By the 1790s, Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power in France and was determined to establish a new empire in the Americas, with the Louisiana territory as the focal point (he would later reign over continental Europe in the coming years). However, a few factors stymied his dream: the slave revolt in Haiti overthrew the French government there (it was the only successful slave revolt in history to overthrow a government), imminent war with Britain, the possibility of a British naval blockade, and general financial difficulties. As a result of these factors, Napoleon decided to sell the territory to the United States. Thomas Jefferson, who was president at the time, feared a French presence in the areas west of the Mississippi River would conflict with his dream of expanding American territory. His French representative in France was understandably surprised to learn that Napoleon wanted to sell the territory. The sale doubled the size of the United States.