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   Chapter 125 1819).

Formation of the Union By Albert Bushnell Hart Characters: 2432

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

[Sidenote: Northern boundary.]

[Sidenote: Oregon.]

[Sidenote: Boundary treaty.]

The administration inherited two serious boundary controversies, one with England, and another with Spain. Some progress had been made toward running the northeast boundary, till in 1818 the commissioners disagreed. The northwest boundary had now come to be more important. A few months before the annexation of Louisiana, Jefferson had sent an expedition to explore the country drained by the Columbia River, which had been discovered by a Boston ship in 1791. This expedition, under Lewis and Clark, in 1805 reached tributaries of the Columbia and descended it to its mouth, anticipating a similar English expedition. Nevertheless, the Hudson's Bay Company established trading-posts in the region. Monroe settled the difficulty for the time being by a treaty with Great Britain in 1818, providing that the disputed region lying between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and extending indefinitely northward should be jointly occupied by both countries. At the same time the northern boundary was defined from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.

[Sidenote: West Florida.]

[Sidenote: Spanish treaty.]

A year later another treaty with Spain gave to the United States a region which Jefferson had longed for in vain. Ever since 1803 the United States had asserted that West Florida had come to it as a part of Louisiana (§ 99). Spain steadfastly refused to admit this construction or to sell the province. In 1810 Madison by proclamation took possession of the disputed region, and a part of it was soon after added to Louisiana. East Florida could not possibly be included within Louisiana, but as a detached peninsula it was of little value to Spain. John Quincy Adams now undertook a negotiation for the settlement of all outstanding difficulties with Spain, and on Feb. 22, 1819, a treaty was signed: East Florida was ceded for a payment of about $6,500,000, and at the same time the western boundary of Louisiana was settled. An irregular line was described from the Gulf to the forty-second parallel; it was not far distant from the watershed south and west of the tributaries of the Mississippi. Then came the triumph of the whole negotiation: Adams obtained from Spain a renunciation of all claims north of the forty-second parallel, as far west as the Pacific. Our hold upon Oregon was thus much strengthened.

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