Thomas Jefferson – A Life of Dedication to America
Born on April 13, 1743 in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson was a Founding Father of the United States, a major proponent of democracy, and the third United States President. Beginning as a young lawyer in Virginia, he rose to a position of importance during the American Revolution. Different than many other famous figures from this time, Jefferson was not born into wealth and privilege. Instead, his own hard work and dedication to serving the people of America served as the backbone of his life.
In this article, we will explore the life and times of Thomas Jefferson in depth. We will discuss his upbringing, his education, his political career, and his legacy in the history of American politics.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Jefferson was born into a wealthy family in Virginia – the family had been in Virginia since the early 17th century, and made their fortune in tobacco plantations. Unlike many other members of his family, however, Jefferson was raised in an atmosphere of self-discipline, learning, and openness.
In his early years, Jefferson was educated privately in his family home. Later, he attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia and studied law. After graduation, he began practicing law in Virginia, and quickly gained a reputation as an excellent lawyer.
Early Political Career and Views
It wasn’t until the age of 33 that Jefferson entered politics, joining the Virginia House of Burgesses. He quickly became one of the leading voices of the revolutionary movement in Virginia, joining other notable figures such as Patrick Henry and George Washington.
In the early days of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson was a strong proponent of independence. He viewed the English government as oppressive, and believed that the colonies should be given the freedom to govern themselves. For this reason, he wrote the Declaration of Independence – a document that continues to serve as a symbol of democracy, freedom and individual rights.
Jefferson’s views on government were heavily influenced by his reading. He championed the works of John Locke, a famous English philosopher of the 17th century who argued for individual rights and the concept of “social contract.” This concept of social contract holds that the people have the right to overthrow a government that abuses its power.
Political Career and Accomplishments
After the declaration of independence, Jefferson took his seat in the newly formed Continental Congress. There, he served as a delegate from Virginia, and played an important role in many of the most important debates of the time. In particular, he was instrumental in drafting the Articles of Confederation.
In 1785, Jefferson was appointed as the United States Minister to France. This was a position of considerable responsibility, and one that he served in with great distinction. While in France, he became a good friend of the famous French philosopher Voltaire.
In 1790, Thomas Jefferson became the first Secretary of State under President George Washington. In this role, he continued to influence policy and serve as one of the primary architects of American democracy. In particular, he was deeply opposed to the expansion of the federal government, and was a strong advocate of states’ rights.
In 1800, Thomas Jefferson won the election to become the third President of the United States. His tenure was marked by many significant accomplishments, including the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of United States. He also established the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Legacy and Impact
Throughout his life, Thomas Jefferson was remembered as a champion of individual rights, democracy, and equality. His brilliant and eloquent writings continue to inspire people all over the world, and helped to define the nature of democratic government.
Jefferson’s legacy is one that continues to shape American politics and culture today. His thoughts on individual rights, the role of government, and the importance of the people in democracy have continued to inspire generations of leaders and thinkers.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the most important figures in American history. Through his hard work, dedication, and commitment to the cause of democracy, he helped to shape the United States into the nation it is today – a beacon of freedom, democracy, and individual liberty.
Today, we continue to celebrate his life and legacy, and look to his example as we strive to build a more just and equitable society. May his memory live on forever.
Founding Father: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was a founding father of the United States, an author of the Declaration of Independence, and the 3rd President of the United States. Aside from being President, Thomas Jefferson was also a legislator, diplomat, lawyer architect, scientist, inventor, writer, agriculturist, and a revolutionary thinker.
Early Life of Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. His father was Peter Jefferson, a very successful surveyor and planter in Virginia. His mother was Jane Jefferson, a woman from a wealthy family.
Thomas Jefferson’s Education and Marriage
Thomas Jefferson went to the College of William and Mary between 1760 and 1762. Later, he decided to study law. He passed the bar in 1767 he began practicing law. Thomas Jefferson lived in the Monticello house in Virginia for most of his life.
He built this home on land that he had inherited from his family. In 1772, Thomas Jefferson married Martha Wayles Skelton, who he had six children with. Unfortunately, only two children survived. Thomas Jefferson had about 200 slaves on his property who helped him run the house and grow food.
Thomas Jefferson During Revolutionary America
In 1775, Thomas Jefferson was a delegate to the Continental Congress. Here he helped draft the Declaration of Independence. This draft was then amended by other members of the committee.
The next year, Thomas Jefferson became a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Here he fought for important issues, like the separation of church and state, as well as other important causes. In 1779, Thomas Jefferson became the Governor of Virginia. However, he resigned in 1781 after the British invaded Virginia. Because Thomas Jefferson had not been prepared for this attack, he became very unpopular in Virginia.
In 1783, Thomas Jefferson was elected to Congress. In 1785, President Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson as the United States Minister to France. In 1789, Washington also made Thomas Jefferson into the Secretary of State. However, Thomas Jefferson resigned on December 31, 1793.
In 1796, Thomas Jefferson ran in the election for President, but he lost against John Adams. Thomas Jefferson became Vice President.
Thomas Jefferson as President
In 1800, Jefferson defeated John Adams and became President of the United States. He was then reelected for a second term in 1804. As President, Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France. This purchase in 1803 increased the total area of the United States a lot. After, Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to map the new US territory.
Thomas Jefferson’s Later Life
Jefferson retired from office in 1809 and went back home to Monticello. Thomas Jefferson died at his home on July 4, 1826.
Fun Facts about Thomas Jefferson
• Thomas Jefferson died on the 50th anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. This was on the same day as John Adam’s death. They were the only two signers who had become presidents.
• In 1814, Thomas Jefferson sold his personal library to the United States government in order to try to restart the Library of Congress. The original one had been burned down during the War of 1812.
• Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819.