Thomas Jefferson Essay Research Paper Introduction

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Thomas Jefferson Essay, Research Paper Introduction Thomas Jefferson spent most of his career in public office and made his greatest contributions to his country in the field of politics. He loved liberty in every form, and he worked for freedom of speech, press, religion, and other civil liberties. Jefferson was the 3rd president of the United States and best remembered as a great president and as the author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s interests and talents covered an amazing range. He became one of the leading American architects of his time and designed the Virginia Capital, the University of Virginia, and his own home, Monticello. He greatly appreciated art and music and tried to encourage their advancement in the United States. He also won lasting

fame as a diplomat, a political thinker, and a founder of the Democratic Party. Early Life Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, the family farm in Goochland County, Virginia. He was the third child in the family and grew up with six sisters and one brother. Two other brothers died in infancy. His father, Peter Jefferson, had served as surveyor, sheriff, colonel of militia, and member of House of Burgesses. Thomas’ mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, came from one of the oldest families in Virginia. Thomas developed the normal interests of a country boy, such as hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and canoeing. He also learned to play the violin and to love music. When Jefferson was fourteen, his father died. Since he was the oldest son he became the head of the

family. He inherited more than 2,500 acres of land and 20 slaves. His guardian, John Hairvie managed the estate until Jefferson was twenty-one. At the age of nine, Jefferson began studies under a tutor. He learned Latin, Greek, and French. In 1760, at the age of sixteen, he entered the college St. William and Mary at Williamsburg. There, young Jefferson met two men, William Small and Judge George Wythe, who would have a great influence on him. Small was a professor of mathematics at the college. Small introduced his “…eager young disciple…(Worldbook)” to Wythe, one of the most experienced lawyers in the province. Through Small and Wythe, Jefferson became friendly with Governor Francis Fauquier. These four spent countless evenings at the governor’s mansion, talking and

playing chamber music. Jefferson spent two years at William and Mary. His studies and the companionship of these brilliant men stimulated Jefferson’s eager mind. “Hilton believes this is where he formed many of his ideas about humanity and God in their company (76)”. Jefferson had been reared in the Anglican Church, but he developed a distrust of organized religion. His views resembled the views of the Unitarians. After finishing college in 1762, Jefferson studied law with George Wythe. “He watched with concern as tension grew between the American Colonies and Great Britain (Nardo 136)”. In 1765, Jefferson heard Patrick Henry give his famous speech against the Stamp Act, he saw it stir up the people. In 1767, Jefferson was admitted to the bar. He practiced law with

great success until public service began taking all of his time. He divided his time between Williamsburg (college) and Shadwell. At Shadwell, he designed and supervised the building of his own home Monticello. Development as a writer Jefferson first drafted a bill for establishing religious freedom in 1777. When it was enacted in 1786, it firmly established the separation of church and state and provided the basis for the First Amendment’s clause on religion. …War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. The First Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition…( First