What were the economic and political impacts of the Louisiana territory purchase? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The world view of the United States changed because of the Louisiana Purchase brokered by Thomas Jefferson and his representatives in France. This purchase came about based on the needs of both France and the United States. Thomas Jefferson knew that the growth of commerce in the US depended on its control of the rivers that lead to the Gulf of Mexico, including the Mississippi, while in France, Napoleon Bonaparte was engaged in a war with England, therefore he needed funds for his military operations. It became known that France had taken control of the Louisiana territory from Spain in a secret transaction which set up the negotiations between the France and the US. The two countries, with some complications in Congress, were able to confirm the purchase of the Louisiana Territory for approximately $15 million dollars, which amounts to about four cents per acre. It was the largest land transaction of the time, doubling the land area of the United States; securing the land for westward growth. As the nation continued to develop, 13 states were formed from this land, and commerce along the rivers to the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico was secured.

Some of the statesmen in New England were opposed to the purchase of the territory as they foresaw how political power would be affected as the nation grew. Jefferson was troubled by Constitutional issues with the purchase but realized how important the land acquisition was to the small but growing nation.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial