Interpreting the Evidence
Portrait of President James Madison, c. 1800
Suggested Teaching Instructions
A portrait of James Madison (1751-1836) by Gilbert Stuart, circa 1800.
The Louisiana Purchase has been called the greatest real estate venture in history. On April 30, 1803, the United States acquired from France 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. This land stretched north from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. This new land nearly doubled the size of the United States!
James Madison, who was Secretary of State at the time, supported the Louisiana Purchase and worked with President Thomas Jefferson to acquire the land from France. Madison later became the fourth President of the United States.
How do individuals influence national and global events?
Check for Understanding
Describe the individual in the portrait and explain the role of James Madison in westward expansion.
Research the political parties in the United States at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. To which parties did Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, James Monroe, and Robert Livingston belong? What did members of the different political parties think about the Louisiana Purchase? What is an issue that the current political parties in the United States have different opinions about?