The Formation of a National Governmen3

The Formation of a National Governmen3 - ourselves to the...

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The Formation of a National Government Leaders crafted constitutional, legal basis for young nation LOUISIANA AND BRITAIN One of Jefferson's acts doubled the area of the country. At the end of the Seven Years'  War, France had ceded its territory west of the Mississippi River to Spain.  Access to the  port of New Orleans near its mouth was vital for the shipment of American products  from the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. Shortly after Jefferson became president,  Napoleon forced a weak Spanish government to cede this great tract, the Louisiana  Territory, back to France. The move filled Americans with apprehension and  indignation.  French plans for a huge colonial empire just west of the United States  seriously threatened the future development of the United States.  Jefferson asserted  that if France took possession of Louisiana, "from that moment we must marry 
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Unformatted text preview: ourselves to the British fleet and nation." Napoleon, however, lost interest after the French were expelled from Haiti by a slave revolt. Knowing that another war with Great Britain was impending, he resolved to fill his treasury and put Louisiana beyond the reach of Britain by selling it to the United States. His offer presented Jefferson with a dilemma: The Constitution conferred no explicit power to purchase territory. At first the president wanted to propose an amendment, but delay might lead Napoleon to change his mind. Advised that the power to purchase territory was inherent in the power to make treaties, Jefferson relented, saying that "the good sense of our country will correct the evil of loose construction when it shall produce ill effects."...
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