Power to Add New Citizens?
Did the Constitution give the Federal Government the power to add new lands and people to the Union? Many thought the answer was “no”—until France offered to sell the Louisiana Territory.
Senator John Quincy Adams thought an amendment was required to admit the residents of Louisiana to the Union. His motion for an amendment failed.
The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 was a deal between the United States and France, in which the U.S. acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million depicted in this map from 1903.
Learn more about the “Amending America” exhibit