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The Louisiana Purchase

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The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803 of 828,000 square miles of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana.

France controlled this vast area from 1699 until 1762, the year it gave the territory to its ally Spain. Under Napoleon Bonaparte, France took back the territory in 1800 in the hope of building an empire in North America.

A slave revolt in Haiti and an impending war with Britain, however, led France to abandon these plans and sell the entire territory to the United States, who had originally intended only to seek the purchase of New Orleans and its adjacent lands.


The Territory of Orleans was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from October 1, 1804 until April 30, 1812, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Louisiana.

The Orleans Territory was the site of the largest slave revolt in American history, the 1811 German Coast Uprising.


The Territory of Louisiana was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805 until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed to Missouri Territory. It was formed out of part of the lands acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, in which French Louisiana was bought from France.

On June 4, 1812, the Twelfth U.S. Congress enacted legislation that renamed the Louisiana Territory as the Territory of Missouri to avoid confusion with the recently admitted state of Louisiana.