Talk:Louisiana Purchase/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Assessment comments

Article rated by Deucalionite [1], I agree with him 16@r (talk) 02:00, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Problems

This article on a major event in U.S. history (which is locked) really is very poorly constructed. There are gaps in logic and very few of the stats/figures are cited!

There is what seems to be a serious conflict between the amount of money actually paid to France as well as the actual amount canceled as a result of debt.

In the introduction: The cost was 60 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000). Including interest, the U.S. finally paid $23,213,568 for the Louisiana territory.[1]

then in financing section:

part of the 80 million Francs (approximately $15 million) sale price was used to forgive debts owed by France to the United States. In the end, France received $8,831,250 in cash for the sale. So, which is correct? Is it 15 million or 3.75 million? Also, there is a great descrepancy between what was paid (it says 23 million and the 8 million or so France actually received).

Evan1261 (talk) 08:55, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

There are three different things here: total cost ("[i]ncluding interest"), sale cost, and cash paid (part of sale price was debt-forgiveness rather than cash payment). Sale-cost and cash-paid are self-consistent (sale-cost is the total of cash-paid and debt-forgiven, which is a non-cash cost). The ~$25M value in the lead is cited to a US govt document that states "$23,213,568" but does not mention how that value is determined or what costs it includes. However--and here's a serious problem--none of the other values are cited at all! Per WP:V, we need to report what reliable sources say. DMacks (talk) 17:23, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

claimed land

how much actual power did the french have over the lands they claim? or other than new orleans was it very limited in its authority? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.107.74.140 (talk) 01:29, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Was this ever a purchase? what legal right over this land did the French Republic have, and as the size and boundaries seem to be unknown at the time how could such a transfer of tenancy be completed? I've no wish to instigate a debate over the legitimacy of European empire building in previous centuries, but I'm genuinely interested to understand the legality of the purchase under the law of the time? Markb (talk) 18:04, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

- Mark, you have a good point there. I will research whether or not the area rightfully belonged to France. If not, it is fraud on their part and was thus and unlawful transaction. Uh oh 68.46.19.38 (talk) 08:00, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

This is already described, especially under "Domestic opposition". As far as I can tell, France did not have the right to sell and the French and US politicians knew it was illegal, but basically ignored the issue. Spain protested strongly but could not prevent it. The section ends with a juicy quote by a US historian, "The sale of Louisiana to the United States was trebly invalid; if it were French property, Bonaparte could not constitutionally alienate it without the consent of the Chambers; if it were Spanish property, he could not alienate it at all; if Spain had a right of reclamation, his sale was worthless." But, if the question here is whether France had the right to sell a vast region it barely controlled, let alone occupied, I doubt that was illegal under international law of the time. If it was, the Alaska Purchase would likewise be invalid. Pfly (talk) 10:07, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

In fact the whole US would be illegal. Idiots. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.91.244.68 (talk) 05:24, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Key for the map

The colours/colors used in the maps are not explained in a key. JMcC (talk) 18:10, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Inflation Adjusted

Couldn't find this in the article. What would the purchase be equivalent to in 2008 USD? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.178.26.62 (talk) 23:32, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I have serious trouble believing 14 M became 217 B (for an inflation rate of 15,500x, 1,550,000% over the period, or 4.8% annually) is pretty high. This would mean that, back in the day, a dollar would buy $15,500 worth of goods, which before the industrial revolution, was similar to an American's yearly income. This also means that a mil, which if I remember correctly was the smallest unit of currency at the time, equaled 15.5 dollars. I find the concept that 14M ~ 217B today highly dubious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.44.128.167 (talk) 10:34, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

It really depends on the question you're asking. You can't directly compare prices from 1800 with prices now, because things are so different. http://www.measuringworth.com/ has a lot of good explanations of this, including a bunch of calculators. It's quite a bit more complicated than it seems. On topic, if we want to know how expensive the purchase was in terms of what $15M would buy if used today, we should use the "GDP deflator", which converts to about $268M in today's dollars. However, the US produces a *lot* more as a country now than they did 200 years ago. $15M in 1803 was about 3.7% of the GDP at the time. 3.7% of today's GDP is about $430 billion, which roughly corresponds to the figure in the article. I suspect that's the measure of worth they intended. CecilPL (talk) 19:12, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


