History Primary Source
History primary sources record the event from the exact sources that existed during the event. Unlike secondary sources, history primary sources are important to use when we want to get the information just as it happened without modifications or alterations. In this essay, I discuss The winning of the West, volume fourby Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).
In his book the winning of the west, Theodore Roosevelt gives an account of how the United States acquired the vast Louisiana land and the tribulations that the country faced while trying to protect the acquired land. Louisiana and the Northwest is the semi-title to this volume, and the author illustrates the events that happened during 1791 to 1807, relating to Louisiana Purchase, when Thomas Jefferson, the third American president was in power. The book is written in May, 1896 when Roosevelt was the 26th American president. The real events and the recordings take place in the same century and therefore this makes the book a more credible source as compared to the secondary sources. Moreover, Roosevelt, being a president is relevant here because he accesses government archives for the primary evidence that leads to the information relayed in the book. Roosevelt points out on the written sources and artefacts that were used in the events that led to the purchase of Louisiana; from Canadian and Spaniard archives, as well as any other monograph that involves the Northwest possession. In the appendix are attached letters written and signed by persons like Colonel Darke Clark to the first president George Washington explaining a defeat from the Indians, way before the beginning of the Louisiana negotiations.
Roosevelt describes the events that led to America possessing the vast land that forms the Northwest states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio in the Louisiana, Mississippi and Indiana territories. The Orleans was under the rule of Spanish who later surrendered it to French when Napoleon was the leader. The then president Thomas Jefferson got disturbed that Napoleon may interfere with the trade activities of Americans as most Americans in the Mississippi traded through the port of Orleans. The best idea was to purchase New Orleans from France, and the negotiations began. However Napoleon had other troubles with the west power; the Great Britain and to revenge he surrendered not only New Orleans to America but the whole Northwest region so that no European power would have control beyond the Mississippi again. Surrender is a better term to use here because the vast land that doubled the size of the United States and thrust the US to superpower cost Thomas Jefferson only 15 US dollars. The European power did not easily let go of the Louisiana land and fights began as the Spanish and Indians tried to get some land back, but the US defended the land and through signing of treaties, the land was officially left to the United States.
Roosevelt accounts the events with passion and enthusiasm. To him, the Louisiana Purchase was the noblest event of all time, not because of the diplomats’ negotiation skills, but because the American people let it happen. From the Louisiana Purchase, the spirit of democracy was strengthened. The United States experienced a population increase as settlers found more land to settle in the Northwest states. The United States has continually grown in terms of global power, economy, social activities and international relations because of the events that president Roosevelt describes in the winning of the west.