Thomas Jefferson And Totalitarianism

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Although United States of America is a country with only about two hundred and fifty years history, it has been the world’s greatest country for decades. The merit that the United States of America has been developing so fast is attributed to one of its founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, whose government philosophy influences America for centuries. After liberating the people from the British tyrant king, Jefferson intends to build a government that follow the people’s will, that governs strictly according to the law and that secures certain alienable rights because he wants to give those people who suffer from the tyrant’s totalitarianism a utterly different future. Therefore, Jefferson’s government philosophy is embodied in three major…show more content…
Before the War of Independence, the country is under the king’s totalitarianism. The people in the thirteen states do not possess basic rights and welfares. Moreover, there is no law and restriction to limit the power of the king. The king can exploit the people cruelly and successively. After the War of Independence, during Jefferson’s term, he starts to implement democracy, a system that is opposite to totalitarianism. In an article, Joseph Ellis expresses: “Stemming from his deep optimism in human reason, Jefferson believed that the WILL OF THE PEOPLE, expressed from elections, provided the most appropriate guidance for directing the republic’s course” (20b). In other words, Jefferson asserts it is the best for the government to have limited power and to leave more resources to the people because the power of democracy comes from the people. When the people have resources and rights, they will tell the government what is right, so it is absolutely unnecessary to deprive the people of centralizing powers. Not only Jefferson implements democracy but he acts as a democrat not a tyrant. In discussing the way Jefferson acts, Jeremy D. Bailey makes following statement: “Jefferson changed the office by stopping presidential levees and birthday celebration, holding dinners in his republican attire, and delivering his addresses to Congress in writing rather than in person” (2). By changing the office, Jefferson…show more content…
Securing these rights is the most fundamental responsibility of his government. Also, some people may ask that how the government balances the whim of the state and the whim of the individual. In Jefferson’s perspective, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or to abolish it…” (119), what Jefferson really means is that when people feel their safety and happiness are being infringed upon, they have rights to institute a new government. But Jefferson also emphasizes that only when people suffer from “a long train of abuses and usurpations” (119), is it a good way to change the government. People only hurt themselves when they intend to change the government because of some small mistakes. In other words, Jefferson is trying to protect people from hurting themselves by making wrong and irrational decisions. In summary, there are three things that matter the most to Jefferson’s government: law, regime and people. These three things make a virtuous cycle in Jefferson’s government philosophy: the law protects people and limits the government; the democratic regime secures people’s resources and rights; the people gives the government
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