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Check Sound Check Mike Circulate Attendance 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.2 Today’s Lecture: Jefferson: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

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Presentation on theme: "Check Sound Check Mike Circulate Attendance 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.2 Today’s Lecture: Jefferson: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."— Presentation transcript:


2 Check Sound Check Mike Circulate Attendance

3 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.2 Today’s Lecture: Jefferson: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

4 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.3 Lecture Organization: Class Announcements Jefferson’s Fixatious Views Jefferson’s Failures Introduction to Jefferson Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Presidency

5 1/18/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.4 The aims of the lecture To expose popular mythology about Thomas Jefferson To help us understand who Jefferson really was and what he did that was noteworthy To help us see what contributions he made to the development of the modern presidency

6 Class Announcements participation -- not handing it in? Questions?

7 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.6 Introduction to Jefferson The Two Jeffersons Mythical Jefferson: loves liberty the great drafter of the declaration of independence is personally against and troubled by slavery is against big power government

8 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.7 Introduction to Jefferson The Two Jeffersons Historical Jefferson: against finance capitalism doesn’t actually write the most famous passages of the Declaration never supports an emancipation program or frees a slave seems terribly racist compared to his elite peers as president, makes use of awesome use of federal power

9 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.8 Introduction to Jefferson his background “pampered” existence -- original colonial family was very high in English aristocracy -- his father was lower in rank (English gentry). -- never joins the military (always a diplomat or something) -- palatial home (Monticello) that overlooks his plantation sort of like the Feudal Lords did their servants -- doesn’t work the land himself because he is a “gentlemen,” part of the Virginia Aristocracy

10 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.9 Introduction to Jefferson his background appearance -- Red hair that later turns Sandy. Bunch of freckles. Very Thin, 6, 2. He is largely effeminate.

11 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.10 Introduction to Jefferson his background public speaking -- terrible. -- reputation as a lawyer: better at getting the case prepared rather than presenting it

12 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.11 Introduction to Jefferson his background education -- Classical education Montesquieu, Locke, Francis Bacon, Newton enlightenment philosophy and treatises on government

13 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.12 Introduction to Jefferson his background intellectualism -- “pack rat” for information – (e.g., loves to read newspapers). -- at least one scholar has described him as having a meticulous, detailed mind [I have some doubts; his mind seems more conceptual and “dreamy”] “pack rat”

14 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.13 Introduction to Jefferson his background intellectualism “dreamer” or artist he can’t “systematicize” ideas. non-systemic thinker

15 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.14 Introduction to Jefferson his background intellectualism -- He is a “materialist” (thought, consciousness) (does not believe in souls) -- But then he is a natural law theorist that believes in natural law and the metaphysics of inalienable rights (more likely that a materialist would be a positivist?) non-systemic thinker example

16 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.15 Introduction to Jefferson his background intellectualism has contradictions running around his head because what is true is only the moment’s eruption of intellectualism “amateur collector of ideas?” non-systemic thinker

17 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.16 Introduction to Jefferson his background religious views -- like Crosby, Stills and Nash

18 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.17 Religion – He regarded religion very skeptically, especially if it was in organized format. He regarded evangelical Protestantism as fanaticism. Although he embraces the ethical teachings of Jesus, he rejects his divinity. Jefferson thought that Jesus was just an ordinary man, who was extraordinarily insightful. He sees Jesus as the Hebrew Socrates, and he thinks that the way to strip the dogma out of the church is to take all the church writings and all of their contributions to the bible out and have only the teachings of Jesus left (the synoptic gospels). And in fact, Jefferson did this: he kept a scrap book, where he cut out pieces of various bibles that were only of Jesus’ teachings and sayings. He was also the most strident advocate for separation of church and state. Jefferson didn’t like priests or the catholic church. He also didn’t like the idea of a trinity. He thought that people should let their conscience and reasoned enlightenment be their moral guide. Favors rationalism, order and nature. (source: xx)

19 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.18 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views strange views -- Jefferson’s views are “fixatious” selectively over-passionate? idiosyncratically pronounced?? -- One cannot understand Jefferson unless one understands his psychology

20 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.19 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views strange views crime and punishment Crime and Punishment – Jefferson thought that the punishment for dueling should be death by hanging. If you were the challenger and you won, the penalty should be death with the body conspicuously displayed in public. J thought the penalty for sex crimes such as rape, polygamy, sodomy, should be: for the man, castration; for the woman, boiling through the cartilage of her nose a hole of 1/2 inch in diameter at the least. If you maimed or disfigured someone, J wanted an eye for an eye or a tooth for tooth. You had to be maimed or disfigured too. “

21 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.20 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views strange views attorneys Attorneys – J’s view of attorneys: he grew to view attorneys as ‘lazy parasites who subsisted on the malice and avarice of others.’ He also found it to be intellectually unfulfilling and too repetitive. J left the practice of law after 5 years.