I think a good comparison so people can get a feel for what the purchase cost is the following: http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/11/the-100-million-health-care-vote.html

Louisiana Purchase I cost roughly the same as Louisiana Purchase II —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.227.255.18 (talk) 19:06, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

USD$15 million in 1803 must be equivalent to a lot more than USD$217 million in today's dollars. The figure would be (at least) somewhere in the billions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 182.239.156.10 (talk) 01:53, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

1803 dollar = (371 1/4) grains silver = 0.7734375 troy ounces silver. If you take this approach plus a 52 week average of the silver price (USD 34.49/troy ounce 52wma on 2011-11-03) you end up with 400,137,891 current dollars. If you take the BLS calculator (http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm) and plug fifteen dollars into 1913 it yields $343.77 in 2011 dollars. Given the silver inflation in the 19th century the 400 million is corroborated. If we instead use the latter half of the 19th century's dollar definition, one dollar = 1/(20.67) troy ounces of gold. By this measure, using a 52 week average of the gold price (USD 1529.29/troy ounce 52wma on 2011-11-03) you end up with 1,109,789,550 current dollars. Any of these three approaches says the 217m figure is a bit off. I would go with the 400 million figure. I would say use no more than one significant digit anyway, be it 300m, 400m, 500m, or 1000m. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bickelj (talkcontribs) 23:38, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

We're adjusting for only inflation to derive how much one would have had to pay in 20xx dollars in 1803. The simple calculation is (assuming purchase price of 15m USD) 12m * (1+3%)^207 ~US$7b. Long run inflation is ~3% in the US. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.61.223.150 (talk) 09:13, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Isn't "purchase transaction" a bit redundant?

It sounds sort of silly to me, the first sentence could be revised to be more concise. 76.190.152.7 (talk) 02:10, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. Here's what seems to have happened: on 8 December 2008 removed several words from the lead, leaving it ungrammatical and a bit nonsensical. Then on 20 December 2008 somebody fixed it, making the lead make sense again but introducing the "purchase transaction" wording. I've changed it back to the way it was earlier ("... was the acquisition by ..."). -- Why Not A Duck 03:03, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Native Americans

A while ago I added a paragraph explaining how the Louisiana Purchase was a transfer of rights between imperial powers, necessarily ignoring the Native American Indians who lived there, and that the actual ownership of the land was purchased a second time, piece by piece, from the Indians, mostly via treaties. I thought this was useful information in part because oft heard statements like "great real estate deal", "three cents an acre", etc. These kind of statements, along with the very name "purchase", suggest that the land passed into the hands of the US federal government and could be put up for sale to settlers without further efforts. I myself believed this for a long time until learning of the complex process the federal government engaged in over many decades of "clearing Indian titles". The actual price paid by the government for the lands of the Louisiana Purchase, in total before being able to sell it to settlers, while very hard to calculate, far exceeds three cents an acre. I felt this was worth pointing out, if only because it is so often overlooked. I suspect many people do not realize that it was not absolute land ownership that was purchased from France. Of course this is true for neary all US territorial acquisitions, but in this case the very name has misleading connotations, as "purchase" implies ownership. I backed up the paragraph's claims with two references.

User:Mattscards has twice removed the text. I asked why and received this reason (from my talk page): This belongs in another category. Yes, it is a part of US history but in no way should this article take away the great feat the United States accomplished from the Louisiana Purchase. The Indians were not an organized country. If you feel that there is merit in this paragraph, you may paste the article in "Native Americans in the United States" section. The Indians were not a part of the Louisiana Purchase. I will remove this paragraph again.

