1804, The Constitutional Significance Of The Louisiana Purchase: An Election Issue – Guest Essayist: Professor Robert McDonald

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The best argument against Thomas Jefferson’s 1804 reelection might well have been his presidency’s greatest success. The purchase of Louisiana doubled the nation in size, ensured the free flow of commerce along the Mississippi, and removed from the continent the threat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s France, which would soon take possession of the territory from Spain. Yet it was also unconstitutional—as Jefferson understood.

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