On December 28th 1805, only two years following the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson penned a letter to Benjamin Chambers in which he wrote
“By enlarging the empire of liberty, we multiply its auxiliaries, and provide new sources of renovation, should its principles at any time degenerate in those portions of our country which gave them birth.”
Jefferson was not only aware of but concerned about the influence that Europe’s inefficient aristocratic and feudalistic forms of government might have on the nation; ultimately stifling innovation, personal liberty, and overall economic progress.
Jefferson considered western expansion a necessity, for the west made it possible to redeem the nation if its eastern sections should ever become corrupt. Unfortunately, those eastern entities have more influence over our western states than we do.
Let’s strive to ensure that Westerners can decide what’s best for the West!
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“From Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Chambers, 28 December 1805,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/docume…/Jefferson/99-01-02-2910
Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2009), 357