I don't want to be a pain or argue over this, and I hope this doesn't sound like I'm picking on you, Mattscards. But I'm not convinced that this paragraph does not belong on this page. I agree that the Louisiana Purchase was a great moment in US history. But I think it only helps to point out what the purchase actually entailed and what further steps were needed before the land could be sold to American settlers, and how this means the total cost (before homesteading and land sale to settlers) was much higher than the sum paid to France. I have the sense that there is a general understanding that actual land ownership in full title was purchased, and that it would be useful to mention that the actual history was more complex. But my sense may be wrong. Perhaps this point is widely understood and need not be said. Or perhaps it is not widely understand and still not need to be said. I don't want to fight over it, but I thought it worthwhile to at least post to this talk page the deleted paragraph, the reason for its deletion, and my reasons for having added it in the first place. Others can decide or debate whether it merits mentioning or not. Here's the deleted text; it had been the final paragraph of the "Negotiations" section:

Almost all of the land was occupied by American Indians, from whom the land was acquired a second time, piece by piece. The actual price paid for the land of the Louisiana Purchase was thus much higher than the sum paid to France. It was not the ownership of the land that was acquired so much as the right to acquire the land from the Indians who already occupied it. Neither seller nor purchaser consulted with any Native Americans before the sale, and most Native Americans did not know it had taken place.

The two footnote references were:

  • Miller, Robert J. (2006). Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 71–72. ISBN 9780275990114.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • Rodriguez, Junius P. (2002). The Louisiana Purchase. ABC-CLIO. pp. xxv–xxvi. ISBN 9781576071885. 

That is all! Pfly (talk) 19:53, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

financing the Louisiana Convention

I have copies of the wills of both a James and Peter Whiteside (not related to myself). They are circa 1830 and serve as indications that these two brothers were ignored yet closely involved with the Revolution. A family story (unproven at the time) talks about these brothers putting shoes on the feet of the army at Valley Forge. The will of James verifies through an estate inventory that he owned "shoe making tools" which tends to lend credence to that family story. Peter was described in his Philadelphia obituary as a "patriot", confidant and business partner of Robert Morris. Upon retrieving a copy of his will it is noted that although he was penniless he leaves as his estate "a debt owed to him by the United States" government for costs he incurred financing the Louisiana Convention. The originals of all these documents rest in the Pennsylvania Archives along with copies at various historical societies but they indicate a story of brother patriots that has gone untold. This is a first for me so I am not sure where to upload the above citations which I have as .jpg format files.

(Whitey2 (talk) 13:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC))

You could upload them to Commons. There is a category there at Commons:Category:Wills. I'm not real clear on how you plan on using them though. Wknight94 talk 13:37, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

The Napoleon quote

upon completion of the agreement, stated, "This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have given England a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride."[4]

I think the reference for this quote is not precise enough. Is it a true quote or a myth ? If it is not a myth, we should know who is the direct witness who recorded it. Teofilo talk 09:38, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

When was the treaty signed?

In two places the article says it was signed on May 2. In one place it says it was signed on April 30. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 132.198.123.232 (talk) 21:16, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

did the french sell the loisiana 2 us bcus they needed money after the french and indian war —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.171.142.16 (talk) 02:58, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

NPOV Problems

This article doesn't discuss the large numbers of indigenous peopes living in the area the Americans "purchased" from two previous European colonisers; nor does it describe this as what it is: an act of colonialism to try to establish US control of other sovereign nations. There's a section on "Domestic opposition" but nothing on "indigenous opposition". There was plenty of that, including wars. The painting called the "Transfer of Louisiana" in the same section gives the impression this occured with indigenous consent, but it did not. No Americans ever even consulted with the tribes living there; the natives weren't even discussed in the "Purchase". With all the research done in the past few decades it's astonishing the extent this article continues along with official US mythology. The "Indians" cannot be ignored in an article that deals primarily with their "removal", as that was the what these treaties & agreements were about; that is precisely what happened. This should be addressed, and I'm asking other editors to help.Ebanony (talk) 05:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

To add, some of the land in the Louisiana Purchase was legally obtained from indigenous nations prior to the sale to the Americans by Napoleon, but not all. The article shoud mention the significant problems that arose by people being told their land was no longer theirs. Indigenous nations do not see this as an agreement at all, but more along the lines of theft. Why have they been ignored?Ebanony (talk) 23:32, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree that this should be added; an editor in 2009 had a couple of RS sources related to this, who had interesting viewpoints. Will try to follow up. Parkwells (talk) 01:24, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Edit request from N3v3r3nding5tory, 20 December 2010 - Erase one character

