The Louisiana Purchase

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How did the Lewis and Clark expedition impact America?

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Megan Clauhs eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the beginning of the nineteenth century, only a fraction of what is now the United States was actually part of this country. Spain and France both owned a significant portion of land in North America, which was not ideal for the fledgling United States.

A few years after the Louisiana territory was acquired by the United States, Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to not only map out the region, but to also establish a route to the Pacific Ocean. Jefferson also hoped that the expedition would establish a powerful American presence in the west, which would deter any European invasions and...

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The Lewis and Clark expedition affected America in many ways. First of all, Lewis and Clark were able to map out not only the Louisiana Purchase, but the entire western United States. This helped people colonize the western United States. They were the leading pioneers to the western United States. After their expedition, many trails were made so that travellers could get to the west much more easily. Also, not only did Lewis and Clark map out the west, but they also discovered many new species of animals, plants, and birds. They also became friends with some indian tribes, who were able to guide them and give them more information about their land. The most famous guide was Sacajawea. Long after their expedition, people were still going to the west, and many of the western territories had already become states. The states were becoming more and more separated over slavery because more states would become slave or free. This soon led to the Civil War. Without Lewis and Clark's expedition, history would have been very different.

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