Go to Teacher Notes

The Louisiana Purchase

Imagine buying good land for four cents an acre. That's what President Thomas Jefferson did. Why would the emperor of France be willing to sell his land in North America to the United States?

To find out, go to http://www.gatewayno.com/History/LaPurchase.html.

  • How much land did the United States buy from France?

  • When did the purchase take place?

  • What was the total cost?

  • How did the purchase of this land affect the size of the United States?

  • How did the President violate the Constitution by making the Louisiana Purchase?

What were Napoleon Bonaparte's plans for the land that he ended up selling? Why did he give up this plan? What are the main reasons he decided to sell the land to the United States?

At the end of this site is a map showing the Louisiana Purchase. What states are now located there?

Go to http://www.crt.state.la.us/crt/tourism/studentbrochure/purch.htm. How does the second paragraph explain why the Louisiana Purchase was different from other land acquisitions in history?

Extension Activity

Based on what you've learned, write a dialogue between James Monroe and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Louisiana Purchase Teacher's Notes

Grade Levels: 4–8

Learning Objectives:

Time Required: 1 class period.