The Louisiana Purchase is often credited with being one of Thomas Jefferson greatest achievements of his first term as president. The territory was bought from France , whose leader at the time was Napoleon Bonaparte. It was not planned for Jefferson to buy it, but it was a very good decision considering the circumstances that were given. “Jefferson knew that it was imperative to have access to the city of New Orleans, or eventually lose everything beyond the Appalachians”, page 178, paragraph 1.
Jefferson also knew that it could be tolerated if Louisiana was controlled by Spain, but it was an entirely different story if France was to control it, considering their leader. When Jefferson found out about a French expedition to Saint Dominique to recapture some land, he Jumped on the opportunity. He sent James Monroe to Paris to try and buy New Orleans and Florida for $10 million. When this news reached Napoleon, he knew he could not use his troops to control Louisiana anymore, and he needed the money.
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He eventually agreed to $15 million for all of Louisiana. “Jefferson hoped to find a water route connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi or one of its tributaries”, page 183, paragraph 1. With permission from France and a grant from congress, Jefferson sent an expedition to explore Louisiana and the region beyond. He appointed Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition, who he thought knew a lot about the subjects of nature. William Clark, another soldier, accompanied Lewis mainly because of his experience with the
Indians. When Lewis and Clark returned to SST. Louis, they were heroes. Not only had they discovered “multiple passes across the Rockies”, page 183, paragraph 2, but they had also “created friendly relations with many great Indian tribes”, page 183, paragraph 2. The Journals that were kept during the expedition were published and became major guides for future explorers. Although there were many other explorers sent by Jefferson to explore Louisiana, none compare to the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition.