Today in History: News of the Louisiana Purchase Is Publicized By President Jefferson
by M.C. Millman
The official announcement of the Louisiana Purchase, made on July 4, 1803, doubled the size of the U.S. when 828,000 square miles of territory were purchased from France for $15 million.
The new Louisiana Territory land deal eventually turned into fifteen states inside the U.S. covering the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west and extending from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Canadian border in the north.
At less than three cents per acre, the purchase of the Louisiana Territory is known as one of President Thomas Jefferson's most notable accomplishments.
The purchase immediately allowed for expansion westward into the new lands and led to the Lewis and Clark Expedition commissioned by Jefferson to allow for exploration of the territory.
Nine years after the Louisiana Purchase agreement, Louisiana became the 18th U.S. state and the first state to come from the purchase. This was followed rapidly by 16 more states - making the Louisiana Purchase one that was essential for the development and ability of a young nation to grow into one of the world's great powers rooted in a land sale of three cents per acre back in 1803.