The Louisiana Purchase

A Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia

by Junius P. Rodriguez


Not simply a diplomatic maneuver or a steal of a land deal, the Louisiana Purchase was a seminal event in the nation's history. Acquiring this uncharted wilderness would ultimately define America as a continental power and lead the new republic to events with consequences that have resonated throughout our national history.

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June 2002


Pages 513
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics American History/General
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    Hardcover: £67.00/73,00€/A$112.00

Published in celebration of the Purchase's bicentennial, this resource offers a multifaceted view of a watershed American event.

In one easy-access resource, The Louisiana Purchase brings together the work of over 100 experts covering historical figures, relevant legal and historical concepts, states that formed in the new territory, frontier outposts, and the Native Americans uprooted by expansion westward. The book examines every aspect and consequence of Thomas Jefferson's momentous transaction: the largest real estate deal in American history.

Readers will learn how the purchase made Manifest Destiny really seem like destiny; how it sparked the rise of America's urban industrial society and inflamed passions over the expansion of slavery; and how it triggered tragic conflicts between the government and Native Americans as well as immeasurable environmental damage. Ideal for students, historians, and public and private libraries, the Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference ever compiled on an event so central to the American experience that it seems to lie at the heart of everything triumphant and tragic in our history.


  • 300 signed, A–Z essays, accompanied by an introduction placing the Louisiana Purchase in the context of American history
  • Lavishly illustrated including line drawings, photographs such as the opening ceremonies of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase International Exposition, and key figures such as Thomas Paine and James Madison
  • 100+ contributors, including well-known experts in the field
  • Six maps, 49 pertinent historical documents, a chronology, and an extensive bibliography


  • The only comprehensive reference resource available on the Louisiana Purchase
  • Analysis of how the Louisiana Purchase became a defining moment in American history, as well as some of the negative ramifications of western expansion including depopulation of indigenous people and environmental degradation
  • Authoritatively researched, well written, and easy to use
Author Info

Junius P. Rodriguez, PhD, is associate professor of history at Eureka College, Eureka, IL. He is the author of ABC-CLIO's award-winning Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery and Chronology of World Slavery.



"[T]his encyclopedia is a timely addition to the literature on the subject. . . The timeliness of this encyclopedia and the breadth of coverage make it an important reference book. Overall, this will be an excellent resource for high-school, public, and academic libraries."Booklist

"A comprehensive historical and geographical resource on the events, personalities, and institutions connected with the Louisiana Purchase and the subsequent westward expansion of the U.S. . . . This is a meticulous, scholarly work that will undoubtedly be welcomed for its voluminous facts on the period especially during next year's bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase."School Library Journal

"[T]his large, authoritative volume offers much more than its title suggests. . . .Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries."Library Journal

"How have librarians managed without this encyclopedia, which fills not a niche but a serious (if perhaps unrecognized) lacuna in American history reference collections? . . . The impending bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition makes this an excellent purchase for all libraries."Choice

"This encyclopedia includes information about more than the Louisiana Purchase. . . it literally covers the opening of the West. . . could find a home in either reference or circulating collections. It is worthy of consideration by high school, public and undergraduate libraries."Against the Grain

"Attractive, user friendly, ably written, and well documented, this sourcebook is a recommended purchase for the reference section of high school and college libraries."American Reference Books Annual


Editors' Choice 2002 Reference Source — Booklist

Best Reference Source 2002 — Library Journal

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