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How did the Louisiana Purchase go against the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy?  

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krymore711 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 10, 2012 at 1:21 AM via web

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How did the Louisiana Purchase go against the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy?

 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 10, 2012 at 1:51 AM (Answer #1)

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In one sense, the Louisiana Purchase was entirely consistent with Jeffersonian democracy, in that it was a potential means of maintaining the yeoman farmers' republic that Jefferson held up as an ideal. But in another important sense, the Louisiana Purchase was inconsistent with Jefferson's belief in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, which did not list the acquisition of territory among the powers given the the President. But Jefferson realized that, for a relatively small price that the United States could secure its western border (fear of French invasion had been a factor in launching negotiations in the first place,) and gain vast new quantities of land. The purchase was also very popular with the American public. So he opted to put aside whatever scruples he had about the deal. 

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