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A New Nation
(1776-1830)

The Louisiana Purchase



The Louisiana Purchase
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.78

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    tussle, reclaim, agriculture, tract, military, crossing, territorial, outstanding, happening, finance, newly, expanse, original, region, mass, government
     content words:    Uncle George, Uncle Joe, Uncle John, North American, United States, Appalachian Mountains, Native Americans, Atlantic Ocean, Revolutionary War, Mississippi River


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The Louisiana Purchase
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Let's imagine that you are at a family reunion. While you are looking over all the desserts on the dessert table, your Uncle George comes over and cuts the best looking cake in half and takes it to his seat. When your Uncle Joe and Uncle John see what is happening, they run over and wrestle over who gets the remaining half. They have quite a tussle, and each one ends up with about half of the half. You can hardly believe your eyes. The cake is gone, and you didn't even have a bite. Believe it or not, that is pretty much how the newly discovered North American continent was divided up.
 
2     Columbus discovered that there was a huge mass of land blocking his passage to China. France, Spain, and England all decided to send explorers and settlers to the new land. The Spanish stayed in the southern portion of the continent in what we now call Mexico, Florida, Texas, and California. The French stayed in the north in what is now Canada and the northern sections of the United States. The British took over the coastal region on the Atlantic. There were battles fought among the three nations over land claims and territorial boundaries.
 
3     As more settlers came to the new world, more space was needed for them to live. The original thirteen colonies began to expand westward. There was an obstacle which kept the settlers from going too far to the west. There is a chain of mountains which runs from the northern colonies to Georgia in the south. These mountains all together are called the Appalachian Mountains. The early British settlers pushed the Native Americans who had lived on the coast over the mountains. The colonists were satisfied with living on the land between these mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

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