An Alt-Right Take On The Louisiana Purchase

Over at Slate, Robert Lee is lamenting the imperialism of the Louisiana Purchase:

“It’s a familiar chapter in our history, part of the triumphant narrative of westward expansion: In 1803, the United States bought a massive chunk of North America, and we got it for a song. Spain had ceded the Louisiana Territory to France, and Napoleon, in turn, offloaded it to American diplomats in Paris after the Haitian Revolution ruined his plans for the New World. Vaguely defined at the time as the western watershed of the Mississippi River, and later pegged at about 827,000 square miles, the acquisition nearly doubled the national domain for a mere $15 million, or roughly $309 million in today’s dollars. Divide the area by the price and you get the Louisiana Purchase’s celebrated reputation as one of the greatest real estate bargains in history. …

But the traditional narrative of the purchase glosses over a key fact. What Thomas Jefferson purchased wasn’t actually a tract of land. It was the imperial rights to that land, almost all of which was still owned, occupied, and ruled by Native Americans. The U.S. paid France $15 million for those rights. It would take more than 150 years and hundreds of lopsided treaties to extinguish Indian title to the same land. …

Even at $2.6 billion for all of it—or $8.5 billion, adjusted for inflation—the Louisiana Purchase remains an unbelievable steal. But not of the type we’ve been taught, a fleecing of the shortsighted French. To cherish the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 as one of history’s great real estate deals requires buying into a myth. The acquisition of France’s pre-emption rights in 1803 was a down payment on a continental empire that ran through Indian country. The land came cheap because of how little the United States paid the people who lived here long before the French laid claim to Mississippi’s western watershed. …”

There is a cool animated video over there showing how each parcel of land in the Louisiana Purchase was ceded and sold by various Indian tribes to the US federal government. This went on over a period of 166 years from 1804 to 1970. Lee arrives at a grand sum of $8.5 billion adjusted for inflation that was paid by the US federal government for the Louisiana Purchase. That is a fraction of the more $100 billion worth of oil that has been fracked and pumped out of North Dakota alone.

The Louisiana Purchase remains the greatest real estate bargain in history.

Note: Jared Taylor has a timely new video in which he takes on the idea that “You Stole America From the Indianas.” I’m not sure if this video is related to the Slate story, but Lee’s research documents both when and how much the Indians were paid for their land.

31 Comments

  1. The Slate article is a justification of White Genocide. Taylor would really be effective instead of boring if he started using Whitaker’s stuff. Sadly, I doubt he ever will.

  2. In elementary school, we studied the
    Wilderness Road, the Natchez Trace and generally, the Dixie and Texas Frontiers. They taught us that a great deal of Indian land was aquired by purchase or compensation of one kind or another. However, you won’t see the SJWs applying the claims of “theft” to Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana or Ohio, or the other areas of Puritan settlement. And certainly not to the New England frontier.

    • There were Indian tribes who had sided with the British during the Revolution.

      They were treated as conquered peoples afterward.

  3. The Indians were sort of a real life post apocalyptic “Road Warrior” society when English Settlers first encountered them in the continental US. In the decades after Columbus, long before Jamestown, Old World Diseases decimated the population and what we encountered was different from the Mississippian civilization that built towns with Pyramids (probably for human sacrifice, imitating the Aztecs they traded with) and mounds like the ones near St. Louis.

    • All this we learned in school. We didn’t learn much about Massachusetts, or the Great Lakes Region, either. Ohio and Indiana were merely tangential to the settlement of Kentucky and Tennessee. Essentially, our teachers treated the North the way the North treats the South. As of no consequence, historically.

    • Without the mass die off from disease we would have never been able to conquer North America. They went from a farming community to hunter gatherers whose culture was destroyed.

  4. I agree that the Indians were generally paid for “their” land, as Jefferson noted about Virginia acquisitions in his “Notes on the State of Virginia”. I typed “their” land as I fail to see how a tribe with (1) no written language, (2) no personal ownership of tracts of land (only group/communist ownership), and no formal government or law code higher than a chief can claim to own land -any more than a pack of coyotes could claim ownership.
    The Louisiana Purchase was indeed a good deal financially. But more importantly, it gave our people living room. I am an Amerikaner. What about you? https://putnamlibertynotes.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/i-am-an-amerikaner/

  5. The “we stole from the Natives” argument used to stonewall me in my libertarian days, but not anymore. The land we settled, we took either by gold or by iron, and in either case it is rightfully ours…so long as we are willing and able to defend our claim.

    Of course, the unfortunate state of our culture at present means that we’re less inclined than ever to hold on to what’s ours, as waves of migrants pour on in.

    • That’s what sovereignty is all about: seizing a land and kicking ass of anyone who tries to move in on you.

      • Well said. You only own what you can defend. If you can’t defend it, it belongs to whomever is strong enough to take it from you.

    • English settlers brought ballast in their ships that contained soil from the Motherland. The soil had earth worms in it…apparently earthworms didn’t exist in North America until the English farmers threw the ballast onto the new land as fertilizer. Earthworms allow the leaves and biomass that falls from trees to be churned into loamy soil suitable for wheat and barley. Once the fall leaves were churned By the worms the Indians lost the type of forest nesessary for hunting game that hibernated in the masses of fallen leaves that didn’t rot. The English terraformed the Eastern Seaboard and the Indians were shit out of luck.

  6. If the USA did not (rightly) conquer the West, someone else would have. France, Mexico, Britain and even Russia had interests in North America. If the USA were not in control of the Louisiana Purchase, no doubt there would have been a Scramble for America as there was a Scramble for Africa in the 1880s. And you’d have to ask how they would have dealt with any rights claimed by the Indians.

    Point is, the American West was going to be civilized by some European power. Thankfully, it was the USA.

    • Are you so sure this was a good thing that the USA conquered the West and spread its bullshit around the world? Since were playing alternate history, maybe things would have turned out better if America was restricted to the East Coast and was essentially a North American Argentina. Say Russia pursued its Pacific Empire more vigorously, perhaps that means Russia had greater wealth, which enabled the Tsar to keep power. Communism then never takes root.

  7. As a Christian, I have no guilt whatsoever over this transaction. The biblical concept of conquest by the chosen people of the land that God has given to them, was the foundational premise for the founding and the expansion of the United States.

    And nobody, and nothing, will ever rescind or make us feel sorry for what God Gave US.

    • Amen. These people were savages and were not using the land properly. As John Locke talked about in his treatises. Yah punished them for it. This can also be said of our germanic ancestors who lived in huts and were colonized by the romans. The difference is we repented the Amerindians did not.

  8. The Louisiana Purchase is well know, in legal circles, that it was merely the purchase of a treaty. It was never the purchase of any land.

    Further, most of the land was NOT titled to the Asians we call Indians either, until the US government signed treaties with them giving them title to huge tracts of land.

    The several states that are within the area of the Louisiana Purchase legitimately own the land and should be exercising sovereignty over it. Various US government judges have ruled against that, but as Andrew Jackson famously said, let them put their army in the field. The several states can legitimately arrest anyone attempting to enforce US government authority over the western lands, and any land in the southern states over which the US government claims authority.

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