Thomas Jefferson Research Paper

Thomas Jefferson
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This article is about the United States president. For other uses, see Thomas Jefferson (disambiguation). Thomas Jefferson
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale
3rd President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809
Vice PresidentAaron Burr (1801–1805)
George Clinton (1805–1809)
Preceded byJohn Adams
Succeeded byJames Madison
2nd Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
PresidentJohn Adams
Preceded byJohn Adams
Succeeded byAaron Burr
1st United States Secretary of State
In office
March 22, 1790 – December 31, 1793
PresidentGeorge Washington
Preceded byJohn Jay (Foreign Affairs)
Succeeded byEdmund Randolph
United States Minister to France
In office
May 17, 1785 – September 26, 1789
Appointed byCongress of the Confederation
Preceded byBenjamin Franklin
Succeeded byWilliam Short
Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation from Virginia
In office
November 3, 1783 – May 7, 1784
Preceded byJames Madison
Succeeded byRichard Henry Lee

2nd Governor of Virginia
In office
June 1, 1779 – June 3, 1781
Preceded byPatrick Henry
Succeeded byWilliam Fleming
Delegate to the Second Continental Congress from Virginia
In office
June 20, 1775 – September 26, 1776
Preceded byGeorge Washington
Succeeded byJohn Harvie
Personal details
BornApril 13, 1743
Shadwell, Colony of Virginia, British America
DiedJuly 4, 1826 (aged 83)
Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.
Resting placeMonticello, Charlottesville, Virginia

Political partyDemocratic-Republican, (first Republican Party) Spouse(s)Martha Wayles (m. 1772; died 1782) Children6, including Martha Jefferson Randolph and Mary Jefferson Eppes Alma materCollege of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia ProfessionStatesman, planter, lawyer, architect ReligionChristianity (unorthodox), theism, deism SignatureTh: Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American lawyer and Founding Father, and principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776). He was elected the second Vice President of the United States (1797–1801) and the third President (1801–1809). Primarily of English ancestry, he was born and educated in Virginia, where he graduated from the College of William & Mary, practiced law and married Martha Wayles Skelton.

Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism and individual rights, which motivated American colonists to break from Great Britain and form a new nation. He produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, and served as a wartime governor (1779–1781).

He became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, and subsequently the nation’s first Secretary of State in 1790–1793 under President George Washington. Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. In 1796 he was elected Vice President under President John Adams. Jefferson and Madison in 1798–1799 anonymously wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which sought to embolden states’ rights in opposition to the national government, by nullifying the Alien and Sedition Acts.

He was elected President of the United States in 1800, and pursued the nation’s shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies respectively, while almost doubling the country’s territory and curtailing international slave trade. As a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. After his re-election in 1804, his second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the acquittal of former Vice President Aaron Burr for treason.

American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act of 1807, in response to British threats to U.S. shipping. In 1803, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribe removal to the newly organized Louisiana Territory and also signed into law in 1807 the disputed Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, which stopped short of addressing domestic slavery. His approach to the Indians and slavery has been vigorously debated, but historians generally rank Jefferson as one of the most successful U.S. Presidents.

Jefferson was a polymath whose interests ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and inventions, among others. His foremost book, Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), is among the nation’s momentous publications prior to 1800. He was a proven architect in the classical tradition, whose designs include his home Monticello, the Virginia State Capitol and others. Jefferson’s keen interest in religion and philosophy earned him the presidency of the American Philosophical Society. He shunned organized religion, but was influenced by both Christianity and deism.

Besides English, he was well versed in Latin, Greek, French, Italian and Spanish. He founded the University of Virginia in his retirement from public office. Historians believe that after the death of his wife Martha in 1782, Jefferson, a major slaveholder, had a long-term relationship with his slave Sally Hemings, and fathered at least some of her children. Although unexceptional as an orator, he was a skilled writer and corresponded with many influential people in America and Europe. Jefferson died at his home on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Contents [hide]
1Early life and career
1.2Lawyer and House of Burgesses
1.3Monticello, marriage and family
2Political career 1775–1800
2.1Declaration of Independence
2.2Virginia state legislator and governor
2.3Notes on the State of Virginia
2.4Member of Congress
2.5Minister to France
2.6Secretary of State
2.7Election of 1796 and Vice Presidency
2.8Election of 1800
3Presidency (1801–1809)
3.1First Barbary War
3.2Louisiana Purchase
3.3Lewis and Clark and other expeditions
3.4Indian removal
3.5Re-election in 1804 and second term
3.6Burr conspiracy
3.7Chesapeake–Leopard Affair and Embargo Act
4Later years
4.1University of Virginia
4.2Reconciliation with Adams

4.3Lafayette’s visit
4.4Final days
5Political and religious views
5.1Society and government
6.1Jefferson–Hemings controversy
7Interests and activities
7.1American Philosophical Society
8Historical reputation
8.1Memorials and honors
10See also
13.1Scholarly studies
13.2Web site sources
13.3Primary sources
14External links