{{edit semi-protected}} Change from "They illegality was simply ignored." to "The illegality was simply ignored.". One "y" requires erasure. Thanks in advance. N3v3r3nding5tory (talk) 07:48, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Has been corrected & changed (strange construction) to make it easier for readers to understand. The duplicate comment has also been erased here. Only one request needs to be submitted. Thanks for pointing out the error.Ebanony (talk) 08:07, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm an expert with typos that spell checkers can't catch. Pfly (talk) 11:56, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from N3v3r3nding5tory, 20 December 2010 - Add one character

{{edit semi-protected}} Please change from "The ignored the fact that it was illegal." to "They ignored the fact that it was illegal.". Only need to add one letter: "y". I like the way the sentence was reconstructed. Easier to understand! Double post of previous change request was fluke. Thank you in advance. N3v3r3nding5tory (talk) 20:16, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

It's been done. But at any rate, this article is due for a rework. 23:29, 20 December 2010 (UTC)Ebanony (talk)

Who first proposed the Purchase of the Louisiana "Territory"

This replaces the claim that it was DuPont's idea.

Thomas Paine wrote a Letter on 25 December 1802, to make "a present of a thought" to President Jefferson on how to peacefully acquire the Louisiana territories. Within weeks, Jefferson wrote back, and with Monroe (10 & 13 Jan.1803) began an extended “sub-silentio” purchase process. Paine briefed negotiating suggestions to Monroe on his departure to France (March 1803) America's size was doubled (in May) as a slave insurrection forced Napoleon out of the Caribbean (Haiti).

ref [Evidence is available in the collected papers of both Paine and Jefferson as found online.]

Further documentation from the works of Monroe and Livingston could help in establishing Napolehis replaces the claim that the idea originated with Dupont. on's motivation, but it is clear that Paine’s unofficial diplomacy was continued by his friend Joel Barlow, another "honorary French citizen” (who died in Poland during Napoleon's retreat from Russia). Specific evidence of an informal French alliance might not be available but there is no doubt that the “Second War of Independence” would have been differently conducted if Anglo-Hanoverian armies were not enmeshed during Napoleon’s “Second Polish War.” It is more than a coincidence that both wars began the third week of June 1812.

70.15.27.176 (talk) 19:51, 21 February 2011 (UTC) vmvalor@yahoo.com

European Immigrants?

At the end of the second paragraph is a sentence which reads: "The population of European immigrants was estimated to be 92,345 as of the 1810 census.[4]" This sentence absolutely stopped me cold as the information, aside from being somewhat ambiguous, had nothing to do with the rest of the preceding paragraph, the succeeding paragraph or the Louisiana Purchase. It's a complete non-sequitur.

On the face of it, this sentence states that the U.S. had 92,345 European immigrants (residents who were born in Europe) in the 1810 Census. Okay, but so what? It's an interesting statistic, but what does it have to do with the Louisiana Purchase? If it went on to say that "twenty percent of those lived in the Louisiana Purchase," then it would make sense. Is there an implication here that ALL the residents of the Louisiana Purchase were considered to be "European Immigrants" in the 1810 Census? Surely not, as the majority were born in the province of Louisiana, not in Europe.

If you follow the link in the footnote, you will find that it does NOT refer to the U.S. population in 1810, and it provides no information about European Immigrants in the U.S. in 1810. Rather, the footnote provides a link to the "Resident Population" in Louisiana decade by decade beginning with the U.S. Census of 1810, which states that the "resident population" of Louisiana in 1810 was 76,556. It provides no information about the European immigrant population in either Louisiana or in the U.S.

What's going on here?

PGNormand (talk) 17:22, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

"Illegal" nonsense

Most domestic objections were politically settled, overridden, or simply hushed up.

Really? What opposition was specifically "hushed up"?

One problem, however, was too important to argue down convincingly:

According to who exactly? I wasn't aware that Wikipedia was able to decide what is and what is not "convincing".

Napoleon did not have the right to sell Louisiana to the United States. The sale violated the 1800 Third Treaty of San Ildefonso in several ways.

How so? And even if did, why did that matter to the U.S., which was not a party to that treaty?

Furthermore, France had promised Spain it would never sell or alienate Louisiana to a third party.

Note that was not actually in the treaty itself. You can read it here: [2]. So again, what did that matter to the U.S.?

