Background Behind The Louisiana Purchase

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The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was a large expansion to the United States. With the country nearly doubled in size, the Louisiana Purchase brought up many debates on constitutionality, questions of what was in the new land, as well as questions about the existence of slavery within the newly acquired land. The look of the United States changed forever with this large amount of land, both geographically and politically. The Louisiana Territory was originally claimed for France by the explorer Rene- Robert Cavelier La Salle in 1682 (Nelson). French King Louis XV gave the territory to his cousin Charles III of Spain in 1762 after the defeat of the French in the French and Indian War. This transition was to ensure that the British would not…show more content…
The background behind the Louisiana Purchase stems back to one of the key points of the Jeffersonians. The Jeffersonians longed for pro-French foreign policy during the debates on how the United States Constitution should be perceived. In 1789 George Washington became the first president of the United States, and one of the four members in his cabinet is none other than Thomas Jefferson, to whom was appointed as Secretary of State. Jefferson favored a strict interpretation of the United States Constitution, and the Louisiana Purchase treaty was a target of Federalist legislators in 1803 (Carson). Eight months before the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, came the issue of judicial review during the case of Marbury v. Madison (Theriault 294). William Marbury sued the federal government for commission as a judge, which was held by the current Secretary of State James Madison. Chief Justice John Marshall dismisses the lawsuit, and Marshall rules the Judiciary Act of 1801 as unconstitutional. As a result of Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court determines constitutionality. The addition of new territory was not formally stated in the United States Constitution, and the members during the eighth session of Congress thought that it would disrupt the balance of power in favor of the Southern and Western states
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