Thomas Jefferson

rem Brandt Peale: Thomas Jefferson (1805).

Thomas Jefferson (* 13. April 1743 in harm-wave, Virginia; † 4. July 1826 in Monticello, Virginia) was 3. President of the United States of America (1801 - 1809). , Authorsthe declaration of independence and one of the most influential state philosophers of the USA. Jefferson, a trailer of the classical liberalism, was the founder of the democratic-republican party of the United States, which was long relevant in the American policy more than one quarter century. In addition was thosePrivate library of the versatile interested Jefferson the basic stick for the reconstruction of the LIBRARY OF Congress after the war of 1812.

Table of contents


Jefferson were born as a son of wealthy Farmer in Virginia. It visited the college OF William and Mary, which it locked 1762 with highest honours. Its thinking was of the clearing-up determining John curl, Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton designated it later than “the three largest men, those the world ever brought out.” <ref> Merrill D. Peterson, Thomas Jefferson: Writings, p. 1236< /ref> It is considered as a crucial author of the American declaration of independence of 4. July 1776 and as intellectual head of the early USA. After the war of independence of the thirteen British colonies against the Kingdom of Great Britain, during itsit occasional governor of its homeland state had been, went to Jefferson as an Ambassador of the USA to France. At the emergence of the US condition it was involved therefore not directly. Its ideas coined/shaped by nature-legal conceptions exerted however on the condition fathers large influence.

Back in the USA, whose politics were dominated by the Föderalisti party, Jefferson created the first opposition party of the United States: the Republican party, which itself later in Democratic republic to the renamed. A splitting off from it again took the name Democratson, so that Jefferson is considered indirectly as a founder of the today's democratic party. The today's republicans developed against it only into the 1850er-Jahren as a new party of the slavery opponents around Abraham Lincoln. Jeffersons a party occurred for a policy, after thatthe central institutions of the recent State of if possible little, which should have member states against it as large a powers as possible. Thus it turned for example against the establishment of a central issuing bank.


the choice

Jefferson,of 1796 against John Adam of the Föderalisti party was underlaid for the presidency election, but when candidate with the second highest number at elector voices condition in accordance with in place of the vice-president candidate of the Föderalisten, Thomas Pinckney, vice-president had become, placed itself in the year 1800 againto the choice against the office holder. This ended in a Patt - not between Jefferson and Adam, but between Jefferson and its vice-president candidate Aaron Burr, which could unite both per 73 elector voices on itself, followed of Adam with 65 andits vice-president candidate Charles Cotesworth Pinckney with 64. Due to the deadlock the task turned into to determine from these two candidates the president on the house of representatives. Here however the Föderalisten had still the majority, which led to the fact that the necessary absoluteMajority of the voices in altogether 35 tunings, delivered after Federal States, was missed, before Jefferson this finally in 36. Ballot to 17. February 1801 attained and thus to the president was selected.< ref> see. for this the detailed article of the English-language Wikipedia [1]< /ref> Throughthe 12. Constitutional amendment was made possible in the consequence to let the choice of president and vice-president in the elector committee in two separated ballots take place in order to avoid in the future choice exits like from 1796 and 1800.

Already with the following presidency election was the constitutional amendment into force. In this Jefferson was red-elect; afterwards it did not begin after the model of George Washington again.

the purchase of Louis IANA: The beginning of the west expansion of the USA

20. Dezember 1803: Brief an James Madison, in dem der Kauf Louisianas von Frankreich bekannt gegeben wird.
20. December 1803: Letter on James Madison, in which the purchase admits Louisianas of France is given.

The highlight of its presidency was that at that time disputed purchase Louisianas of France in the year 1803 (purchase price: $11.250.000). The new territory did not only cover the today's US stateresemble name, but the entire French colonial possession at that time in North America, i.e.: the whole areas between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains. With the purchase the territory of the USA doubled itself. With it began their expansion up to Pacific. On instruction Jeffersons investigated the expedition of Lewis and Clark the then unknown west of North America.

The purchase Louisianas was expression of Jeffersons ideal of the USA as a nation of free farmers. Liberty and personal autonomy were its conceptionafter only from an economically independent position attainable. Politicoly-economic it therefore occurred for the fact that it had to be possible each American to acquire a piece country. For the same reason it occurred the US-American for the free trade, thereAgriculture from unhindered exports to Europe was dependent.

Jeffersons opponent, the Föderalist Alexander Hamilton, wanted to produce from it prosperity particularly by trade and production and to protect the domestic economy if necessary also by high tariffs against imported goods from Europe. ThisConflict between the agrarian south and the relating to crafts-commercial north became in the USA the determining topic of the following decades.

All considerations Jeffersons were based on the conception that in of Americas the west country would be available further for an unlimited period. With the purchase ofIt believed Louis IANA farm country for 100 generations to have acquired. The entire American west was already to a large extent settled actually after three generations.

