The 1803 purchase of the Louisiana Territory was a watershed event for the fledgling United States. Adding some 829,000 square miles of territory, the Louisiana Purchase set a striking precedent of Presidential power and brought to the surface profound legal and constitutional questions. As the nation continued to expand westward and into the Pacific and Caribbean, critical social, political and constitutional questions arose that greatly tested American resolve and reshaped the nation's founding premises.
In this exciting collection, Sanford Levinson and Bartholomew Sparrow bring together noted scholars in American history, constitutional law, and political science to examine role that the Louisiana Purchase played in shaping both the expansionist policies of the nineteenth century and critical interpretations of the Constitution. The Louisiana Purchase and American Expansion, 1803–1898 provides a fascinating overview of how the U.S. Constitution and the American political system is inextricably tied to the Louisiana Purchase and the territorial expansion of the United States.