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Louisiana purchase essay thesis
The question, however, still remains, was
the Louisiana Purchase a necessity for the young growing nation, or was the purchase
an unconstitutional act done by President Thomas Jefferson himself?
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, two major events took place that were turning points for the U.S., The Louisiana Purchase and the Indian Removal Act, these events made an impact socially, economically, and politically.
Manifest Destiny Was the Louisiana Purchase good or bad Teacher Lingo
Although only a handful of the 32 States admitted to the Union after Louisiana seem to have been required to so submit their Constitution to examination by Congress for reasons of differences of culture, language or ethnicity with the predominantly Anglo-American (or at least Anglo-American-influenced) populace of the rest of the country (however, one might well argue that- at the very least- , , , and even were for these very reasons), a precedent had been set in the manner in which Louisiana had been admitted to the Union as a State: from then on, except for a few notable instances, an Enabling Act specifically authorizing the drafting of a State Constitution and the election of a government under same would usually be followed by some explicit and authentic act (early on, an Act of Admission in the form of a Joint Resolution by Congress; in more recent times, a Proclamation by the President of the United States) declaring such new State to, as was the case with Louisiana, "be one of the United States of America, and admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever".
As a result of this 'State Constitution submitted to Congressional scrutiny' provision in Louisiana's Enabling Act, the new State was formally admitted by Act of Congress () which stated that, as of the date specified in this Act of Admission (which seems purposely to have been chosen to be the 9th Anniversary of the Treaty by which France conveyed the Louisiana Purchase to the United States) "the said State shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America, and admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever" (and note well this language, too, dear reader-- for we shall come to this again at length).
Louisiana purchase essay questions Formation Department Home
Back in 1762 after the French and Indian War in which the French lost Quebec to the British, France deeded its Louisiana territory to Spain in payment for debts. The loss of the more populated northern territory deprived France of much of its reason to retain the lightly-occupied southern province. In 1800 Napoleon decided he wanted the former colony returned as part of his plans to reestablish the French presence in the western hemisphere. Spain’s hand in Louisiana had been weakened by a territorial concession they had been granted the U.S. in 1795. Under intense pressure, Spain ceded the Louisiana territory back to France in a secret treaty arranged in October 1800 – only a day after the French had concluded a treaty with America to end the undeclared war between the two nations. American diplomats soon learned of the Louisiana deal, which was an open secret in Europe. Jefferson biographer Nathan Schachner wrote: “Jefferson was not very sanguine of getting New Orleans, much less the Floridas. He was sufficiently satisfied that Spain had disavowed the summary action of her Intendant in closing that vital port to the deposit in transit of American goods. Thus, he exclaimed exultantly, ‘by a reasonable and peaceable process, we have obtained in 4. months what would have cost us 7. years of war, 100,000 human lives, 100 millions of additional debt.’”6
The Louisiana Purchase demonstrates Jefferson's ability to make pragmatic political decisions. Although contrary to some of his central principles, guaranteeing western expansion was so important to Jefferson's overall vision that he took bold action. The gains were dramatic, as the territory acquired would in time add 13 new states to the union. In 1812, Louisiana became the first state to join the union from land bought in the purchase. Louisiana was allowed to enter the United States with its French legal traditions largely in place. Even today, Louisiana's legal code retains many elements that do not follow English common law traditions. The federal system could be remarkably flexible.
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FREE Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase Essay
In October 1803, Congress was convened to consider the Louisiana Purchase. Historian Garry Wills noted: “In introducing the legislation to govern the Louisiana Territory Senator Breckinridge made two proposals, which were both carried, without revealing their source. One was written for him by Jefferson adjutant at Treasury, Albert Gallatin, and the other by Jefferson himself.” The debate was short – just two days. The Senate approved the treaty by a 24-7 on October 20. Some northern Federalists like Massachusetts Senator Timothy Pickering saw the Louisiana Purchase as a blatant attempt to expand the power of slaveholders in the South at the expense of the North. Connecticut Senator Uriah Tracy declared: “The relative strength which this admission gives to the southern and western interest is contradictory to the principles of our original union.”249
SparkNotes: Thomas Jefferson: The Louisiana Purchase
“The workings of the mind of Thomas Jefferson during the summer of 1803, as he anticipated the formal acquisition of Louisiana, are among the wonders of the modern world,” argued historian Roger G. Kennedy. “His continental strategic vision and his neatly calibrated tactical sense were in combination almost superhuman. Within a single plan he solved an interactive puzzle requiring the manipulation of the avarice of the Southern fur traders, such as the partners of The Firm, as he had in the previous year brought around the Eastern sea traders, such as the Livingston family. He made use of the land-hunger of the planters and the desperate necessities of the leaders of the Indian nations....The President drew upon the patriotic instincts of the Eastern Federalists who might oppose, for reasons of conscience, his expansion of the slave-and-plantation system, and assembled a de facto coalition in the West of planters, upriver farmers, slave sellers, slave buyers, and tens of thousands of anonymous frontiersmen. He even found a means to have the Indians pay for the Louisiana Purchase.”225
Jefferson Louisiana Purchase Essay
Historian Harlow Giles Unger wrote: “Castigated after his first mission to France for having followed presidential instructions to the letter, Monroe now found himself celebrated around the world for not following presidential instructions.”185 Historian Gordon S. Wood: “Only Monroe had enough confidence in his intimacy with his fellow Virginians, President Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison, to allow him and Livingston to exceed their instructions and pay $15 million for all of Louisiana, some nine hundred thousand square miles of Western land.”186
Essay On Thomas Jefferson And The Louisiana Purchase
Things were heating up by the time Du Pont got to Paris. Historian Walter A. McDougall noted: “U.S. Minister Rufus King reported from London the British intended Louisiana either to remain in Spanish hands or fall into their own. But Jefferson hoped the mere specter of Anglo-American unity would scare Bonaparte off like some voodoo spell.”135 Historian Thomas Fleming wrote that Du Pont, a former French diplomat, “was a dolorous example of the trouble with using special envoys....Talleyrand was obviously using him to lull the Americans into going along with the main point of French policy, the occupation of Louisiana. Jefferson and Madison believed that Du Pont knew what he was talking about, and in their final instructions to Monroe they reiterated orders to bid for the Floridas.”136 They were operating on the mistaken impression that Spain had ceded to France this originally Spanish territory along with the originally French Louisiana Territory. Based on erroneous information transmitted by Du Pont, Jefferson thought he could purchase New Orleans and West Florida for just $2 million.137
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