Although seemingly shrouded in ambiguity and looked at with askance, the Louisiana Purchase along with all other land purchases are constitutional. These are strictly because of articles 4 and 6, the elastic clause, and the tenth amendment. Firstly article IV section 3 grants the aggregation of land for the creation of new states, and then article 10 imbues treaties with the power of being the supreme law of the land. Next the elastic clause deems that if anything is both necessary and proper it shall be added to the constitution. Finally the tenth amendment grants the federal government the ability to make this treaty.
One of the first provision for a new country should be the ability to claim land. Which is provided for by the constitution, “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union … The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States”. Next article VI grants the treaties with, “”. Working in tandem, article IV allows for new land to be added while article VI imbues treaties with the highest power in the land. This alone should have swept any argument against the treaty aside.
Adding to the constitutionality of this decision, the elastic clause allows for anything that is necessary and proper to be done by the federal government. This section states, “ The Congress shall have Power … To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof ”. During the time of the purchase, America was facing a myriad of issues:, fertile soil for expanding farmers, new ports for shipping, and more land for new states. Meanwhile, France needed more money to fuel their conquering of Europe and after a revolt in the West Indies they felt as if they had lost much of their grasp in America. This treaty was seen by both parties as a huge benefit and the only major opposers, the Federalists, disapproved because it would dismantle their monopoly on shipping and ports along the eastern coast. All these factors push the Treaty into a range that is beyond necessary and proper.
Finally, the tenth amendment, seeming to be restrictive, actually gives the federal government the right to the treaty. As stated by the amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”. This means that the federal government is defined by the Constitution, states, and the people. Since the rights aforementioned are held within the constitution Jefferson had the constitutional rights to purchase the territory of Louisiana.
These three factors came into account when making the purchase and have ever since. For all other purchases of lands that the United States has made, it has not added an amendment, meaning that if it was constitutional then that means it is now. If however these rights were not written in the Constitution, then Jefferson would have been forced to make an amendment, which he tried doing originally to clear possible confusion on the matter. However it was not passed, because it would have lead to an unnecessary redundancy, since the rights to add land and create treaties are within the constitution.