Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Essay on Jefferson Jefferson had destroyed political traditions. From his contradictions and defecting his priciples, Jefferson destroyed the political precedent and is a exemplatory hypocrite, which can be seen throughout his administration. Jefferson was an admired statesman who was grappling unsuccessfully with the moral issue of slavery. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, opposed slavery his whole life, yet he never freed his own slaves. He championed Enlightenment principles, yet never freed himself of the prejudices of his soceity.

Jefferson was extremely hypocritical in the issue of slavery. Jefferson was a plantation owner early in his life, and had slaves working for him throughout his life. Jefferson had tolerated while he didn’t accept others who owned slaves. Jefferson denounced the slave owners, while he was owning and using slaves. Although Jefferson was supposedly a good slave owner, his hypocritical nature made him accuse others not to own slaves while he, himself was owning slaves. Another part of the hypocrisy was that Jefferson believed that the slaves were dependent upon the white man, while he, himself was dependent upon the slaves.

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Jefferson also was hypocritcal in his acquisition of the Loisiana territory. In Jeffersonian principles, large expansive governments were bad, and small was good. This was a antithesis of that principle. Jefferson knew that the acquisition of the Loisiana territory was beneficial to the welfare of the U.S. According to the constitution, nowhere in the constitution is the acquisition of land a right of the government, Jeffersons’ predisposition was to strictly go by the constitution (as seen with the national bank controversy), this is another contradiction during his administration. Since the appropriation of the Lousiana territory was important for the expansion of the united states, he temporarily dismissed his principles, therefore destroying political traditions.

Another hypocritical event during Jeffersons’ administration was his acceptance of the National Bank. Early in Jefferson’s political career, Jefferson had debated with Hamilton on whether to have the National Bank. “When this government was first established, it was possible to have kept it going on true principles, but the contracted, English, half-lettured ideas of Hamilton destroyed that hope in the bud, We can pay off his debts in 15 years.” Early in Jefferson’s Administration, Jefferson had denounced the National Bank. At the end of his administration, Jefferson realized that the National Bank was important and this is hypocritical by disregarding his principles. The Burr conspiracy depicted Jefferson as a ruthless, and a individual who will do anything inorder to achieve his goal.

Jefferson championed civil liberties and unalienable rights. Yet, Jefferson violated civil liberties by coercing witnesses, arrested with out habeus corpus and prosecuting in a “court” of his own. Jefferson and Jeffersonians are hypocrites from the start and they destroyed political tradition as seen during Jeffersons’ administration. Jeffersonians show an immense amount of hypocritism in their policies. For example, Federalists had supported high tarriffs, inorder to protect national manufacturers and american industry.

The tarriffs were a vital determinent, which kept the economy of the United States viable. The Jeffersonians, not the Federalists began the American system of protecting american industry which initially was a major constituent of the federalist platform.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third president of the United States and a creator of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was a philosopher, politician, scientist, architect, inventor, musician, and writer. Thomas Jefferson was also one of the smartest leaders in history. His father was named Peter Jefferson, a very rich Farmer from Virginia. Thomass Mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, was part of the Randolph family.

The Randolph Family was a big part of Virginia history, and also very rich also. Peter and Jane Jefferson moved to Goochland county, because Peter had just gotten 400 acres of land there. Thomas Jefferson was born in the log cabin in which the family lived. Thomas Jefferson was the third child out of four brother and six sisters. Two years after Thomas was born, William Randolph, a cousin of Mrs.

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Jefferson and a close friend of the family, died. His will requested that Peter Jefferson move to his estate, take care of the house and land, and make sure Randolph’s four children get educated. The Jeffersons remained at Randolph’s estate for seven years. The estate was called Shadwell. Thomas Jefferson was quite the little intelligent boy.

At age nine, Thomas Jefferson Started Latin, Greek, and French Studies at a boarding school. Thomas liked to Horse back ride, Canoe, Hunt, and fish. When Thomas was fourteen years old, his father passed away. Thomas Jefferson was the oldest son, so Thomas had to take care of the family. Jefferson was a tall, slender boy with sandy reddish hair and fair skin that freckled and sunburned easily. A serious student, Thomas also enjoyed the lighter aspects of the education of a Virginia gentleman. Jefferson learned to dance and play the violin. Weekends and holidays Thomas spent either at Shadwell entertaining guests or at his friends’ plantations.

After two years at William and Mary (A College in Virginias capital city), Jefferson left to study law. Thomas still studied French, Italian, and English history and literature. In 1767, Jefferson was chosen to the practice of law in Virginia. Jefferson’s main source of income was his land. Thats because most lawyers didnt make enough money back then.

On New Year’s Day, 1772, Jefferson married Martha Wayles Skelton, a 24-year-old widow. Patty (Thats Jefferson called her) shared her husband’s love of music and played the harpsichord and piano. The marriage was happy, except Mrs. Jefferson’s ill health. Of their six children, only two, both of them girls, lived to maturity.

Martha Jefferson died in 1782. The death of his wife had a profound effect on Jefferson and probably influenced his return to politics, which Thomas Jefferson had considered leaving. On June 21, 1775, Jefferson took his seat in Congress. The following summer, Jefferson sat in Congress as an elected delegate, not as an alternate. It was at this session that Thomas Jefferson wrote his most famous document, the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted.

The connections with America with Great Britain were broken. Within a few days the declaration was being read to people throughout the colonies, and it was received with great pride. Jefferson managed to spend considerable time with his family. Thomas took up building projects at Monticello and continued to develop his land. Jefferson was a philosopher a architect, and an inventor.

