The Jefferson Era His Leadership Style & The Louisiana Purchase
Jefferson Takes Office In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be INAUGURATED (sworn into office) in the new capital of Washington, D. C.
The city was located in a wilderness area, and traveling there was difficult. Some people complained about its muddy streets, and its unfinished buildings. Jefferson felt it was a good thing that the young country should carve its capital out of the wilderness. Washington, D. C. The Early Years
Jefferson Had a New Presidential Style • He believed in the good sense of ordinary people, and wanted the government to be more DEMOCRATIC (involving ordinary people). • He was less formal, and preferred quiet dinners to the formal parties that his predecessors had given. • He shook hands instead of bowing.
Some federalists worried how Jefferson would govern. He did call for an end to the political fighting that had been going on. He definitely did want some changes. He wanted to make the government smaller and less powerful by cutting the budget and lowering taxes. He believed in “LAISSEZ FAIRE” (a term that means government should leave businesses alone). Easing Federalist Fears
Jefferson Chose a Cabinet That Helped Him Achieve His Goals • Government expenses were cut. • The size of the army was reduced, and construction on new naval ships was halted. • The unpopular whiskey tax was repealed. • People jailed under the Sedition Act were pardoned (forgiven), and he asked Congress to restore the 5 year waiting period for citizenship. • He did keep the Bank of the United States, and also continued to pay off state debts.
New Orleans & The Mississippi As more and more Americans moved west, they depended on the Mississippi River to ship their goods. Sometimes, the Spanish who controlled New Orleans threatened to close the port to the Americans. In the Pinckney Treaty, Spain agreed to let the Americans store goods in New Orleans.
New Orleans Then New Orleans Now
Americans wanted to be able to travel down the Mississippi River, past New Orleans, and out to the Gulf of Mexico.
Napoleon and New Orleans By the early 1800s, France is back in control of Louisiana. President Jefferson is worried that Napoleon wants a North American empire. In fact, Napoleon did have some plans for the region, but a revolt in the Caribbean colony of Haiti foiled those plans, and weakened Napoleon’s interests in North America.
The successful revolution in Haiti had a direct impact on United States history.
An Important Decision Is Made At about the same time that the Haitian revolt is successful, Thomas Jefferson sent two men, Robert Livingston and James Monroe, to try and buy the port city of New Orleans. They were supposed to offer $2 million for the city, but were authorized to pay up to $10 million for this very important port city.
France at the height of its power during the Napoleonic Wars. At first the French are not interested, but after the defeat in Haiti, their dream of empire in North America was hurt. Plus, France needed money for its wars in Europe. They offer the Americans the chance to buy all of Louisiana. At first we offer $4 million, but they said that was too low. How will America respond???
The Nation Doubles in Size Livingston and Monroe debate about what to do. They know Jefferson wants New Orleans, but they don’t know if they have permission to buy all of the extra territory. In the end, we ended up buying all of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million. Overnight, the nation doubles in size. It is one of the greatest land bargains in history.
All or parts of 15 states were eventually created from the Louisiana Purchase…
Jefferson was pleased with the purchase, but he wasn’t sure he had the authority to do what he did. He finally decided that because the Constitution said he could make treaties, he would make the purchase a treaty and the Senate could approve it. They did so quickly. Was the Purchase Constitutional?
Now that we own this huge territory, we want to know what is there. Congress approves funds for an exploration. To lead the trip, Jefferson chooses his personal secretary, a man named Meriwether Lewis. Lewis also asks his friend William Clark to go. A total of about 50 men go. The Lewis and Clark Expedition
33 year old William Clark, and 29 year old Meriwether Lewis, were good friends, and led the westward expedition.
Expedition Instructions • Jefferson instructed the party to make careful observations, and write down everything that they observed. • He especially wanted to know about the weather, wildlife, soil, and minerals.
The explorers were also supposed to find out more about the Indians in the area, and to try and make friends with them. We hoped to establish trade with them. • Most importantly, the party was to search for theNORTHWEST PASSAGE – a waterway to the Pacific that people had been searching for since the 1500s.
