Thomas JEFFERSON Essay Research Paper Thomas JeffersonThomas

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Thomas JEFFERSON Essay, Research Paper Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson is a American leader and political philosopher, author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States. (1801-1809) Jefferson was among the most brilliant American exponents of the Enlightenment, the movement of 18th-century thought that emphasized the possibilities of human reason. A Virginia aristocrat, he had the time and resources to educate himself in history, literature, law, architecture, science, and philosophy; as diplomat and friend of French and British intellectuals, he had direct access to motivation and the opportunity to apply Enlightenment political philosophy to the task of nation- building. Theoretician of Independence During his 20s, Jefferson read

voraciously in Enlightenment philosophy, 17th-century English history, political theory, and law. Drawing on this learning, he drafted in1774a Summary View of the Rights of British America as instructions for Virginia’s delegates to the First Continental Congress, which met to consider the colonies’ grievances against Great Britain. Virginia leaders instead adopted a more legalistic set of instructions,, and Summary View was published anonymously as a pamphlet. As Jefferson’s authorship became widely known, however, he moved suddenly into the front rank of American political theorists. In the pamphlet, Jefferson argued that the original settlers of the colonies came as individuals rather than as agents of the British government. The colonial governments they formed

therefore embodied the natural right of expatriates from one country to select the terms of their subjection a new ruler. Colonial legislatures and the British Parliament, he asserted, shared power, and both were responsible for protecting the “liberties and rights” of the people. The Declaration of Independence, drafted principally by Jefferson in late June 1776 for the second Continental Congress, drew the implications of this historical view to their logical conclusion, proclaiming that the tyrannical acts of the British government gave the colonists the right to “dissolve the political bands” that had connected them with the mother country. Early Life Jefferson was born on April 13, 1773, at Shadwell in Ambermale County, Virginia . His father was a plantation owner,

and his mother belonged to the Randolph family, which was prominent in colonial Virginia. From his father and from his environment he acquired an intense interest in botany, geology, cartography, and North American exploration, and from his childhood teacher love of Greek and Latin. As a student at the College of William and Mary in the early 1760s, he studied under William Small, who knew in depth the Scottish Enlightenment, with its highly integrated approach to law, history, philosophy, and science. In George With , he found an equally gifted teacher of the law. Jefferson was admitted to the bar in 1767 and first elected to the Virginia House of his home, Monticello. Despite several desultory courtship’s, he did not seriously consider marriage until 1770, when he met Martha

Wayles Skelton, a Wealthy widow of 23. They were married in1772. Jefferson as President In the election of 1800, Jefferson an his fellow Republican Aaron Burr received an equal number of electoral votes, thus creating a tie and throwing the presidential election into the House of Representatives. After 36 ballots, the House declared Jefferson elected. As had Adams before him, Jefferson faced opposition from an uncompromising faction within his own party as well as from the Federalists. He steered a steady course between these two extremes, appointing some qualified Federalists to office and refusing a wholesale purge of officeholders inherited form the Adams administration. He supported repeal of the Judiciary Act of 1801, which had created a costly tier of federal appeals courts