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The Most Important Event in Us History

By kkcutie96 Apr 17, 2013 981 Words
Most Significant Event in U.S. History:
The Louisiana Purchase

The United States is not the most perfect country, but it is one of the most successful countries of the modern world. Our country’s vast history contains an immense amount of significant and momentous events that have molded our country into the place we know today. As a country, we have had our fair share of triumph, crisis, and everything in between. But overall, the most important event in the history of the United States is the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson’s purchasing of 828,000 square miles of land in Central America causing the country to double in size. The purchase of this enormous amount of land advanced us politically as we began to make decisions to start expanding and improving our country, our economy improved due to the gain of the Mississippi River and New Orleans trade port, and it diversified America by introducing new races to us, including the Spanish and French.

The President at the time of the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson, had a great desire for his country’s western expansion. One of Louisiana’s most populous cities at the time, New Orleans, was a popular trading port that sat on the Mississippi River. Jefferson knew American settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains relied on river transport for trading, so he decided to try to gain its control. When Jefferson discovered that he ended up getting ten times the amount of land he asked for a pretty decent price, he was shocked. The land that America now owned doubled the size of the country. Even though the U.S. was not financially in a position to be spending as much as $15 million dollars, Jefferson could not simply pass up this bargain at nearly 3 cents an acre. This large expansion of our country gave us more land to begin to farm and create settlements on. Even though this move was inexpensive, many Federalists claimed it was unconstitutional. Nowhere did the Constitution state that the federal government was allowed to purchase new land. Jefferson knew that this was unconstitutional and felt guilty for even going through with the offer, since it went against his strong beliefs for upholding the constitutional rights. But most Americans supported him and his decision, so he decided to stick with it. Jefferson’s risky act of following his dream of western expansion gave inspiration for future presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt to take strong executive action even when the constitutional laws were absent. Jefferson’s act of near defiance to take the land our people needed is very important to our country and what it is today. The purchase of this large amount of land made America seem threatening to most other countries, since European colonies were no longer present in North America. The Louisiana Purchase was one of the first major actions that began to unify the country, strengthen, and expand it at the same time. When New Orleans was still under French rule, American trade was put in jeopardy when Napoleon threatened to block U.S. access to the New Orleans trade port of the Mississippi River. Due to the location of the Appalachian Mountain range, American settlements relied on river transport to trade their goods. So Jefferson made sure he claimed the territory of Louisiana for his country. Once American had access to the Mississippi River and the New Orleans Trade port in time trade was able to flourish. Also, the land purchase included thirteen new states that became a part of our country, which also improved our economy. When Jefferson decided to send out his secretary, Meriwether Lewis and army officer William Clark to explore his newly purchased land, with the help of a Shoshoni woman Sacajawea, it was another plus for our country’s economy. America gained an expansive amount of scientific observations, and many maps and ideas of the land and its climate and regions. We could now create new states, and create new types of farming and agricultural opportunities, now possible with the vast amounts of land just gained. The Louisiana Purchase helped broaden ways for our economy to grow and expand its horizons with advances in trade, and agriculture.

The Louisiana Purchase benefited our country in many ways, and one of the most acknowledged advancements we see and know today is the racial diversity we received when the U.S. acquired Louisiana. Even before Louisiana was under French control, it was preciously under Spanish reign. The mix of these races, French, Spanish, and also the African American slaves brought to America gave and still gives New Orleans its assorted culture it has to this day. Before the Louisiana Purchase, the majority of the citizens living in America were either white, or slaves brought over from Africa. The gain of Louisiana gave America the racial diversity it needed to begin to grow culturally as a country. Today New Orleans is one of the most culture rich cities in our country. It has customs all its own. When Louisiana became a state in 1812, it took its French legal traditions with it. Even now, Louisiana has many laws that are quite different than the English common law. The Louisiana Purchase helped diversify our country and was one of the first states that added different culture and races to our country.

The U.S. is a country that has been through and abundance of historical events. But by far, the most significant event in our American history is the Louisiana Purchase. It has expanded and improved our country and inspired our country’s future leaders, it introduced new trade and agricultural possibilities, and it gave our country the racial diversity it needed to enrich our country’s culture. The Louisiana Purchase was the breakthrough our country needed to put an end to controlling colonies and to start taking over continents.

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