An Alt-Right Take On The Louisiana Purchase

Over at Slate, Robert Lee is lamenting the imperialism of the Louisiana Purchase:

“It’s a familiar chapter in our history, part of the triumphant narrative of westward expansion: In 1803, the United States bought a massive chunk of North America, and we got it for a song. Spain had ceded the Louisiana Territory to France, and Napoleon, in turn, offloaded it to American diplomats in Paris after the Haitian Revolution ruined his plans for the New World. Vaguely defined at the time as the western watershed of the Mississippi River, and later pegged at about 827,000 square miles, the acquisition nearly doubled the national domain for a mere $15 million, or roughly $309 million in today’s dollars. Divide the area by the price and you get the Louisiana Purchase’s celebrated reputation as one of the greatest real estate bargains in history. …

But the traditional narrative of the purchase glosses over a key fact. What Thomas Jefferson purchased wasn’t actually a tract of land. It was the imperial rights to that land, almost all of which was still owned, occupied, and ruled by Native Americans. The U.S. paid France $15 million for those rights. It would take more than 150 years and hundreds of lopsided treaties to extinguish Indian title to the same land. …

Even at $2.6 billion for all of it—or $8.5 billion, adjusted for inflation—the Louisiana Purchase remains an unbelievable steal. But not of the type we’ve been taught, a fleecing of the shortsighted French. To cherish the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 as one of history’s great real estate deals requires buying into a myth. The acquisition of France’s pre-emption rights in 1803 was a down payment on a continental empire that ran through Indian country. The land came cheap because of how little the United States paid the people who lived here long before the French laid claim to Mississippi’s western watershed. …”

There is a cool animated video over there showing how each parcel of land in the Louisiana Purchase was ceded and sold by various Indian tribes to the US federal government. This went on over a period of 166 years from 1804 to 1970. Lee arrives at a grand sum of $8.5 billion adjusted for inflation that was paid by the US federal government for the Louisiana Purchase. That is a fraction of the more $100 billion worth of oil that has been fracked and pumped out of North Dakota alone.

The Louisiana Purchase remains the greatest real estate bargain in history.

Note: Jared Taylor has a timely new video in which he takes on the idea that “You Stole America From the Indianas.” I’m not sure if this video is related to the Slate story, but Lee’s research documents both when and how much the Indians were paid for their land.

Hunter Wallace
the authorHunter Wallace
Hunter Wallace is the founder and editor of


  • The Indian tribes who held the land had killed a bunch of people to take it. The Americans did the same. C’est la vie.

  • A people without a compelling sense of identity, history, purpose, and unity will grow decadent, weak, confused, and purposeless. Or, to seek meaning, they will turn to radical destructive ideologies like antifa(that is disease where the the body attacks itself, like with multiple sclerosis) or crazy sub-cultures like with ugly tattoos, funny hair color, or piercing.

    So much of today’s reality is Crazism or Crazy-ism. Just look at Homomania and Trannymania. It’s no exaggeration to say American Culture is run by Crazists. Everything, cultural and intellectual, is infected with Crazism. Cold War is long over but we are to fret endlessly about RUSSIA.

    What held the Jews together in their two great Exoduses, the Ancient and Modern one?

    In both cases, the trek to the Holy Land and development of desert-wasteland into a modern nation was arduous and daunting. But why were so many Jews willing to carry the burden and make sacrifices? Why did they do all that when they could have had easier lives elsewhere? Because they thought their deeds had a purpose and meaning. Why? Because they felt a connection to the past and felt that their achievements would be passed down to their ethnic and cultural heirs. There was a sense of collective self-interest, collective shared purpose, collective destiny. Without such, the exodus wouldn’t have been possible.

    This is why capitalism works better than communism in the sphere of economics. Under capitalism, what you earn is yours and you can spend it on your family and kids. So you work with an incentive in mind.

    Under communism, despite the big talk of social justice, the state takes everything and gives you just enough to live no matter how hard you work. There is no incentive under communism. Communism does offer moral incentive in the sense of feeling noble about working for mankind. But the command economy is too cumbersome, and it soon dawns on everyone that most of the goodies are going to the New Elites who hog everything.

