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History of the Louisiana Purchase

            Thomas Jefferson faced a major dilemma when deciding to purchase the Louisiana territory. One of his dilemmas came from him being a strong advocate for a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Jefferson strongly supported state rights. He believed that rights not stated in the Constitution should be given to the states. However, no one anticipated a deal such as the Louisiana Purchase to be possible. The power to purchase land from another government giving the power to expand the United States, were never given to the federal government. There was many advantages along with disadvantages that could have been associated with this dilemma, but Jefferson took a major risk in purchasing the land, anyways. But that great risk also left possibility for great rewards. .
             The Louisiana Territory was a vast area of land in the Americas owned by the French under the control of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon's original plans for this land was to reestablish France in the New World. This plan soon began to fade when they entered a new war with Great Britain at the same time that the French army was sent to suppress a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Haiti. This put France in a position to either defend the land or abandon the idea of having an empire in America. Eventually they would sell it dirt cheap to the United States who had a great interest in the Mississippi river as this water way was vital to our nation's young economy.
             Thomas Jefferson had a limited time to purchase the territory. He had many issues to resolve beforehand. He had to figure out a way to purchase the land and still maintain it within his constitutional right. Jefferson feared if he amended the constitution it would provide a chance for Napoleon to change his plan to one that favored France. He also feared the longer it took to ratify a treaty delineating the purchase, the Federalists would have a greater chance to mount opposition to ratification.

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