SAT Subject US History Practice Question 791: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 791

52. Which of the following statements about the Louisiana Purchase is correct?

A. It expelled the British from North America.
B. It contributed to peace with the Native Americans of the Ohio Valley.
C. It demonstrated President Jefferson's willingness to negotiate with the King of Spain.
D. It doubled the size of the United States.
E. It was an unconstitutional act committed by President Jefferson and Congress.

Correct Answer: D


The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States. The British were not expelled from North America (A); they retained colonies in Canada. The Louisiana Purchase had nothing to do with conflict with Native Americans in the Ohio Valley (B), which continued after 1803. The agreement was made with Napoleon, not the King of Spain (C). Jefferson, as a strict constructionist, was faced with the dilemma of whether it was constitutional for Congress to purchase land (E). He cited the elastic clause, the basis of a loose interpretation of the Constitution, to justify the purchase. This was a legitimate constitutional position, though contrary to the one he had held regarding the creation of the Bank of the United States.

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