In 1802, France forced Spain to sign a "secret" treaty, giving the Louisiana Area to the French, without the United States' knowledge. Thomas Jefferson, president at the time, was of a political party aptly named the Jeffersonians. The Jeffersonians were interested in keeping the United States an agricultural society for as long as they could delay industrialization. The Jeffersonians knew that in order to achieve this goal an adequate amount of land would be required to expand an agrarian economy. .
In 1802, Jefferson sent his man, Robert Livingston, to New Orleans to negotiate the purchase of that port city, to make sure that the French would not tax or turn away American vessels attempting to ship from the Mississippi. France was forced into selling New Orleans because Robert Livingston was ordered to imply the use of military force to seize it if not sold. However, France decided to get rid of their entire Louisiana area and offered to sell it to Livingston.
Livingston had only the authority to purchase New Orleans but at an offer of 15 million dollars he could not refuse and bought the area in what is known as the Louisiana Purchase. The area stretched west of the Mississippi from New Orleans all the way to Canada. Jefferson was pleased at the purchase of the new territory at immediately sent Louis and Clark to explore the acquired land. While bringing obvious, huge benefits to the United States, the Louisiana Purchase created dissidence among the New England Federalists, ultimately resulting in a move for succession spearheaded by Aaron Burr.