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American President Thomas Jefferson

Updated on May 4, 2013

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Introduction to Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born April 13th 1743, and died on July 4th 1826 (The same day as John Adams). Thomas Jefferson was more than just the Third American President. He was the main author of the Decleration of Independance which signified the American seperation from Britain, and was one of the Founding Fathers.

Thomas Jefferson became the American President in 1801, and resided two terms in office until 1809. During that time he earned the unofficial title among many modern day scholars of America's greatest ever President.

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson American President

American President Thomas Jefferson
American President Thomas Jefferson

Early Life of American President Thomas Jefferson

The life of American President Thomas Jefferson was about as rich and interesting as they come. He came from a large family, which was normal for the time, and was the third child out of his ten siblings, two of whom died.

The future American President Thomas Jefferson was an avid seeker of knowledge, and even though he inherited his fathers plantation of 5000 acres, and a large number of slaves, he continued his studies. He developed a veracious thirst for the languages, as well as philosophy, mathematics and physics.

During his younger years Thomas Jefferson also developed a love for music and fine wines, which helped him to becomes an accomplished violin player. He want on to practice law, and developed a deep interest in local and national politics.

Thomas Jefferson soon became well known for his abilities and knowledge, which helped to being him become a delegate to the second continental congress, on which he drafted the Resolution of Independence.

The Resolution of Independence was presented to Congress on June 28th 1776, and in a vote by Congress the Resolution of Independence was voted in on July 2nd. On July 4th 1776 the final Declaration of Independence was finally approved. Despite it's swift creation, Thomas Jefferson became angry that a quarter of what he wrote was removed, mostly involving the slave trade.

In September 1776 Thomas Jefferson was elected to the Virginia house of Delegates. From this position he brought a ban on the import of slaves, and established freedom of religion in the state. He also used this time to advocate the cessation of capital punishment.

From 1779 to 1781 Thomas Jefferson served as the governet of Virginia. During his tenure he moved the state capital to richmond, from Williamsburg, In 1781 Thomas Jefferson managed to escape capture by the English as Virginia was invaded by the English (Under Benedict Arnold and Lord Cornwallis). During his time he had also become unliked by the locals, and was only reinstated after he was appoined by Congress state legislature.

Between 1790 and 1793 Thomas Jefferson became George washington's secretary of state. It was here that Jefferson argued strongly over the fiscal policy of America, and where he spent a lot of time goading the continueing French/British tensions.

In 1793 Thomas Jefferson took a break from office, although he continued to voice hsi opinions loudly. He soon re-appeared in 1796 however, when he ran for Presidency. While he lost, beocming vice president from 1797 to 1801, he would soon become an American president!

Thomas Jefferson American President

Thomas Jefferson was President from 1801 to 1809. During this time he created two major achievements. The most prominent was the abolition of slavery, however the second, the Louisiana purchase from France, was just as integral to the continued success of the United States, literally doubling it's size.

The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, and marked the beginnings of the western expansion of the United States.

In 1807 Jefferson and Congress passed a law which made it illegal to import or export slaves.  While this was the beginning of the end for slavery, it still had a long way to go.

Thomas Jefferson also oversaw the First War of Barbary, which was required to protect American trading ships once the United States and French alliance was dissolved.

The Death of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Died on July 4th 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and just a few hours before John Adams. His health began to deteriorate in July 1825, and by June the next year he was confined to bed. It is believed he died from several complications, including Uremia, severe Diarrhea and Pneumonia.

While Thomas Jefferson came from a wealthy background he died a poor man, deeply in debt. After his death nearly all his possessions (including slaves) were sold off to recover the debt he had accumulated.


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