The Louisiana Purchase And Thomas Jefferson's Moral Dilemma

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In my personal opinion, the moral dilemma that Jefferson faced resided in political reality. Jefferson had always advocated a very strict platform of Republican values up until this point. This position had been seen early on in his disagreements with Alexander Hamilton in President Washington's cabinet. In the election of 1800, Jefferson was able to articulate a new type of government that was filled with Republicanism. Jefferson took office and acted as if he was the epitome of Republican values. Republicans believed that the role of government needed to decrease. Jefferson tried to minimize federal control through reducing its reach and scope. He pursued a laissez- faire approach to governance in his time as President, which meant that…show more content…
He was a strong believer in states' rights and thought that rights not explicitly stated in the Constitution should be given to the states. However, in writing the Constitution, there was no way to predict that a deal such as the Louisiana Purchase would ever be possible. Therefore, the power to purchase land from another government, thereby expanding the size of the United States, was never explicitly given to the federal government. Although Thomas Jefferson realized what a deal the Louisiana Purchase was, he had lots of moral doubts about completing the…show more content…
In the act of the purchase, Jefferson was increasing the power of government. The Louisiana Purchase was an example of large government using its federal power to create action. In purchasing Louisiana, it was undecided with the other branches of government. The Legislative Branch did not negotiate with the French government and did not approve of the sale. The treaty and understanding to purchase Louisiana was pursued by the Executive Branch, an example of active government which is far from limited. It was obvious to Jefferson that there was a fundamental political dilemma in running on a platform that advocates for a lesser role in government only to increase it in the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. Jefferson now hesitated with his decision due to the political
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