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The Constitution of EmpireTerritorial Expansion and American Legal History$
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Gary Lawson and Guy Seidman

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102314

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102314.001.0001

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Fundamentals: Lessons from Louisiana

Fundamentals: Lessons from Louisiana

(p.17) 1 Fundamentals: Lessons from Louisiana
The Constitution of Empire

Gary Lawson

Guy Seidman

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that the story of the Louisiana Purchase is a simple story of expansionism. The key elements that played in this historic purchase were the factors of trade and navigation. There were two prevailing problems with the Louisiana Purchase: it was unclear whether the United States had the power to buy it, and whether France even had the power to sell it in the first place—as the boundaries of what constitutes Louisiana still remain to be vaguely presented in the Treaty of San Ildefonso.

Keywords:   expansionism, Ildefonso, United States, France, Louisiana Purchase

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