Thomas Jefferson's Inaugural Address

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Thomas Jefferson is considered a gifted and accomplished writer. He is credited as being the author of “The Declaration of Independence,” which is considered by many to be the most important document in American history. (Foner 153) It comes as no surprise that Jefferson’s first inaugural address lives up to his legacy as a well-written, thoughtful speech. Jefferson’s inaugural address is an important primary document in United States history because it exemplified a peaceful turnover of power with a conciliatory tone towards the opposition. (Foner 236) In his first inaugural address, he was seeking to unite a divided country behind him as their elected President as well as to encourage public’s belief in a strong republic government based…show more content…
It was a basis for legitimizing his election and his call for unity. He wrote in his address “All too will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” (Jefferson) Jefferson was masterful in his words of consolation and complementary in his call for unity and peace. Jefferson persisted in his theme of unity with these words “Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind.” (Jefferson) He continues to call for solidarity and reminds the people of their common heritage with these words “having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled…” (Jefferson) His speech reached a crescendo with these famous words “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.” (Jefferson) Jefferson endeavored to reach across party lines to give credence to his opponents as well as his supporters. Jefferson was passionate about his beliefs about government; he…show more content…
To further complicate matters both Thomas Jefferson and the Vice Presidential candidate Aaron Burr both received the same number of votes, as per the Constitution this unique situation caused the election to be decided in the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives was very divided, and after “thirty-five ballots, neither man received a majority of the votes.” (Foner 233) Alexander Hamilton intervened on behalf of Jefferson, as he believed him the better candidate and less likely to dismantle his financial program. This fact tipped the balance in the House of Representatives and Jefferson was awarded the Presidency. (Foner
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