Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd President of the United States from 1817 to 1825, and is well known for being one of the Founding Fathers.

12,786 Questions
Thomas Jefferson
George Washington

What were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson that John Adams was not?

They were Virginians.

They were also two term presidents whereas John Adams lost his re-election bid.
sign the declaration of independence

Ancient History
History of India
Thomas Jefferson

What are the accomplishments in India?

India i.e Bharat has innumerable accomplishments from which all the countries have learnt something or the other.India gave a language in in the form of Sanskrit the mother of languages and grammar, through which all the languages have developed.

India taught through its scriptures Vedas and Upnishads the meaning of life and the way to live.

India dispersed all knowledge to the Universe whether of Arithmatics, astronomy, astrology, agriculture, metaphysics, metallurgy etc. etc. etc. etc. . . . . . . . . . . .

History of the United States
Thomas Jefferson
Napoleon Bonaparte

What influenced Napoleon Bonaparte to sell the Louisiana territory?

Napoleon Bonaparte was rebuilding the power of France in Europe and attempting to regain much of its colonial empire. In a secret treaty between and Spain, Napoleon regained the vast amount of territory it had years ago ceded to Spain. The territory covered what is now the US State of Louisiana, and expanded to areas northwest of the Mississippi River. The territory was about 828,000 square miles.US President Thomas Jefferson understood the importance of not having a strong French presence in the city of New Orleans. At the same time, he also wanted to prevent the British Empire from gaining more territory in North America should the British seize New Orleans in event of a war between the two European superpowers.

The world was unsure of Napoleon's specific plans for French expansion. Jefferson was surprised when he learned from his minister in France, David Livingston, that Napoleon offered to sell to the US the entire territory of Louisiana. Because of the strength of the British navy, and the uncertainty in French Haiti, Napoleon believed he could not hold New Orleans from a British assault. Additionally, there was always the prospect of the US taking control of New Orleans and the Louisiana Territory.

There was considerable opposition in the US for making a deal with France. Some, including Alexander Hamilton, believed that Napoleon would never sell New Orleans. Others believed that the US should take the City by force.

It became known that the British did not want the US in New Orleans and that Napoleon's brothers were also against the sale. Nevertheless the deal was struck and with the help of James Madison, Jefferson made the deal.

As an aside, opposition to the Purchase came from a variety of places. One was from the editors of the Alexander Hamilton owned New York Post and from the president of Harvard, Josiah Quincy.

American Revolution
Thomas Jefferson
Declaration of Independence

What unalienable rights does the Declaration say people have?

All men are created equal, joe

Founding Fathers
US Presidents
Thomas Jefferson

What was Thomas Jefferson's childhood like?

His first memory was horseback riding with a slave into the Virginia wildness at the age of three. He was born on his father's plantation called Shadwell. He was the third of ten children. At the age of five he learned to read, write and do arithmetic from a private tutor. At age 9 he was placed in a classical school under Reverend William Douglas. He also took to hunting at an early age, but his love of nature overcame this hobby and he soon disliked it. In 1758 he was sent to a school under Reverend James Maury and at age 14 his father died. In 1760, at the age of 17, he entered the College of William and Mary. He eventually learned to speak 6 languages.

As a young child Thomas Jefferson was an enthusiastic student, often spending up to fifteen hours a day studying. He was to retain a life long interest in reading. He had both a keen intellect and also a wide range of interests. His interests ranged from philosophy and architecture to the natural sciences. At the age of 17 he entered the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, two years later he graduated with the highest honors. After leaving college he studied law under George Wythe and later served in the Virginia House of Burgess.

Thomas Jefferson

Who were Thomas Jefferson's siblings?

Thomas Jefferson had 6 sisters and one brotherthat lived to maturity.

Children of Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph

  • Jane Jefferson (1740-1765) never married
  • Mary Jefferson ( October 1, 1741-1811) married John Bolling who served in the Virginia House of Burgesses
  • Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826)
  • Elizabeth Jefferson (1744-1774) - mentally handicapped, never married
  • Martha Jefferson (1746-1811) - married Dabney Carr who helped launch the underground committee of correspondence in Virginia on the eve of the Revolution.
  • Peter Field Jefferson (1748-1748) -- died before age one
  • (unnamed son) born and died 1850
  • Lucy Jefferson ((October 10, 1752 -1810) married Charles Lilburne Lewis
  • Anne Scott Jefferson (October 1, 1755 - July 8, 1828) married Hastings Marks
  • Randolph Jefferson (October 1, 1755-August 7, 1815), twin of Anne, married Anne J. Lewis (1780) and Mitchie Ballow Pryor (c. 1809)
Founding Fathers
Thomas Jefferson
Declaration of Independence

What were Thomas Jefferson's views on slavery?

