The Louisiana Purchase

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What are some pros and cons of the Louisiana Purchase?  

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Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Louisiana Purchase was a unique opportunity for the United States. We had the opportunity to purchase the entire Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million.

There were many advantages to purchasing this land. The United States had trouble using the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans. Countries like Spain and France restricted our use of both of the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans. Our western farmers needed to ship their products on the Mississippi River and through the port of New Orleans. With the Louisiana Purchase, they would be able to use the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans without any restrictions.

Another advantage was the Louisiana Purchase would double the size of our country. We would now own land up to the border with present-day Canada and as far west as the Rocky Mountains. This was a huge amount of land. Compared to what we were offering France for West Florida and New Orleans, this was a great bargain. We wanted to expand as a country, and this was a great chance to do so.

The Louisiana Purchase would also give our government credibility. It would show other countries that we could make deals and negotiate with them. It was another example that showed that we would stand up for things in which we believed.

There weren’t too many negative aspects to the Louisiana Purchase. One would be that the Constitution doesn’t specifically state that the President can buy land. Thomas Jefferson had to be convinced to make this deal because he believed in a strict view of the Constitution. Another negative might be that we had more land that we needed to explore and to defend. There would be costs associated with exploring the land. There also would be costs associated with protecting and defending the land.

There were more significant advantages than disadvantages in agreeing to make the Louisiana Purchase with France.

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