Thomas Jefferson 2 Essay Research Paper Thomas — страница 2

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commonwealth. However, he took up his duties at a time when the British were raiding Virginia. General George Washington did not have resources available to send to Virginia. Jefferson, during one of the raids, narrowly escaped capture at the hands of the British troops; and the legislators were forced to flee from their new capital city of Richmond. Jefferson, as head of the state, was singled out for criticism and abuse. At the end of his second term, he announced his retirement. General Washington s approval of Jefferson s actions as Governor is in marked contrast to the heated charges of dereliction of duty made by certain members of the legislature. After Washington s approval the legislature passed a resolution officially clearing Jefferson of all charges (Smith 134,135).

Jefferson returned home to Monticello in 1781, and buried himself in writing about Virginia. The pages of text turned into a manuscript later known as the Notes on Virginia. This book, rich in its minute analysis of the details of external nature as in its clarification of moral political, and social issues, was read by scientists of two continents for years to come (Smith 142). His wife, ill since the birth of their last daughter, died in September 1782. In sorrow for his wife, Jefferson declined numerous appointments. In June 1783, he was elected as a delegate to the Confederation Congress where he headed important committees and drafted many reports and official papers. He advocated the necessity of more favorable international commercial relations, and in 1784, compiled

instructions for ministers negotiating commercial treaties with European nations. In May 1784, he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to assist Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, both of whom had preceded him to Europe to arrange commercial agreements (Koch and Peden 24). He traveled throughout Europe and every place he went, he was not only an American diplomat, but a student of the useful sciences. He took notes on making wine and cheese, planting and harvesting crops, and raising livestock. He sent home to America information on the different cultures, the actual seeds of a variety of grasses not native to America, olive plants, and Italian rice. He remained in Paris until 1789 (Smith 170). Upon his return President Washington asked Jefferson to be

Secretary of State. Jefferson accepted the post and found himself at odds with the Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson thought that all of Hamilton s acts were dominated by one purpose: to establish government by and for a privileged few. Jefferson repeatedly thought of retiring from the cabinet post in which he was constantly pitted against Hamilton, the most power-hungry man in the capital. After negotiating the country s foreign affairs, Jefferson once again retired to Monticello. During retirement, Jefferson supervised the farming of his estates and designed a plow which revolutionized agriculture; he tended his library like a garden; he changed the architectural plans for 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. Louisiana in the strong