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Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and ChildrenCobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children September 2015

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Issues


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editor’s note

More than 200 years ago, the United States made a deal with France that resulted in doubling the size of our country. Americans call it the Louisiana Purchase, and it had a dramatic impact on our nation’s history. But there’s a lot more to the story of Louisiana, and that deeper story includes France, Spain, Great Britain, the United States, and the future Republic of Haiti. It also includes explorers, kings, slaves, and frontiersmen. Throw in some secret negotiations, and you’ll have a whole new perspective on what the Louisiana Purchase entailed! Editor…

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the louisiana purchase at a glance

Spanish explorers were the first to travel through present-day Louisiana and across the Mississippi River in the early 1500s, but French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was the first European to claim the area for his country in 1682. The Louisiana Purchase involved more than 827,000 square miles, or 530,000,000 acres of land. On June 4, 1812, the Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory to avoid confusion after Louisiana was admitted to the Union as the 18th state on April 30, 1812. The original deal proposed by President Thomas Jefferson was $10 million for just New Orleans and all or parts of East and West Florida because the United States needed access to coastal areas for shipping and trading. French leader Napoleon Bonaparte offered to sell all of Louisiana to the…

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france’s footprint

Motivated by curiosity, a sense of adventure, and a desire to find riches, early European explorers sailed westward across the Atlantic Ocean. Their journeys made the first connections between Europe and North America, and they have shaped the history of the United States. The story of the Louisiana Purchase begins with French explorer Jacques Cartier. Like many of the first explorers to reach the Americas, Cartier was searching for a sea route to China. The demand in Europe for spices and silk from the Far East had created a profitable trade, but the eastern land route was difficult, risky, and expensive. Hoping to find a westward all-sea route, Cartier set sail and reached the mouth of the present-day St. Lawrence River in 1534. Landing on what is now the Gaspe Peninsula,…

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la salle sets sail

Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was just 23 years old when he left France in 1667 to find adventure and opportunities in France’s colony of Canada. For the first couple of years after he arrived, he seemed content to be a thriving landholder and fur trader. He ventured out among the neighboring Native American tribes. He learned their languages and traded furs with them. La Salle could have lived the rest of his life as a prosperous trader. But his restless spirit and explorer’s curiosity tugged at him. He listened to the Native Americans’ stories of great rivers called the Ohio and the Misi-Sepe (Mississippi). One of the stories claimed that the river eventually emptied into a sea. La Salle wondered if that river was the water passage to…

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what if?

As soon as Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, landed in Canada in 1667, he stepped into controversy. Some influential colonists were arguing that France’s power in the Americas should be increased through conquest and trade. Others believed that further expansion was foolish. They felt that New France already was too large to be supported properly. La Salle believed that France should expand and defend its claims. After sailing the length of the Mississippi River in 1682, he sailed to France in 1683 to ask King Louis XIV to support a plan to build forts along the river. Around that time, Spain declared war on France, primarily over conflicts in Europe. The king agreed to back La Salle, but he also ordered La Salle to investigate Spain’s defenses along the Gulf…

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a war for empire

France and England had a history of conflict with each other. They had fought a series of wars in Europe, North America, Africa, India, and other parts of the world. By the mid-1700s, the two nations were locked in a winner-take-all struggle for control of the North American continent. Known as the French and Indian War (1754–1763), its outcome had far-reaching global consequences. Imagine the year 1750. Picture yourself as a Native American living around the Great Lakes. The French colonists who have settled in Canada generally have proven to be good friends and allies. You provide them with the pelts of the animals you trap, and the French offer you manufactured cloth and supplies. But you distrust the increasing numbers of British settlers who are trickling across the mountains from…