Jefferson's views on slavery were contradictory: On one hand, Jefferson was morally opposed to slavery. He felt it was evil and wrong. His original draft of the Declaration of Independence condemned it in no uncertain terms. As Governor of Virginia, he proposed legislation to abolish it. On the other hand, despite his moral opposition though, he owned a significant number of slaves and even fathered children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemmings.

History of the United States
US Presidents
Thomas Jefferson

Who was the third president of the US?

The third American president was Thomas Jefferson, who was the vice president while the person before him, John Adams, was president. He was president for 8 years from 1801 to 1809.

Thomas Jefferson
Politics and Government

Where did Thomas Nast live?

Thomas Nast, the political cartoonist, lived in New York City muchh of the time. He was born in Germany and spent some time in Europe as an adult. he is buried in Brooklyn, NY.

US Presidents
Thomas Jefferson

How did Thomas Jefferson make money?

Most of his income came from his plantation. Tobacco was the main cash crop.

He earned a salary as president and in some of his other government jobs.

US Constitution
Thomas Jefferson

How did the court system change under Jefferson's administration?

Jefferson's opinion of good judges was much higher than of his predecessor's. One of his arguments for a bill of rights would be the power they would give the judiciary. At his urging, Congress repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801, abolishing the numerous district courts created at the end of the Adams presidency. The battle to abolish the Judiciary Act was not an easy one. Federalists argued that once the courts were created and judges were appointed, the Constitution directs that they serve for life unless impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors". The Republican leadership, prompted by Jefferson chose to attack them based on the cost to the nation. Since many of the courts were created to pack the judiciary with lifetime Federalist judges, there were many circumstances in which there was no need for a court at all. The Republicans argued that the unwarranted nature of the courts combined with their excessive cost justified repeal for the Judiciary Act. Despite the fact that this argument required a "loose" interpretation of the Constitution, which Jefferson rallied against when he fought the creation of Hamilton's First Bank of the United States, the Congress was successful in reversing the law.

This also left numerous Federalist "midnight judges" without positions. Since the creation of these "midnight judge" positions was done to protect the courts from Republican appointees, Jefferson felt justified in not awarding the commissions creating the new federal judges. One commission that he was unable to prevent was the appointment of former Secretary of State John Marshall to the position of Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Although Marshall was a cousin of Jefferson, he was a strong Federalist in the tradition of John Adams. Marshall's influence on the Court would help to firmly entrench the supremacy of the federal government. One of the first cases Marshall was asked to decide was that of William Marbury, one of the "midnight judges" who was requesting that the Court issue a "writ of mandamus" to Secretary of State James Madison ordering the delivery of the judicial commissions. The resulting case, Marbury v. Madison, set the landmark precedent of judicial review for the Supreme Court. Not content with simply overturning the Judiciary Act of 1801 and removing the "midnight judges," the Republican next planned to impeach existing federal judges to remove them from office. The first case was John Pickering, a Federalist judge who exhibited signs of insanity and public drunkenness. At Jefferson's instigation, the House of Representatives impeached Pickering in 1804 and the Senate removed him from the bench later that year. Jefferson next set his sights on the Supreme Court. Reading that Federalist Justice Samuel Chase told a grand jury that the Republicans threatened "peace and order, freedom and property", Jefferson urged Congressional leaders to begin impeachment hearings. Many Republicans felt that this accusation of sedition was too reminiscent of the Federalist Sedition Act that had been repealed early in Jefferson's presidency. Unwilling to remove a Supreme Court justice on purely political accusations, the Senate acquitted Chase of all charges in 1804. The case of Samuel Chase has been the only impeachment trial of a Supreme Court justice in United States history. By rebelling against Jefferson's wishes, the Senators of his own party sent a message that the independence of the judiciary was not open to political manipulation.

Founding Fathers
Thomas Jefferson

Where would the Founding Fathers fit into today's political climate?

They would be somewhere between the most conservative Republicans and the Libertarian Party. They would regard the size and scope of modern government as completely beyond all propriety.

Michael Montagne

Definitely Libertarian. They wanted to maximize freedom, while minimizing the power of government. If they saw the size and scope of our current government, and the amount it taxes us, they would probably go straight into cardiac arrest.

