History : Jefferson 's Dilemma

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Lesli Neyland
History 1301
Jefferson’s Dilemma

On December 20, 1803, America as colonists knew it would forever be changed in an event that would be remembered in history for framing the way we acquire lands in America through our constitution. The Louisiana Purchase was the first real eye-opener to Americans on how our constitution should be interpreted. Thomas Jefferson, the president at the time, had to make an executive decision that would change lives greatly, whether the outcome good or bad. Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the constitution, but in order to make this deal he was going to have to stretch his beliefs a substantial amount. The other people who believe that the constitution should be followed down to the last comma no matter the circumstances, did not see eye to eye with Jefferson’s decision. I am on Jefferson’s side of the debate and believe that his decision was for the greater good of the American people.
Thomas Jefferson already had intentions on buying New Orleans from France because it was one of the most important shipping ports and it was also located at the mouth of the Mississippi. The United States was worried that if France kept hold of New Orleans they would soon dominate the river ports and seek access to the Gulf of Mexico. Jefferson stated that “The day that France takes possession of New Orleans…we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation.” He did not think that they could hold up against France if they
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