The Louisiana Purchase posed several significant moral dilemmas for President Thomas Jefferson, but violating his strict constructionist view of the Constitution was one of the many dilemmas faced over the Purchase from France that occurred on numerous occasions. Jefferson believed if a power couldn’t be found in the Constitution it didn’t exist and reverted to the interest of the states. According to the Constitution, there is no power granting the President to make land investments or expend funds. President Jefferson also disagreed with Alexander Hamilton’s loose interpretation of the presidential powers found in the Constitution and the creation of the National Bank. American farmers and tradesmen used the port of New Orleans to ship their
The question, however, still remains, was the Louisiana Purchase a necessity for the young growing nation, or was the purchase an unconstitutional act done by President Thomas Jefferson himself? At the end of the French and the Indian War France had given up its claims to lands west of the Mississippi to Spain. However, when Napoleon came to power he took back the Louisiana lands from Spain. The news of this transaction reached the United States government. This alarmed the president and the rest of the republicans, for they feared the French control of the western lands.
Jefferson, the American ambassadors, had to convince them that the purchase was a wise decision. The president, Thomas Jefferson was the main problem facing the completion of the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson was a very strict constructionist; he believed that the government would only do things specifically named in the Constitution. “The Constitution did not give the U.S government the right to accept a land purchase. President Jefferson knew that there was not enough time to write an amendment to the Constitution to allow him to make the Louisiana Purchase, but he also knew he would be a fool to pass up the opportunity to gain so much land for so little money” (McGill, Sara Ann.
"Maybe we ought to consider a Golden Rule in foreign policy: Don 't do to other nations what we don 't want happening to us. We endlessly bomb these countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us(Ron Paul)?" Most notably, Between the years 1776 and 1865, the United States interactions and relations with other countries poorly evolved. The Monroe Doctrine can be described as the first declaration created by the new nation 's government. The doctrines primary objective was to warn the English that the United States would handle all affairs in the Western Hemisphere, without their influence.
As President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was not looking at the criticism he would face, but the broader picture of how the new territory would positively affect the country. With both historians providing a sufficient amount of facts to base their arguments on, my final opinion is that President Jefferson did indeed abandon some of his political beliefs in purchasing Louisiana, but I believe that he did it so in order to better America as a growing country.
Jefferson proved his hypocrisy through his changing interpretation of the Constitution and his policies regarding the Louisiana Purchase did not cohere with his previously strict views. Although Jefferson did not originally agree with presidents having power to expand the nation by purchasing land, he did end up expanding west with the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. The Purchase showed Jefferson at his most hypocritical. Bothered by the extra Constitutional nature of what he had done, he considered authorizing an amendment until Treasury secretary Albert Gallatin and others persuaded him that the power to acquire territory was implied by the power to make treaties (Kauffman). Because the Constitution does not allow the president the power to purchase foreign territory, Jefferson initially recommended that the administration propose a constitutional amendment that would allow him to obtain Louisiana while still maintaining his strict constructionist principles (Kauffman).
France controlled this territory from 1699 until 1762, the year it gave the territory to its ally Spain. In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte took France back from Spain in hopes of building a great empire. However, a series of accidental events caused France to sell the entire territory to the United States, which had originally intended only to seek the purchase of New Orleans and its adjacent lands. There were a lot of small events that caused this Louisiana Purchase, including an impending war with Britain, but the main one was the slave revolt in Haiti. Jefferson did not want to purchase Louisiana from France because that would imply that France had the right to be in Louisiana.
Whether to Fight France or England That the United States was in a time of disrupted trade, economic distress and shaky foreign alliances, demonstrates that war with either France or England was inevitable, however, the United States was able to detain the war from happening for about twelve years. Relations between the United States and Great Britain had been strained after the United States won its independence in 1783, but the greatest problems developed during the war between England and France that broke out in 1793. To prevent American neutral shipping from helping the French, the British instituted extensive marine blockades of European ports. The resulting seizures of American merchant shipping quickly brought demands for retaliation in the United States. From 1794 on, however, tensions eased as the administrations of George Washington and John Adams worked to avoid diplomatic difficulties with the British.
When he arrived, French supporters went crazy. Genêt saw this and decided to use his new popularity and influence to act on his radical beliefs. He attempted to gather troops to launch an attack on Spanish Florida and pay fleets of privateers to cripple British commerce. These actions violated Washington’s promise to remain "friendly and impartial toward the belligerent powers" which was the basis of his Neutrality Proclamation. Washington devised this treaty, which excluded the United States from the French Revolutionary Wars because America was still relatively young and unprepared for involvement in such international conflict.
The strict constructionist, like Jefferson, believed that if something in the Constitution was not described then it was unconstitutional. They also feared the abuse of power obtainable by the central government by a broad interpretation of the Constitution. Since 1493, France and Spain alternately held the Louisiana Territory. Towards the end of the 18th century the jurisdiction of ... ... middle of paper ... ...ice during his presidency. The Louisiana Purchase effectively broadened presidential power and put more authority into the hands of the central government.