A Revisionist Perspective Of The Election Of — страница 2

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was its adoption of Federalist economic policies. Jefferson had no clear economic plan; he theorized about the adoption of a laissez-faire policy, and the destruction of the Hamiltonian system, but did nothing about this as president. Jefferson, by and large, maintained the Federalist system throughout his presidency. One of the first things Jefferson did was to abolish the hated excise taxes on whiskey. In order to do this, he had to find another way to acquire funds. Thus he justified increasing protective tariffs. This rendered the abolition of the whiskey tax merely cosmetic, as the direct tax was reduced, but the prices of all commodities were raised. Jefferson also had the national bank destroyed, but re-instituted it in 1816 in order to raise national funds. His party?s

legislature began to issue charters freely to local banks. Jefferson made no attempts to put an end to many parts of the existing federalist system, such as land speculation on public land. In addition Jefferson developed the infrastructure, spending $20 million on a network of national roads and canals. Hoffsteter states, ?Since his policies did not deviate too widely from the federalists, Jefferson hoped to win over the moderates from their ranks?soon the republican machines began flirting with the financial interests they were sworn to oppose.? Through examining his personal letters and private life, we find many serious inconsistencies in Jefferson?s ideologies. One issue that has been scrutinized lately is Jefferson?s views on slavery and women. Many consensus historians

argue that Jefferson was a benevolent slave owner, and advocated for the abolition of slavery. A revisionist historian will continue to tell you that while he wanted to abolish slavery, he stated that blacks and whites could never both live freely in the same society. As Conor Cruise O?Brien pointed out in his article, ?Thomas Jefferson: Radical and Racist,? ?In theory Jefferson?s solution to slavery consisted in ?colonization?: the deportation of all the freed blacks from the United States.? Jefferson never considered a form of racial coexistence, and believed adamantly that blacks were inferior. ?This unfortunate difference of color, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people,? Jefferson wrote in his Notes on Virginia. This plan for

?colonization? was extremely impractical, and was never a potential option. Jefferson acknowledged this himself later in life, and altered his plan, proposing that the government buy newborn slaves, and pay for them to be raised to an appropriate age by their parents, at which point they would start working to recompense the government until they could be sent away. O?Brien also puts emphasis on the fact that Jefferson examined blacks for characteristics of inferiority. Jefferson once stated that black males preferred white women for sex, while black females preferred orangutans. Richard Hoffsteter comments on the subject, ?[Jefferson] could say that a man?s rights were ?unalienable? at the very moment when he owned several dozen souls.? A related issue is that of his sexual

relationship with his mulatto slave Sally Hemings. In her book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Annette Gordon-Reed gives substantial evidence concerning the thirty-sever year abusive liaison between Jefferson, and his slave, Sally Hemings. She also goes on to describe his views on women in general. Jefferson did not believe that women should be educated in the same way as men. He stated that the object of their education should be to make them better company for men. In addition, many people would be surprised to learn of Jefferson?s attitude towards the common people. While in some of his theories he stated that he had faith in the common farmer, he also shared the same fear of the masses as the Federalists. He did not believe that the government could rely on man?s virtue.

Many historians are outraged by the terms with which he referred to the masses, calling them ?swinish multitudes? in one letter and ?canaille? in another. Jefferson believed that the government must be able to check the people. Many Americans are shocked to learn of the complete hypocrisy of the ?father of democracy?s? ideologies towards slaves, women, and the masses. Thomas Jefferson is often described by revisionist historians as having ?outfederalized the Federalists.? This is the antithesis of the belief held by many historians that the election of Thomas Jefferson was a ?revolution,? In actuality there were no significant political, economic, or ideological changes made. Some of Jefferson?s theories and political writings deserve merit for advocating human rights and