In 1803, during the administration of President Jefferson
, Napoleon sold to the United States
territory known as Louisiana
(q. v.) for $15,000,000.
In his greed for money Napoleon relaxed the rigors of his decrees against the commerce of the world by an act of perfidy.
While reducing thousands to misery for the sake of his favorite continental
system, he became himself a wholesale violator of it. He ordered licenses to be sold, at enormous prices, for introducing, subject to heavy duties, certain foreign articles otherwise prohibited.
Certain favored manufacturers had thus been authorized, notwithstanding the Rambouillet decree, to employ thirty or forty American vessels in the importation of cotton, fish-oil
dye-woods, salt fish, hides, and peltry from the ports of New York and Charleston
, exclusively, and under an obligation to import, in return, certain special articles of French produce.
Orders were sent to French consuls in America
to grant certificates of origin to all American vessels bound to French ports, provided they were loaded with American products only—excepting cotton and tobacco, which could only be imported under special licenses.
; orders in council
Napoleon's downfall was hailed with joy by the great Federal party in the United States
, who considered his ruin as the most damaging blow that could be given to their political opponents and the war party.
Pulpits, presses, public meetings, and social gatherings were used as proclaimers of their satisfaction, notwithstanding it was evident that the release thereby of a large British army from service on the Continent would enable the common enemy to send an overwhelming force across the Atlantic
that might crush the American
armies and possibly reduce the States to British provinces.
They hoped the threatened peril would induce the administration to seek peace as speedily as possible.
The downfall of Napoleon did release British troops from continental service, and several thousands of them were sent to Canada
to reinforce the little British army there.
Many of them were Wellington
's veterans, hardy and skilful.
They arrived at Quebec
late in July, and in August were sent up the St. Lawrence