Thomas Jefferson And The Unfinished Nation

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During the election of 1800 a great yet controversial man was elected to be the United States Third President. Thomas Jefferson dreamed of a homogenous society in which everyone was the same, and ideally agriculture would be the driving force in the economy within this perfect society. Thomas Jefferson was a great man who fought for small businesses but at the same time enjoyed the luxury of his enslaved people, with whom he even took advantage of the pleasures an enslaved woman could give him. But, if a person achieves great things, does it matter how poor his character might be? In the case of Jefferson, I believe it doesn’t matter, but he is a hypocrite who changed the nation for the better. His views on Native Americans and African Americans…show more content…
According to Alan Brinkley, the author of The Unfinished Nation, there was an unexpected complication that almost hurt the Republican victory. The election it’s self was a close one, but the constitution called for each elector to vote by ballot of two persons, that they would vote once for his parties’ president and the other for his parties vice presidential candidate, but the problem was that one elector that was supposed to refrain from voting for their parties’ presidential candidate, did not refrain from voting. The reason they wanted to do this was to prevent a tie from occurring, but somehow this did not happen and the presidential candidate Jefferson received 73 votes and his vice presidential candidate Burr received 73 as well, resulting in a tie. When a tie occurs, “no candidate had a majority, and the House of Representatives had to choose between the two top candidates, Jefferson and Burr. Each state delegation would cast a single vote”. ( ) On the thirty-sixth ballot Jefferson finally was elected the next president. It took so long to decide because the leading federalists in congress finally decided to go with Jefferson, but only because federalist Alexander Hamilton convinced them that…show more content…
He also believed that slavery was morally wrong, for blacks and for whites, but didn’t want it to be abolished in his life time. This is where Jefferson’s hypocritical features peak through. Jefferson believed whole heartedly that blacks were an inferior race that did not have the intellectual capacity to live as equals along side white men. He believed that blacks succumbed too easily to their physical desires, and had no self control. While he believed that Native Americans had the mental capacity to become equal to whites, they just had to conform to white man ways and they could live peacefully and become one race through interracial marriages. Jefferson, as said prior, wanted an agrarian, homogenous society. African Americans threatened this because they could not conform to the white ways. He thought that slavery was taking away the rights that African Americans were given by God, but a huge issue he saw was the corruption that began plaguing white men. Men were comfortable beating and even killing a human just to prove a point, and this showed throughout all ages in society when young boys became predigest and violent toward
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