Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase

Jefferson’s intentions for the country depended upon western extension and admittance to foreign exchanges for American farm commodities. This idea was endangered, but, when France reacquired control of Louisiana; Napoleon, who had now succeeded to power in the French Revolution, threatened to obstruct American passage to the major port of New Orleans on the Mississippi River. New American establishments west of the Appalachian Mountains depended upon river transportation to get their assets to market because the overland barter to the east was costly and unrealistic.

Barring American passage to New Orleans was such a critical peril to American affairs that President Jefferson contemplated replacing his traditional international policy position to an anti-French association with the British. At the same time that he assigned ambassadors to France to negotiate for continued commerce passage by the Mississippi, he also assigned ambassadors to Britain to try other policy options. James Monroe, the best negotiator in Paris, was allowed to buy New Orleans and West Florida for within two and ten million dollars.

Shockingly, though, Napoleon granted a lot extra. His militarily was failing and he desperately needed money to further his fight against Britain. Understanding full well that he could not compel Americans out of the land France occupied in North America, Napoleon allowed all of the Louisiana territory to the U.S. for 15 million dollars. The extensive territory ranged from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. It also doubled the area of the U.S. Napoleon’s asking value was about four cents per acre.

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The deal happened in April 1803, however it produced a fair amount of dispute. While American construction in the early 1800s depended on expanding westward, it also increased contentious problems that could lead to the separation of the U.S. A couple New England Federalists, for instance, started to speak of leaving from the U.S. since their political influence was heavily lessened by the Lousiana purchase. The Louisiana Purchase displays Jefferson’s experience to make practical administrative decisions.

Though opposite to a few of his fundamental beliefs, ensuring western development was so significant to Jefferson’s total concept that he exercised definite progress. The accumulations were touching because the territory gained would give thirteen new states to the union. In 1812, Louisiana became the leading state to enter the union from property obtained in the purchase. Louisiana was permitted to enter the U.S. with its French legal traditions mainly in place. Even today, Louisiana’s judicial system maintains many parts that do not match common law customs.

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Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase. (2021, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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