Dbq Thomas Jefferson Individualism

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As president of a new country, Thomas Jefferson was forced to assert his authority and make difficult decisions he felt necessary to promote a strong and unified nation. In 1803, he made a decision that created much philosophical controversy at the time, but is said to be one of his greatest achievements as president. Though Jefferson was criticized for abandoning his strict Republican beliefs in purchasing the Louisiana territory, he did not actually desert his political ideals because he took into account his notions of individualism’s necessity to a nation, an agrarian-based society, and the Constitution’s allowance for acquiring new territory. The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States which was an essential aspect to the individualism of the country. Jefferson believed vast amounts property was critical to develop Republican citizens because with more land came more independence and responsibility. Barry Balleck says Jefferson believed people could be more easily influenced or manipulated by higher class members when large cities developed, which would soon happen if he did not expand the country. Jefferson firmly believed the decency of people …show more content…

Jefferson knew that in addition to having an abundant land supply to promote agrarianism, he would also need markets. The purchase gave the United States control of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers that guaranteed a market for farmers’ surplus products. Haley argued that when contemplating Napoleon’s offer, Jefferson had no idea what the land consisted of, rushed into making an uninformed decision, and happened to get lucky. Though Jefferson may not have known whether or not the land he was purchasing was going to be arable, he knew it was better to have control over the land than Napoleon, and it was too worthy of an opportunity to relinquish. His gamble paid off when the land proved to be ideal for the agricultural-based society Republicans dreamed

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