Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark Expedition
The inauguration of Thomas Jefferson as the nation's third president marked a turning point in America. While the Federalists were fading as a political force, he was able to complete the Louisiana Purchase and more than double the size of the United States, expanding west and broadening the horizons for the future of the country. During Jefferson’s first term as President, he encountered problems with his Vice President, Aaron Burr, but continued to address problems arising in order to make sure the United States was recognized as an emerging power in the world.
In 1762, France gave up Louisiana to Spain, but the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso, allowed the French to reclaim the area for themselves. By 1800, after a confusing Revolutionary period, France once again emerged as a great world power under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte. He envisioned a great French empire in the New World, and he hoped to use the Mississippi Valley as a food and trade center to supply the sugar-rich island of Santa Domingo, which was to be the heart of this empire. First, however, he had to restore French control of the island, where slaves under Toussaint L’ouverture had seized power in a rebellion. Napoleon’s attempts to colonize were failed when his troops were ravaged by tropical diseases like as yellow fever, carried by mosquitos. Also, France was in conflict with Britain and Napoleon believed withholding this land from the US would drive the US into Britain’s arms. Because of these two problems, Napoleon decided to sell the Louisiana land to United States, cutting his loses, and abandoning his hopes of a New World empire for France. Napoleon also believed if the United States had control over the new land, they would be able to create a military and naval force that could challenge that of