Notes On The State Of Virginia

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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In Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia he both accepts issues regarding technology. Financing of technology is a reoccurring issue in his text. Finance is the central issue while writing about construction, commerce, and the standard of living at the time. Taking into consideration a limited knowledge of history I will build assumptions and a line of reasoning for my essay.

One main issue Jefferson writes extensively about is construction. In particular the general housing construction techniques. At the time, unless an individual was wealthy, a person's housing was made of wood. He feels that everyone should have buildings built of brick and stone. He has a few reasons for these, all of which are technology related.

He states that stone houses are more energy efficient because they stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This basic observation is a technological reason because it deals with the properties of the stone.

Also notes is stone is more durable than lumber, and because of this it would be better the construct building that would be around longer than a "generous estimate of 50 years", and thereby not only being more attractive to the eye, but "adding value". Yet again another technological reason is supporting his claim. This quote sums up his feeling on housing construction: ""¦ much of the greatest proportion being seatling and boards (houses), plastered with lime. It is impossible to devise things more ugly or uncomfortable, and happily more perishable"¦" While he supports technological reasons for construction of houses, he rejects them while writing about commerce. Commerce constitutes the other main subject of his writing, and in particular issues regarding international trade. While he is in favor of craftsman making goods, which the people enjoy, he particularly notes clothing as a main concern.