In 1803 the United States was a new country with radical new ideas that were transforming the rest of the world as well as its new citizens. The new nation, however, was only a small portion of the North American landmass and its population was starting to swell. There was a strong desire for new land to cultivate.
Federalists and Republicans were at odds about fundamental governing issues as well as about the feasibility of purchasing new land. Napoleon offered the new United States the land called Louisiana, in return for 50 million francs (15 million US); President Thomas Jefferson and then secretary of state James Madison, were able to convince Congress to ratify the deal and westward expansion began in earnest.