The Louisiana Purchase: Unconstitutional or Not? Essay

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It seems that since the beginning of history the actions of the government have always been criticized, especially in the sense of public spending. In the case of the Louisiana Purchase many political figures at the time it was created, as well as historians argue whether or not it was in fact a violation of the Constitution or not. This debate is still ongoing, but in order to analyze whether the Louisiana Purchase was unconstitutional or not, one must analyze the sequence of events leading to the acquisition of the territory by the United States. The Louisiana Purchase appeared to be the only solution to the United States anxiety over whether the French would try to control part of the land that many of the colonists were attempting to …show more content…

While the Constitution can be interpreted in many different ways depending on who is analyzing its contents, the Constitution is in fact fairly black and white in terms of its purpose and decrees. Although President Jefferson and most of Congress believed that the purchase would be beneficial and prevent an unnecessary war for the United States, Jefferson soon began to have doubts about if the purchase using government money could be justified by the Constitution. On the flip side, however, although the Constitution does not specially empower the federal government or the acting President to acquire new territory by treaty, the practical benefits of the Louisiana Purchase outweighed if it was in fact a violation of the Constitution. Although many believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, the Louisiana Purchase was in fact constitutional. First, the tenth amendment grants to the states and the people all rights not specifically denied in the Constitution. (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the United States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people”) In other words, the 10th Amendment is applicable to the Louisiana Purchase because the colonists wanted to expand into the west and it was in their best interest to do so. Secondly, in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution it also states that the President is the

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