QUORA: What are some unusual, and mostly unknown facts about American history that would surprise (and be interesting to) most people?
by Brent Cooper, Trial & appellate counsel for
Cooper & Scully (1993–present), June 8, 2021
This is my favorite. It is about the Louisiana Purchase.
Napoleon was planning in invade Britain. From 1803-1805
a new army of 200,000 men, known as the Armee des cotes
de l'Ocean (Army of the Ocean Coasts) or the Armee
d'Angleterre (Army of England), was gathered & trained at
camps at Boulogne, Bruges and Montreuil. A large "National
Flotilla" of invasion barges was built in Channel ports
along the coasts of France & the Netherlands (then under
French domination as the Batavian Republic), right from
Etaples to Flushing, & gathered at Boulogne.
Now comes the interesting part. France was nearly broke &
couldn't afford an invasion. So how were they financed?
These preparations were financed by the Louisiana Purchase
of 1803, whereby France ceded her huge North American
territories to the United States in return for a payment
of 50 million French francs ($11,250,000). The entire amount
was spent on the projected invasion.
It gets better. The US did not have the total purchase
price being a new nation.. So they had to borrow part of
the purchase price. The US had partly funded the purchase
by means of a loan from Baring Brothers, a British bank,
which essentially meant that the British were funding an
invasion of themselves!
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