With regard to foreign policy Jefferson successfully pursued a policy of the balance between European powers, during its entire term of office inthe Napoleoni wars were complicated.

unrest conditions

after 1809 withdrew themselves Jefferson to its countryseat Monticello with Charlottesville, Virginia, which had been built after its drafts and equipped with the most modern achievements of its time. Jeffersonwas a comprehensively formed human. Thus it belonged to the founders of the university of Virginia in Charlottesville. Among its spheres of interest ranked among other things the archaeology, which it enriched around new excavation techniques. Jefferson was also a lover ofgood meal and wine: During its stay as Ambassadors of the USA in Paris it made frequent journeys into important wine areas and strove to cultivate on its Landgut common grape vines. Decided it defended the advantages of the moderate public wine consumption oppositethe strict, alcohol-hostile Puritanismus, which led in its opinion only too all the larger alcoholic excesses outside of the public.

the intellectual

Der Polygraph von Thomas Jefferson – ein frühes „Kopiergerät“.
Polygraph of Thomas Jefferson - an early „photocopying apparatus “.

As was many other founder fathers of the USAJefferson also in religious things a free philosopher. Admits is its attempt to arrangea “ gospel released from superstition ( a new will without narrations of miracles), well-known as the Jefferson Bible). This published it however during lifetimes not, there mostsimple American traditionally church-bound were.

Jefferson maintained extensive correspondence with many important humans of its time over all only conceivable topics, but particularly over social and political theory and practice; these letters become also today in the USA still gladlyquoted.

It was interested in a quite comprehensive sense scientifically and did also as an inventor out. Thus it created the first - used still in such a way also today - coat-hangers (!) and invented an early forerunner of the typewriter and/or. of thePhotocopying apparatus - which Jefferson Polygraphen, with which one - to some extent pedantically - could make a copy (one „copy “) of it when writing a document immediately.

As collecting main for its private countryseat Monticello (Charlottesville, Virginia, draft of 1769) served Jefferson PalladiosMansion Rotonda and the Pantheon in Rome, the Jefferson also for first US state university in Charlottesville (construction period: 1817-1826) as suggestion used.

As those about 3,000 volumes comprehensive congress library (LIBRARY OF Congress) during the British-American war 1814 a robberythe flames became, offered Jefferson to the congress its private, 6,500 volumes comprehensive book collection. Although this was larger at variety (Jefferson possessed works over philosophy, literature and science in different languages) and extent than the old, the congress agreedand with the purchase OF Congress put the basic stick for the today's LIBRARY.

Jefferson and the slaves

like many other Southern State basic owners of its time, „possessed “Jefferson (like by the way also George Washington) slaves. Its attitude in thisQuestion was zwiespältig. The contradiction between its nature-legal conceptions of the right of each individual humans to lives, liberty and luck and the fact that it withheld these rights from the own slaves, was quite conscious to it. Admits is its utterance, with thatSlavery to remain is to be held the same as a wolf at the ears: One wants to release gladly, cannot it however not from fear to be eaten. During its lifetimes it dismissed only two slaves into the liberty and onlyby will order further five. The remaining slaves were sold for the covering of his debts after his death. Already during its lifetimes rumors, it developed with the slave Sally Hemings common children witnessed. After an DNA analysis this question could before someYears to be clarified positively. The descendants of Sally Hemings are recognized of the descendants Jeffersons meanwhile as adequate family members.

death and inheritance

some the numerous Jefferson Biographen assume that he suffered from a special form of the Autismus. JeffersonJohn Adam, at the American national holiday of the yearly 1826, died thus on the day exactly 50 years on the same day as its predecessor in office, after the declaration of independence written by him had been signed. Jefferson was at the time of its death like thathighly it is to blame for that its Monticello an inheriting had to sell.


its picture ziert today - valid, but hardly printed and as well as not at all in the circulation present - the 2-Dollar-Banknote.

1943 became in Washington D.C. the Jefferson Memorial opens.

The well-known Filmschauspieler Lee Marvin was a direct descendant Jeffersons.


  • Noble E. Cunningham: Jefferson vs. Hamilton. Confrontations that shaped A nation. Bedford, bad clay/tone, measure. 2000, ISBN 0-312-08585-0
  • Joseph J. Ellis: American Sphinx. The character OFThomas Jefferson. Button, New York 1997, ISBN 0-679-44490-4
  • corner-hard crib village: Jefferson and Goethe. European publishing house, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-434-50210-6 (not only for Jefferson a problem oriented, very illuminating and well readable representation)
  • Dumas Malone: Jefferson and his time.Little Brown, bad clay/tone, measure. 1981 (biographic standard work)
  • Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson image into the American Mind. OxfordUniv.Pr., New York 1985, ISBN 0-19-500698-4



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