Though all the founding fathers were good people, this is kind of a blanket question, and it's getting a lot of blanket answers. Here's the thing: The founding fathers did not all agree with everything each other said. Just like our current government, they all had very different ideas and beliefs. The winning side, the antifederalists, were very libertarian. This group included people like Thomas Jefferson and other greats. However, there was a group called the federalists that were almost exactly like today's democratic party, and they were led by Alexander Hamilton.

This means that some of them would be disgusted, and some of them would be glad that their dream of a nation was fulfilled. And some, like Benjamin Franklin, would probably be utterly neutral, so long as British soldiers weren't living in American garages.

Who do I side with? The federalists. Why? Here's what the anti-federalists thought would happen if the constitution was ratified: "the state governments would wither away, leaving a national government so removed from local conditions that it would have to rule by force rather than consent."

Based on what is considered "far right wing conservative" today, those who call Bush and republicans "right wing extremists" would have to call the founding fathers Nazis.

Why? Because the founding fathers were so incredibly far right by today's political standards, that they would be shunned as outcasts and freaks. Look at the Constitution that they themselves created, which has been interpreted to mean hardly anything by activist judges.

Using George Mason's "Virginia Rights of Man" as part of their basis, they came up with the Declaration of Independence that said "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

Right in that text they said "Governments are instituted among men, ***deriving their powers from the consent of the governed***"

Then right in the tenth amendment they say "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Nowadays, it is the other way around. We go to government to ask their permission to see if we can do something. The Federal government holds states at their mercy by witholding federal funds if they don't comply with that they say is right. Federal judges overstep their jurisdiction and remove an elected judge from the bench in Alabama because of what they thought was right. That would be like me coming into your house and spanking your kid because he didn't eat his peas the way I thought was right. I have no power to do that, and neither does the federal judiciary, yet they regulary ignore the Constitution that governs our political system.

Basically, what the founding fathers designed has been shot to pieces and is pretty much ignored nowadays, save a few select amendments (like the first, etc..) that is convenient for people. Nowadays liberals say that the First Amendment has virtually no limitations on it (child pornography is protected, etc...) yet the second amendment limits you to only "approved" arms that they think is ok. Washington, Jefferson, and the other designers of our nation would be appaled, as are the "right wing extremists" speaking up today. So I guess there's your answer, they'd be "right wing extremists" (although they'd be CORRECT... that should tell us something, that maybe these "right wing extremists" are really just people who believe in what the country was founded on)

You know I've disagreed with this author in the past (oh wait, I still do) but I do think that there is a certain point to the gripe that the federal government pressures states by withholding funding (despite the constitutionality of the practice). For example, there is _no way_ marijuana would be illegal in all fifty states if it weren't for highway fund blackmail. But that's a liberal thing...

Seems as if there is a lot of republican rhetoric here about small government and how the founding fathers would agree with that concept. While the founding fathers did believe in a smaller government, the current republican party believes in a smaller government only when it suits their political purposes. The previous post about medical marijuana is one good example. There are other examples on the environment where states have tried to institute new laws or regulations on gasoline only to have the republicans and the current white house come down on the side of protecting big business. Also, I would argue that the current patriot act is an expansion of government power, and doesn't represent small government.

I personally think that the founding fathers had some very radical ideas. I think the idea of Free Speech and Free Press would be considered liberal ideas today. If free speech and free press wasn't legal today, I doubt that the conservatives would be calling for it to be legalized. Conservatives of today are constantly trying to contain free speech when it comes to pornography.

Conservatives are constantly trying to insert religion into politics where the founding fathers made it very clear that there should be a separation of church and state.. which was a very liberal idea at the time. One of the previous posts mentions that a judge in Alabama was removed because of his beliefs, but the details are that he wanted the 10 commandments in the courthouse, which clearly violates a separation of church and state. The idea that all men are created equal was fought by the conservatives of the 1960s and it is only accepted nowadays by conservatives because it is the politically correct thing to do.

So, I think the founding fathers would be considered liberal by todays standards. Many of their ideas were very radical at the time and I don't think were concidered conservative ideas.

