American History / Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

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Autor:  anton  21 August 2010
Tags:  Thomas,  Jefferson
Words: 508   |   Pages: 3
Views: 531

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are

created equal; that they are endowed unalienable rights;

that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of

happiness." These famous lines of the Declaration of

Independence was written in the front parlor of a second

floor rented apartment by the American, Thomas Jefferson.

These few words show what ideas and beliefs Thomas

Jefferson stood for, and how he continuously fought for

these words to become fulfilled in his country. This

powerful advocate of liberty was born in 1743 in

Albermarle County, Virginia. From his father he inherited

some 5,000 acres of land, and from his mother, a high

social ranking. He studied at the College of William and

Mary, then read the law. Thomas Jefferson was a man of

many different talents. He knew several languages,

including Latin and Greek. He was an expert mathematician

who was even able to calculate when eclipses of the sun

and moon would occur. He could design buildings, perform

medical operations like an experienced surgeon, survey

land, and play the violin. Despite his thinness, he was strong

enough to tame a wild horse and chop wood like a

lumberjack. Most important of all, he was know to be a

superb writer. Though surprisingly, Thomas Jefferson was

not a man of many words. Not known for his speaking

abilities, he was shy and seldom spoke in public. When

delegates at the Congress gave long speeches, Thomas

Jefferson oftentimes just listened. John Adams said of

Jefferson, "During the whole time I sat with him in

Congress, I never heard him utter three sentences

together." Instead, this Virginian contributed his pen rather

than his voice to the patriotic cause. Being known

throughout the colonies as a fine writer on political

questions, he received the most votes to become the

chairman of the committee elected to write a Declaration of

Independence. The other members of the committee asked

him to write a first draft of the Declaration. Jefferson began

his work in the parlor of his apartment. For several days,

he worked long hours at a desk, writing this Declaration for

which he is widely known. He described that his words

were not meant to be original or creative, but "to be an

expression of the American mind." Thomas Jefferson was a

reluctant candidate for President in 1796, and came within

three votes of election. However in 1800 he did become

the third president of the United States. As president

Jefferson slashed Army and Navy expenditures, cut the

budget, eliminated tax on whiskey, and reduced the

national debt by a third. Although the Constitution made no

provisions for the acquisition of new land, Jefferson

suppressed his qualms over constitutionality and acquired

the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon in 1803. Jefferson

retired to Monticello to ponder such projects as his grand

designs for the University of Virginia. As a French

nobleman observed, he had placed his house and his mind

"on an elevated situation, from which he might contemplate

the universe." Truly, Thomas Jefferson was an American.

He had endless devotion and love for his country, and

helped establish what the American experience stood for.

He had a great impact on how the young nation grew into

the powerful country it is today. Not only did he physically

double the size of the United States, he played a key role in

making the nation independent.

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