Louisiana Purchase – Negotiations Tainted with Deceit
Napoleon Bonaparte, as history have it , was known to have violated the French constitution by selling France’s territory without legislative approval. The sale of the Louisiana territories to Spain was clouded because there were different boundaries defined under Spanish deeds compared to those of the deeds used by the French.
Years later, after the seemingly successful negotiation entered into by James Monroe and Robert Livingstone to purchase French-owned Louisiana properties from France, it was established that West Florida was not included in the purchase negotiations previously entered into by the two gentlemen. West Florida,as it turned out, was included among the Spanish-owned Louisiana properties sold by France to Spain.
This resulted to a quasi-war between Spain and the US, as the latter tried to impose its claim over West Florida. The heightening war in Europe gave the US government an opportunity to acquire the left-out West Florida, when Napoleon tried to convince the US to help them seize Spain into becoming its territory. However, Napoleon’s deceitfulness once again surfaced when he changed his mind. Napoleon’s brother came to occupy Spain and refused to give up Florida to the US. As history continued to unfold, the territorial conflicts led to civil wars within the US boundaries.
The Louisiana Purchase was monumental in its significance as it broadened US territories, but it remained as a questionable chapter in Louisiana’s history.
The inclusion of the Louisiana Purchase, as one of the examples of famous historic negotiations, provides an actual depiction of negotiations tainted with deceit. Trust is an important part of entering into agreements, while the integrity of the party to the negotiations must be above reproach or suspicion, as the consequences of botched-up negotiations are often costly.
Image Credit: Image from U.S. National Archives and Records Administration from Wikimedia Commons
Please continue on page 4 for more on Famous Historic Negotiations.