I have to disagree with the previous posting. There is absolutely no question that the founding fathers would be considered extremely conservative by today's standards. First of all, this idea that freedom of speech, and of the press are liberal ideas is insane. A perfect example of this is today's college campuses, which are extremely liberal. According to the previous posting, since free speech is a liberal idea, a liberal place like a college campus would welcome any kind of speech; even if they disagreed with it. However, anyone who spends 5 minutes on a college campus quickly realizes that this is not the case. Liberals on campuses are utterly intolerant of any view that they disagree with. Prominent conservative speakers, including David Horowitz, and Ann Coulter, are routinely assaulted at the hands of liberals simply for expressing a view that they disagree with. I personally watched several debates on multiple California campuses during the last election, and republican candidates were regularly interrupted, heckled, and booed, while liberal candidates spoke without interruption, (except an occasion applause). True free speech advocates such as David Horowitz, who promotes free speech on campus with his "Academic Bill of Rights", are demonized by the left. I understand that both parties are guilty of trying to limit free speech to their advantage, everybody knows that, but conservatives don't engage in this kind of outrageous behavior simply to try and censor views they disagree with.

It is also clear that the author of the previous posting does not understand the distinction between "conservativism", which is a philosophy, and "republicans", which is simply a party affiliation. Members of the republican "party" may, or may not endorse conservative "philosophy". I believe the argument is whether or not the founders would be "conservatives" not whether or not they would be members of the republican party. So just because you cited some examples of "republicans" supporting big government, does not change the fact that limited government is still a "conservative" idea. You clearly stated in your posting that the "founding fathers did believe in smaller government", and since smaller government is clearly a conservative idea, then the founding fathers were conservative in that respect.

The previous posting also mentions that conservatives are constantly "trying to insert religion into politics", and that the founding fathers clearly said, "there should be a separation of church and state" - that is one of the left's favorite qoutes, and I find that funny since it appears NOWHERE in the constitution. What the constitution does say though is that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." That's it. The example you used was Judge Moore placing the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. So i guess in your mind Judge Moore is "Congress", and placing the ten commandments in his courtroom was establishing some kind of "law". I also find it funny that you conveniently overlook all the things liberals do that violate the "separation of church and state." For instance, Bill Clinton regularly campaigned from churches all throughout America. Bill Clinton also regularly evoked the name of God, and Hillary Clinton regularly evokes the bible to try to promote her socialist ideas, just to name a few.

One of the problems with studying American political history is how the political terms and attitudes have changed since then. Thomas Jefferson, one of the most outspoken advocates of a limited federal government and of democratic self-government, was a radical liberal in his day. The Hamiltonian Federalists who had no use for popular opinion and believed in a powerful federal government, led by elite aristocrats who thought they knew what was best for the common man and really didn't see much need for the commoners to have any say in their government at all, were the conservatives of the day. Today, Jefferson would be in the conservative camp (and not the neocon variety, either), Hamilton would be seen as a liberal, and the really radical ones like Patrick Henry and George Mason, who opposed the ratification of the Constitution because they thought it gave too much power to the federal government, would probably be at home in the libertarian camp.

I agree wholeheartedly with the previous answer. Our current political orientations color the way we view historical figures. Liberal today is Conservative tomorrow. Unfortunately we live in an era of "the other guy does this but we don't" politics. A classic example in the answer before last concerning the hostility and unfair treatment perceived towards Conservative candidates (and you actually just wrote about Republican candidated, not conservatives, which sort of pulls the support from the Conservative doesn't equal Republican argument, by the way) displayed on college campuses and an assertion that Liberals don't face the same verbal and theological assaults. Have you ever listened to Rush? Hannity? Seen the "loyalty oath" required to attend a rally for President Bush? I'm afraid the pendulum swings both ways my friend. As to the original question I think we should refrain from the Liberal and Conservative label for the time being when discussing the Founding Fathers. More appropriate, I belive, would be the label "Radical". Because that, indeed, is what they were. Radical in thought, radical in act, radical in belief. As a group they came to hold beliefs that simply didn't exist. The Founding Fathers were radicals and the loyalists were "Establishment types", individuals loyal to the status quo. Be it for ethical, economic or political reasons. I also find great fault with those who state that the Founding Fathers would have such a problem with our modern government. The Constitution of the United States was written as a living, changing document. The Supreme Court was created to oversee the continued interpretation of the document and Congress and the States are given the power to alter it's content. You simply can't compare the world of 1800 to the world of 2000. A simple task like relaying a message to another state required planning, time and organization. Now it requires a few seconds. Strict constructionists love to say "if it's not written in the Constitution then it can't be interpreted as part of the Constitution" which says to me that we must turn our backs on technological and social development. Anyone who can't accept the fact that the Founding Fathers understood that time would change the landscape of this nation and result in the need for change in our Constitutional values is simply blind to the truth: Our Radical Founding Fathers were, and may well remain, the finest of us. Perhaps they would form a political party of their own today. The "C'mon people, let's be realistic" party.

