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Lecture 4(Louisiana Purchase How and Why)

Lecture 4(Louisiana Purchase How and Why) - HIST 3071...

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HIST 3071: Louisiana History Spring 2008 Dr. Alecia P. Long 1.29.08 THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE: WHY AND HOW? The Louisiana Purchase : * Politicians who never saw LA made the decisions that led to the Purchase * Ordinary people made decisions that drove political event * High politics and Regular People Spain’s Vast Holdings Make It Vulnerable : * Vast N. American holding at the end of the American Revolutionary War * Spain closes the river to Americans in 1784 o Access to the Mississippi River is key! * Smuggling and skirmishes ensue (1786-1788)—Jay-Gardoqui Negotiations : * Spain and US come to the bargaining table * John Jay (secretary of foreign affairs) * Diego de Gardoqui (representative of Carlos III of Spain) o Negotiations to secure navigations * Jay’s charge: to assure “free navigation of the Mississippi, from the source to the ocean” o Revoked August 1786 Louisiana Purchase Not Inevitable : * Not everyone, including John Jay, believed the US needed the Mississippi River * New Englanders more interested in enhancing Atlantic trade * Middle/Southern states argue for their rivers * Some believe the country could become too large to govern 1786-1788 : * Negotiation and Intrigue o Division among Americans gives Spain time to negotiate and delay o Americans not yet ready or able to act decisively * Internal Unrest—(Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts) o Revolutionary War veterans were promised land and money o People are going to depend on new government * 1786—“Piece by Piece”
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