After Thomas Jefferson became President, he wanted to control the port of New Orleans, which was ideal for farmers and trading goods. He first offered $2 million to buy the land but was rejected by Napoleon. However, Napoleon counter-offered to sell New Orleans plus the rest of the Louisiana territory. At the time this land equaled 828,000 square miles. President Jefferson accepted Napoleon's counter-offer and the U.S. bought the property for $15 million, doubling the size of the United States. Napoleon needed the cash to fund a war against Great Britain.
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States.