The Louisiana Purchase
Why is the Louisiana Purchase considered such a great land deal?
Background: Louisiana was originally claimed by France. After the Frence and Indian War, France turned it over to Spain.
In 1800, in a secret treaty, Spain agreed to return the Louisiana Territory to France. (Napoleon)
Farmers relied on the Mississippi River to transport goods to New Orleans. From there, ships carried the produce to ports along the Atlantic Coast.
Jefferson offered to buy New Orleans but then France offered to sell the entire Louisiana Territory to the United States.
Problem: There is nothing in the Constitution about buying land. Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution. In this situation, Jefferson reasoned that the Constitution allowed for the President to make treaties (loose interpretation).
The Louisiana Purchase was approved for $15 million.
The purchase gave the United States the port of New Orleans and doubled the size of the country.
Lewis and Clark
Few Americans knew anything about the Louisiana Territory.
1803-Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are sent to study the new lands. Jefferson wanted Lewis and Clark to map a route to the Pacific Ocean and learn about the Native Americans living in that area.
Lewis and Clark were helped by Sacagawea (a Shoshone Native American.
November 7, 1805-The Pacific Ocean in in view.