The Louisiana Purchase was the most important event of President Thomas Jefferson's first Administration. In this transaction, the United States bought 827,987 square miles of land from France for about $15 million. This vast area lay between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Border. The purchase of this land greatly increased the economic resources of the United States, and cemented the union of the Middle West and the East. Eventually all or parts of 15 states were formed out of the region.
The Louisiana Purchase was done in the year 1803. In this purchase the United States of America paid fifteen million dollars to get all the land west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains. This transaction was done between Thomas Jefferson and the great Napoleon. The benefits that the United States of America experienced from this purchase were numerous. For one, it gave the U.S. complete control of the Mississippi, which in tern helped many farmers with transporting goods.
I believe strongly, as do many historians, that there is several direct links to the Louisiana Purchase in regards to extremely important aspects of American history and evolution of the country. Some of these links include the expeditions of Louis and Clark, increase in the countries resources, a more economically stable country, African American relationships, and slavery. The Louisiana Purchase had such a major impact on America, that if the acquisition had never occurred, it would be near impossible to speculate what American culture, society, and life would be like today.
After Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which had doubled the United States’ size, Americans explored this huge territory in limited numbers. Then the fever of expansion swept through country; Americans believed that their movement westward and southward was destined and ordained by God. Also, the economic factors influenced the country taking in part in Manifest Destiny. In this period of time, Americans were thirst for the land. Americans wanted to claim land for farming and land speculation because it was an important step toward prosperity.
These expansions began to develop the West through strategic trading routes and ever growing demand ultimately leading to an Industrial Revolution. When you add the technological and economic advantage to the western world that was already a great power, you get the beginnings of a superpower. They had the resources to take advantage of current technology, but they needed new markets to export these goods. This gave them the motivation to expand further in India. Sparking off the invention of machines for mass production in the fields of textile, metallurgy, steam power and agriculture.
The spread of American institutions was a major cause of western expansion in the United States. According to editor of the New York Sun (Document H), American expansion will lead to the spread of the American ideals of democracy, liberty, and republicanism to the West and the “Mexican race”. The spread of democracy and American ideals was commonly used as a Casus Belli, that is a cause of or “excuse” for war, for past and future wars. This is clearly reminiscent of the War Hawks call to invade Canada. This also served as the first case of it being used for American imperialism which the Mexican-American War is the first act of.
Geography is an incredibly important part of the development of all countries. Geography, however is a very broad topic; it includes several things such as climate, physical features, size, and natural resources. Often times, events in history are caused or affected by these factors. They can, even further, cause lasting economic, social, and even political effects. Two examples of this is in America are, the devastating, hurricane Katrina, and the Louisiana Purchase.
After the 7 Year’s War Spain regained Louisiana. During this time, the port city of New Orleans grew to become a major trade center in North America. Through Pinckney’s Treaty in 1795, the United States gained permission to use New Orleans for trade as well as navigate the Mississppi River, which was crucial to westward expansion. By the year 1800, America’s South and frontier fairly depended on the use of New Orleans for successful trade. Changes came about with The Treaty of San Idelfonso in 1800, in which Spain transferred the Louisiana Territory back to France.
The Transcontinental railroad could be defined as the most monumental change in America in the 19th century. The railroad played a significant role in westward expansion and on the growth and development of the American economy (Gillon p.653). However, the construction of the transcontinental railroad may not have occurred if not for the generous support of the federal government. The federal government provided land grants and financial subsidies to railroad companies to ensure the construction. The transcontinental railroad contributed to the formation of industry and the market economy in America and forever altered the American lifestyle.
American expansionism in the late 19th century and early 20th century was a continuation of past expansionism, as the united states probed their cultural influence on different lands. America has not only taken the label of an expansionist country, but an robust imperialist one as well. As the United States began to acquire a colonial empire however, it became apparent that the allegedly noble social motives of Manifest Destiny and the spread of liberty merely served to justify the true secular intentions beneath imperialism: a desire for commercial gain and international power. Thus, the expansionism of the united states ultimately a pursuit of these essential self-serving needs that powered American imperialism in to new realms and catapulted the nation to a position of dominance, as they took over worldwide power.