Thomas invented the dumbwaiter, a swivel chair, a lamp-heater, and an improved plow. In May, 1784, Congress appointed Jefferson a diplomat. Jefferson was to go to France. There Thomas Jefferson was to help the other ministers, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, in arranging commercial treaties with various European.

Thomas Jefferson

.. Monticello, and supervised the construction. After three rather active years of “retirement”, Jefferson accepted the Republican Party’s nomination in 1796 for President. He lost by three votes, which under the prevailing system, meant he was elected Vice President and the Federalist, John Adams, was elected president. The Federalist Administration turned upon its political opponents by passing the Alien Act, to deport foreign radicals and liberal, propagandists and agitators, and the Sedition Act, to curb the press. The Sedition Act empowered the Administration to fine, imprison, and prosecute any opposition writer and thus the Republicans were muzzled in the remaining years of Adams’ Administration (Randall 523, 528). In 1800, Jefferson and Aaron Burr ran for office. The electoral vote, in marked contrast to the popular vote, resulted in a tie between Jefferson and Burr.

The Federalists threatened Jefferson to bargain with them or they would elect Burr. Jefferson, however, stood firm and made no promises, until the Federalists gave up. As President, Jefferson’s first project was to remove the bias which had recently infected America. His policy of general reconciliation and reform and his success in freeing the victims of the Alien and Sedition laws were generally supported by a favorable Congress (Randall 549). His popularity during his first term was greater than at any time during his career. In this term he was confronted with the most momentous problem of his career. Spain transferred to France its rights to the port of New Orleans, and the stretch of land constituting the province of Louisiana.

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Louisiana in the strong hands of the French rather than the weak hands of Spain placed an almost overwhelming obstacle in the path of American growth and prosperity. It was essential that America acquire the Louisiana territory, either through peaceful negotiation or by war. When French dictator Napoleon, suddenly offered to sell for $15,000,000 not only the port of New Orleans but the entire fabulous slice of land from the Mississippi to the Rockies, Jefferson was faced with the problem of taking the offer or wait for a Constitutional amendment authorizing such an act. After tremendous strain, Jefferson authorized the purchase (Smith 266). Thus his first term closed in a blaze of glory when the people, united in their national good fortune, almost unanimously sent Jefferson back for a second term.

Busy as he was during these years, Jefferson had found time to follow his favorite intellectual pursuits. He had not only aided in establishing a National Library, but had made many valuable additions to his own private collection. His second term was full of difficulties. To avoid war, Jefferson promoted the Non-Intercourse Act of 1806 and the Embargo of 1807. The Embargo was heavily criticized and had not been effective.

To make matters worse, the domestic front was racked with defections and desertions. When his term expired on March 3, 1809, he was thrilled to be leaving politics and returning to Monticello (Mclaughlin 376). Jefferson’s daughter Martha said that in retirement her father never abandon a friend or principle. He and John Adams, their earlier political differences reconciled, wrote many letters. Jefferson frequently complained about the time consumed in maintaining his ever increasing correspondence but he could not resist an intellectual challenge or turn down an appeal for his opinion, advice, or help, and continued to discuss with frankness and a brilliant clarity such diverse subjects as anthropology and political theory, religion and zoology (Koch and Peden 40).

Jefferson’s major concern during his last years was education and educational philosophy. He considered knowledge not only a means to an end, but an end in itself. He felt education was the key to virtue as it was to happiness. He reopened his campaign for a system of general education in Virginia. Through his efforts, the University of Virginia, the first American University to be free of official church connection, was established and was Jefferson’s daily concern during his last seven years (Koch and Peden 39).

He sent abroad an agent to select the faculty, he chose the books for the library, drew up the curriculum, designed the buildings, and supervised their construction. The University finally opened in 1825, the winter before his death. Despite his preoccupation with the University, he continued to pursue a multitude of other tasks. In his eightieth year, for example, he wrote on politics, sending President Monroe long expositions later known to the world in Monroe’s version as the Monroe Doctrine (Daugherty 326). Among all his interests, there was one intrusion on his time and thought which caused Jefferson endless embarrassment.

His finances, always shaky, finally collapsed. Jefferson had frequently advanced money to friends who fancied themselves more hard-pressed than he, and occasionally had been forced to make good on their notes when they found it impossible to do so. He had spent money lavishly on his libraries and the arts, on Monticello, and on his children’s education. His passion for architecture cost him a small fortune. At the final stage of his financial distress, Jefferson petitioned the Virginia legislature to grant him permission to dispose of Monticello and its farms by lottery.

The almost immediate response of private citizens, in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, on hearing this news was to donate a sum of over $16,000 to aid the leader who had devoted his industry and resourcefulness to all America for half a century (Smith 304). On July 4, 1826, Jefferson died at Monticello. He was buried on the hillside beside his wife. He had written the script for his headstone himself: Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom and Father of the University of Virginia. On our family vacation last fall to Virginia, my wife and I toured Jefferson’s Monticello home and also viewed his grave site.

We both found it very interesting that of all the accomplishments that Jefferson listed on his headstone he apparently did not think it important enough to mention that he had been twice elected and served as president of the United States. BIBLIOGRAPHY Daugherty, Sonia. Thomas Jefferson: Fighter for Freedom and Human Rights. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1961. Koch, Adrienne, and William Peden. The Life and Selected Writings Of Thomas Jefferson.

New York: Random House Publishers, 1993. McLaughlin, Jack. Jefferson and Monticello The Biography Of A Builder. 1st ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company Publishers, 1988. Randall, Willard Sterne.

Thomas Jefferson A Life. 1st ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company Publishers, 1993. Smith, Page. Jefferson A Revealing Biography.

New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, 1976.


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