The Louisiana Purchase (1803)
On December 20, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was finalized, which resulted in the transfer of power over the territory from France to the United States. The Louisiana Purchase (1803) served as the catalyst for Westward Expansion in American society. Furthermore, it was an examination of conscience for President Thomas Jefferson, as he grappled with the constitutionality of an acquisition of this magnitude. In addition to this, the Louisiana Purchase (1803) transformed America into the industrial and agricultural giant it has become. Had it not been for the Louisiana Purchase (1803), America as we know it today would not exist.
Foundation of Louisiana Purchase
The foundation for the Louisiana Purchase (1803) was primarily laid when President Thomas Jefferson appointed Robert Livingston as ambassador to France. Livingston’s chief purpose was to decipher France’s plans for the Louisiana Territory, which Spain had ceded back to them. American and France both had their own visions of what they could accomplish as countries with ownership of the Louisiana Territory. For America, the acquisition of this territory meant securing trade routes at the port of New Orleans, in addition to doubling the size of the United States of America for Westward Expansion. These objectives are reiterated in the article “Louisiana Purchase” from the Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History” which claims, “President Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) realized that this French acquisition challenged U.S. trade and presented a stumbling block to the United States, should it ever choose to expand its current borders westward” (1999). This excerpt demonstrates how the transfer of power from Spain to France would potentially harm th...
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...“Jefferson’s Great Gamble” also acknowledges how intense the juncture at which Bonaparte realized he had failed in his aspirations was. Additionally, it divulges how the negotiations extended beyond the scope of America’s request for New Orleans and the Florida’s to secure trade routes. Ultimately, this segment from this piece proves that Bonaparte wasn’t in a position to view this region as an investment any longer. The article “Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase” also tackles the subject of Bonaparte’s failure by recognizing his defeat, and reveals how factors ranging from disease to the impending conflict with Britain resulted in the demise of Bonaparte’s plan for an empire in the Americas. Furthermore, it reflects on how fear and failure stonewalled Bonaparte into transferring ownership of Louisiana in its wholeness to the United States.
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