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The Louisiana Purchase

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It’s been called the greatest real estate deal in history.

For $15-million the United States purchased from France 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. The year was 1803.

KSL believes the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase is worth noting. After all, the historical consequences of the transaction are virtually endless. The words of Napoleon at the signing of the treaty prophetically summed up its significance.

“This accession of territory strengthens forever the power of the United States,” said the emperor.

Eventually, 15 mid-American states were carved out of the vast territory, stretching from the Mississippi to the Rockies, and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. It opened the floodgates for America’s dramatic westward expansion. Among many other things, it became the breadbasket of the world.

On this Independence Day, we celebrate the nation’s founding. Reflective attention turns to the great decisions made in July of 1776. But, it took subsequent events like the great Louisiana Purchase to solidify America’s unprecedented role in the history of the world.

Indeed, on this day of patriotic reflection, the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase merits attention.

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