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Until 1803, a quarter of the territory of the United States was owned by France

The Louisiana purchase was a deal by the United States to acquire French possessions in North America in 1803. The size of the acquired area is estimated at 530 million acres (828,000 miles or 2,100,000 km).

During the presidency of Thomas Jefferson in 1803, the U.S. bought from France for free (for 3 cents per acre) a huge area in Louisiana between the Mississippi River in the east and the Rocky Mountains in the west.

The price of the transaction was 15 million U.S. dollars or 80 million French francs (the final amount of the transaction for the U.S., including interest on the loan, was 23 213 568 U.S. dollars). On this basis, the price per acre was 3 cents (7 cents per hectare).

On the territories receding in favor of the U.S. under the 1803 contract now located modern states:
— Arkansas,
— Missouri,
— Iowa,
— Oklahoma,
— Kansas,
— Nebraska,
— southern part of Minnesota,
— most of the state of North Dakota,
— almost the entire state of South Dakota,
— northeastern part of the state of New Mexico,
— most of the state of Montana,
— part of the state of Wyoming,
— northern Texas,
— eastern half of Colorado,
— part of the state of Louisiana (on both sides of the Mississippi River), including the city of New Orleans.

During negotiations and at the time of the deal, Spain claimed a portion of Oklahoma and the southwestern part of Kansas and Louisiana. According to the treaty, the U.S. was to acquire territories that eventually became part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The land acquired as a result of the deal made up about 23% of the territory of the modern United States.

The “Louisiana purchase” was one of the important milestones in the political life of the third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. Although Jefferson was concerned about the legality of the deal (the U.S. Constitution did not contain articles on the acquisition of territories from foreign countries), he nevertheless decided to make a deal because France and Spain prevented the Americans from their trade through the port of New Orleans.

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