Memorable Quotations from Thomas Jefferson

Book Cover

By Jim Dell


Memorable Quotations from Thomas Jefferson
(Kindle Book at Amazon)

Born in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson (17431826) was the 3rd president of the United States. A member (176975) of the Virginia house of burgesses, he was a leader of the patriot group. At the Second Continental Congress he drafted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document that exhibits his indebtedness to John Locke and other philosophers. In 1779 he became governor of Virginia, steering that state through the difficult last years of the American Revolution. In 1785 he became minister to France. Appointed secretary of state (179093) in President George Washington's cabinet, Jefferson defended agrarian interests against the Federalist policies of Alexander Hamilton and led a group called the Republicans, predecessors of the present-day Democratic Party. He served as vice president (17971801) and disputed the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts by writing the Kentucky Resolutions. The Republicans triumphed at the polls in 1800, but Aaron Burr, who had been slated to become vice president, tied Jefferson in the presidential vote. Jefferson was finally chosen president by the House of Representatives, largely on the recommendation of Hamilton, who considered Jefferson less dangerous than Burr. Jefferson was the first president inaugurated in Washington, a city he had helped to plan. He established a republican simplicity in the city and cut federal expenditures. He thought that the federal government should be concerned primarily with foreign affairs, leaving local matters to the states and community authorities. Regularly rigorous in interpreting the Constitution, he pushed through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, an act that it did not explicitly authorize. He also devised the Lewis and Clark Expedition. During his second administration, problems arose from attacks on neutral U.S. shipping by the warring superpowers of Britain and France. With such measures as the Embargo Act of 1807 he attempted to use economic pressure to achieve a solution, but this stirred strong opposition in the U.S. In retirement after 1809 at his much-loved home, Monticello, Jefferson brought about the creation of the University of Virginia and continued his enduring interests in science, architecture, philosophy, and the arts.


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