Long revered as one of America's founding fathers, Jefferson remains the subject of intense scholarly debate in the twenty-first century. Of particular interest to current critics and historians are his views on the separation of church and state, and the inconsistency between his well-documented belief in individual liberty and his status as a slave owner. His father was a self-made man and an early settler of the Virginia wilderness, and his mother was a member of a prominent Colonial family, the Randolphs.
Jefferson attended private schools and the College of William and Mary, where he studied law, science, literature, and philosophy. He was admitted to the bar in and practiced law for two years. In he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. During that same year he designed and began building Monticello, his famous family home, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
A year later he joined the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and in June, , he wrote the original draft of the Declaration. From to , Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Delegates and was elected to the governorship in As governor, he attempted to reform the penal code, to abolish the inheritance policies of primogeniture and entail, and to establish a complete system of public education.
In , Jefferson briefly retired from politics following the death of his wife of ten years, Martha Wayles Skelton. He returned to politics two years later and Congress appointed him envoy to France to assist Benjamin Franklin; in he succeeded Franklin as minister to France, an office he held until the beginning of the French Revolution four years later. During the s Jefferson served as secretary of state in George Washington's administration, and as vice president under John Adams, while at the same time leading the Republican opposition to the Federalist programs of both men.
The Federalists advocated a strong, centralized government that favored industrialism, commercialism, and banking, while Jefferson's vision of government was founded on states' rights, individual liberties, and self-reliant agrarianism.
In , Jefferson was elected president and he attempted to reconcile the differences between the two factions. In , he presided over the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the territory of the United States and gaining complete control of the Mississippi River.
After serving a second term as president, Jefferson retired to Monticello in after 40 years of public service. During his last years, Jefferson received visitors at Monticello, composed his autobiography, and carried on an extensive correspondence. He continued to pursue philosophical, educational, and architectural interests.
His efforts to establish a state-supported university eventually resulted in the creation of the University of Virginia, and he was involved in every aspect of its development from the architectural plans to the recruitment of faculty. He considered it one of his greatest achievements. Jefferson died on July 4, , exactly fifty years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson's first important political treatise, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, presented his concept of natural rights—that people have certain inalienable rights superior to civil law. Jefferson denied that the British Parliament held any political authority over the colonists, and demanded free trade and an end to British taxation. The essay's considerable influence during pre-revolutionary debates brought Jefferson wide attention and contributed to his selection by the Second Continental Congress to write the Declaration of Independence.
Although he was one of five committee members so chosen, most historians agree that it was Jefferson who wrote the original draft, and that he submitted it to John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, who suggested minor changes before sending it to Congress. The delegates debated its text line by line for two and a half days and adopted it July 4, I have some feelings, agreeing with your ideas about the expedition hea The third president of the United States, a diplomat, statesman, architect, scientist, and philosopher, Thomas Jefferson is one of Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States of America.
Jefferson was born April 13, Jefferson grew up on Jefferson was educated at the College of W Thomas Jefferson is remembered in history not only for the offices he held, but also for his belief in the natural rights of man a Jefferson had destroyed political traditions. From his contradictions and defecting his priciples, Jefferson destroyed the politic Thomas Jefferson was a man of the greatest moral character who has been excoriated routinely over the last 30 years by historical
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Papers include Virginia land grants, , made while Thomas Jefferson was governor, letters discussing politics, the prospects of the Republican Party, U.S. relations with France and England, Thomas Jefferson’s views on elementary and college education, copies of Thomas Jefferson’s speech to the Indians in , and an act of . 17 Best Research Paper Topics About Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the US of A. He was also one of .