Essay about The Formative Years of The Louisiana Purchase

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To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Although it was the greatest “real estate” deal, the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was perhaps one of the most controversial events in American History. President Thomas Jefferson, although he was a Founding Father and the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence, faced major opposition with his decision to purchase the Louisiana Territory from the French. Most of the opposition he faced, however, was domestic. Jefferson was the founder of the Democratic-Republic Party and believed in an agrarian society with strong local governments (i.e. a weak central government). He thought that the states should yield most of the power so that the citizens could control what happens to them …show more content…

Some argued that the purchase was unconstitutional because the Constitution didn’t say that Jefferson could purchase the land. Others argued that the purchase was indeed constitutional because the Constitution didn’t say Jefferson couldn’t purchase the land. Also, like said above, Jefferson had an aversion to big moves by the central government. Again, he compromised his beliefs by purchasing a territory from a foreign nation (obviously a huge move by the central government (not by the states)). It is seemingly understandable, however, that Jefferson decided to compromise his beliefs. He was afraid that the French would give up the deal in the time it would take to pass an amendment saying that he could purchase the land. Jefferson also resolved the issue (of constitutionality, his personal beliefs, etc.) by deciding that the growth of the nation (at a modest price) was more important than his own political aversion to big moves by the central government. In addition, Jefferson seemed to have purchased the land in order to protect the United States. First off, Spain’s agreement to give Louisiana back to the French compromised Pinckney’s Treat, which gave the United States access to the Mississippi River. Also, he feared that Napoleon, if he had control over the territory, would close off New Orleans to the United States

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