Jefferson Essay

862 WordsDec 7, 20114 Pages
November 4, 2011 DBQ- November 4, 2011 Thomas Jefferson was known as one of the greatest American heroes. Some of Jefferson’s many accomplishments include, chief author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, third president of the United States, and was known for almost single handedly starting the University of Virginia at age 81 in 1819 where he served as the first president. The list of Jefferson’s accomplishments go on and on, during the time in office, and out of office. However, what is most overlooked when people study Jefferson is his political views before office, and how they fluctuate by the time his term is up. Jefferson was an anti-federalist, and soon formed his own party with James Madison known as Democratic-Republicans. This party was formed as a direct opposition to the Federalist Party. When Jefferson was elected into office in 1801, his goal was to restore principals of the American Revolution. Jefferson’s first words as president were his principles that would guide his presidency. These principals included a frugal, limited government, reduction of public debt, state’s rights, and a limited role of government in people’s lives. Jefferson demanded a weak central government. In the Kentucky Resolution (Doc. B) Jefferson says, “By compact, under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government certain definite powers, reserving, each state to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government.” His speeches set forth a path of strict interpretation of constitution, a “rigid” economy, and decrease the size of the Military. Adams and Jefferson’s election resulted in a tie, leading the choice to the House of Representatives. Federalist had strong beliefs in their own opinion and hated Jefferson. The Federalist Circular in Massachusetts (Doc. E) says,

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