The purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in October 1803 doubled the size of the United States and foreshadowed its emergence as a global power. The purchase marked an unprecedented use of executive power by President Thomas Jefferson and evoked strong resistance from Federalists. In this lesson, a timeline of the purchase along with letters by Federalist leaders help students decide whether practical concerns or political agendas motivated the opposition.
Image: Map of Louisiana Purchase made by Samuel Lewis in 1805. From the Library of Congress.