The acquisition of the Louisiana territory by Thomas Jefferson from the French in 1803, was too good a deal to pass up. Primarily interested in the strategic port city of New Orleans, and unrestricted use of the Mississippi River for trade, when offered the entirety of the territory by Napoleon, Jefferson saw an opportunity for the expansion of his “empire of liberty”. However, this treaty, made official on July 4th, 1803, which would give to the United States 828,000 square miles of new land, and cost 15 million dollars (almost doubling the federal spending of that year), would push the boundaries of the constitution. Given only six months to ratify the treaty, Jefferson knew that it would be impossible to pass an amendment to the Constitution in time, that would allow the purchase. He himself remarked, “The ge...
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Jefferson, Thomas. Library of Congress, "Thomas Jefferson to James Madison." Last modified April 09, 1809. Accessed April 11, 2014. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/149.html.
Joy, Mark S. American Expansionism 1783-1860. London: Pearson Longman, 2003.
Kiernan, Ben. Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. Harrisonburg, VA: Yale University Press, 2007.
Lewis, James E. The Louisiana Purchase: Jefferson's Noble Bargain?. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003.
Thornton, Russell. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492. The University of Oklahoma Press, 1990.
Watson, David K. Jefferson and Imperialism: Democratic Expansion. From Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana the Democratic administrations have favored expansion. Milwaukee, WI: Allied Printing, 1900.
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