Was the Louisiana Purchase the greatest accomplishment or the greatest liability of the United States at the time?

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New Orleans, the most powerful port on the Mississippi River, was first inhabited by Indians, explored and settled by the French, ruled by the Spanish for over forty years, regained by the French, and later sold, in the Louisiana Purchase, to the United States. Whoever controlled this influential port also controlled the Mississippi River, and the United States wanted and needed it. After years of negotiations, talks of war, and treaties, the Americans bought the entire Louisiana Purchase, a territory that stretched from the tip of modern day Louisiana all the way into a small section of Canada. This was the greatest accomplishment of the United States at the time: we were able to peacefully negotiate, double the size of the country, and take part in what is one of the best deals in history. On October 27, 1795, Pickney's Treaty, our first step in peaceful negotiations, was signed between the U.S. and the Spanish, allowing the Americans to transport items through the port and freely navigate their ships along the Mississippi River. The Spanish secretly gave Louisiana back to the French in 1798, and in 1802, the French denied the Americans of their right of deposit guaranteed by Pickney's Treaty. Frontier farmers desperately needed the river and its port for the transporting and shipping of their products, and some pioneers even discussed marching into New Orleans with rifles in hand. However, President Thomas Jefferson knew that starting a war with Napoleon Bonaparte, the leader of the French at the time, was not a good idea, and our military was not strong enough to handle it without making an ally with our previous rivals, the British. Jefferson sent James Monroe to meet up with Robert R. Livingston in Paris so the two could buy New Orleans for a minimum of ten million dollars. Around this time, Napoleon lost his vital control over the island of Santo Domingo, thus losing his hope of a new empire in the New World. He then decided to sell all of...