Napoleon, Jefferson, Madison, and the members of Congress all knew this during the debates about the purchase in 1803. They ignored the fact it was illegal.

Is there even a shred of evidence that they actually believed it was illegal?

Spain protested strongly, and Madison made some attempt to justify the purchase to the Spanish government, but was unable to do so convincingly.

Again, why does Wikipedia judge what is "convincing"?

So, he tried continuously until results had been proven remorsefully inadequate.[16]

Why does Wikipedia judge what is and is not "remorsefully inaddequate"? It's especially deceptive when you consider the fact that the article does not attempt to describe the details.

That the Louisiana Purchase was illegal was described pointedly by the historian Henry Adams,

Again, "pointedly" is not neutral at all.

who wrote: "The sale of Louisiana to the United States was trebly invalid; if it were French property, Bonaparte could not constitutionally alienate it without the consent of the Chambers; if it were Spanish property, he could not alienate it at all; if Spain had a right of reclamation, his sale was worthless."[16]

What's with all the "ifs"? Where is the evidence? Furthermore, isn't it immensely petty (and stupid) to say it was invalid because Napoleon did not act constitutionally when he came to power through an illegal coup and was essentially supreme dictator of France at that time? 65.31.54.136 (talk) 16:38, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

The two paragraphs are sourced to the book cited at the end of both. It is available online via Google Books (and linked to in the footnotes). Read it for yourself. It addresses most of your questions and is itself sourced to primary and other sources.
The negotiations over Louisiana predated Napoleon's becoming emperor. The French political system was changing to be sure, but Napoleon was still legally bound by the law in various ways. I do agree that the prose could be improved. Things like "remorsefully inadequate" should be rephrased. "Pointedly" can be removed. The bit about Madison being "unable to do so convincingly" is supposed to mean he was unable to convince Spain that the purchase was legal, which he wasn't. Perhaps that could be made more clear. Pfly (talk) 00:02, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I did indeed take a look at it, but it doesn't answer any of my questions. The only objection that Spain made was that France had made a promise that it would not transfer the territory. But that promise was not put into any actual treaty. So on what grounds was it illegal? The French Senate was a puppet of Napoleon in 1803, so again, that is simply making a big deal out of nothing. 65.31.54.136 (talk) 16:11, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Criticism

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

There should be some mention of the fact that the sale attracted considerable criticism in France, even from Bonapartists. Many French people felt the land had been sold off too cheaply and at a loss, while others believed Bonaparte had acted out of desperation in response to his defeats by the Royal Navy at the Battles of the Nile and Copenhagen. (92.7.28.76 (talk) 16:43, 31 March 2012 (UTC))

No point wasting time discussing things with socks of banned editors 2 lines of K303 14:38, 3 April 2012 (UTC).

Link leads to Fox(Animal) not Fox(Tribe)

I'm fairly certain that under "Asserting U.S. Possession" Where it says "After the early explorations, the U.S. government sought to establish control of the region, since trade along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers was still dominated by British and French traders from Canada and allied Indians, especially the Sauk and Fox." It is referring to the Meskwaki (A.K.A. the Fox Tribe) but it links to the Fox an animal. That should be fixed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.216.181.80 (talk) 08:26, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks. Vsmith (talk) 09:04, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Weasel-ish words.

I'm looking at "They ignored the fact it was illegal," under Domestic Opposition. I'm not sure I agree with the word "illegal". Illegal to who? Spain? France? US? Someone else? What is the law saying it's illegal? Since there appear to be no facts to back up the statement, it then (for the time being anyway) becomes an objective statement. For this reason, I'm removing it. The facts have been laid out, let the reader choose for himself. There is not a clear citation for that sentence. There is one for the following sentence, but for such a declaration, the statement needs it own source. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 13:57, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