22 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.21 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views strange views women -- Limited role The Role of Women – Jefferson believed that the central province of women was the home, and that they had to be dependent and subservient to men. "The role of women is to soothe and calm the minds of their husbands returning ruffled from political debate."

23 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.22 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views strange views women -- French Revolution Women in French Governance – He once wrote to Washington, saying, one of the reasons he thought the French attempt at reform in their government (after their revolution) would fail was because it allowed women to be involved in governmental positions. Quote: ‘there were women in government, and that peculiar influence would make it such that reform would fail.’ He makes a statement about the French revolution: ‘Had there been no Queen, there would not have been a revolt [revolution].’

24 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.23 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views strange views women -- Women in the cabinet -- serious issues with his mother believes she doesn’t have the right to raise him

25 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.24 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views strange views women -- serious issues with his mother believes she doesn’t have the right to raise him -- “slight issues” regarding courtship (scared to speak to them) “psychological issues”

26 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.25 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views penchant for exaggeration -- lyrical way of expressing exaggerations -- this was his one true industry

27 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.26 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views views about race -- Warning! – They are disgusting at times -- racial intermingling would pollute the white race -- free African Americans could not commingle with whites -- native north Americans versus African Americans

28 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.27 Views about Indians versus African Americans – He notes that people like the Indians do not suffer from this [inferiority] problem; Indians simply need to be acculturated. If native Americans received the benefit of European culture, they would be ok. But African Americans can’t improve. One of the reasons why he talked about emancipation was so he could rid VA of the scourge of Africans who lived there (that was his real motivation).

29 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.28 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views views about race -- Jefferson in his own words..

30 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.29 Jefferson: Slavery is a Learned Evil – Alone at his desk where more than 100 slaves labored in the fields beyond his window, Jefferson writes, “the whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passion, the most unremitting despotism on the one part and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this and learn to imitate it. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same heirs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst passions, and thus nursed, educated and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances.” source: David McCullough

31 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.30 Jefferson: Racism and Inferiority – “Their inferiority is not the effect merely of their condition of life. It is not their condition but nature which has produced the distinction.” Besides the differences in color and hair, he noted, “black people … [have] a very strong, disagreeable odor. They were more tolerant of heat and less so of cold than whites, more ardent after their female, but love seemed with them to be more of an eager desire than a tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation. Their grief’s are transient, their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection.”

32 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.31 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views views about race -- never frees one slave -- won’t get involved in emancipation movements emancipation Emancipation – When someone wrote him in 1826 to try to get an emancipation movement going, he basically wrote back, saying that it was not the right time. The thing that J appears to favor at least in theory is emancipation with forced deportation to Haiti. He thinks the islands in the Dominican are made for ‘these people.’

33 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.32 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views views about race -- He is against the Missouri Compromise! -- strange concept of diffusion -- translation: there is too many of “these people” -- Adams’ reply emancipation Adam’s Reply – ‘my god, when have you ever seen a cancer that expanded and then evaporated?

34 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.33 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views views about race -- We don’t want to be “presentistic” (explain) -- Without committing this fallacy, we can say: His views are deficient compared to his peers This is a rational basis for criticism what to make of all of this?

35 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.34 Jefferson’s Fixatious Views views about race -- never personally whipped them -- supposedly disapproved of this treatment of slaves Jefferson’s treatment of slaves – The sanction you would use to ensure that the work was done would be to threaten a sale, because a sale would mean you would go down to the Carolinas and have back-breaking work picking cotton on a plantation and you would have to leave your families. J did supervise the teenage slaves, watching their productivity. J gave them a pound of meat per week for their work, and to the ones who worked the hardest he would give new red and blue suits.

36 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.35 Jefferson’s Failures governor of Virginia -- Benedict Arnold and other British assaults -- doesn’t even call out the militia -- the only thing he is good for is hiding government valuables and running away (they almost caught him) -- inquest is made by Virginia legislature, but he is cleared (doesn’t seem to be an especially good commander in chief)

37 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.36 Jefferson’s Failures finances -- makes a mess of it crop speculation is poor doesn’t diversify his crops spends lavishly dies terribly in debt -- Virginia holds a lottery to retire his debts; only pays for a portion of it. -- His library of books is sold to the government

38 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.37 Jefferson’s Failures presidency -- His second term as president ends in failure (but not his first) -- sets the conditions for the failure in the War of 1812. (navy and the standing army)

39 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.38 Jefferson’s Failures Declaration of Independence -- exaggerated praise -- ideas were not original (borrowed from other political thinkers, especially John Locke) -- lifted the most famous line from George Mason (in the Virginia Constitution) George Mason in the Virginia Constitution – “ … the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

