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Meanwhile, the French Army in St. Domingue was being decimated by yellow fever, and war between France and England still threatened. Napoleon decided to give up his plans for Louisiana and offered a surprised Monroe and Livingston the entire territory of Louisiana for $15 million. Although this far exceeded their instructions from President Jefferson, they agreed.
When news of the sale reached the United States, the West was elated. President Jefferson, however, was in a quandary. He had always advocated strict adherence to the letter of the Constitution, yet there was no provision empowering him to purchase territory. Given the public support for the purchase and the obvious value of Louisiana to the future growth of the United States, Jefferson decided to ignore the legalistic interpretation of the Constitution and forgo the passage of a Constitutional amendment to validate the purchase. This decision contributed to the principle of implied powers of the federal government.