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The Louisiana Purchase and the War of 1812: Link between the U.S. and European History

By smk1022 Nov 15, 2010 355 Words
The United States has no history that is separate from European history. Many of our domestic policies were derived from occurrences with Europe. The foreign policy that George Washington proposed in his Farewell address was one of these. He wanted the U.S. to trade with other countries, but he did not want us to get politically involved with those countries. He wanted to have the benefits of being able to get goods from these countries that we would not normally be able to obtain. However, he did not want to be caught up in the middle of their wars and conflicts. In 1803, Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase from the money starved Napoleon Bonaparte for 15 million dollars. The U.S.’s major problem then was jumped at this opportunity because now this huge stretch of land was out of the hands of powerful France, and in the hands of weak America. So, Britain gave America a large sum of money at six percent interest. Another problem with the Louisiana Purchase was that France did not specify the southern and western boundaries. France suggested that the U.S. should negotiate those terms with Spain, because Spain was originally promised the Louisiana Purchase. The U.S. spent more money of the expedition of Lewis and Clark to find out exactly what they had paid all this money for. The War of 1812 was another link between U.S. and European history. The war was fought between the U.S. and Great Britain. The war came about because of England’s war with France, the British seizing American sailors for their own, the American desire to expand into Canada, and the British control over American trade. The Treaty of Ghent ended the war of 1812. It did not, however, resolve any of the problems that started the war. Britain agreed to return all seized land and slaves, however they did not. They instead gave America about $350,000 for the slaves. Much of America’s encounters during this time period were tied to Europe in some way, whether it be economically, politically, or socially.

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