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Category: American History
Autor: anton 14 March 2011
Words: 886 | Pages: 4
Thomas Jefferson Biography
Thomas Jefferson was a man that was one the founding fathers of our Nation. Thomas Jefferson was one of the most dedicated and influential Americans were Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was a very talented and gifted man. He was a man ahead of his time. Thomas Jefferson was a true renaissance man. Thomas Jefferson was plantation owner, horticulturist, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor, violinist, and the founder of the University of Virginia. This is not mentioning his political career. Thomas Jefferson is most famously known for writing the Declaration of Independence. He has shaped the lives of many Americans for future generations.
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia. He was the third son in a family of ten. His family was a prosperous family. His father was Peter Jefferson and he owned a plantation in Albemarle County. He moved his family to Edge Hill, Virginia after his house burned down. Thomas Jefferson was always very smart; at the age of nine he began studying the classical languages (Greek and Latin, as well as French). At the age of fourteen his father died, and Thomas Jefferson inherited 5,000 acres and dozens of slaves. Jefferson would build his home in these acres. After his father died Jefferson taught at a school headed by James Maury. He lived with Mauryâ€™s family where he studied history and natural science and received his classical education. When Jefferson was sixteen he entered the College of William and Mary, and he stayed there for two years. Then he entered a philosophy school where he studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy. His Professor William Small introduced Jefferson to the writings of John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Sir Isaac Newton. These men greatly influenced Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson had a curiosity for all the fields of education and he frequently studied 15 hours a week. He graduated in 1762 with full honors and then began to study law with his friend. He passed the Virginia Bar in 1767. Thomas Jefferson married his wife Martha Wayles Skeleton in 1772. They had six children together but sadly only two survived to become adults. His wife Martha died ten years after they got married, and Thomas Jefferson never was remarried.
Thomas Jefferson had many successes in both his personal and political life. Jefferson got his start in politics in local governments in 1774. He served as a magistrate, county clerk, and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in his early political career. He then became a member of the Continental Congress and in 1776 he was chosen to draft the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson then returned to Virginia where he was elected the House of Delegates. He wrote 126 bills in three years as a delegate. He wanted to establish religious freedom and to streamline the judicial system. Then from 1779-1781 he served as the governor of Virginia. Then from 1785-1789 he was an ambassador to France. When he returned from France he became the first Secretary of State. Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton (a federalist) always argued with each other on the issues. They basically hated each others guts. Thomas Jefferson was an anti-federalist; he didnâ€™t want a strong central government. The Anti-Federalist believed if it was not specifically outlined in the Constitution you canâ€™t do it. . Jefferson and James Madison would create the Democratic-Republican Party. This party would become the modern Democratic Party. In 1797 Thomas Jefferson ran for president but came in second place so he was elected the Vice President. He only lost by three electoral votes. In 1800 Thomas Jefferson ran for President again but this time Thomas Jefferson tied with Aaron Burr for the presidency and the House of Representatives would decide the election. They chose Thomas Jefferson as the 2nd President of the United States. Thomas Jefferson served for two full terms. During his Presidency he did many important things. The most important thing he did in office was the Louisiana Purchase and supported the Lewis and Clark expedition. He bought the Louisiana Territory from France for fifteen million dollars. Thomas Jefferson was succeeded by his friend James Madison as president.
During the last seventeen years of his life he remained at his estate called the Monticello. When the Library of Congress was destroyed he sold his entire collection of books to the government. This was to rebuild the Library of Congress. At the age of seventy six years he founded the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson for decades wanted to build a university of higher learning that is free of church influences. Thomas Jefferson secured the location of the university, designed its buildings, and even planned its curriculum.
Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. He died a few hours before his friend John Adams. Thomas Jefferson died at the age of eighty three and he was deep in debt. When he died they sold all of his possessions. Thomas Jefferson wanted these words on his tombstone: Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and father of the University of Virginia.
He was a great man and a great patriot who influenced thousands of Americans in the generations to come.