GENERAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO THOMAS JEFFERSON
>(comments) Hi, I'm very much in need of your help. For a history >project I need some information on Thomas Jefferson that I'm having >trouble finding. I'll try to help as much as I can, but you must bear two things in mind. (1) The questions you ask are enormous. One could write a whole article, and perhaps a whole book, on each one. And (2) I am not an historian. I am a librarian who has focused on the writings of Thomas Jefferson. I can pretty well discuss HIS principles of government in their own terms, because I have studied them so intently. But I cannot compare them to someone else's principles, or even put them in their historical context except as that context is evident in his own writings. So, with that in mind, I will try to provide some comment on each question. > I have to talk about 1)His sense of unity and direction. Absolutely! In the Declaration of Independence, he epitomized the whole sense and spirit of American government and the American people. My main website (see sig. below) of Jefferson Quotes is centered around an outline of American self-government which reveals the direction and unified aim he took throughout his life. Even though he was in France when the Constitution was written, he had great influence on Madison, it's chief author, and was one of the main proponents for the Bill of Rights. His sense and understanding of republicanism has been an inspiration to all Americans. > 2) Crisis mamgement -- were responses to crucial events strong and > courageuos. He is given mixed reviews by some historians, but I think they too easily overlook the obvious. The Louisiana Purchase itself was a decisive and strong and courageous act. He risked himself on something that was theoretically unauthorized, but was absolutely essential and needed to be acted upon without delay. The Embargo is considered a "failure", but only because it threw the nation into recession. He did it because he felt it was absolutely necessary in order to protect American shipping from the depredations of the British, and to give the country time to prepare for the inevitable confrontation with the British, which came with the War of 1812. He also took decisive action against the Barbary pirates, and his strong and courageous stand became a precedent for all later Presidents. It was thought by some at the time that he was negligent in his duties when governor of Virginia during the British invasion, but the Virginia legislature repudiated such charges, and the record shows that he did what he could in the face of desperate shortages of resources. > 3)Were his advisors wise and capable? In a sense, someone as great as Jefferson does not have advisors; they have proteges, and his most notable ones were Madison and Monroe. When President, he and his cabinet officers worked together with complete agreement. Madison was his Secretary of State. > 4)Did he work well with Congress? Yes. His political philosophy accepted the principle that the Congress expressed the voice of the people, and his job as executive was to implement the will of the people as expressed through their lawful organ. He felt the veto was reserved for laws that were, in his estimation, unconstitutional. > 5)Was there honesty and a high degree of morality? Absolutely! He believed firmly in a people who were informed about what their government was doing. Check out "The Art of Governing," which is chapter 26 on the Jefferson Quotes site, for his philosophy on this point. > 6) Was the presidency strengthed or weakened? Were precedents set for other Presidents? The Presidency was both strengthened and held in proper check. He established the precedent of taking armed defensive action (against the pirates), and of taking necessary action, even if not specifically authorized, when necessary for the safety of the country (Louisiana Purchase). He also established the precedent of the President serving only two terms in office and then retiring. This precedent was followed by every successive president up until Franklin Roosevelt, after which a constitutional amendment was passed making it the law of the land.
> Can you please send me some information about Thomas Jefferson > 1. picture of him The only pictures I have are on my websites: Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government (a small one) and Rayner's Life of Thomas Jefferson (a very large one) You can copy a picture by putting the curser on it, clicking the RIGHT button, and select from the menu "copy this image as..." > 2. his birth and childhood > 3. his contribution to the independence of America > 4. his contribution as president > 5. what important things he did. All of the above is described on the website: Rayner's Life of Thomas Jefferson You can also find several webpages devoted to Jefferson's contributions on the following website: The Jeffersonian Perspective Go to the Contents page, and scroll down to the bottom. You will see a list of short notes that have materials on Jefferson's contributions, etc.
> I have an essay to do on Thomas Jefferson. I was wondering if you can tell > me where I would find websites on documents, letters & diaries written by > Thomas > Jefferson? I know someone ask about the library but I need to get websites > on him. Go to the website listed below, and check out the links page. It has most of the important related sites on Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government: Links
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