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What if… France had not sold Louisiana?

The American republic might have collapsed, and the former colony might have re-joined the British Empire

By Frank Cogliano   May 2014

Jaques Marquette—an early French explorer of North America

During the spring of 1803, France agreed to sell the province of Louisiana to the United States for approximately $15m, around $236m in today’s terms. The province, ceded to French rule by the Spanish in 1800, was much larger than the present US state of Louisiana, a vast territory that stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rockies, encompassing some or all of 15 US states and two Canadian provinces. All told, the territory transferred to the US was more than…

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