The Louisiana Purchase Questions and Answers

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What were two main effects of the Louisiana Purchase on America?

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Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Louisiana Purchase had several impacts on the United States. The first impact is that it doubled the size of the country. Our borders went from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, north to Canada, and south to the boundary with Spanish Florida. It helped to secure the port of New Orleans and the use of the Mississippi river for us. When Spain cut off our right to deposit goods at New Orleans and limited our use of the Mississippi River, this presented a serious challenge for us. Western farmers needed to store goods at New Orleans and ship products on the Mississippi River. It is what prompted our original offer to France, once France got control of this region from Spain.

The Louisiana Purchase also made it clear to other countries that we would try to find ways to peacefully solve our problems. Instead of fighting Spain, and then France, over the use of the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans, we tried to find a peaceful solution to resolve an issue. It also showed our own people, especially the farmers who lived in the west, that our government did care about them also and would work to meet their needs. This helped western farmers remain loyal to our country.

The Louisiana Purchase also showed us that a loose view of the Constitution was needed. Jefferson hesitated to make the Louisiana Purchase because the Constitution said nothing about buying land. Fortunately, he was convinced to make the Louisiana Purchase with France. There are times when the Constitution must be adapted to changing times.

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Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The United States acquired Louisiana from France through a purchase agreement. The purchase of this large tract of land resulted in America’s fifteen states. The deal increased United States territory by doubling it.

The United States had always been interested in Louisiana because of trade and the fact that it offered access to the port of New Orleans and the Mississippi river. At some brief point in history, the United States had their rights to access the Mississippi River revoked. This upset the Americans and although the issue was resolved, President Thomas Jefferson was more determined to acquire the land.

France acquired the property from Spain much to the discomfort of the United States. Due to the new situation, the United States had to begin military preparations. Issues within the French administration with regards to their expansion forced Napoleon to agree to a deal with United States to completely transfer Louisiana. This in turn averted an impending conflict.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Of course, the major effect of the Louisiana Purchase was that it made the United States much bigger than it had been before.  The Purchase  doubled the land area of the country.  This helped to make Americans feel like their country was strong and important, contributing to a sense of nationalism.

A second major effect of the Purchase was sectional discord.  It was because of the Louisiana Purchase that the issue of slavery arose between North and South for the first time since the writing of the Constitution.  The North and South came into conflict over the issue of whether slavery would be allowed in the areas that had been purchased from France.  This was solved by the Missouri Compromise, but the issue would not go away, eventually helping to cause the Civil War.

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