Thomas Jefferson's Moral Dilemmas: The Louisiana Purchase

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The Louisiana Purchase posed several significant moral dilemmas for President Thomas Jefferson, among these were that he did not plan on expanding the country, he wanted the country to be agrarian instead of industrial, and was a strict constructionist.
Firstly, President Jefferson when he entered the presidential office, he received most of his support from the South and from the western frontier (www.sparknotes.com), he did not have any plans on expanding the United States. However, with France leaving the land of Louisiana unoccupied, he saw this as an opportunity that he couldn’t let slip from his finger. And also that President Jefferson wanted the Territory of Louisiana because he had heard of Napoleon wanting the Territory to make an …show more content…

Jefferson desired that the country be agricultural. Jefferson hated cities with a passion, desired to have the open land into a fertile frontier, which bred the concept of a Jeffersonian utopia that individuals to this present-day wish to retire to after long years of working. Our third President Jefferson saw this as an opportunity to further his dream of the country being agrarian, and because western farmers were shipping there products through the city. Jefferson, who being brought up as a farmer he believed that this expansion of the country will help them as well as further prove that farmers was the backbone of the country. Jeffersonian Democrats welcomed opportunities for the territorial expansion of the United States because it would produce new farm lands for yeomen farmers as well as facilitate western Indian integration into American society (www.boundless.com). Jefferson who was so enthralled with the land he sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the land and record their findings on the Territory. While on their journey the two men encountered a woman named Sacajawea who assisted the men in going through the new land. Both men travelled nearly 3,000 miles in two and a half years with a collection of vegetation. The purchase of the Louisiana Territory had given the additional 828,000 …show more content…

Because nowhere in the constitution does it state that a President had the right to expand the boundaries of the nation (www.shmoop.com). This had quickly became an issue for Jefferson, who followed the constitution in its entirety. But Jefferson who wanted the Territory desperately went through with his plan even in the midst of a debate that it was unconstitutional from others. Jefferson disregarded his fellow politicians who disagreed with his choice and argued by stating “Laws of Necessity” which can be defined as everything that is necessary to preserve a nation is only illegal if it is not done to preserve the nation (www.123helpme.com). He also tried to amend the constitution and submit a draft that would make his actions legal and foolproof. Unfortunately, Jefferson’s fellow Republicans persuaded him not to go through with his draft of the amendment. They feared it will take too long and cause the French to change their minds of worse Napoleon wanting to continue his plans and make an empire in the

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