The Expedition Begins In May of 1804, “The Corps of Discovery” leaves St. Louis and travels up the Missouri River. At first they travel slowly, because they are fighting the river’s current. Along the way, they trade with Natives. They had brought items such as medals, beads, knives, blankets, needles, and fishhooks.
Winter With the Mandans As winter approached, the explorers stayed with the Mandan Indians in modern-day North Dakota. Luckily, they met a young Shoshone Indian girl named Sacagawea. She was from the Rockies and knew the region well. She agreed to act as a guide and an interpreter. Her husband and small child also went.
The expedition, which had been traveling slowly, spent the winter of 1804-05 with the Mandans in what is now North Dakota.
Although we are not sure of her exact age, Sacagawea was probably about 16 – just 2 or 3 years older than you!!! An even greater fact, is that she was from the area that is now Idaho!!!
On the journey, the explorers ran into a lot of animals, including grizzly bears. Mosquitoes were also thick and bothersome, and would sometimes get into the noses of men and animals. Sacagawea was very helpful in identifying natural vegetables that could be eaten and herbs that could be used for medicine. The Expedition Continues
The fact that a woman and a baby were part of the expedition probably signaled to Indians along the way, that this group was not a war party. • Clark’s black slave York was also a source of interest to some natives who had never seen a black person before.
The great falls of the Missouri River were a very difficult obstacle to overcome.
Sacagawea Finds Her Brother As a child, Sacagawea had been kidnapped from her people. One day as they met some Shoshone Indians, she recognized one of the chiefs as her brother. She helped convince the Shoshones to aid the party over the mountains.
The expedition crossed the Rocky Mountains using what is now called the Lolo Pass.
Reaching the Pacific Ocean • As the explorers crossed the mountains, they realized the rivers were running west. They knew the CONTINENTAL DIVIDE had been crossed. It is the place where water either drains toward the Mississippi River or the Pacific Ocean.
They met the Nez Perce Indians who lived in the region. • They could have killed the party, but allowed them to live. • It was determined the Salmon River was too dangerous to travel on. • After floating down the Clearwater and Snake Rivers, Lewis and Clark reached the Columbia River, and from there the explorers floated all the way to the ocean.
Replica of Fort Clatsop The explorers reached the Pacific Ocean in November of 1805. They built a fort called Fort Clatsop (named after the local Indians), and stayed the winter there.
It was a cold, wet, dreary winter with only a few days of sunshine. The men were very anxious to return home the following Spring, so they left in March.
On the return trip, they split into two groups through part of Montana. • The party led by Lewis did have a SKIRMISHwith some Blackfeet Indians, and two natives were killed. • The two parties joined up again, said goodbye to Sacagawea and her family, and sailed on down to St. Louis.
The “Corps of Discovery” got back to St. Louis, in the fall of 1806 and were celebrated as heroes. President Jefferson was thrilled by the information and artifacts they brought back with them. During their 2 ½ year journey, they hardly had any Indian troubles. Only one party member died, most likely from a burst appendix. Sergeant Floyd is the only member of the expedition to die – on August 20, 1804.
Pike’s Peak in Colorado Zebulon Pike Historically, Lewis & Clark have received a lot of attention for the tremendous journey they went on. There was also another adventurer who was not as successful, but explored parts of the Louisiana territory. His name was Zebulon Pike.
Zebulon Pike’s Journeys In 1805-1806, Zebulon Pike was the leader of a group who explored the upper Mississippi River. They were sent to meet with local natives, and to try and identify the source of the river. They also tried to warn the British it was time to leave the area now that the region was in U.S. hands.
The following year, Pike was sent to explore some of the southern parts of the Louisiana Purchase. His group was to explore both the Arkansas and Red Rivers and to try and find their sources. Some historians have argued that Pike may have been a spy sent to scope out Spanish land.
He and his group explored parts of what are now the states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. In February 1807, they were captured by the Spanish and first taken to Santa Fe, and further into Spanish Mexico to the town of Chihuahua.
Eventually, Pike was released under protest by the Spanish government at the Louisiana border on July 1, 1807. • A weak Spanish government had been nervous about American intentions for their lands. • Zebulon Pike died a few years later fighting in the War of 1812.