Thomas Jefferson
Declaration of Independence
Cherokee Indians

What was Thomas Jeffersons's cognitive dissonance?

I'm not going to say that this was his only one, but Jefferson had trouble recognizing the inherent freedom of those who were not Caucasian balanced with their human political rights & freedoms.

I guess the same could be said with his views on national and state governments; he saw it as easier to effect change and protect rights in a local setting but at the same time recognized that a 'majority rule' doctrine was destroying human rights without some form of federal oversight to bring all states inline.

Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton

Why did Hamilton want to favor the wealthy class in his fiscal policies?

Hamilton favored a society based on trade and industry, thus his favoring of the merchant class.

Business Plans
International Government
Thomas Jefferson

How did Jefferson chart a new course for the government?

Jefferson thought his election as the " Revolution of 1800. " Jefferson's first goal as President was limit the federal government's power over states and citizens. The new President thought that under Washington and Adams the Federal government had become too involved in economic affairs. He believed the idea of laissez faire from French term for "Let alone. Laissez faire means that the government should not interfere in the economy.

Thomas Jefferson
Declaration of Independence
Thomas Paine

Why didn't Thomas Jefferson sign the Declaration of Independence?

He did sign the Declaration of Independence look carefully


US Presidents
Thomas Jefferson
Declaration of Independence

What is a list of Thomas Jefferson's friends?

James Madison and James Monroe were two Virginian political allies. Meriweather Lewis was his private secretary. He trusted Albert Gallatin his Secretary of Treasury for financial advice. George Wythe, another Virginia politician, willed his library to Jefferson. He developed a great deal of respect for John and Abigail Adams after he retired . He regularly invited students and faculty from the the University of Virginia to his home.

US Presidents
Thomas Jefferson

What were Thomas Jefferson's goals as president?


Thomas Jefferson

Did Thomas Jefferson have an adult life?

NO , he really didn't have an adult life ; he was too busy following his farther footsteps & later on figured he wanted to be a president & started studying & qualifying for the president role ; spot .

-- signed , xoxoxoxo12

Thomas Jefferson

Was Thomas Jefferson a southern president?

Jefferson spent his life in Virginia. Virginia is not in the deep South, but is was a slave state and contained the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond.

Thomas Jefferson

Who did Jefferson and the Democratic Republican's want to model themselves after?

They wanted to be like the french

History of the United States
Thomas Jefferson

What President purchased the Louisiana Territory?

Thomas Jefferson proposed and completed the Louisiana Purchase from France and Napoleon in 1803. Robert Livingstone and James Monroe traveled to France to negotiate the purchase. The original intent was to purchase only enough land to guarantee access to the Mississippi and the port of New Orleans. Napoleon apparently needed money and offered the entire Louisiana Territory for $15 million or about 3 cents per acre. After the purchase was made, Jefferson assigned Lewis and Clark the job of exploring the territory. Congress had to approve the final purchase and arrange to borrow the $15 million purchase price. Thomas Jefferson was our 3rd President serving from March, 1801 to March, 1809.

History of the United States
Thomas Jefferson

Why did the president hesitate to accept Napoleon's offer to sell the entire Louisiana Territory to the US?

Jefferson did not believe that the constitution granted him the right to make the purchase.

Thomas Jefferson

How did John Locke influence Thomas Jefferson?

John Locke was a huge influence on all of Thomas Jefferson's philosophical thoughts and ideals. If you research anything on Locke, you can see where many of Jefferson's ideas and such came from.

For example, Jefferson paraphrases Locke's ideas in the Declaration of Independence, changing "life, liberty, and property" to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Locke's "Two Treatises of Government" is very significant.

Founding Fathers
Thomas Jefferson

Why didn't Jefferson veto the national bank?

Granting Congress any power not explicitly granted by the Constitution will remove all limits on its power other than what Congress itself believes to be the good of the nation.

Jefferson was a strict constructionist. He believed that the congress could exercise no power not specifically and explicitly mentioned in the constitution. Since the constitution nowhere mentions a bank he believed any law establishing a bank to be unconstitutional.

Michael Montagne

As Secretary of State in Washington's administration Jefferson could not "veto" the National Bank. He argued against it, and debated Alexander Hamilton about its constitutionality, but he was in no position to veto anything.He was, as stated a strict constitutionalist, but later during his own administration he will be forced to recant this strict position when he must make the decision to buy the Louisiana Territory.


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