Lewis and clark

Essay by mrwilkinsCollege, Undergraduate February 2005

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After the uprising in Santo Domingo, Napoleon wanted to concentrate his

forces on gaining land and power in Europe. Napoleon had used both manpower and

resources to destroy the revolt in Santo Domingo. He needed to find a money source to

back his plan in Europe. Napoleon then offered Louisiana to the Americans for 15 million


President Jefferson loved the idea and the United States Purchased Louisiana

from France in 1803 for 15 million dollars. The Louisiana Purchase became a hot topic in

the America. The only exploration of this land had been done was by outlaws and fur

traders. Jefferson decided to send his private secretary Meriwether Lewis and a small

party to look at the new land. Jefferson sent Lewis on a fake scientific exploration, the

party was to actually record the number of French and Spanish soldiers or agents. The

President also wanted Lewis to create a direct line of trade with Indians.

Lewis and his co-commander William Clark set out in the spring of 1804.

Lewis and Clarks first encounter was with the Mandan Indians, in what is now the state of

North Dakota, while traveling up the Missouri River. With winter starting Lewis and Clark

decided to stay among the Mandan's. The Mandan's were Native Americans who did not

stray from the planes to hunt like many other tribes. The Mandan chose to stay on the

plains and become an agricultural society. They were a friendly tribe that offered shelter

and food to nomadic tribes. They also helped the trading and raiding system of the

plains tribes evolve. Staying with the Mandan Indians also allowed Lewis and Clark to

interact with many different Indian and European groups that engaged in the western

economy and trade. Lewis and Clark consumed all of the knowledge...