Opinions of the Louisiana Purchase – Primary Source Analysis

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Opinions of the Louisiana Purchase – Primary Source Analysis
Read each primary source selection and answer the question that follows.
“Sixty million francs for an occupation [the French control of the Louisiana Purchase] that will not
perhaps last a day!...The sale assures forever the power of the United States, and I have given
England a rival who, sooner or later, will humble her pride.”
---Napoleon Bonaparte, France
Why was Napoleon willing to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States?
“…a great waste, a wilderness unpeopled with any beings except wolves and wandering Indians.
We are to give money of which we have too little for land of which we already have too much.”
---A Boston Federalist newspaper
What argument is made by this newspaper? Do you think these arguments are legitimate?
Why or why not?
“The inducements will be so strong that it will be impossible to restrain our citizens from crossing
the river… Thus our citizens will be removed to the immense distance of 2,000 to 3,000 miles from
the capital of the Union, where they will scarcely ever feel the rays of general government; their
affections will become alienated; they will gradually begin to view us as strangers.”
---Senator Samuel White of Delaware
What is Senator White’s prediction? How accurate was that prediction?
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