Louisiana Territory Purchased By Treaty

1803

In the Louisiana Purchase, France sells its vast North American territory to the United States, which doubles the size of the nation. As the Constitution makes no mention of purchasing land from foreign nations, President Thomas Jefferson considers asking for an amendment to allow him to proceed. Realizing that ratifying an amendment would take too long, Jefferson, instead, interprets the existing constitutional power to govern territories as implying the ability to purchase them. The Senate approves the treaty by a vote of 24-7.