the Louisiana Purchase. The Louisiana Purchase added 828,000 square miles which doubled the land area of the United States ( 1). The importance of the Louisiana Purchase can be best appreciated by understanding why this purchase was considered significant to the United States, why France agreed to sell such a sizable amount of land, and how the Louisiana Purchase changed the United States forever. The United States was interested in the purchase of Louisiana for a number of reasons; to protect the citizens’ of the United States right to trade through the Port of New Orleans, to ensure that the British did not establish a new colony in the new land, and to allow the United States’ farmers and merchants to move westward. In 1682, the French discovered a large piece of land in North America which they named Louisiana after their king, King Louis XVI. Following the French and Indian War, King Louis XVI thought this land was a useless piece of uncharted wilderness. The king decided to give this enormous section of land to his cousin, King Charles III of Spain as a “reward” for Spain’s support

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