The big purchase that led to fundamental questions about what America would become In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from the French for $15 million, extending the United States beyond the Mississippi River for the first time. Now the United States had big questions to answer: How would Louisiana be governed? How would it be divided? Would it be comprised of free states or slave states? What would happen to the Native Americans? With biographical sketches of the people who helped forge the answers to these questions, such as Lewis and Clark, Napoleon Bonaparte, and of course, Thomas Jefferson, this is the tale of the expansion of the United States into a new territory as well as a new era.
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