2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

A Framer and a Farmer: The Louisiana Purchase and Jefferson’s Agrarian Dream

Alex Graham
Dr. Candy Young, Faculty Mentor

The Louisiana Purchase was Jefferson’s greatest presidential achievement; however, it was not a decision easily made. This controversial decision set Jefferson’s constitutional philosophy at odds with his social philosophy. This essay examines Jefferson’s social philosophy in contrast to his constitutional philosophy and finds that Jefferson’s constitutional philosophy alone was not enough to convince himself that purchasing the Louisiana Territory was an acceptable executive action. For the assurance he sought, Jefferson had to base his decision on his social philosophy. As both a Framer and a farmer, Jefferson continually sought to balance his need to limit the power of the government with his unwavering belief in the ability of a free, independent, agrarian people to govern themselves.

Keywords: Louisiana Purchase, constitutional philosophy, social philosophy, agriculture, industrialization

Topic(s):Political Science

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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