Manifest Destiny was the idea that the United States was destined to constantly expand westward to spread civilization and democracy no matter the hurdles. Yet despite its name, expansion was not always the US’s destiny, and it could have easily been hampered or outright stopped if a nation was strong and willing enough to keep its borders intact. The most famous of all of America’s expansions, however, was it’s first: the Louisiana Purchase. This purchase from France doubled the size of the fledgling republic and originally it was not even meant to be purchased; New Orleans was meant to be bought. However, what if Napoleon was feeling far more confident and stubborn, and kept his hopes alive for a colonial empire? What if the Louisiana Purchase never happened?
Initial Point of Divergence
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sends US Ambassador Robert Livingston to France in order to purchase the city of New Orleans to secure American access to the Mississippi River which was denied many times before by the previous Spanish owners. At this time, while Napoleon was apprehensive about the stability of his American colony of Louisiana, he maintained the belief that his army could hold the territory even in the event of a British invasion via a stronghold around New Orleans.
Once Livingston and James Monroe arrive to negotiate for the purchase of the city with an offer of up to 10 million dollars Napoleon eventually tells his Treasury Minister that he wouldn't be willing to give an inch of Louisianan land to the Americans, rejecting their offer. The two diplomats are forced to return to the US empty-handed, unable to convince Napoleon and his minister to sell the city. While the United States would remain able to use the port under French hands, there was no guarantee that it would remain that way. Without New Orleans, some expansionist congressmen called for war against France for secure the port by force but for now they were largely ignored. With the rising tensions between the United Kingdom and the United States, however, it was clear that these expansionist sentiments may finally culminate in the incoming years.
Subsequent Points of Divergence
While the failed purchase of Louisiana is the initial set off for the rest of the timeline, there are a few others that follow the initial breakaway point from OTL that impact the timeline and deviate it further (divergent events caused by the initial PoD are not included). These include:
- The personal union of Norway-Sweden remains in place and evolves into a mutually beneficial and equal federation between the shared monarchy.