40 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.39 Really Big Question: Questions: Why is Jefferson given any attention at all? Why do we even study him? Why does Colonial Williamsburg treat him like the Pope or something? What did Jefferson do that is worthy of acclaim? The creation of political parties and the expression of political passion

41 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.40 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology -- to understand Jefferson’s ideology, we must first understand the world in which he lived, and how he made his money -- we must understand “plantation political psychology”

42 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.41 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology consignment system -- plantation farmers had to use this system (explain it) -- the farmer took all of the risks

43 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.42 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology the new financial institutions -- the new financial institutions emanate from England -- banks are new in colonial America; farmers regarded them with suspicion -- It’s not just banks; it is all the new financial entities: stock markets, stock trading, insurance – anything where money itself makes money -- thought this to be a kind of “gambling”

44 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.43 The New Capitalism -- Corporations -- Governor Clinton of New York said he distrusted the idea of a “corporation,” because it seemed to be a shady conspiracy against the common good. Banks -- Virginia planters hated bankers and banking. They thought it was the "prostitution of money for illicit gain."

45 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.44 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology the new financial institutions -- threatened planter hegemony: Land is no longer power; finance is Bill Gates is now king, not Lord Jefferson -- debtor/creditor relationship is vicious

46 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.45 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology Jefferson’s notion of “virtue” -- he sees three worlds: (a) the wild; (b) the urban; and (c) the rural -- only those who work the land can have virtue

47 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.46 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology urbanization -- the cities are like sores on the body Jefferson against urbanization -- Jefferson made this analogy: cities are to a nation what sores are to the body. The less you have of them, the more healthy you are. Jefferson writes: “those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of god, possessing substantial and genuine virtue.”

48 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.47 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology urbanization -- London scared the hell out of him: diplomat while the constitution was being written The largest cities in colonial America were 30,000 to 50,000 units – not that big. London had over a million people

49 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.48 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology urbanization -- London scared the hell out of him: Britain was the first to develop urbanization, manufacturing, banking, stock trading, etc. The cities were now becoming cosmopolitan There were drunks, homeless, and an underclass Colonial America had avoided this.

50 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.49 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology manufacturing -- is starting to happen in Britain: clothing mills with 1,300 people employed invention of interchangeable parts giving Britain an economic advantage over the world

51 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.50 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology manufacturing -- Q: what route will America take? the first flax mill opens in America in 1791 Hamilton and the Federalists want these new institutions; Jefferson and the plantation owners do not

52 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.51 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology the federalist agenda threatens plantation hegemony -- Hamilton’s Financial Plan federal government to charter a bank Hamilton’s report on Manufacturing the whiskey tax and assumption program -- building the national judiciary -- “government had implied powers” -- Abolish Slavery? Quaker petition

53 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.52 Jefferson against finance capitalism -- Once the bank opened up and made a public offering of stock, the stock sold out in a hour. People lined up at the courthouse trying to buy it and were upset that none was left. Jefferson saw it not as a triumph but a waste of money. He said it was strange that in a country that cannot afford to pay its debts or properly clothe its army that it would waste money on what he called "gambling." When the price of shares went through the roof in August, this caused Jefferson and Madison to be horrified at how the "stockjobbers" were scamming to take people's money. This was viewed as immoral and something that was hurting good, honest work. When the panic of 1792 hit, Jefferson remarked "that the credit and faith of the nation seemed to be dependent upon gambling scoundrels.“ Amid the crash in March, Madison was saying: this proves that the gambling system doesn't work.

54 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.53 The New Capitalism -- A speculative craze was unleashed in New York and in other commercial centers. Jefferson said that America was being transformed into a “gaming table”-- a corrupt squadron of paper dealers that he called “stock jobbers.” Importantly, these types of speculators were now starting to show up in the Congress, and Jefferson could see them having an increasing presence there. For Jefferson, the American character was defined by frugality and industry [meaning labor -- hard work on the farm]. Hamilton was therefore taking America on the same adulterated path that Europe had taken. Jefferson was thinking specifically of his British experience: seeing the cities get bigger and being full of laborers who were poor and exploited by the ones who made the money, these banking and commercial interests. If this was how American society would be transformed, it would begin to look like London -- a large gap between haves and have nots Jefferson sounds like Ralph Nader sometimes

55 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.54 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology Jefferson has had “enough” -- The Virginians believe that they made a big mistake joining the government. They were “duped.” two views about the revolution: -- independence versus nationhood

56 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.55 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology Jefferson acts to counter Hamilton -- Hires a newspaper “hitman” Newspaper “hitman” -- Jefferson hires someone in the state department to be set up as a newspaper writer who will tear down the Federalist cause and its proponents. Themes coming from the newspaper are that Hamilton is working behind the scenes, corrupting Washington, the aging patriarch, and is planning to establish monarchy. (You could also interpret the writings as Hamilton trying to become king).

