Thomas Jefferson

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3'd President of the United States is probably the most noticed president of political and spiritual freedom in United State's history. As a public official-legislator, diplomat, and executive he served the province and commonwealth of Virginia and the American republic for almost 40 years.

He acquired the vast province of Louisiana and maintained neutrality while the world was in war, but some of his policies failed to guard the neutral rights at sea and it caused trouble at home. As a result, his administration reached its breaking point and it ended. In the last year of his presidency, he practiced leadership over his party. This was never done and was never matched by any other president in the 19th century. Thomas Jefferson was hailed as the "Man of the People," because he sought to conduct the government to the people's interests, rather than in the interest of any other privileged group.

Jefferson was born at Shadwell, his father's home in Albemarle County, VA, on April 13 1743. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a man of legendary strength. He was a successful planter and surveyor who gained a little recognition as an explorer and mapmaker. He served as a burgess and a county lieutenant. Thomas was related to many of the most prominent people in the province through his mother Jane Randolph, a member of one of the most famous families in Virginia. He was well educated. He went to small private schools. He attended the College of William and Mary where he studied the classics.

Jefferson became involved with law. He was admitted to the bar in 1767 and practiced until 1774 when the courts were closed because of the American Revolution. He became a successful lawyer. He married Martha Walyes Skelton on January 1st 1772.