8.4.1

Describe the country's physical landscapes, political divisions, and territorial expansion during the terms of the first four presidents.

             America, otherwise known as the United States of America, comprised of states primarily on the East Coast during the terms of the first four presidents. The country was first made of colonies created by British settlers that wished for a new life. After they received the Louisiana territory their whole size doubled.
             James Monroe and Robert Livingston were U.S. representatives that President Jefferson, the third president of the United States, sent to France to attempt to buy New Orleans. Jefferson threatened to form an alliance with Britain if New Orleans wasn’t turned over, so Napoleon, emperor of France, who had taken Louisiana from Spain, not only relinquished New Orleans but the entire Louisiana Territory for fifteen million dollars. This new territory pleased Jefferson; it would provide more and cheaper land for farmers in the next generations to come. With the signing of the treaty of the Louisiana territory the size of the United States doubled in size.
             Manifest Destiny, a phrase used by leaders and politicians in the 1840s to explain continental expansion of the United States, gave the Americans a sense of mission or national destiny. Their destiny was to expand the size of the United States because more land represented potential income, wealth, self-sufficiency and freedom, or "from sea to shining sea".
             Political divisions changed many times; viewpoints in political matters had changed greatly when President Jefferson and Hamilton debated their issues. They created two political parties, the republicans and the federalists. The republicans were people who disagreed with the federalists who supported the ratification of the Constitution. Federalists stood for a vigorous federal government, while the republicans wanted to give as much power as possible to the people, so they could have their liberties. When big industrial buildings and farms began to develop, the United States divided into two sections, the north and the south. In the North were all the big buildings and worker factories. In the South were all the farms and slaves.


More Information:

   1.    http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/E/manifest/manif1.htm
          Talks about the Manifest Destiny occurrence and America's history.

   2.    http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/dialogues/prelude/manifest/manifestdestiny.html
          Discusses the Manifest Destiny in details.

   3.    http://www.gatewayno.com/history/LaPurchase.html
          Discusses the Louisiana Purchase and how it was bought.


Recommended Books:

   1.    The Lewis and Clark Expedition: Selections from the Journals Arranged by Topic
          by Miles Barth

   2.    The Americans: The National Experience
          by Daniel Joseph Boorstin

   3.    The Great Plains
          by Walter Prescott Webb

   4.    A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present
          by Howard Zinn