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Article by, Spartan Opinion’s Elias Hawke
How much is 3 cents worth today? Two hundred years ago on this day when the United States of America sealed the deal on one of the greatest blockbuster deals ever, 3 cents was worth 1 acre of land.
In the late 19th century, France, Spain, the United States and to a lesser extend, Britain, all shared a piece of the New World. In the south east New Orleans was a key shipping port for the United States. In treaty with Spain, the United States was allowed to use the New Orleans to export goods, such as tobacco, flour, lard, butter, cheese and other farm grown products.
When Napoleon Bonaparte acquired New Orleans from Spain, President Thomas Jefferson was concerned over the intentions of his new neighbor. Risking political opposition, Jefferson dispatched Robert Livingston to Paris on 1801 to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans. At the President’s request, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours was sent to Paris in 1802. Pre-occupied with an impending war with Britain, Napoleon agreed not only to sell New Orleans but the entire Louisiana territory. On April 30, 1803 the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed for the bargain basement price of 15 million dollars.
On October 20, 1803 the United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, making the deal official. The land acquired is present day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, parts of Minnesota, most of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, Wyoming, parts of Montana, Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans.
Not bad for 3 cents an acre.