Hence, Livingston and Monroe were able to report from Paris on 13 May , that the purchase had been completed, minus the desired region of Florida, which remained under the dominion of Spain. Negotiations with the Spanish continued over this area and in the Americans would receive all of Florida from Spain in the Treaty of Adams-Obis. Once in Boston, King wasted no time in relaying the information to long time friend George Cabot.
Cabot believed the sale to be advantageous to the French. Cabot believed that the French were simply giving up territory that they were incapable of defending and looking to better their relations with America.
Cabot, unaware of Napoleon's discussion with Marbois, had correctly ascertained Napoleon's motivation. The harshest criticism of the purchase came from Jefferson's arch rival, Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton believed that it was through pure serendipity that Monroe and Livingston walked away with the treaty rather then any skill on their part. Hamilton viewed the western territories as only being beneficial to Spain and that we could possibly use the territory as barter to obtain the Floridas.
Henry Adams suggested that it was only due to the desperate courage of five hundred thousand Haitian negroes who would not be enslaved that enabled the United States to procure the Louisiana Territory. The probability exists that had Napoleon's armies successfully conquered the island of Santo Domingo, they would have had a base of operations in the western hemisphere. From there they could have easily made their way to the port of New Orleans and successfully closed the mouth of the Mississippi River to American commerce.
Jefferson's party greeted the news with jubilation. Accolades poured into the Federal Capital at Washington from Jefferson's constituents. Future President Andrew Jackson sent his congratulations to Jefferson. John Adams would eventually make public his views on the matter several years after the fact. In a letter to one of his constituents, Benjamin Rush, Adams was pleased with the purchase of Louisiana, because, without it, we could never have secured and commanded the navigation of the Mississippi.
Hence, one venerable old Federalist broke party lines and sided with the Jeffersonians. In a July 17, letter to his friend Daniel Clarke, Jefferson describes his attitude of the purchase. The cession of Louisiana by France to the United States, a cession which will give as much satisfaction to the inhabitants of that province as it does to us.
Jefferson also used this device to convey his intention of convening the Eighth Congress of the United States as early as October 17, in order to consider ratification of the treaty, which occurred on November 25, The constitutional debates that followed would bring great concern to President Jefferson. For sometime, he believed the Constitution had been violated, by making the purchase.
This has been an area of debate because the Constitution does not specify how the United States can gain territory. It only covers provisions of territory already in the domain of the United States at the time of its signing.
To some, the ambiguous nature of the Constitution appeared to be intentional on the part of the writers. Subsequent to ratification of the treaty by Congress, Henry W. Livingston petitioned Gouverneur Morris, delegate from Pennsylvania to the Federal convention, in an attempt to ascertain the intention of the framers of the constitution on this point. This paper restriction that Morris so casually referred to would bring many uneasy hours to Jefferson. If Jefferson were to maintain his strict constructionist view of the Constitution, he would have to stick to every word of it.
As we have seen, no where in the Constitution does it delegate how the United States is to procure new territory. Yet, one must consider that the constitution was but sixteen years old at the time, and that the old Articles of Confederation were still fresh in the minds of American politicians. Contained in Article eleven of the Articles of Confederation was the passage that, "Canada was to be admitted to the United States and also to be entitled to all the advantages of the Union.
While Congress prepared to convene on October 17, , Jefferson considered his options. He could either ask congress to amend the Constitution to allow the new territory into the Union, or quietly submit the treaty for ratification. Attorney General Levi Lincoln suggested that Jefferson boldly announce and defend the constitutionality of the purchase in his message to Congress. Jefferson's Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, was quick to discount this suggestion with his own opinion on the subject.
Gallatin noted that if it was unlawful for the United States Government to acquire territory then it would be just as unlawful for individual states to do so. Gallatin went on to advise Jefferson that the United States as a nation has the right to acquire territory and that when the territory was gained by way of treaty "the same constituted authorities in whom the treaty making power is vested have a constitutional right to sanction the acquisition, and once a territory has been acquired Congress has the power of either of admitting into the Union as a new state, or of annexing to a State with the consent of that state, or of making regulations for the government of such territory.
This interpretation of the Constitution was perhaps as liberal and broad as the Federalists themselves might have made. Gallatin was not alone in his interpretation of the Constitution. Thomas Paine took the occasion to voice his opinion on the matter in a letter to Jefferson. Paine's letter, along with the position that Gallatin held, slowly worked to change Jefferson's mind on the constitutional issue.
He still held to the idea that an amendment to the Constitution would be necessary to incorporate the Louisiana Territory into the Union. This was due to Jefferson's strict constructionist views towards the constitution. Accordingly, Jefferson drafted two amendments to the Constitution, but finally on advice of his constituents never submitted either of them to Congress for debate.
Jefferson was not alone in his assumption that a constitutional amendment was required to absorb the new territory into the Union. Adams believed that the consent of the people of both the United States and those in the Louisiana territory was necessary to allow the latter into the Union.
Neither Madison or Pickering approved of the amendment yet both agreed on the correctness of the principle. Madison considered that the words of the amendment should simply read, Louisiana is admitted as a part of the Union.
The simplicity of Madison's suggestion is admirable during a time of seeming confusion. Jefferson, beyond all else, insisted on preserving the integrity of the Constitution. He said that when an instrument admits two constructions, the one safe, the other dangerous, the one precise, the other indefinite, I prefer that which is safe and precise.
Jefferson realized at the time that future generations would look to his actions as an example and he certainly did not want to make the constitution "a blank paper by construction. Wilson Cary Nichols urged the President not to convey his opinion of the constitutionality of the treaty. Nichols suggested that if this treaty was unconstitutional, all other treaties were open to the same objection, and the United States government in such a case could make no treaty at all.