I also wanted to add that according to this article at History.com, there was no legal wording whatsoever in the (then current) US law. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 14:05, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Agree as well - what is or isn't "illegal" when it comes to international affairs is rarely a clear-cut situation, especially during this time period. Nations were making deals like this and swapping territory a lot back then. AlexiusHoratius 15:25, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I added some of that section, although I don't recall if I put the word "illegal" in or not. Still, the notion, and the word comes up in the source cited, Habits of Empire, which describes how the sale was illegal in France under its own laws and illegal in the sense of violating international treaties between France and Spain. On page 67 there is a quote from then Spanish Prime Minister Cevallos, writing to Charles Pinckney, in which he "denounced the sale as illegal". According to the author, Spain, France, and the US knew fully well that it was "illegal"—that France did not have the right to sell—but that France and the US deemed, correctly, that they could get away with it. But yes, the wording could certainly be improved here—it was, supposedly, illegal for France to sell, and the US knew that yet bought it anyway, overriding and ignoring Spain's vigorous protests. The word "illegal" could be changed it desired. "Violation of treaty"? Something like that. I can look more closely later... Pfly (talk) 16:59, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I would be okay with that. I don't have a problem saying that it was in violation of the agreement between France and Spain that it wouldn't be sold, I just didn't want to discribe it as "illegal" without any qualifiers. "In violation of" or something like that would be fine. AlexiusHoratius 17:10, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Adding Citation to Louisiana Purchase Text

The Text is.. The purchase of the territory of Louisiana took place during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, the purchase faced domestic opposition because it was thought to be unconstitutional. Although he agreed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to go ahead with the purchase anyway in order to remove France's presence in the region and to protect both U.S. trade access to the port of New Orleans and free passage on the Mississippi River.

[American History 1]

Not done. Thank you for providing the link, but it appears the citation requires a sign-in and user #. Do you have a different citation link for the same info that is more accessible?--JayJasper (talk) 18:10, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Alaska

The 2nd paragraph under Nature of sale discusses the land rights of native Alaskans during the Alaska Purchase. This seems to have absolutely nothing to do with this article. It feels completely out of place and creates a jarring ending to the overall entry. I think it should be removed altogether. Perhaps a link could be placed in the "See also" section? --Hatemakingnewid (talk) 01:51, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

 Done. Out-of-place paragraph removed, replaced with link added to "See also". Thank you for the helpful feedback.--JayJasper (talk) 05:12, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Article still pushes bogus claims on illegality

I'll just repost what I wrote last year:

Most domestic objections were politically settled, overridden, or simply hushed up.

Really? What opposition was specifically "hushed up"?

One problem, however, was too important to argue down convincingly:

According to who exactly? I wasn't aware that Wikipedia was able to decide what is and what is not "convincing".

Napoleon did not have the right to sell Louisiana to the United States. The sale violated the 1800 Third Treaty of San Ildefonso in several ways.

How so? And even if did, why did that matter to the U.S., which was not a party to that treaty?

Furthermore, France had promised Spain it would never sell or alienate Louisiana to a third party.

Note that was not actually in the treaty itself. You can read it here: [3]. So again, what did that matter to the U.S.?

Napoleon, Jefferson, Madison, and the members of Congress all knew this during the debates about the purchase in 1803. They ignored the fact it was illegal.

Is there even a shred of evidence that they actually believed it was illegal?

Spain protested strongly, and Madison made some attempt to justify the purchase to the Spanish government, but was unable to do so convincingly.

Again, why does Wikipedia judge what is "convincing"?

So, he tried continuously until results had been proven remorsefully inadequate.

Why does Wikipedia judge what is and is not "remorsefully inaddequate"? It's especially deceptive when you consider the fact that the article does not attempt to describe the details.

That the Louisiana Purchase was illegal was described pointedly by the historian Henry Adams,

Again, "pointedly" is not neutral at all.

who wrote: "The sale of Louisiana to the United States was trebly invalid; if it were French property, Bonaparte could not constitutionally alienate it without the consent of the Chambers; if it were Spanish property, he could not alienate it at all; if Spain had a right of reclamation, his sale was worthless."

What's with all the "ifs"? Where is the evidence? Furthermore, isn't it immensely petty (and stupid) to say it was invalid because Napoleon did not act constitutionally when he came to power through an illegal coup and was essentially supreme dictator of France at that time?

