Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Millett, Allan R.

Second Advisor

Billings, Warren M.

Third Advisor

Mitchell, Mary N.


In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase doubled the territory of the fledgling United States. Taking control of and defending the new territory, especially the culturally heterogeneous city of New Orleans occupied much of the administration's time. Most of the burden for establishing the defense policy rested on William C. C. Claiborne, a staunch Jeffersonian, former member of Congress from Tennessee, and previous governor of the Mississippi Territory. By working with local business leaders with a stake in American success, observing the local customs and traditions, and gradually encouraging political participation, Claiborne successfully introduced the American militia system to a culture far different from that of his native Virginia. Claiborne's policies reduced the likelihood that local dissidents and foreign powers such as Spain and Great Britain could conspire to subvert American government in Louisiana by rebellion and invasion.


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