The Louisiana Purchase was really important because it doubled the geographic size of the United States and added a whole new dimension of culture, geography, and people to the young country. From an environmental standpoint, the new addition also meant a vast increase in natural resources available to Americans—the purchase, made for less than 5 cents per acre, added much of the Midwestern plains, secured the Mississippi River, and opened the gateway to the west coast. Lewis and Clark’s expedition was as a result of Jefferson’s purchase of the new territory, and on their voyage they made many new ecological and environmental discoveries and observations that changed science forever.
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