And yes, before someone complains, I did read the relevant citation, which is from an author whose standard of objectivity is to describe the deal as an act of "imperialism". It does not answer my questions. 71.65.125.27 (talk) 03:28, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Henry Adams generally has a lot of credibility as a source. If you disagree with him, you can find a respected, verifiable source with a different view and add it to the article as an alternative viewpoint, with a reference note. If you disagree with unsourced statements, tag them with a [citation needed] (be sure to date it). Then you or someone else can look for sources. If, after a year or so, no one comes up with a source, feel free to move the offending statement(s) from the article to this talk page and explain why you did so. That will give other editors another chance to comment. WCCasey (talk) 08:05, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Illegal ?? no one says that. Adams used "invalid" which has an entirely different meaning. Rjensen (talk) 09:05, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Most of the information has nothing to do with Adams. If you want to use Adams, it should at least give more details about his argument. But the main issue at hand is that since Napoleon made a separate promise to Spain (not actually in the treaty itself), it somehow makes the agreement invalid. That makes very little sense. 71.65.125.27 (talk) 17:58, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 25 October 2013

In the Financing section you can link Walter Scott Jr to his wikipedia page.. .I tried an failed miserably. Bigbaldjoe (talk) 07:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)bigbaldjoe 10/25/2013

Done. Thanks. (Another time, I recommend not putting the detail of your request inside an HTML comment. I nearly declined the request because I couldn't see what you were requesting :) --Stfg (talk) 09:23, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Update request for modern value of purchase

As per Wolfram Alpha, the value of the purchase of 15 million dollars in 1803 is equivalent to 325 million US dollars in 2014. 70.119.186.105 (talk) 06:36, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Improper grammar and spelling mistakes

This is a sentence I have copied and pasted from the article. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE! Not only is it missing a capital letter at the beginning, it's a run-on sentence. Also, there were multiple revolutions in the world at that time. Haitian? French? Slave? I can't tell.

Here it is- before the Revolution, France had derived enormous wealth from St. Domingue at the cost of the lives and freedom of the slaves Napoleon wanted its revenues and productivity for France restored.

It should be- Before the (fill in name)Revolution, France had derived enormous wealth from St. Domingue at the cost of the lives and freedom of the slaves. Napoleon wanted its revenues and productivity for France restored.

Also, slightly before the sentence is the word "Iwawa", which I assume is Iowa or Ottawa. This should also be corrected. This is in the negotiation part of the article.

Parrot Brain (talk) 17:17, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 March 2014

Talesin22 (talk) 20:04, 25 March 2014 (UTC) the cost was about 4 cents an acre according to the library of congress. http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Louisiana.html.

Already done --Mdann52talk to me! 14:34, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Areas quoted are incorrect

Hi

This is my first time behind the scenes of Wikepedia. The article in question does not seem to be editable by users such as me.

In the article, the Louisiana areas as stated in square kilometers and acres are out by a factor of 1,000. The text: '2144.51 kilometers or 529920 acres' should be replaced by: '2,144,510 square kilometers or 529,920,000 acres'

Best regards

Frank --Zekamaboy (talk) 00:46, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

I fixed it I think. Thanks for pointing that out. AlexiusHoratius 01:23, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Per acre cost discrepancy

828,000 square miles is equal to 529,920,000 acres; $15m usd divided by 529.92m acres = 2.8306 cents per acre, but Library of Congress website lists "approximately four cents an acre". http://history.state.gov/milestones/1801-1829/louisiana-purchase lists 530,000,000 acres and $15m. Neither the size of the area nor the price seem to be in any dispute, but why is the math wrong?-Ich (talk) 19:51, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Possible corrections

In topic Domestic opposition and constitutionality there is a part that reads "Jefferson, as a strict constructionist, was right to be concerned about staying within the bounds of the Constitution". Everywhere else the article describes him as a Constitutionalist. Did I misunderstand? Is there a mistake? Can we check the cited source? 70.42.29.13 (talk) 17:15, 21 November 2014 (UTC) Daniel, 2014-11-21

Jefferson was contradicting the strict constructionist position he had argued for when his opponents were in power in the 1790s. He never admitted he had been wrong. Rjensen (talk) 17:36, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Possible Corrections

This article could use an improvement in clarity. Below is a possible correction in clarity that could be added.

