Thomas Jefferson Moral Dilemma Analysis

1018 Words 5 Pages
Kevin Luke
Mr. Muller
HIST 1301-4M3DC, Fall 2016
20 November 2016
A Moral Dilemma
Thomas Jefferson was elected president in 1801, and had no intentions of expanding the United States of America at the time. Little did he know he would be faced with one of the biggest choices ever made in the history of the country. Previous to Jefferson becoming president, Spain ceded the Louisiana territory to France. The territory had the potential to double the size of the United States at the time. Now, Jefferson had sent Robert Livingston and James Monroe into France to discuss acquiring New Orleans, but instead find out that Napoleon Bonaparte, in order to finance his war in Europe, was willing to sell all of the Louisiana territory to Jefferson and
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“He had previously argued against Alexander Hamilton 's loose interpretation of the Presidential powers as found in the Constitution and in regard to the creation of a National Bank” (Handout). So, when the purchase of Louisiana rolled around he was left with a dilemma. “In late 1800 Napoleon Bonaparte had secretly negotiated a treaty transferring Louisiana from Spain to France, a retrocession” (White House Historical Association). So When Jefferson heard of the shift in ownership, he immediately realized he needed to purchase New Orleans, because of its large port that is good for market. Slowly things were getting out of hand and Jefferson decided to form a small river fleet army. So, continuing with peaceful negotiations, James Monroe, was to offer ten million dollars for the purchase of New Orleans and parts of Florida. Now, what surprised Monroe when he reached Paris was that Napoleon 's Finance Minister had already approached Robert Livingston about purchasing all of Louisiana. This is where the dilemma began to grow. You see, no where in the constitution does it allow government to purchase land. “He did not …show more content…
He tried to make an amendment, that would allow him to stick to his morals, but the deal was too good to take risks that could possibly lead to it deteriorating. So he decided to go against his beliefs and do what he thought was right for the country. The purchase doubled the nation and in the end made everyone feel a little safer. “With the purchase of Louisiana The United States acquired the whole of the Mississippi River and its western tributaries, about 828,000 square miles of territory, rich areas of farmland, and fantastic natural resources. (White House Historical

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