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Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 2: The Louisiana Purchase And Lewis and Clark

The Louisiana Purchase And Lewis & Clark


  • Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States in 1801

1801 & The United States

  • The United States was made up of 16 states in 1801

  • The United States stretched only from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River in 1801

  • The lands west of the Mississippi River belonged to France in 1801

The Louisiana Territory

  • The land west of the Mississippi River was called the Louisiana Territory after a French King

  • The Louisiana Territory was owned by France

  • Thomas Jefferson, the U.S. President wanted the U.S. to grow bigger than 16 states-he also worried that France could block off the Mississippi River trade for the U.S.

The Leader of France

  • In 1801 the leader of France was Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Napoleon wanted to take over all of Europe in 1801

  • Napoleon was in a war with Great Britain at that time

  • The war was expensive and he needed more money

Jefferson asks Napoleon if he can buy New Orleans

  • Jefferson decided to ask Napoleon if he could buy a part of the Louisiana Territory from France for the United States---so Jefferson asked for New Orleans-a popular French city in the Louisiana Territory

The Louisiana Purchase

  • Napoleon said that he needed money for his war with Britain, so he was willing to sell all of the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. instead of just part of it; and instead of just New Orleans

  • The United States agreed to buy all of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million which was only about 3-4 cents an acre

  • This was an important purchase because it doubled the size of the U.S. without a war

The Louisiana Territory

  • The land in the Louisiana Purchase included:

  • All of the land west of New Orleans to present day Idaho and north to Canada

Jefferson sets up an expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory

  • As a result of the U.S. buying the Louisiana Territory---Jefferson wanted to know about this land and so he assigned two men to go on an expedition to explore the land and to report back their findings.

  • The two men were: Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

The Lewis & Clark expedition

  • Jefferson wanted to know all about this land-so he told Lewis to write down everything he saw

The Lewis & Clark Expedition


  • There were many Native Americans in this territory

  • Lewis and Clark did not know the Native American tongues-so they took a Native American woman named Sacagawea, from the Shoshone tribe with them as a translator for their expedition


  • She was very important on this expedition.

  • She rescued important papers for Lewis and Clark when their canoe capsized, she translated for Leis and Clark with Native Americans, and she guided them on the journey

The Lewis & Clark Expedition

  • At the time of this expedition it was called "Corps of Discovery"

  • It has been nicknamed the Lewis and Clark expedition

  • The expedition included 42 men who were trappers and scouts and three boats