HIST& 147 - Module #5 - Louisiana and Lewis & Clark

HIST& 147 - Module #5 - Louisiana and Lewis & Clark

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00:00
so with this module the two clear uh things that you should be aware of then and understand the details of each is the louisiana purchase and the lewis and clark expedition so i won't go into a lot of detail here but what i do want you to understand having done the readings and and uh the reflection is to see how the two events are historically interconnected that sometimes we have this sense that the louisiana purchase happens and then the lewis and clark expedition
00:32
happens uh as a result of the louisiana purchase and part of what i want you to see is they're actually happening at the same time to a certain degree so just to to highlight a few things here then of course with louisiana itself spain had controlled louisiana and florida after the revolutionary war and so this is what the continent is essentially looking like at the time so all of louisiana is part of spain as
01:03
well as florida uh all of this is spanish territory and so what happens in the early part of the 19th century is of course napoleon comes to power in france he has designs on expanding the french empire again both in europe and especially in north america and so it's it's under those conditions that france negotiates a treaty with spain the treaty of san ildefonso where spain seeds all of louisiana
01:34
territory including new orleans to france and so all of this territory then including new orleans is going to become french territory starting in 1800 and so jefferson of course is worried about this when word gets out about this treaty he's worried about the repercussions of this for the united states both in in this with the sense of napoleon trying to expand the empire but then especially with respect to the
02:05
controlling of new orleans because of course at this point in time if you control new orleans then you control the flow of goods up and down the mississippi and so this is especially what jefferson is worried about is uh whoever is controlling new orleans controls the commerce uh up and down the mississippi river and then of course he is concerned as well about the larger issue of france having all of louisiana and so
02:37
what he does then is in 1803 in january of 1803 jefferson secretly asked congress to apportion 2500 for an expedition into louisiana territory and so this would be initially a secret sort of quasi-military mission because if you're sending people into louisiana territory at this point in time you're sending it into french territory and you're essentially invading
03:07
french territory but jefferson wants to do this because he wants to have a sense of what this territory is like if we have to go to war with france and and you can see actually in the primary source documents uh if you want to read it i won't go through it here but you get the text of his message to congress that is it's it's intended to be confidential but it's here that he ends up asking congress for
03:38
2500 in order to go into this territory and set up an expedition and so his idea so congress does appear approve this and then what happens is he contacts mary weather lewis to be part of this uh expedition and to lead the expedition into louisiana territory so what i want you to see here is that this initial setting up of the lewis and clark expedition is really going to be one moving into uh french territory so it's going to be
04:11
there's a there's a an element of a military mission underpinning this and then of course while this is being set up jefferson also instructs robert livingston and james monroe to negotiate with france specifically for the rights of new orleans and then also a portion of west florida but but jefferson is of course really concerned about new orleans so livingston and monroe are prepared to offer france and napoleon 10 million dollars
04:42
for that territory of new orleans and and a chunk of west florida and so of course to their surprise what what has happened in the meantime is because of the haitian revolution and this is where that part of the reading comes in because there's a revolution going on in in haiti at a slave revolt where the french are now ousted from haiti napoleon because of that napoleon has essentially given up any hope
05:13
of reestablishing the french empire in north america so because of this he's willing to offer all of louisiana territory to livingston and monroe for 15. 15 million dollars and of course this is exactly what happens in april of 1803 so this these are the circumstances under which the louisiana purchase is happening and this is the role of course that the haitian revolution plays in it here so the significance of this of course is
05:44
is it's a massive land acquisition that fits jefferson's vision um and and first we look at you know the the land itself if we look at louisiana territory it's pretty much doubling uh the territory now of the united states and this fits with jefferson's general vision in that his vision is for farmers to be populating the united states and be the basis of american society so jefferson sees
06:15
louisiana territory as this territory that will be populated by farmers as time moves on now of course this is what's going to lead to a a change in the lewis and clark expedition so now that the louisiana purchase has happened it shifts the purpose of the expedition now that this is u.s territory we don't need any sort of military undertaking in some ways we're not invading another country's territory and
06:45
so this is what change changes the purpose of the expedition completely from one of a quasi-military expedition to now one of scientific exploration and discovery which is really what we've come to know the lewis and clark expedition 4. so the idea was you'll move through the territory you'll establish relations with native american societies and also look for a direct route to the pacific ocean so i won't get into the details here because the material in the introduction
07:16
and the reading definitely goes through this but this is really what i want you to see then and of course the the timeline is they leave st louis in may of 1804 they reach the pacific ocean by november of 1805 and then returned to st louis by september of 06. so roughly a little over two years is the entire expedition but then definitely with this module i want you to see both of course the conditions under which the louisiana
07:47
purchase happens and then the conditions under which the lewis and clark expedition happens and the changes it undergoes as a result of the louisiana purchase so hopefully that all makes sense and if you do have questions of clarification or want more detail feel free to post them in the remaining questions discussion board with this module

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