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Thomas Jefferson. Background April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826 Virginia lawyer, governor, and plantation owner Married to Martha Jefferson; 6 children (2.

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Presentation on theme: "Thomas Jefferson. Background April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826 Virginia lawyer, governor, and plantation owner Married to Martha Jefferson; 6 children (2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thomas Jefferson

2 Background April 13, July 4, 1826 Virginia lawyer, governor, and plantation owner Married to Martha Jefferson; 6 children (2 survived) Main author of the Declaration of Independence Heavily influenced religious freedom in the U.S.

3 The Third President Jefferson served as Vice President to John Adams despite their difference in political parties. In 1800, he ran for President and chose Aaron Burr to run as VP. The Federalists’ campaign called Republicans “ godless ” and Republicans argued that Federalists would bring back monarchy.

4 The Duel When Jefferson and Burr tied, Alexander Hamilton urged Congress to choose Jefferson, saying that he was “ by far not so dangerous a man ”. The Twelfth Amendment changed voting so that electors cast separate ballots for president and vice president. Burr blamed Hamilton for his loss (twice) and challenged him to a duel. Hamilton was shot in the belly and died a few days later.

5 Unity President Jefferson’s first order of business was to calm the nation’s political quarrels. “Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind…Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle…We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.” -Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address Compare Jefferson’s message here with Washington’s Farewell Address. How are their messages similar and different?

6 Neutrality In 1803, the peace that Adams had negotiated with France was broken as France and England went to war. Each country began to attack American ships. Remaining neutral became even harder as England began impressing, or kidnapping, American soldiers to serve in the British navy. War fever in America mounted again, only this time it was against Britain.

7 Pirates American ships were also under attack by pirates off the coast of North Africa. By the time Jefferson took office, the U.S. had already paid two million in tribute to the Barbary State. Jefferson hated war, but he hated paying tribute even more. He sent a small fleet of warships to the Mediterranean to protect American shipping. Eventually, American and European forces were able to destroy the pirate bases.

8 Foreign Policy Although Jefferson was able to solve the problem with the pirates, he still had France and Britain to deal with. Between 1803 and 1807, they had seized at least 1,500 American ships. Jefferson decided to impose an embargo, a complete halt in trade with other nations. He hoped that the embargo would hurt France and Britain ’ s economy enough that they would agree to leave American ships alone. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The embargo hurt American farmers and manufacturers more than France and Britain Embargo

9 Westward Expansion In the early 1800s, United States ’ territory only extended west to the Mississippi River. The land on the other side belonged to Spain and then France. Hoping to ensure that trade in the area would not be restricted, Jefferson sent a representative to France, who was informed that the land was for sale. Jefferson hesitated because nothing in the Constitution authorized him to purchase the land and he had always emphasized strict interpretation of the Constitution (the government can only do what is in the Constitution and everything else is a state or individual right).

10 The Louisiana Purchase Jefferson ’ s advisors urged him to make the deal to purchase the territory for $15 million before Napoleon changed his mind. Ultimately, he decided that the government ’ s treaty- making powers allowed the purchase of the land. Jefferson was hoping this land would expand American trade and provide plenty of cheap and fertile land for farmers.

11 Lewis and Clark Since very little was actually known about the land, Jefferson decided to sponsor an expedition to explore the new territory. He chose Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to assemble a crew. The expedition left in 1804, working their way up the Mississippi to start. It took eighteen months and nearly 4,000 miles before Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific ocean.

12 Native Americans’ Response All along their way, Lewis and Clark encountered Native American groups. One young Shoshone woman named Sacagawea joined their group as a guide. Native Americans began to lose more of their land to white settlers. Conflicts arose and Americans were furious at Britain for helping Native Americans.

13 Reducing the Federal Government Even though Jefferson increased the land size of America during his presidency, he reduced the federal government. During his presidency, the Alien and Sedition Acts expired and Congress ended many taxes Jefferson also reduced the number of federal employees and the size of the military.

14 End of an Era I have done for my country, and for all mankind, all that I could do, and I now resign my soul, without fear, to my God, – my daughter to my country. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

15 Death of a Legend By June 1826, Jefferson ’ s health had deteriorated so much that he was confined to his bed. He spent his time there going over his finances and debts. After sleeping most of the day on July 3rd, Jefferson awoke and asked his doctor “ Is it the fourth yet? ” These were his last words; he passed away during the early hours of the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

16 President Jefferson Reflection Assessing Thomas Jefferson’s decisions as president, was Thomas Jefferson’s presidency a success? How is the nation better or worse at the end of his presidency? Imagine you are Thomas Jefferson’s chief advisor during his presidency, what advice would you have given him? If you were him, what would you have done differently?


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