Selling sovereignty

Aside from the Louisiana Purchase and the sale of Alaska by Russia, have there been any other purchases of sovereign land?

(I disregard transactions such as the purchase of Manhattan, which was more exploitation than a fair deal).

If you’re referring to the United States, there are two or three other examples of cash purchases from sovereign nations the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 by far the largest. However, there were also several cessions of land which may or may not qualify depending on how you want to define your question.

This wikipedia page on territorial acquisitions has a complete list.

And the purchase of Manhattan may have been exploitation, but probably the other way than you think. The Indians took goods (not money) for land that they did not consider themselves the owners of, in order to make an alliance with the Dutch. So who was exploiting whom? :slight_smile:

Anyway, see Russell Shorto’s The Island at the Center of the World for a full account that should finally beat this lunatic urban legend into the ground.

Exploitation by the Canarsee, at least, who didn’t actually live on Manhattan when they “sold” it.

But if you’re looking for purchases that transferred soveignty other than deals made with Indian tribes, There were two other big ones in the US. There was the Treaty of Guadaloupe-Hidalgo, where Mexico gave up the American Southwest and West in exchange for $15 million in cash and a $3.25 million asusmption of loans.

There was also the Gadsen Purchase, where the US bought southern Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico in exchange for $10 million.

Thanks for the link. I was only vaguely aware of US territorial expansion.

And sorry to get sidetracked on ym own thread, but how did Haiti miss out?

Any other countries where there was a similar expansion by acquistion?

How did Haiti miss out on what? It became independent from France in 1804, so it was never anybody’s to sell. We do have a dispute with Haiti over this small unoccupied island off the Hatiian coast.

If your date is correct, it became independent at almost the same time as the Louisiana Purchase. Why wasn’t it part of the deal? Hard to imagine the US government of the time wouldn’t want a sea base out that way.

Well Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory were ceded by the Hudson’s bay company to Canada back in 1870.

Both made with a gun at Mexico’s head.

Haiti became independent due to a slave revolt. France didn’t have possession of Haiti to sell it. If the US wanted it we would have had to invade and annex it ourselves.

The US acquisition of Mexico’s northern territories was certainly done at the point of a gun, but the Louisiana purchase was too, although not blatantly. Napoleon could see that it would be nearly impossible to prevent the United States from eventually overrunning the Louisiana territory, so he sold it before any such dispute arose.

Most territorial accquisitions are hybrids…there is usually a war first before the territory is annexed, but the threat of war, or the eventual threat of war, is sometimes enough.

Not Gadsden. Santa Anna wanted the money and was a willing seller.

Earlier thread on the same topic, from Jinx no less. Even though no one was able to come up with a clear-cut non-American example in that thread, I’m pretty sure there were some cases, back when the European powers were trading bits and pieces of Italy like Pokemon cards. (“Eh bien, mon prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now mere family estates of the Bonapartes!”) I don’t know enough to cite an exact example, though.

It was far from that simple. Mexico had learned a decade prior what happens when you say no to Uncle Sam.

And Mexico had stolen all that land fair and square from the Indians.

You must be thinking of los españoles y la iglesia catòlica. The history of land tenency in Mèxico is far different than that of the US.

Or, in this case, what happens when you say yes. The Gadsden Purchase was one of the things that contributed to the Ayutla Plan, and got Santa Anna deposed again. But I don’t think that you can consider Gadsden in the same light as Guadalupe-Hidalgo. Santa Anna sold the land willingly (and took a lot of the money for his personal use). It wasn’t like Guadalupe-Hidalgo, where the Mexican government actually had no choice.

Leading up to the land grab of 1847, the US was pressuring México to sell the land they eventually stole. So how different was the Gadsden Purchase? If México (Santa Anna) had said no, what would have been the US reaction?

Plus, Gadsden had threatened Santa Anna with either an outright military takeover of the territory or covert funding of his political rivals. Santa Anna, justifiably vilified here for this and many other transgressions, was in a no win situation.

They didn’t steal it. They won it in the war. And the war was as much Mexico’s fault as it was the US, because Mexico repudated the Treaty of Velasco.


Moderator blows whistle!!!

If youse guys want to debate the issue, then start your own thread in Great Debates.

If you can’t stick to answering a general question with factual answers, then stifle yourselves.

Moderator out

Consider myself stifled.

CBEscapee, would you do me the honor of starting a thread on this matter in Great Debates, or should I?

"We take nothing by conquest, thank God!