Date of this Version
At the time that Napoleon was first consul of France, the French possessions in North America were exposed to the maritime power of Great Britain, with whom France was at war, and were really a source of weakness to the mother country from their remote situation and their liability at any moment to fall into the hands of the enemy.
In this emergency Napoleon resolved to abandon his cherished notion of colonial dependencies, which could not be protected, and entered into negotiations with the United States for their relinquishment.
In 1803 a treaty was consummated between the two countries, which secured the whole of this vast territory for the sum of $15,000,000. The Louisiana purchase (although unauthorized by the Constitution) is an imperishable memorial of the wisdom of Jefferson's administration.