Impact of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition

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The year of 1803 significantly changed our nation eternally. It stunned many people. In no way, shape or form, did we ever believe that our nation would expand so rapidly. What started with the small purchase of New Orleans led into the substantial purchase of the Louisiana Territory. This was a purchase that will make Thomas Jefferson a man to be remembered. Although, he wasn’t the only man who impacted the United States during this time period. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are the two men that are greatly known for their expedition across the Louisiana Territory. These two subjects, the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, altered our nation immeasurably. The Louisiana Purchase came as a surprise that neither …show more content…
New American settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains depended on river transportation to transport their goods because overland trade was very expensive and impractical. Also, the United States wanted a tract of land on the lower Mississippi. James Monroe, the primary negotiator in Paris, was empowered to obtain New Orleans and West Florida for anywhere between two and ten million dollars. Surprisingly, however, Napoleon offered much more. The United States was given the opportunity to buy the Louisiana Territory, which stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. This one transaction doubled the physical size of the United States and cost our nation fifteen million dollars. Fifteen million dollars came out to approximately three cents an acre. Now this seems like a relatively small sum for such a massive amount of land, but it was still a gigantic price tag for the modest federal budget of the day. Thomas Jefferson had mixed emotions about the Louisiana Purchase. On one hand, he knew it would be a grand opportunity, and the United States would be assured free navigation of the Mississippi River. Also, it would double our nation in size and be considered one of the largest, if not the largest, land transaction in history. On the other hand, he was conflicted whether or not to buy the Louisiana Territory because of guidelines set forth in the Constitution. The Constitution did not specifically

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