Many Americans in the early 1800s believed that America was to contain all of the North American continent. This belief was called "Manifest Destiny." The term came from a New York newspaper editorial of December 27, 1845, which stated that the nation's manifest destiny was "to over spread and to possess" the whole continent, to develop liberty and self-government to all. In the eyes of the Americans, it was his or her goal to expand their territory from coast to coast.
In 1803 Thomas Jefferson was President of the US and the Mississippi River was basically western border of the US. Napoleon Bonaparte controlled the huge piece of land west of the Mississippi River. This land stretched from the Mississippi River all the way to the Rocky Mountains and was called the Louisiana Territory. Napoleon in the middle of a war with Great Britain and needed money to finance the war.
President Jefferson took saw this and offered to buy New Orleans from France. Napoleon Bonaparte then offered to sell the entire Louisiana Territory for $15 million. President Jefferson agreed and purchased 830,000 square mile of land west of the Mississippi.
President Thomas Jefferson chose two men to explore this new territory, wondering if their was a river that went to the Pacific Ocean. One was Meriwether Lewis, his secretary; and the other was William Clark, an army officer. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was a journey of discovery. They were to travel up the Missouri River
and eventually make their way west to the Pacific Ocean. They were responsible for drawing maps of the area they traveled through. They were also supposed to find out as much as they could about the different plants and animals that lived in the...