Thomas Jefferson: Hypocrite or patriot? Further: Was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory an act that went back on all of Jefferson's beliefs?

Essay by Ralphie1080High School, 11th gradeA-, December 2002

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"I pledge allegiance to the flag... and to the republic for which it stands". Two hundred million Americans speak these hallowed words, yet they embody more than a simple repetitive verse. In fact, Francis Bellamy's immortal pledge has the power to refresh disheartened Americans and remind them of one important truth: first and foremost, a patriot will seek the improvement of the American republic. The president among all others must hold this truth to be self evident, or else vanish into the annals of history. Presidents such as Lincoln and Roosevelt are enshrined for their works on behalf of the American people. Yet for at least one president, unflagging dedication was not good enough. It is ironic that when one president not only strives for American greatness but also places political partisanship at a distant second, he is not lauded but lambasted. If presidents of the past and the future could take note of Thomas Jefferson's dedication to his country, they would not doubt his integrity or spirit.

None would call him hypocritical toward his beloved country. His purchase of Louisiana was not the act of a hypocrite, but rather the masterwork in a presidency that strove only for the improvement of the American nation.

In 1803,Thomas Jefferson had the opportunity to secure a majestic western border, creating a safer country for all. With Louisiana safely in hand, the French threat would largely disappear, along with Napoleon's dreams of an American colonial empire. Jefferson's accomplishment in eliminating this threat is staggering, and even more so in the face of Napoleon. Many times, the French fought for control of Louisiana. In the Seven-Years war, the French were forced to cede the land to Spain, a decrepit monarchy that posed no threat to America. The threat of violence increased in 1799...