Did Thomas Jefferson Abandon His Political Ideals When He Purchased the Louisiana Territory?

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Did Thomas Jefferson abandon his political ideals when he purchased the Louisiana Territory? The Democratic-Republican Party (or just the Republican Party) was lead by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They believed in a weaker central government that abided by the rules explicitly given to the government by the Constitution, and stronger states rights. Their ideal American society was one of an agrarian economy and society, with small communal farms. After two Federalist presidential administrations, Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office. His major accomplishment as president was the acquisition of the American midwest in the Louisiana Purchase. He paid France $15,000,000 in order to achieve his dream of an American agrarian society. Where in the Constitution did it say a president can acquire new lands? This action was a clear flip-flop from his previous policy of requiring any action to have constitutional authorization. Although strict constructionism was important to Jefferson, he did abandon that principle in the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, believing the ends would justify the means. To him, the Republican dream of a long-term agrarian society was more important and feasible and he continued to do, what he thought, was in the best interest of the nation. All that Thomas Jefferson and the Republicans wanted, in the end was an agrarian society and economy throughout the nation, by whatever means necessary. As Barry J. Balleck rights, “After all, what was the ultimate end of government? For Jefferson it was securing the Republican ideal. All other doctrines were simply auxiliaries. While states’ rights and strict constructionism were, in and of themselves, important, they were ancillary to the greater good of the Republicanism” (157). Jefferson desired a nation of farmers, and artisans, and even believing that “Every family in the

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