Bell Ringers

Bell Ringer: The Louisiana Purchase

Acquiring the Louisiana Purchase

Christopher Hitchens lectures on his book "Thomas Jefferson: Author of America" which discusses the building of American territories during his Presidency.


Author Christopher Hitchens discusses the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson and the acquisition of the Louisiana territory from the French.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • According to Mr. Hitchens, why did President Thomas Jefferson believe that gaining control of the Mississippi River was critical? Why did Thomas Paine believe that the French may be agreeable to selling New Orleans? What threat did Jefferson make to the French government with regards to the purchase?
  • Research the Lousiana Territory. Which current U.S. states had land that was part of the Louisiana Territory?
  • Describe the mission that President Jefferson assigned to Lewis and Clark. What medical training did they receive before their mission? Why does Mr. Hitchens suggest this treatment and training was a "small compensation" for Native Americans?



  • Enlightenment Expedition
  • Louisiana Territory
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Occidentalism
  • Orientalism


U.S. History


Middle SchoolHigh School