Thomas Jefferson

Essay by nishapCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2013

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Chapter Writing Assignment

History 1301

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson was elected president. He believed in "republicanism", limited government, religious and free press freedom, majority rule and minority protection. Once elected, Jefferson relaxed his strict interpretation and endorsed purchasing the "Louisiana Purchase" which doubles the United States size.

Was Jefferson consistent with the republican principles he stated prior to his election? Why or why not?

Thomas Jefferson was an early American politician, who was well-known for his actions during his presidency. Actually, he was labeled as a Democratic-Republican, meaning he favored stronger rights of individual states, rather than a central government with a lot of power. That is, at least in the years prior to his presidency.

After he was elected, however, his convictions totally changed. During his presidency, three major events; his war with the Barbary Pirates, his restrictive economic policies, and the Louisiana Purchase, all directly contradicted the beliefs of himself and other Democratic-Republicans.

Before he was elected Thomas Jefferson did not like the idea of a large military, because of his principles of Republicanism.

During Adams' presidency and bid for larger armed forces, Jefferson was completely against such a notion, and he did not want a standing army. Even with his "principles", he still acted against the Barbary States in Africa with his armed forces. The pirates were boarding American ships in the Mediterranean and stealing their cargo. The pirates were harassing the American shipping industries vary greatly. Although Jefferson had reason to attack the pirates, this action directly contradicted his feelings before his presidency. Not only did he contradict himself, he also contradicted the Constitution, because he was not legally allowed to declare war against another country without an act of Congress approving such a move. When the conflict ended, Jefferson also paid $60,000 to keep the...