Let’s see here, Jefferson buys a huge swath of land from a known tyrant, who uses this money to expand his war of aggression in Europe. Don’t forget that nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the President has the authority to do such a thing, but Jefferson does it anyway. Additionally, this helps Napoleon since it frees up more resources for his planned conquest of Europe.
Next, Jefferson spends an exorbitant amount of money (possibly as much as $179 billion in today’s money) to send Lewis and Clark in search of the “Northwest Passage.” You know, the gap between the US and Canada which will permit easy passage of ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Of course, they never find it. Way to waste an infant country’s money, especially considering that it still has war debts to pay off and has just put down a small rebellion. The tiny population of the United States didn’t even need the room, so why waste the country’s money on such a thing?
“But look at all the things we’ve gotten from there!” People say. Ah, yes, we got places like New Orleans who’s primary contributions to American culture has been the homoerotic vampire novels of Anne Rice, low-grade jerk off porn starring Snoop Doggy Dog and another city for JFK conspiracy nuts to converge on. There’s also Minnesota, home of the annoyingly unfunny Garrison Keillor. Finally, there’s the Dakotas, a place so unremarkable and featureless that the residents were forced to con the Federal Government into defacing one of their mountains in a desperate bid to attract tourist dollars.
Additionally, there’s never any mention of the fact that neither Jefferson nor Napoleon bothered to consult with the Native Americans who actually lived in the territory and were the only ones with a valid claim to the land if they agreed with the deal. Considering that one of the next acts of the US government was to promptly to attempt to wipe the Native Americans out, whereas the French were content to leave them alone for the most part, I’d say that the answer would be a resounding “No!” Imagine knowing that your ancestors died solely so that a bunch of pathetic guys could jerk off over pictures of half naked women taken on land that rightly belonged to you. Pretty demoralizing, no?
Given all that, can we really say that the acquisition of the Lousiana Purchase was worth it? Certainly, in a modern, civilized society such as our own, we’d not allow such a thing to happen. If President Bush were, for example, to attempt to buy Kuwait from Saddam Husseing, not only would there be massive domestic opposition to such an edeavour, but the entire world would rise up against us as well. And yet, here we are, on the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, celebrating it, instead of mourning the damage which it caused, not only to the Constitution, but the native peoples as well.