The Louisiana Purchase was a remarkable achievement and turning point for the United States. When President Jefferson purchased the territory he was taking a great risk as the venture went against his Anti-Federalist view points and was opposed by Congress. However, by purchasing the territory from Napoleon Bonaparte in one stroke Jefferson doubled the size of the US and eradicated the French presence in North America. With so much new land in the hands of the United States this meant that there were more port cities for trading thus enhancing the economy. The Louisiana Purchase was also a catalyst for the growing mindset of Manifest Destiny in America after Jefferson created the Corps of Discovery headed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to chart out the land.
Up until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 most of the land acquired by the United States had been through war and diplomacy. Yet, the Louisiana Purchase was a result of a slave rebellion in Saint Domingue when Napoleon’s forces were defeated after an attempt to reconquer the island. Saint Domingue was controlled by the French and had the largest slave population in the Caribbean with half a million enslaved Africans. The need for such a high slave labor population was due to the islands large coffee and sugar industry which was traded throughout the world. When minor slave revolts began to break out French forces were convinced they would be able to end the uprising as they had dealt with similar incidents in the past and in 1802 Napoleon sent 35,000 soldiers to Saint Domingue in an attempt to reclaim the island. However, French failed and the slaves claimed the island, removed French forces and renamed the island to Haiti. In turn removing French control of North Ame...
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...een the heads of the Missouri, and of the water offering the best communication with the Pacific ocean, should also be fixed by observation; and the course of that water to the ocean, in the same manner as that of the Missouri. Your observations are to be taken with great pains and accuracy; to be entered distinctly and intelligibly for others as well as yourself…” (Jefferson 1803, Digital History) The mission to explore and chart the West was vital for Jefferson because it not only would expand the economy of America but feed into his hopes for an agrarian American society. With new land that would hopefully be habitable not only for man but for farmers as well would allow for the growth of farming. While Jefferson’s ideal agrarian society was never created nor did the rivers lead to the Pacific Ocean Lewis and Clark’s mission and discovery were still revolutionary.
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