Maryna Kovalenko Diana Fox

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homas Jefferson was born at Shadwell in what is now Albemarle Country, VA, on April 13, 1743.His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, came from one of the thirst families of Virginia. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a self-educated surveyor who amassed a tidy estate that included 60 slaves.

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Thomas Jefferson



Maryna Kovalenko

Diana Fox

Block 8


homas  Jefferson was born at Shadwell in what is now Albemarle Country, VA, on April 13, 1743.His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, came from one of the thirst families of Virginia. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a self-educated surveyor who amassed a tidy estate that included 60 slaves.

In 1752, Jefferson began attending a local school run by William Douglas, a Scottish minister. Future United States president was an intelligent student. John Page of Rosewell, his closest college friend, reported that Jefferson:”could tear himself away from his dearest friends to fly to his studies”. His early love to study helped him to achieve heights in future.

1769, Jefferson served as a representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1772, he married Martha Wayles Skelton. They moved in to Monticello, even though it was not yet finished. They had six children, of which only two lived to adulthood (daughters Mary and Martha). The other children were...Jane, Lucy, Elizabeth and an unnamed son who died at birth.

During his political life, Thomas Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, the Second Continental Congress, and the Virginia House of Delegates. He also served as representative to France, as well as Secretary of State. He was elected as Governor of Virginia, Vice President and 3rd President of the United States. The election was thrown into the House of Representatives. The Federalists voted for Burr through many indecisive ballots. Finally, enough of them abstained to permit the obvious will of the majority to be carried out. And so Jefferson became the 3rd president of the United States of America. And what also was important that the transition was effected by strictly constitutional means. Jefferson emphasized this in his conciliatory inaugural address. I think his first term as a president was rather successful. That had various reasons. First, he was undisputed leader of a party that had acquired cohesion during its years in opposition. Second, he had loyal lieutenants like the secretary of State, James Madison, and the secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin.

I believe, that one of the most notable achievement of Jefferson`s presidency was the purchase of Louisiana in 1803. Robert R. Livingstone and James Monroe were sent to France to negotiate with Napoleon. The treaty they sent home aroused constitutional scruples in Jefferson`s mind. It seemed to him, that this vast and large acquisition of territory would change the character of the Union. And so it should be authorized by a constitutional amendment. But he recognized there was no time for such a slow procedure otherwise the purchase could be in danger. And so became Louisiana, for 15 million dollars, a part of the United States. At the time Jefferson became a president, USA went only as far west as the Mississippi River. Jefferson knew that acquiring the very heart of the American continent would prove to be the key to the future of the United States. Later in a private letter . . . the president, reviving a favorite metaphor, said he "very early saw" Louisiana was a "speck" that could turn into a "tornado." For President Thomas Jefferson it was a diplomatic and political triumph. The Louisiana Purchase has been described as the "greatest real estate deal in history."

There are some reasons to think that it was important:

1) The states west of the Alleghenies now had an unfettered and tariff-free outlet to ship their goods down the Mississippi to the Gulf and shipment to the east.

The Mississippi River was very important to American farmers. They used this waterway to send their cattle, hogs, grain, and produce to market.

2) The Louisiana Purchase was the beginning of the end of European colonialism in the American Hemisphere.

3) Its 800,000 square mile area quickly doubled the size of the United States. Soon after the acquisition, Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on an expedition through the new lands in which hundreds of new animals were discovered as well as Native American tribes and a route to the Pacific Ocean.

The second achievement is Declaration of independence. He had drawn for the people an ideal picture of the nation and themselves, he had portrayed them as they yearned to be looked upon by posterity and the nations of the world: he had formulated the creed of Americanism.  I don’t believe that any nation had ever proclaimed so emphatically and with such finality that one of the essential functions of government is to make man happy, or that one of his essential natural rights is “the pursuit of happiness”.  The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to declare independence, to show foreign powers that their actions were fully justified: to define what it meant to be independent states; quote: FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES…have full power to levy war, conclude peace contract Alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which INDEPENDENT STATES my of right do.  It may be said, that the Declaration represents the highest achievement of 18th century philosophy.  “We hold these truths to be self evident that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.  It shows founding fathers views on slavery.  May be to the world, what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to find themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self government.  That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion.  All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.” “Resolved…that it would be a dangerous delusion were the confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parents of desbotism-free government is foundedin the jealousy, and not in confidence”. “ We must therefore… hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friend.” “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”  In my opinion, without this document, America could still be under British rule, and this country wouldn’t have been able to flourish into what it is today.

The third achievement is freedom of religion in Virginia. Jefferson wrote the “Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom.” The bill declared that “no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever.” This was a radical idea at the time. In 1779, the bill was introduced to the Virginia Assembly. It did not pass, but it brought together Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Madison agreed with his fellow Virginian.

Jefferson left for Paris in 1784 to become the US foreign minister to France. It was up to James Madison to get the bill passed. Madison presented the bill to the Virginia Assembly. In 1786, the bill passed with only a few changes. Madison sent word of their triumph to Jefferson in Paris. He also stopped the practice established by George Washington and John Adams of proclaiming days of fasting and thanksgiving.  Apart from the First Amendment which guarantees (among other things) the Freedom of Religion, Jefferson wrote about his beliefs concerning religious freedom and the separation of the church and state.  In a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, he wrote:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

Despite the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves for his entire life and had an affair with his slave Sally Hemings (a relationship that resulted in five children), he was against the institution.  When he represented Virginia at that Continental Congress of 1783, he proposed a bill that would outlaw slavery in all new territories acquired by the federal government.  Sadly, his proposal was defeated by one vote.  In his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, he included a stinging rebuke of Great Britain for its sponsorship of the slave trade.  This was later dropped at the request of South Carolina and Georgia.  In 1807, he signed a bill that abolished the slave trade.  It is believed that the reason that Jefferson had slaves was because he was always in great debt.  He had encumbered his slaves by notes and mortgages, making him unable to free them until he had paid back his debt, something which never happened.   However, he did free several of his slaves before his death. Thomas Jefferson died in july 4th, 1826 (the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence) at age 83, this is the same day that Jefferson's one time rival, former President John Adams died (they became friends later in life), Jefferson died a few hours before Adams. Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone makes no mention of his service as President of the United States.  Jefferson was buried at Monticello, his hilltop mansion.  His epitaph reads: “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.” there is no mention of his presidency It because he had such mixed feelings concerning politics.
















































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