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ThomasJeffersonRembrandtPeale1805

1805 portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, and Founding Father who served as the 3rd President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

Authoring the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level in support of breaking from the Kingdom of Great Britain and the formation of a new nation. Representing Virginia in the Continental Congress during the American Revolution which drafted the Declaration, he later served as the 2nd Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War.

Jefferson and James Madison would organize the Democratic-Republican Party as opposition to the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. He would act as a fierce critic of President John Adams, and anonymously write the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights and undermine Adams's federal Alien and Sedition Acts.

As president, Jefferson closely monitored the nation's trade interests and engaged against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. He helped organize the Louisiana Purchase, greatly expanding the country and helping influence the concept of Manifest Destiny.

Following his retirement from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia.

Writings

  • A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774)
  • Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (1775)
  • Declaration of Independence (1776)
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (1781)
  • Plans on Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measures of the United States (1790)
  • Manuel of Parliamentary Practice for the Use of the Senate of the United States (1801)
  • The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth or the Jefferson Bible (1819)

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