    But even in cases where there are no individual material rewards, a person is much more likely to be motivated if the themes and passions appeal to him in some strong specific way. This is why the Batista regime lost to Castro’s men. Batista’s men were better funded and armed, but they had no incentive to right. They saw their own leaders as pigs who served imperialist gangsters from America. They were paid to fight, as Michael Corleone said. In contrast, Castro’s men believed they were on the side of nationalism, independence, sovereignty, and anti-Yanqui-imperialism. Most of them didn’t understand fancy Marxist theory, but they understood they were fighting for Cuba whereas Batista’s men were fighting for Casino moguls.

    Same thing in Vietnam. The South Vietnamese had more men and more equipment, but no one there had any compelling theme for which to fight for. Themes are priceless. Without compelling themes, one is a mercenary, not a soldier. Among civilians, lack of compelling themes makes on a consumer, not a patriot. A mercenary, believing in nothing, will do anything for money and money alone. A consumer, believing in nothing, will do anything for money — even flood his own nation with foreigners if it leads to ‘economic growth’.

    Israelis, in contrast, made great soldiers because they’ve had a compelling reason to fight and defend Israel. They feel a connection to history and ethnicity. This rooted-ness gave them meaning in the present. And they feel that what they do now will pass down to their kids.

    So, an Israeli soldier feels that even losing his life in battle is worth it because his deeds will be in the service of his own people. Why would anyone want to die for NOTHING? Or why would anyone want to die for strangers who don’t care about him? Would Jews in Israel be willing to fight and die for Israel if there felt that Israel in 50 yrs will be overrun by Chinese, Hindus, or Muslims? Why make such sacrifice for strangers who don’t even care for your own people, culture, and history?

    When the US was founded, posterity was one of the central themes. So, when white folks went about settling the huge land with much effort and trouble, they did it with the sense that future white folks will remember them, honor them, and appreciate them. Why would anyone go through all that trouble to build something great to hand it to the children of an alien people?

    You should be handing it your own children and your own people’s children.

    But the rise of hedonism made whites forget. Rise of PC made white kids spit on graves of their own ancestors. (There is recent controversy about desecration of Jewish graves, but PC is a desecration of white heritage. And look how they are removing Confederate monuments in the South. It is sheer desecration. Sure, one can argue they fought for wrong cause, but one’s ancestors should be honored, like Japanese do at Yasukuni Shrine. After all, every people are tainted. Should Israelis spit on founders of Israel cuz they ethnically cleansed Palestinians?) With US defined by PC that infects all new arrivals, we have non-whites pissing on white graves figuratively(which could turn out to be literally. Yale is removing white symbols). So, white people are becoming demoralized, dispirited, and dissipated. If the future of the US is PC and anti-whiteness, why should whites bother to do anything? Why fight? Why make sacrifices? It all seems meaningless. Sure, the smart ones can succeed and make money and have a good life. But is that long-term vision? Some whites will be do-gooders and define their lives by doing nice things for OTHER races, but do they really think non-whites will really give a shi*? Really? They are just being taken for a ride as suckers and cuckers.

    White folks no longer have compelling themes. They either have self-loathing or hedonism. Self-loathers may feel rich in virtue-signaling, and hedonists might feel rich in having fun stuff. But it’s not wealth with meaning that really arises from blend of past and future.

    Real meaning comes from doing things in the present in honor of those in the past with the conviction that your own people in the future will remember and honor you and your deeds.

    That sense is what needs to be revived among whites. But globalists forbid it… even as they push it for Israel.


    • Thank you, so much, for explaining, in an intellectual way,that “whiteness” has become a curse, in and of itself, to so many.

  • The Louisiana Purchase was a mistake, but not because it brought injuns into the US. It was a mistake because it brought FRENCH CATHOLICS into the US, which had previously been exclusively WASP.

  • Interesting that Slate asserts that the “land…was still owned, occupied, and ruled by Native Americans.” Of course the exact same thing could be said about the territories ceded by Mexico after their failed invasion of the United States, but that wouldn’t fit the narrative that the U.S. “stole” those lands from Mexico.

Leave a Reply