Lewis And Clark Essay

647 words - 3 pages

After the uprising in Santo Domingo, Napoleon wanted to concentrate hisforces on gaining land and power in Europe. Napoleon had used both manpower andresources to destroy the revolt in Santo Domingo. He needed to find a money source toback his plan in Europe. Napoleon then offered Louisiana to the Americans for 15 milliondollars. President Jefferson loved the idea and the United States Purchased Louisianafrom France in 1803 for 15 million dollars. The Louisiana Purchase became a hot topic inthe America. The only exploration of this land had been done was by outlaws and furtraders. Jefferson decided to send his private secretary Meriwether Lewis and a smallparty to look at the new land. Jefferson sent Lewis on a fake scientific exploration, theparty was to actually record the number of French and Spanish soldiers or agents. ThePresident 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 ofNorth Dakota, while traveling up the Missouri River. With winter starting Lewis and Clarkdecided to stay among the Mandan's. The Mandan's were Native Americans who did notstray from the planes to hunt like many other tribes. The Mandan chose to stay on theplains and become an agricultural society. They were a friendly tribe that offered shelterand food to nomadic tribes. They also helped the trading and raiding system of theplains tribes evolve. Staying with the Mandan Indians also allowed Lewis and Clark tointeract with many different Indian and European groups that engaged in the westerneconomy and trade. Lewis and Clark consumed all of the knowledge they could aboutthe fur trade, military alliances and tribes of the west. The Mandan's Indians played asignificant role in the success of Lewis and Clark's expedition. Lewis and Clark were ableto...

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