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How did the Louisiana Purchase transform America's understanding of itself and its future?

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erikaparedes92 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 16, 2012 at 7:35 PM via web

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How did the Louisiana Purchase transform America's understanding of itself and its future?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 16, 2012 at 7:39 PM (Answer #1)

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The Louisiana Purchase helped to transform America’s view of itself by making it seem more as if the United States was destined to be a large and important country.

Before the purchase was made, the US was not very big and was rather weak.  The purchase did not strengthen the US militarily, but it did increase the size of the country tremendously.  All of a sudden, the idea of a country that stretched across the entire continent was not unreasonable.  Americans came to feel that the country could be physical very large, and presumably powerful in proportion, in the future. 

The Louisiana Purchase, then, caused Americans to see their country as a potential great power and helped to give them a greater sense of national pride.

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