The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory (827,000 square miles) from France in 1803. The U.S. paid fifty million francs ($11,250,000 USD) and a cancellation of debts worth eighteen million francs ($3,750,000 USD) for a total of sixty-eight million francs ($15,000,000 USD) which averages to approximately three cents per acre[1]. Adjusting for inflation, the modern financial equivalent spent for the Purchase of the Louisiana territory is approximately $236 million United States dollars which averages to less than forty-two cents per acre.[2][3]

The Louisiana territory included land from fifteen present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The territory contained land that forms Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; the area of Minnesota that is west of the Mississippi River; a large portion of North Dakota; a large portion of South Dakota; the northeastern section of New Mexico; the northern portion of Texas; the area of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana(including the city of New Orleans) west of the Mississippi River; and small portions of land that forms the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

France controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. In the hope of re-establishing an empire in North America, France regained control of the Louisiana territory in 1800 under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte. A slave revolt in Haiti and an impending war with the British Empire led French officials to sell the Louisiana territory to the United States of America who originally sought to purchase the city of New Orleans and its adjacent lands.

The Louisiana Purchase occurred during the term of United States President Thomas Jefferson. Before the purchase was finalized, the decision faced domestic opposition as some argued that it was unconstitutional for President Jefferson to acquire the territory. Jefferson agreed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain provisions for acquiring territory, but decided to proceed with the acquisition. The purchase included an agreement to remove France's presence in the territory and protect U.S. trade access to the port of New Orleans and the Mississippi River. Wpears2 (talk) 07:09, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 2 March 2015

link to François Barbé-Marbois http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Barb%C3%A9-Marbois 71.180.16.42 (talk) 01:46, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Already done This link for François Barbé-Marbois is already in this article. Joseph2302 (talk) 12:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

space

I know it's not much, but there should be a space between the Purchase and the parentheses at the beginning of the article

thanks

24.33.127.212 (talk) 21:07, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Added - thanks. AlexiusHoratius 22:56, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Louisiana Purchase (Better Citiations)

Here is a new citation that is more accessable

[About.com 1]


[ushistory.org 1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kantho2294 (talkcontribs) 22:03, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Domestic Opposition Citation

Here is a cite I found that covers domestic opposition durning the Louisiana Purchase

[The Cherokee Times 1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kantho2294 (talkcontribs) 22:34, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 November 2015

It says "Adjusting for inflation, the modern financial equivalent spent for the Purchase of the Louisiana territory is approximately $237 million in 2014 U.S. dollars which averages to less than forty-two cents per acre, as of 2010".

You shouldn't have two different years on the value between total value and per acre value in the same sentence. It's confusing.

I request that the same year be used for the total value with inflation and per acre.

For example using the listed value of about $237 million in 2014 dollars, the per acre value would be a little under 45 cents per acre in 2014 dollars.

Also I think the article should list the per square mile and per square kilometers cost. Which is about $286 per square mile in 2014 dollars and about $110 per square kilometer in 2014 dollars.

2601:19D:401:D0A8:DA7:DA94:9F77:367A (talk) 04:29, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

The actual amount (total cost) is automatically calculated, so it's always as of the most recent year. The per-acre is hardcoded and updated whenever someone manually does it. If someone had the per-acre original value (to several decimal places) it could be converted to auto-calculated (and likewise per-km2 and/or per-hectare). I think {{convert}} could handle the alternate area measurements automatically. DMacks (talk) 22:57, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

'Why' empire failed.

For what it's worth: according to Thomas Fleming, who is already cited several times in this article, Napoleon's dream of an empire in America was given up when he heard of the death of Charles Leclerc during the Saint-Domingue expedition. Fleming rather suggests this on page 92-94 (2003). 82.217.116.224 (talk) 20:00, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

"Colored?"

Should this be changed to a more modern term? Suggest "African-American."156.98.118.115 (talk) 18:12, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

not a UK loan

per History.com, the loan to purchase Louisiana came not from Great Britain (then at war with France) but from "two European banks." http://www.history.com/news/8-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-louisiana-purchase 156.98.118.115 (talk) 19:05, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

"Much-quoted passage"

Jefferson's letter went on with the same heat to a much quoted passage about "the day that France takes possession of New Orleans."

And yet, we don't quote the passage in the article! Funnyhat (talk) 22:11, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

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