Louisiana Purchase 1803

Map of the United States

This map was created by Samuel Lewis and Aaron Arrowsmith in 1805 to show the land the United States gained after the Louisiana Purchase. 

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon Bonaparte which would become known as the Louisiana Purchase. Thomas Jefferson wanted to expand the nation and this purchase alone would double the size of the nation (Lewis). Napoleon agreed to the deal because he explained that, "Louisiana is nothing in comparison with their conquests in all parts of the globe” (Barbe). Napoleon feared future conflicts would ensue with the United States if did not agree. A $15 million purchase would forever change not only the United States but also the world. 

"Acquisition of Territory"

"Acquisition of Territory" is a newspaper article from the New York Times in 1869 describing the Louisiana Purchase from the French in 1803

The United States purchased the land for two reasons. One was to “secure us the Mississippi and its mouths, and a portion of the Gulf shore”("St. Thomas") and the other was the belief that Americans were destined by God to reign over the entire continent. The ideology of Manifest Destiny influenced the United States want to expand across the continent. Since Americans argued it was their right from God to expand westward policymakers would do what was necessary to accomplish this. 

Lewis and Clark

Engraving of Lewis and Clark engaging with Native Americans on their exploration of the west. This picture was created by Patrick Gass in 1812. 

In 1804, Thomas Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the new frontier in what became known as the ‘Lewis and Clark Expedition’. This expedition furthered American ideology of manifest destiny because Americans believed it was their duty from God. However, throughout their journey they encountered Native Americans which would greatly influence American culture and ideals in the years to come. 

Louisiana Purchase 1803