Jefferson chose the later suggestion and apparently now put aside his strict constructionist views and recognized a broad construction of the Constitution. Jefferson now decided the less that is said about any constitutional difficulty, the better; and that it will be desirable for Congress to do what is necessary, in silence.
When Jefferson addressed the Eighth Congress, he praised the purchase of Louisiana but said nothing about its constitutionality. In this manner Jefferson was leaving the constitutional question up to the members of the House and Senate.
The Republicans outnumbered the Federalist in both houses of Congress, ensuring ratification of the treaty. Ratification was not easy. Republican John Randolph, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, submitted a resolution to pass the treaty of cession. Federalist Congressman, Gaylord Griswold requested documentation from the President to prove that the French indeed held the territory and were in a position to sell. This tactic worked for the Republicans, and Griswold was defeated by the slim margin of fifty-nine to fifty-seven.
Although the Republicans had managed to thwart the Federalists on this account, there was indeed some concern of France's right to sell the territory. Whether the French had actually held up their end of the bargain with Spain was not the American's concern.
What did concern the Americans was whether the French had ever received the transfer of ownership of the territory from Spain.
The following day Griswold again led the debate for the Federalists. Griswold implied that the framers of the Constitution, carried their ideas to the time when there might be an extended population; but they did not carry them to the time when an addition might be made to the Union of a territory equal to the whole United States, which additional territory might overbalance the existing territory, and thereby the rights of the present citizens of the United States be swallowed up and lost.
Randolph again responded to Griswold's complaint, reasoning that the Constitution could not restrict the country to particular limits" because at the time of the framing of the Constitution "the boundary was unsettled on the northeastern, northwestern, and southern frontiers.
This was a complete about race for Randolph who, like Jefferson, had previously been in favor of a narrow interpretation of the Constitution. It seems that broad construction fever had settled upon the vast majority of the Republicans. Federalist Roger Griswold of Connecticut next took up the debate and rebuked Gaylord Griswold's assertions.
Roger Griswold argued that a new territory may undoubtedly be obtained by conquest and by purchase; but neither the conquest nor the purchase can incorporate them into the Union.
Griswold suggested that the new territory should be retained in the form of colonies and governed as such, but that the President and Senate could not admit a foreign people in the Union as a State. Nicholson, Republican Congressman from Maryland, took up the debate and argued that the United States as a sovereign nation had a right to acquire new territory. Nicholson asserted that under the terms of the Constitution, the right to declare war was given to congress; the right to make treaties, to the President and Senate.
This basically supported the position that Griswold had held. If Napoleon were to cast his shadow over New Orleans, he could cut off U. Jefferson immediately took action by sending Robert R. Minister to France, to discuss the terms of purchase of the entire city of New Orleans, a few portions of the east bank of the Mississippi, and for use of the Mississippi for commerce. This ignited an event that could well be a miracle, a man by the name of Juan Ventura Moralis, the Acting Intendant of Louisiana, brought to light the intention of Spain to abolish the right of deposit at New Orleans for any kind of cargo from the United States.
This caused much anger in the states and eventually commerce in the west was blockaded. At the time, it was believed that the revocation of the right of deposit was due to French intrigues, but historians believe that it was prompted by abuses of the Americans.
During ten months of grueling fighting on Santo Domingo, France lost more than 40, men. Since Napoleon could not obtain Santo Domingo his ambitions to have a French empire in America were destroyed. This loss also made Louisiana a pointless and expensive piece of land for him, since it would prove useless as a granary if it had no islanders to feed.
Napoleon began to recognize the temper of the U. When Spain refused to sell Florida, Napoleon decided to focus back on Europe, since selling Louisiana would give him the funds he required to wage his war back home. Napoleon quickly told his ministers, Talleyrand and Barbe-Marbois, to go and offer the whole Louisiana territory to the colonies. War between France and Great Britain was expected. Jefferson realized that if France claimed Louisiana, Great Britain would try to capture and occupy the region.
In a April 18, , letter to Minister Robert R. Livingston, Jefferson revealed that the prospect of potential war with France and the unpleasant consequence of an alliance with Great Britain completely reverses all the political relations of the U. Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison had hoped to fashion a foreign policy congenial to French interests.
They disapproved of the slave uprising in Saint Domingue, intimating through diplomatic channels that the United States might assist France in subduing L'Ouverture.
They appointed the pro-French Robert R. Livingstonas American minister to Paris. Livingston was also directed to ascertain whether the cession included East Florida and West Florida, and, if so, to negotiate a price for acquiring them, or at least the right of navigation and deposit on one of the rivers feeding into the Gulf.
Thomas Jefferson to William C. View the complete essay PDF.
Thesis: In the early 17th century, the presidency of Thomas Jefferson influenced people's views on freedom, resulting in the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson was interested in buying Louisiana to get rid of foreign superpowers, earn freedom, and have more farmers. Even though there was a lot of opposition because people thought it was a .
Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase essaysThe purchasing process of the Louisiana Territory was not as easy of a business transaction as one might think. It was a very rushed, stressful process that caused President Thomas Jefferson a considerable amount of mental and emotional anguish. The.
Free louisiana purchase papers, essays, and research papers. Thesis The Louisiana Purchase was a turning point in American history when the American mindset shifted from an internal focus to Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion, marking the beginning of the creation of the American empire and a political, economic, and geographical change.
The Louisiana Purchase was the largest land transaction for the United States, and the most important event of President Jefferson's presidency. Jefferson arranged to purchase the land for $11,, from Napoleon in Download thesis statement on Louisiana Purchase in our database or order an original thesis paper that will be written by one of our staff writers and .