Louisiana Purchase Thomas Jefferson Analysis

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With Enlightenment ideals circulating the expanding media, a first peaceful, then violent, revolution took place in France in which the growing bourgeois, or middle class, displaced the aristocracy. From the conflict rose an aggressive and militarily brilliant leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, whose nationalism fueled army conquered much of Europe, creating a massive dictatorship. Inspired by the revolution, French colonies, most notably Haiti, began to rebel and drive for their own independence and homeland sovereignty. Embroiled with the revolutions as well as the costly and monotonous war in Europe, the strategic Bonaparte abandoned his vision of a French overseas empire on the North American continent by selling the massive Louisiana territory …show more content…

In the past, Jefferson had a strict and literal interpretation of the constitution, unlike his rival, Alexander Hamilton of the Federalist Party. Hamilton used the elastic clause of the constitution to justify his pushes for a national bank, a backing scorned by Jefferson. However, in 1803 when Bonaparte proposed his price for the massive trek of land, including the critical Mississippi river and New Orleans port, Jefferson called upon this elastic clause in his validation of the constitutionality of the purchase. Nowhere in the constitution did it permit the president to make land purchases, but Jefferson argued that the addition of the land was “necessary and proper” to the democracy, thus permitted by the elastic clause. Jefferson’s change in doctrine reflected a turning point in views of the Jeffersonian party, moving towards a stronger and more centralized federal …show more content…

The new land gave settlers an opportunity to move even further westward in search abundant, cheap and fertile land. With the promise of new states entering the Union and more farmland, the Louisiana Purchase supported the Jeffersonian vision of America as an agrarian democracy. Since most of the support for the Jeffersonian Party drew from states that relied heavily on agriculture, the expansion promised more support politically for the anti-federalists. After the purchase, Jefferson sent a group of men, led by Merriweather Lewis and William Clark, to explore the acquired territory. Through their travels from Missouri to Oregon, they made maps, scientific discoveries and encountered various Indian tribes, such as the Blackfoot. Land expansion and exploration changed the United States in its physical attributes as well as

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