Topic: Expansion

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James Monroe to Jefferson

In this 1820 letter, President James Monroe discussed recent political conflicts that had arisen over the issue of slavery. Unlike Jefferson, who looked forward to the U.S. acquisition...
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Jefferson to Albert Gallatin

In this letter, Jefferson expressed his opinion that the Louisiana Purchase was constitutional. Some people disagreed. Indeed, Jefferson himself usually argued that the national government had only those...
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Jefferson to Anne L. G. N. Stael-Holstein

In this letter to a French friend, Jefferson contemplated the outcome of the current revolutions in South America. He feared that “bigotry and ignorance” and the influence of...
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Jefferson to Archibald Stuart

In this letter to a fellow Virginian, Jefferson showed his early interest in the expansion of white settlement into western territories. He believed that U.S. population would expand...
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Jefferson to Dupont de Nemours

In this letter, President Jefferson argued that obtaining Louisiana—and especially securing access to the port of New Orleans—was essential to the future of the American republic. On Jefferson’s...
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Jefferson to Francois de Marbois

As this quotation shows, Jefferson believed that the expansion of U.S. territory would help ensure the liberty and prosperity of its citizens. The American experiment in government based...
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Jefferson to General Horatio Gates

In this letter, President Jefferson ranked the Louisiana Purchase as the proudest achievement of his administration. He believed that doubling the territory of the United States by adding...
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Jefferson to James Madison

In 1809, as Napoleon conquered most of Europe, the recently retired Jefferson imagined the U.S. as a different kind of empire. In contrast to European empires ruled by...
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Jefferson to John Adams

When Jefferson wrote this letter in 1819, the U.S. was in the middle of a severe financial crisis that ruined many Americans–including the former president. Yet Jefferson believed...
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Jefferson to Lafayette

In this letter to the marquis de Lafayette, Jefferson explained northern opposition to Missouri’s becoming a slave state as self-interested and politically motivated. The anti-slavery Lafayette probably disagreed...