Land and Boundary Agreements

The Louisiana Purchase, Convention of 1818, Adams-Onis Treaty, and Webster Ashburton Treaty all changed the boundaries of the United States of America. In the Lousisina Purchase, Jefferson bought land west of Louisiana from Napoleon. The Convention of 1818 gave the U.S. joint occupation with Britain of the Oregon Country as well as the land south of the 49th parallel and west of the Rocky Mountains. The Webster Ashburton resolved the boundary issue between Maine and New Brunswick and also reaffirmed the boundary set in the Treaty of 1818. The Adams-Onis Treaty gave the U.S. Florida from Spain. All these events, mostly treaties, gained land and set the boundaries for the U.S. As a relatively new country, the treaties set the foundation of the U.S. territory. The land obtained in the treaties spread the ideas of Western Migration and Manifest Destiny.

Map of Territories

In the 1800's the U.S. gained territory rapidly. The majority of present day America was obtained within a span of twenty years. Only the light orange area was not owned by the U.S. With this territory, the U.S. gained many economic oppurtunities.

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John Quincy Adams' Diary Entry on the Adams-Onis Treaty

February 3.— General Jackson came to my house this morning, and I shoed him the boundary line which has been offered to the Spanish Minister…. He said there were man individuals who would take exception to our receding so far from the boundary of the Rio del Norte, which we claim, as the Sabine, and the enemies of the Administration would certainly make a handle of it to assail them: but the possession of the Floridas was of so great importance to the southern frontier of the United States, and so essential even to their safety that the vast majority of the nation would be satisfied with the western boundary as we propose, if we obtain the Floridas….

February 15…. A more formidable objection was made by Mr. Onis to my third article, containing the boundary line westward of the Mississippi. After a long and violent struggle, he had agreed to take ongitude on hundred, from the Red River to the Arkansas, and latitude forty-two, from the source of the Arkansas to the…

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The notion that Adams believed the procurement of Florida was necessary for the US is present in the other three agreements. Jefferson could not turn down the Louisiana Purchase even though it went against his beliefs. The Convention of 1818 and the Webster Ashburton Treaty were also necessary in order to end the disputes between the U.S. and Britain. All of them also faced opposition but the long term positive effects outweighed the short-lived resistance.

Additional Info

These agreements, especially the Louisiana Purchase, gave Americans much needed farming land. It also fueled the aspiration to continue migration Westward. The desire for land and resources in the western frontier eventually spread to California and the Gold Rush of 1849 which also led the a large influx of immigrants.

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