Essay on Life Of Thomas Jefferson

This essay has a total of 3241 words and 14 pages.

Life Of Thomas 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. 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' administrationwas 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.



2
THOMAS JEFFERSON
In the thick of party conflict in 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a private letter, "I
have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the
mind of man." This powerful advocate of liberty was born in 1743 in Albermarle County,
Virginia, inheriting from his father, a planter and surveyor, some 5,000 acres of land,
and from his mother, a Randolph, high social standing. He studied at the College of
William and Mary, then read law. In 1772 he married Martha Wayles Skelton, a widow, and
took her to live in his partly constructed mountaintop home, Monticello. Freckled and
sandy-haired, rather tall and awkward, Jefferson was eloquent as a correspondent, but he
was no public speaker. In the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, he
contributed his pen rather than his voice to the patriot cause. As the "silent member" of
the Congress, Jefferson, at 33, drafted the Declaration of Independence. In years
following he labored to make its words a reality in Virginia. Most notably, he wrote a
bill establishing religious freedom, enacted in 1786. Jefferson succeeded Benjamin
Franklin as minister to France in 1785. His sympathy for the French Revolution led him
into conflict with Alexander Hamilton when Jefferson was Secretary of State in President
Washington's Cabinet. He resigned in 1793. Sharp political conflict developed, and two
separate parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, began to form. Jefferson
gradually assumed leadership of the Republicans, who sympathized with the revolutionary
cause in France. Attacking Federalist policies, he opposed a strong centralized Government
and championed the rights of states. As a reluctant candidate for President in 1796,
Jefferson came within three votes of election. Through a flaw in the Constitution, he
became Vice President, although an opponent of President Adams. In 1800 the defect caused
a more serious problem. Republican electors, attempting to name both a President and a
Vice President from their own party, cast a tie vote between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. The
House of Representatives settled the tie. Hamilton, disliking both Jefferson and Burr,
nevertheless urged Jefferson's election. When Jefferson assumed the Presidency, the crisis
in France had passed. He slashed Army and Navy expenditures, cut the budget, eliminated
the tax on whiskey so unpopular in the West, yet reduced the national debt by a third. He
also sent a naval squadron to fight the Barbary pirates, who were harassing American
commerce in the Mediterranean. Further, although the Constitution made no provision for
the acquisition of new land, Jefferson suppressed his qualms over constitutionality when
he had the opportunity to acquire the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon in 1803. During
Jefferson's second term, he was increasingly preoccupied with keeping the Nation from
involvement in the Napoleonic wars, though both England and France interfered with the
neutral rights of American merchantmen. Jefferson's attempted solution, an embargo upon
American shipping, worked badly and was unpopular. Jefferson retired to Monticello to
ponder such projects as his grand designs for the University of Virginia. A French
nobleman observed that he had placed his house and his mind "on an elevated situation,
from which he might contemplate the universe." He died on July 4, 1826.



3
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are
endowed unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of

happiness." These famous lines of the Declaration of Independence was written in the front
parlor of a second floor rented apartment by the American, Thomas Jefferson. These few
words show what ideas and beliefs Thomas Jefferson stood for, and how he continuously
fought for these words to become fulfilled in his country. This powerful advocate of
liberty was born in 1743 in Albermarle County, Virginia. From his father he inherited some
5,000 acres of land, and from his mother, a high social ranking. He studied at the College
of William and Mary, then read the law. Thomas Jefferson was a man of many different
talents. He knew several languages, including Latin and Greek. He was an expert
mathematician who was even able to calculate when eclipses of the sun and moon would
occur. He could design buildings, perform medical operations like an experienced surgeon,
survey land, and play the violin. Despite his thinness, he was strong enough to tame a
wild horse and chop wood like a lumberjack. Most important of all, he was know to be a
superb writer. Though surprisingly, Thomas Jefferson was not a man of many words. Not
known for his speaking abilities, he was shy and seldom spoke in public. When delegates at
the Congress gave long speeches, Thomas Jefferson oftentimes just listened. John Adams
said of Jefferson, "During the whole time I sat with him in Congress, I never heard him
utter three sentences together." Instead, this Virginian contributed his pen rather than
his voice to the patriotic cause. Being known throughout the colonies as a fine writer on
political questions, he received the most votes to become the chairman of the committee
elected to write a Declaration of

Independence. The other members of the committee asked him to write a first draft of the
Declaration. Jefferson began his work in the parlor of his apartment. For several days, he
worked long hours at a desk, writing this Declaration for which he is widely known. He
described that his words were not meant to be original or creative, but "to be an
expression of the American mind." Thomas Jefferson was a reluctant candidate for President
in 1796, and came within three votes of election. However in 1800 he did become the third
president of the United States. As president Jefferson slashed Army and Navy expenditures,
cut the budget, eliminated tax on whiskey, and reduced the

national debt by a third. Although the Constitution made no provisions for the acquisition
of new land, Jefferson suppressed his qualms over constitutionality and acquired the
Louisiana Territory from Napoleon in 1803. Jefferson retired to Monticello to ponder such
projects as his grand designs for the University of Virginia. As a French nobleman
observed, he had placed his house and his mind "on an elevated situation, from which he
might contemplate the universe." Truly, Thomas Jefferson was an American. He had endless
devotion and love for his country, and helped establish what the American experience stood
for. He had a great impact on how the young nation grew into the powerful country it is
today. Not only did he physically double the size of the United States, he played a key
role in making the nation independent.




4

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 to Peter and Jane Jefferson. His exact place
of birth is not known. But it is believed to be about five miles outside of
Charlottesville. He had ten brothers and sisters, but many of them died very young.
Jefferson was one of two surviving sons. He was sandy-haired, tall, and awkward. His
nickname was "Long Tom." He really enjoyed outdoor activities, especially riding,
shooting, and canoeing. Jefferson was also great musician and a diligent worker who loved
to study. His father impressed upon him a love of reading and writing. Although he was not
Continues for 7 more pages >>