PURCHASE OF LOUISIANA By a treaty signed on Apr. 30, 1803, the United States purchased from France the Louisiana Territory, more than 2 million sq km (800,000 sq mi) of land extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. The price was 60 million francs, about $15 million; $11,250,000 was to be paid directly, with the balance to be covered by the assumption by the United States of French debts to American citizens. In 1762, France had ceded Louisiana to Spain, but by the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso (1800) the French had regained the area. Napoleon Bonaparte (the future Emperor Napoleon I)envisioned a great French empire in the New World, and he hoped to use the Mississippi Valley as a food and trade center to supply the island of Hispaniola, which was to be the heart of this empire. First, however, he had to restore French control of Hispaniola, where Haitian slaves under TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE had seized power (1801; see HAITI).
LEWIS AND CLARKE EXPEDITION When the spring of 1805 brought high water and favorable weather, the Lewis and Clark Expedition set out on the next leg of its journey. They traveled up the Missouri to present-day Three Forks, Montana, wisely choosing to follow the western-most tributary, the Jefferson River. This route delivered the explorers to the doorstep of the Shoshone Indians, who were skilled at traversing the great rock mountains with horses. Once over the Bitterroot Mountains, the Corps of Discovery shaped canoe-like vessels that transported them swiftly downriver to the mouth of the Columbia, where they wintered (1805-1806) at Fort Clatsop, on the present-day Oregon side of the river.
PROHIBITION OF THE FOREIGN SLAVE TRADE The Issue No issue has been more controversial and divisive in the first 100 years of the American republic than that of slavery. The Bill of Rights in 1865, our national leaders had fought over various aspects of slavery since the Constitutional Convention. Description When the Constitutional Congress met in 1787, the delegates found that they could not avoid discussing the issue of slavery.Already one could see the diverging interests of the North and the South, conflicts between slave states and free states. The Constitution as a whole can be viewed as document that tried to merge the various interests of different groups, in the soon-to-be United States into a workable system.
WAR OF 1812 The War of 1812 is one of the forgotten wars of the United States. The war lasted for over two years, and ended in stalemate. The offensive actions of the United States failed to capture Canada.