The Jeffersonian Era: Lewis and Clark Expedition

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Lewis and Clark Expedition, United States Pages: 2 (618 words) Published: February 8, 2012
Ricki Miguel
Due September 2nd, 2011
Chapter Seven Essay- The Jeffersonian Era
In the year of 1804, two men led an expedition of discovery that expanded a young nation's economic potential, increased its scientific understanding, and as well as enhanced its worldwide reputation. The significant westward expansion was called the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The United States third president, Thomas Jefferson, named Meriwether Lewis the main leader of the expedition and Lewis chose William Clark to accompany him on his glorious journey. Meriwhether Lewis was a veteran of Indian wars skilled in the ways of the wilderness and William Clark was Lewis's commanding officer in the army and also an experienced frontiersman and Indian fighter just like his older brother George Rodgers Clark. Jefferson had been longing to know how the lands of the western area were like, so he took action and planned out the journey. Prior to the westward exploration, the Louisiana Purchase had been established, thus guaranteeing the Lewis and Clark expedition to set off. Jefferson's purpose for the trip was both to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and to discover how the region could be exploited economically. According to Jefferson, one goal was to find a direct and usable water communication across this continent in order to commerce with Asia. Jefferson also placed special importance on declaring the United States sovereignty over the Native American tribes along the Missouri River and getting a sense of how many resources were located in the recently-completed Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark were accompanied by a fifteen-year-old Shoshone Indian woman, Sacajawea, the wife of a French-Canadian fur trader. After crossing the Rocky Mountains, the expedition reached the Pacific Ocean in the area of present-day Oregon in November 1805. They returned in 1806, bringing with them an immense amount of information about the region as well as...
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