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Thomas Jefferson

 Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4,


1826) was the third President of the United
States(1801–1809) and the principal author of
the Declaration of Independence (1776).
Jefferson was one of the most
influential Founding Fathers, known for his
promotion of the ideals ofrepublicanism in the
United States. Jefferson envisioned America as
the force behind a great "Empire of Liberty"[ that
would promote republicanism and counter the
imperialism of theBritish Empire.
Jeffersonian democracy

 Jeffersonian democracy, so named after Thomas


Jefferson, is a political philosophy supporting a
federal government with greatly constrained powers
and advocating a strict interpretation of the U.S.
Constitution. Jeffersonian philosophy also called for
state and local governments to safeguard the rights
and property of citizens. Jeffersonians recognized
both private and common property. This philosophy
dominated American politics in the years 1800-1820s.
It is contrasted with Jacksonian democracy, which
dominated the next political era, and Federalism, a
contemporary political theory advocating a strong
federal government. The most prominent spokesmen
of this political philosophy included Thomas
Jefferson, James Madison, Albert Gallatin, John
Randolph of Roanoke, andNathaniel Bacon.
 In its core ideals it is characterized by the
following elements, which the Jeffersonians
expressed in their speeches and legislation:
 The core political value of America
is representative democracy; citizens have a civic
duty to aid the state and resist corruption,
especially monarchism and aristocracy.[1]
 The yeoman farmer best exemplifies civic
virtue and independence from corrupting city
influences; government policy should be for his
benefit. Financiers, bankers and industrialists
make cities the cesspools of corruption, and
should be avoided.[2]
 Americans had a duty to spread what Jefferson
called the "Empire of Liberty" to the world, but
should avoid "entangling alliances."[3]
 The national government is a dangerous
necessity to be instituted for the common benefit,
protection, and security of the people, nation or
community; it should be watched closely and
circumscribed in its powers. Most Anti-
Federalists from 1787-88 joined the
Jeffersonians.[4]
 The wall of separation between church and
state is the best method to keep religion free from
intervention by the federal government,
government free of religious disputes, and
religion free from corruption by government.[5]
 The federal government must not violate
the rights of individuals. The Bill of Rights is a
central theme.[6]
 The federal government must not violate
the rights of the states. The Kentucky and Virginia
Resolutions of 1798 (written secretly by Jefferson
and James Madison) proclaim these principles.[7]
 Freedom of speech and the press is the best
method to prevent the tyranny of the people by
their own government. The Federalists' violation
of this idea through the Alien and Sedition Acts of
1798 became a major issue.[8]
 A standing army and navy are dangerous
to liberty and should be avoided; much better was
to use economic coercion such as theembargo.[9]
 The United States Constitution was written in
order to ensure the freedom of the people. A strict
view of how the constitution was written is kept.
However, "no society can make a perpetual
constitution or even a perpetual law. The earth
belongs always to the living generation."[10]
 All men had the right to be informed, and thus, to
have a say in the government. The protection and
expansion of human liberty was one of the chief
goals of the Jeffersonians. They also reformed
their respective state systems of education. They
believed that their citizens had the right and
should be educated no matter their circumstance
or status in life.
Jefferson and Jeffersonian
democracy

 Jefferson, the historical orthodoxy holds, repeatedly


violated these principles, from the Louisiana Purchase, of
which he conceded "the less we say about constitutional
difficulties respecting Louisiana the better,"[15] through the
unpopular and intrusively-enforced Embargo Act of 1807,
to the continued holding of slaves despite his years of
condemnation of the practice, and more. The disparity
between Jefferson's philosophy and practice have been
noted by numerous historians: Staaloff proposed that it
was due to his being a proto-Romantic;[16] John Quincy
Adams claimed that it was a manifestation of pure
hypocrisy, or 'pliability of principle;'[17] and Bailyn asserts it
simply represented a contradiction with Jefferson, that he
was “simultaneously a radical utopian idealist and a
hardheaded, adroit, at times cunning
politician.”[18] However, Jenkinson argued that Jefferson's
personal failings ought not to influence present day
thinkers to disregard Jeffersonian ideals.[19]
 Kuehnelt-Leddihn argues that "Jeffersonian
democracy" is a misnomer, because Jefferson was
not a democrat but in fact believed in rule by an elite:
"Jefferson actually was an Agrarian Romantic who
dreamt of a republic governed by an elite of character
and intellect... the expressions 'democrat' and
'democracy' hardly occur in the Monticello edition of
Jefferson's works".[20] He quotes Jefferson: "The
natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift
of nature... Every one, by his property, or by his
satisfactory situation, is interested in the support of
law and order. And such men may safely and
advantageously reserve to themselves a wholesome
control over their public affairs, and a degree of
freedom, which, in the hands of the canaille of the
cities of Europe, would be instantly perverted to the
demolition and destruction of everything public and
private."[21]