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Thomas Jefferson supported the territorial expansion of the U.S., for the progress and successful domination of the Western Hemisphere by a Republican, agrarian society. Thomas Jefferson held firmly to the belief that this domination would occur naturally and function in balance, with the absence of governmental interference, resembling the laws of supply and demand. The U.S., he believed would become a nation of yeoman farmers only by expanding and utilizing the vast expanse west.
Thomas Jefferson strongly believed that the Constitution of the United States of America should be strictly interpreted. With this strict interpretation the government would have limited powers in purchasing land. In 1803 Thomas Jefferson deviated from those beliefs in support of territorial expansion. Thomas Jefferson purchased the land between the Mississippi River, extending to the Rocky Mountains. The Louisiana Purchase, doubled the size of the U.S..
Thomas Jefferson, in support of expansion, sent out an expeditionary team to explore the west soon after. In 1804 Lewis and Clark traveled the vast unexplored territory, reaching the Pacific in 1806. The purpose of this expedition being to document the conditions of the land and to report the Native American presence that may prohibit the expansion, of the empire of liberty . Thomas Jefferson felt that expansion would alleviate the burdens associated with concentrated populations like poverty and homelessness.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison negotiated over 53 land cession treaties with Indians. These land cessions were in direct support of advancing settlers.
The government later followed in the enterprising spirit of exploration and expeditions would continue west of the Mississippi River. These expeditions yielded profitable results and undreamed of resources that promoted continual progression.
Southerners viewed the expansion as an opportunity to expand the institution of slavery and the economic prosperity of cotton and sugar cultivation. National leaders were interested in maintaining a balance of power and this conflict of interest led to the Missouri Crisis. The agriculture in the new territories started to produce cash crops . The rapid increase of farming and production brought the requirement for an efficient form of transportation.
The inventive spirit of Jefferson could be felt during the transportation revolution. With the building of new roads, the riverboats, and the construction of railways, traveling throughout the region improved, promoting expansion. Continental expansion progressed naturally although faster than ever imagined. The dream of being a nation from sea to sea was realized before 1850.
The idea of an empire of liberty and free democracy, appealed to immigrants for various economic and political reasons. Population surges are directly related to the mass arrivals of immigrants. These immigrants aided greatly in the economy by supplying low-income labor, fueling an expanding nation.
The early belief of Thomas Jefferson was for a nation that would function in balance and imitate the laws of supply and demand. Events would unfold in a natural cause and effect progression leading to the expansion of the territories in the west.
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