Every Texas school kid learns that the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 created one of the great turning points in American history. Parts or all of 15 different states came out of the land acquired from Napoleon in that deal. Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery spent more than two years mapping the newly-acquired territory, and didn’t really scratch the surface of the riches to be found.
Why was Napoleon so willing to deal Louisiana, so cheaply?
What else happened in 1803? Haiti’s slaves rose up and cast off French rule. Haiti had been the jewel of France’s overseas colonies. Napoleon became convinced that holding and ruling North American territories could be more pain and trouble than it was worth
So, along came John Jay to secure navigation rights in the territory . . .