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Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson.jpg
Mr. Jefferson
Political party: Democratic-Republican
Political Positions: 1st Secretary of State
2nd Vice President
3rd President
Born April 13, 1743
Died July 4, 1826 (aged 83)
Predecessor John Adams
Sucessor James Madison

Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States, the second Vice President and the first Secretary of State. He was generally a Democratic-Republican, but not an official member. The most notable thing about his Presidency is the case Marbury v. Madison. He initiated the Louisiana Purchase from France which doubled the size of the United States. He reversed some of the fascist policies of his predecessor and frenemy, John Adams. Twenty five years before becoming president, Jefferson is best remembered for writing the Declaration of Independence in the summer of 1776 during the American Revolution. In some ways, his political beliefs could be considered Liberal.

Life

American Revolution

During the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson was one of the delegates from Virginia to the Second Continental Congress. He succeeded George Washington, who was nominated by John Adams to lead the Continental Army. A tall and lanky redheaded fellow at age 33, Jefferson was one of the youngest delegates. When it became clear that chances of reconciliation with Great Britain was no longer possible, the Continental Congress (or more specifically, the Committee of Five, including John Adams) gave Jefferson the assignment of drafting a Declaration of Independence to declare the Thirteen Colonies sovereign and independent states. He was inspired by the Enlightenment ideals of the sanctity of the individual, as well as by the writings of John Locke and Montesquieu.

Jefferson presented the first draft to fellow Congressmen, including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. The very first draft of the Declaration included a declaration of rights of all men (obviously WASP men but you get the point).

The document also included a declaration for slavery to be abolished. While the non-slave owners Franklin and Adams technically agreed with this sentiment, they knew that the other Southern delegates (and even some Northern ones as slavery was still legal in some northern states at that time) would not agree to independence if slavery was going to be abolished. Despite being a slave owner, Jefferson proclaimed "Slavery is an abomination and must be loudly proclaimed as such." But he also admitted that no man had a solution to deal with it. Unfortunately, the anti-slavery clause was removed to ensure a unanimous passage of the Declaration.

Possibly lineage

Jefferson was the 11th grandson of Edward III, King of England. His mother, Jane Jefferson (née Jane Randolph) was the daughter of Isham Randolph, who was the son of Colonel William Randolph, who was the son of Richard Randolph, who was the son of Dorothy Lane, who was the daughter of Elizabeth Vincent, who was the daughter of Anne Tanfield, who was the daughter of Frances Tanfield, who was the son of William Tanfield, who was the son of Catherline Neville, who was the daughter of Sir Edward Neville, who was the son of Joan Beaufort, the Queen Consort of Scotland to James I and daughter of Edward III.

There's allegations that he may have fathered at least one illegitimate black child. [1] [2]

The Hemings children carry Jefferson's genes, so are descended from a Jefferson, probably Thomas Jefferson. Conservative racists care about the possible interracial relationship and discrediting Liberals by discrediting a leading Liberal thinker. Liberapedia understands that attacks on Liberalism which discredit Liberal thinkers are ad hominem. We don't care that Sally Hemings was a slave, of African descent, or Jefferson's sister-in-law when it comes to evaluating Jefferson's thinking. We do care that he may have taken advantage of a young girl who couldn't easily say no, when he owed her a duty of protection.

To be fair, it's entirely possibly that the relationship was consensual. We don't know. he may have gotten close to her after losing his wife in the 1780s. Doesn't make it right but we can't react with emotion and admit to the grey area.

Miscellaneous

He sent Abigail Adams a letter on September 11, 1804 (197 Years to the day 9/11 happened). [3]. Also 9 years later on the same day, Jefferson sent a letter to a man named John Wayles Eppes[4].

He invented the swivel chair, which he sat in while writing the Declaration of Independence.

He is on the US Nickel ($0.05) and the $2 Dollar bill.

Rap skills

"First Secretary of State. VP Number Two. Not to mention third President. The f***'d you do?"- Jefferson ends his first verse

In 2016, Jefferson was featured in an Epic Rap Battle of History against abolitionist Frederick Douglas.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great Diplomat
  • Great writer.
  • Wrote the Declaration of Independence.
  • Interest in geography and natural science helped him understand the significance of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Repealed the authoritarian Alien and Sedition Acts.
  • Avoided involvement in the Napoleonic wars.
  • Destroyed the Barbary pirate slave trade.
  • Champion of Religious Freedom and the Separation of Church and State.
  • Started the Library of Congress.
  • Founded University of Virginia.
  • Commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • Cut the US debt in half.
  • Ended the Whiskey Tax.
  • Invented the swivel chair.

Controversial

  • Wanted to abolish slavery... while owning slaves.

Cons

  • Had kids with his slave, Sally Hemings
  • Cut the military to where European powers started to ignore American threats and requests
  • Horrible public speaker
  • Embargo Act of 1807
  • Anti-Industry.

References

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