Thomas Jefferson was the third president and one of the founding father of the United States. He was one of the major influences on the constitution of the United States and the author of the declaration of independence. Jefferson was a polymath in arts, science and politics, and was very passionate about the latter.
Early Life and Career
Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 as the third child of ten. His father, Peter, was a planter and surveyor who died when Jefferson was only fourteen. Jefferson enrolled at The College of William and Mary at the age of 16 and studied there for two years, graduating with the highest honours. There, he studied philosophy, mathematics and metaphysics.
After graduation, Jefferson was under the mentorship of George Wythe; the first American law professor, with whom he studied law. Jefferson served in the congress soon after the outbreak of the American revolutionary war He began a friendship with John Adams, both of whom would end up becoming leading figures of the congress.
Jefferson wrote the declaration of independence, reluctantly accepting the position on the suggestion of Adams. After independence, Jefferson was elected as senator of Virginia. Jefferson introduced a myriad of liberal legislation in Virginia as his time as Governor, such as public education and fairer inheritance laws.
Jefferson became the third president of the United States on March 4, 1801. His presidency was marked by many international conflicts, such as the Napoleonic wars that engulfed Europe and the conflict with Barbary pirates in North Africa.
Domestically, Jefferson was a staunch supporter of small government, as he thought that people’s voices are heard well in a smaller government. Due to this, he sought to limit the influence of the federal government and its size by reducing taxes and national debt. He also tried to eliminate federalist influence, especially in the Supreme Court and judiciary.
One of the most important acquisitions was the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. The land was enormous which today covers around fifteen states and two Canadian provinces. The total cost of this purchase was $15 million. Jefferson faced some objection over this purchase, as many thought it was unconstitutional, but Jefferson argued there was nothing restricting the expansion of US territory in the constitution.
Jefferson had a profound effect on the United States, both as a founding father and as a president. His presidency is highly regarded by historians, with many ranking him one of the top five presidents the Unites States has ever had. His principles and ideas continue to influence the United States to this day.