Thomas Jefferson is widely idealized as a great American hero. The truth is that Thomas Jefferson was both revered and reviled with equal measure. This progressive man is commonly remembered as the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence. Although he called slavery an abomination, Jefferson was a slave owner. He also fathered children through an affair with one of his slaves. Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the United States Constitution. However, when asked to purchase the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, he could not resist. Even though he was not sure if the chief act was constitutional, he made the decision to purchase the territory regardless. This decision is considered a loose interpretation act,
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Thomas Jefferson’s works and ideas laid the foundation for several key aspects on the limits of the United States government, the idea of separation of church and state, and the importance of personal rights. Jefferson wrote many influential pieces of literature which pushed the concept of having limited government power. Jefferson wanted America not to be like the European monarchies that fell due to religious strife, so he emphasized a secular government. Jefferson, following closely with the ideas of John Locke, stressed the importance of the protection of individual rights against the government. Thomas Jefferson believed that a government should have limitations.
Thomas Jefferson during his time in office faced many challenges with the new country. One major challenge and one of the biggest accomplishments during his presidency was the Louisiana Purchase. This turned out to be a huge issue for Jefferson because of the ordeals and the way he wanted to run the government. This was a major conflict in interest for Jefferson because he was a strict constitutionalist and followed it word for word. In the end what he did was completely overstep his powers as president doing what he feared would happen by purchasing the Louisiana territory without any approval from congress for 15 million dollars.
The Louisiana Purchase did not go against the constitution and it eventually set the precedent for future administrations. The Purchase seemed unconstitutional as there was no precedent set by any President before Jefferson. No President had ever before tried to purchase land from a foreign power and it was therefore up for debate as to whether the President seemed to have these powers. Jefferson went against his principles by going through with the Purchase, but he understood that if the United States waited too long to make a decision, Napoleon would sell the land to another country. Furthermore, it can be argued that the Louisiana Purchase was the result of pre-existent negotiations between the U.S. and France.
He was a strong believer in states' rights and thought that rights not explicitly stated in the Constitution should be given to the states. However, in writing the Constitution, there was no way to predict that a deal such as the Louisiana Purchase would ever be possible. Therefore, the power to purchase land from another government, thereby expanding the size of the United States, was never explicitly given to the federal government. Although Thomas Jefferson realized what a deal the Louisiana Purchase was, he had lots of moral doubts about completing the
Bayard says that he can question Mr. Jefferson’s genuine actions. He believes that if Jefferson were to be voted in that the sustainability of the country would come into question, “There would be really cause to fear that the government would not survive the course of moral and political experiments to which it would be subjected to in the hands of Mr. Jefferson.” (80) So he questions whether Jefferson would be harmful or helpful to society. He comes to the conclusion that this gives reason to favor Burr, however still believes that he could possibly prefer Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson was a man of contradictions whose biggest one was his attitude towards slavery. He was one of the loudest abolitionists yet he never freed his own slaves. The reasoning behind this was that he was deeply in debt and could never seem to get ahead of his payments. He had plans to have his slaves freed after his death but his debts made that financial feasible for his heir (Johnson, 248).
•“She was not even listening. She had gotten tired of listening. She knew, as we all knew, what the outcome would be. A white man had been killed during a robbery, and thought two of the robbers had been killed on the spot, one had been captured, and he, too, would have to die” (4). This quote is important because it allows me to understand that Jefferson has to die because he was the only person in the liquor store and was a black man.
While the supporters of Thomas Jefferson believe that buying foreign land was necessary, those who are against him feel that what he did was unconstitutional. In the source, “Thomas Jefferson to John Breckinridge, 12 August 1803”, the text explains that what Jefferson did was allowed, as it had not mentioned that he couldn’t in the constitution. This controversy is huge, because some people believe that he did not have the right to do so. Jefferson made a point that it wasn’t mentioned in the constitution, so he decided to ratify it and pay for it. Some believe congress did not have the right to authorize this decision.
Thomas Jefferson was a great man, which, he played an important role in changing the destiny of the American republic, by being a man of many talents. For instance, with his intellectual writing he wrote the declaration of independence, Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, and Notes on the State of Virginia. Also, as an architect, he designed the University of Virginia and his home Monticello, which attracts thousands of visitors now. As well, he was an abolitionist, but yet he was a slave owner.
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Virginia. He was born into a pretty successful family which made life easier in the 1740’s. Thomas Jefferson got a very exceptional education. He liked to learn and was sent on going to college. He ended up attending the College of William and Mary which was located in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independance and the leading American political philosopher. Despite the unpopularity of his 1807 Embargo Act,he was followed in the presidency by his hand-picked successor James Madison. Francis Scott Key- american lawyer detained by the British who, after seeing the american flag remain atop fort Mchenry during its nighttime bombardment in 1814 was inspired to write the star-spangled banner. Thomas
These factors include the cost of purchasing the land, not only in a the physical cost but also a mental state it place on the people of this new founded country. The fact that if Jefferson went through with the purchase of this new expansion territory he would be funding Napoleon Bonaparte, the French ruler who ruled in a dictatorial way, who needed the money to support his army as he tried to conquer England harming people in the process. Additionally, the opinions of his own people differed, all did not agree with the idea of the Louisiana Purchase, some people even believed it to be unconstitutional. Jefferson had to figure all of these factors in when he was making the decision on whether he was going to accept Napoleon ’s offer on the land within the Louisiana Territory or whether he had to much to risk within his
In America’s history there have been many events or times that have in a way changed and shaped how we live today. The Louisiana Purchase could be recognized as one of the best and most impressive real estate purchases of Thomas Jefferson’s past. Also, this purchase could be looked at as one of the most important events in America’s past. Many historians would agree on this, but many opinions would be different on the fact if this purchase was actually worth the buy or not. Even Jefferson himself would have some doubts about the purchase.
Jefferson’s dilemma in the Louisiana Purchase In April of 1803 Thomas Jefferson was faced with many moral dilemmas in the process of buying the Louisiana territory. Though the price for the territory was beyond generous, Jefferson felt that by purchasing the territory he would be going against his beliefs that the constitution should be followed word for word. The constitution said nothing of the president having the power to purchase land from another government, or to use money of the states for the same purpose (“the moral dilemma”). Another problem was once the land was purchased, there was a fear that it could have been a waste since they had no way to know the layout of the land, and what it would be useful for.
A representative, Robert Livingston, was sent to France to purchase the land, or at least convince Napoleon to not occupy the Louisiana Territory or New Orleans. In reality, Jefferson and Livingston wanted all of the Louisiana Territory, including the port of New Orleans. When Napoleon was approached by the US diplomat he agreed to sell the territory to the US. In the treaty created, besides agreeing to pay money for the territory, Jefferson agreed to in direct violation of the Constitution, that the French and Spanish traders would have special lower tariffs than other countries’ tariffs. Having fought Alexander Hamilton’s attempt to interpret the Constitution broadly, Jefferson knew that the Constitution did not allow him to take New Orleans, as nothing allowed the federal government to annex or govern new territories.