During the 1800s, the United States more than tripled in size, covering the entire width of the continent. Throughout this period, they united states acquired land through several different methods including the Louisiana purchase of 1803, the war of 1812, the trail of tears, the Mexican cession, and the compromise of 1850. Each of which came with its own group of supporters and opponents with different reasons of why or why not. However, every debate ultimately led to the United States government’s actions, which has shaped the federal policies into what they are today. In 1803, Robert Livingston negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with authority from Thomas Jefferson. Because Thomas Jefferson was a democratic-republican, many federalists were against the purchase, stating, “The constitution is silent on the subject of the acquisition of territory. By the treaty we acquire territory; therefore, the treaty is unconstitutional.” (Doc A) however, ironically, the federalists were known for having a loose interpretation of the constitution, and, instead, Jefferson was the one who had a hard time with the strict interpretation of the constitution on the issue. Other excuses brought up by the federalists against the issue of the Louisiana purchase were the threat that the, now bordering, Spanish now posed against the United States due to the standing army that Spain had, and because it would “destroy with a single operation the whole weight and importance of the eastern states”. Despite the opposition by the federalists, Jefferson was able to pass the Louisiana Purchase in congress, as the benefits of the extreme bargain far outweighed the excuses that the federalists were offering; thus, giving many citizens the hoped of a new beginning in the west and the start of the westward expansion. Although the war of 1812 did not acquire more land for the United States, it helped to clear the way for expansion by removing the British from United States territory, thus...
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