ABOUT THIS BOOK
Bringing together the work of prominent scholars and rising stars in southern, western, and Indian history, A Whole Country in Commotion explores lesser-known aspects of one of the better-known episodes in U.S. history. While the purchase has been seen as a great boon for the United States, doubling the size of the new nation and securing American navigation on the Mississippi River, it also brought turmoil to many. Looking past the triumphal aspects of the purchase, this book examines the “negotiations among peoples, nations and empires that preceded and followed the actual transfer of territory.” Its nine essays highlight the “commotion” the purchase stirred up—among nations, among Louisiana residents and newcomers, even among those who remained east of the Mississippi. Many of these essays look at the portion of the Louisiana territory that would become Arkansas to illustrate the profound impact of the purchase on the diverse populations of the American Southwest. Others explore the woeful commotion brought to many thousands of lives as Jefferson’s “noble bargain” set the stage for the forced migration of native and African Americans from the east to the west of the Mississippi.