57 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.56 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology Jefferson acts to counter Hamilton -- Hires a newspaper “hitman” … feeds him government contracts (public notices, printing jobs) to keep the paper profitable -- organizes the anti-Hamilton sentiment in the political marketplace

58 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.57 Jefferson’s World View Jefferson’s Ideology rise of political parties -- originally thought to be “conspiratorial,” and to lack virtue -- begin as societies, pre-parties (“Adam’s men” “Jefferson’s men”) -- forms into “Democratic-Republican” party (Jeffersonian Republicans) -- the role of the party press: -- blatantly hostile; no notion of an “objective press” yet Jefferson ascends to power in 1800

59 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.58 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: state of the union address -- written instead of in-person

60 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.59 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: first chief legislator -- the famous round-table dinner parties

61 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.60 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: budgetary policy -- cuts taxes (relies on tariffs only) -- cuts spending Reaganomics? Jefferson cut federal spending drastically. Cut the funding for the army. Cut the funding of the military by 2/3rds and put the Navy on the dry dock, with the exception of the small squadron which was sent to fight off Barbary pirates.

62 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.61 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: budgetary policy -- economic success Economic Success-- He would not have been able to reduce the deficit using this strategy were it not for the booming international trade that occurred, allowing the tariff revenue to be generous. In the 1780s, the customs receipts began to rise before he came into office. By the time he was done with his first term, they had doubled what they were in 1799. This led to budget surpluses and enabled Jefferson to reduce the national debt.

63 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.62 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: Barbary Pirates -- attacking our merchant ships in the Mediterranean (explain why) -- leads an undeclared naval war against them (Hamilton’s position on constitutionality) note the aggressive use of presidential power

64 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.63 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: purchases “Louisiana” Napoleon (France) had acquired it from Spain (declining empire Jefferson is scared that Napoleon is going to set up shop in New Orleans and perhaps try to conquer America why Napoleon agreed to sell it (slave revolts, needed cash for European war) $15 million; a few cents per acre ideologically mixed decision

65 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.64 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: leaves the Hamilton plans alone! -- Jefferson never acts upon his Anti-Hamilton impulses (national bank, financial plan, neutrality, trade with Britain, standing army/navy, etc.)

66 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.65 Jefferson’s Presidency highlights: supports public works! -- believes it is unconstitutional for the federal government to improve roads, canals, rivers; and to support education and the arts -- but he does it anyway! First National Road-- Significant development: the creation of the first national road from Cumberland MD to the Ohio river.

67 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.66 Jefferson’s Presidency second-term failure disastrous Embargo -- war breaks out between Britain and France -- both sides attack our ships [explain why] -- Jefferson does something disastrous: a trade embargo with Britain killed the economy and had no chance of working

68 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.67 The failed embargo and the police state -- J’s love of trade wars causes a financial depression throughout the north because of an embargo imposed against Britain during his second term. In the month of may 1808 alone, there are over 80 bankruptcies and 100 people in debtors prisons in a city in New York. There are thousands unemployed. Farmers can’t pay their mortgages. To enforce the embargo, Jefferson uses police state tactics that are somewhat oppressive, and having people post a bond, and increasing the penalties for smuggling. To kill an insurrection, Jefferson sends in an army. [relate this to the whiskey rebellion].

69 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.68 Jefferson’s Presidency second-term failure disastrous Embargo -- war breaks out between Britain and France -- both sides attack our ships [explain why] -- Jefferson does something disastrous: a trade embargo with Britain killed the economy and had no chance of working ( note why boycotts could work against the stamp act but not here)

70 3/12/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.69 Jefferson’s Presidency second-term failure disastrous Embargo -- unprepared to do anything else (militarily) -- dispirited over the issue, Jefferson quits working on it Jefferson quits again? -- He became so dispirited with the embargo, it is almost as if he threw up his hands and simply left to the Congress the choice of whether to continue it or not [relate this to his failure in Virginia]. Also, another reason for this was that his term was coming to an end and that the incoming leaders should be the one to deal with it. Just shortly before Jefferson left office, Congress repealed the embargo and adopted a new policy.

71 3/12/2007(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.70 Summary of Jefferson’s Legacy The Two-Party System The President as Chief Legislator? Strong Use of Presidential Power Conservative Fiscal Policy Agrarian ideology anti-finance capitalism pro-slavery (racist inclinations) not particularly good at military defense puzzling contradictions on the wrong side of history for many important issues creative intellectually, but his political passions dominated his intellectualism personality prone to exaggeration colorful writer for his place and time

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