President Jefferson appointed Robert Livingston minister of France. American historians today are more open in their enthusiasm for the takeover. “Along with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, this is one of the three foundations that the modern United States has laid,” said Douglas Brinkley, director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies in New Orleans and co-author with the late Stephen E. Ambrose of The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation. Charles A. Cerami, author of Jefferson`s Great Gamble, agrees. “If we hadn`t made that purchase, it would have reduced the possibility of becoming a continental power,” he says. This, in turn, would have meant that our ideas of freedom and democracy would have less weight with the rest of the world. This was the key to our international influence.
The Louisiana Purchase was a defining moment for a new nation. The country involved in the 830,000-square-mile contract would eventually include 15 states. In 1800, the vast region fell under French control after Napoleon made an agreement with Spain. Jefferson knew French very well because of his time in Europe as an American envoy. He also understood the potential military danger that France posed if it controlled the Mississippi. The Louisiana purchase, made 200 years ago this month, nearly doubled the size of the United States. In all respects, it was one of the most colossal land deals in history, affecting an area larger than France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and the British Isles combined. All or part of 15 Western states would eventually be carved into its nearly 830,000 square miles stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. And the price, $15 million, or about four hundred acres, was a staggering bargain.
“May the country rejoice”, gen. Horatio Gates, a prominent member of the New York State Legislature, said President Thomas Jefferson when the details of the deal were reached in Washington, D.C. “Because you bought Louisiana for a song.” Thomas Jefferson had always feared the cost of loosely constructing the powers conferred on the national government in the Constitution, and the Constitution remained silent on the acquisition of land from other countries. Jefferson urged that the issue be approved by the people with a constitutional amendment, but Congress ignored his amendments. The Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase Treaty in October 1803. Although Jefferson did his best to follow what he thought was an appropriate constitutional process, not enough of his contemporaries agreed with him and he eventually agreed. The Americans believed that Napoleon could withdraw the offer at any time to prevent the United States from acquiring New Orleans, so they accepted and signed the Louisiana Purchase Treaty on April 30, 1803 at the Hôtel Tubeuf in Paris.  The signatories were Robert Livingston, James Monroe and François Barbé-Marbois.  After the signing, Livingston said, “We have lived a long time, but it is the noblest work of our entire lives.
From that day on, the United States will take its place among the powers of the first order.  On July 4, 1803, the treaty was promulgated, but the documents did not arrive in Washington, D.C. until July 14.  The Louisiana Territory was vast, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to Rupert`s Land in the north and from the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. The acquisition of the territory doubled the size of the United States. A shredded political survivor who held high office during the French Revolution and later under Napoleon`s Empire and the restored Bourbon monarchy, Talleyrand had spent the years 1792 to 1794 in exile in America after being denounced by the National Revolutionary Convention, and had conceived a virulent contempt for Americans. .