Thomas Jefferson


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I really didn\'t have any problems finding information about Thomas
Jefferson. On the Internet, I just did a search for Thomas Jefferson, and I got
all kinds of information, from the Thomas Jefferson University to his
autobiography.
If I was the teacher, I would have allowed the students to print off of
the web pages. It isn\'t illegal, and it would make it much easier and more
efficient to hit command-p and hit return than copy down 5 pages of information
longhand and not be able to write legibly for the rest of the day because of a
numb hand. I also would have given a little more time than a week.
All of the information I have came from the Internet. I didn\'t use one
book to find information. I think that it is much smarter to try to find
information electronically than it is to go to a library, do a search, hope they
have it in stock, walk around trying to find the book, go check it out, drive
home, stop at McDonald\'s, and finally site down and read it. By the time you
get home and have time to read it, you\'re too tired to read the book, let alone
do a report with it.

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Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell in Albemarle county, Virginia, on
April 13, 1743. His dad, Peter Jefferson and his mom Jane Randolph were members
of the most famous Virginia families. Besides being born rich, Thomas
Jefferson, was well educated. He attended the College of William and Mary and
read law (1762-1767) with George Wythe, the best law teacher of his time in
Virginia. He went into to the bar in 1767 and practiced until 1774, when the
courts were closed by the American Revolution.

He had inherited a considerable landed estate from his father, and
doubled it by a happy marriage on Jan. 1, 1772, to Martha Wayles Skelton. He was
elected to the House of Burgesses, when he was 25, he served there from 1769 to
1774, proving himself to be an effective committeeman and skillful draftsman,
though not good at speaking

From the beginning of the struggle with the mother country, Jefferson
stood with the more advanced Patriots, grounding his position on a wide
knowledge of English history and political philosophy. His biggest early
contribution to the cause of the Patriots was his powerful pamphlet A Summary
View of the Rights of British America (1774), originally written for
presentation to the Virginia convention of that year. In this he emphasized
natural rights, including that of immigration, and denied parliamentary
authority over the colonies, recognizing no tie with the mother country except
the king.

When he was a member of the Continental Congress (1775-1776), Jefferson
was chosen together with John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingstone and
Roger Sherman in 1776 to draft the Declaration of Independence . He wrote the
declaration almost all by himself and was amended by John Adams and Benjamin
Franklin .

Jefferson left Congress in 1776 and served in the Virginia legislature
until his election as governor in 1779. He was governor from 1779 to 1781.

During this brief private interval (1781-1783) he began to write the
Notes on the State of Virginia, which was published in 1785. In this document
there are some of his opinions on slavery. From 1783 to 1784 he was a member of
the Continental Congress.

While Jefferson was secretary of state from 1790 to 1793, Alexander
Hamilton, secretary of the treasury, defeated the movement for commercial
discrimination against Britain, which Jefferson liked. Jefferson\'s policy was
not pro-French, but it seemed anti-British. Hamilton was distinctly pro-British.

By late 1792 or 1793 the opponents of Hamiltonianism (I hope I used a
real word) constituted a fairly definite national party, calling itself
Republican. Early in 1793 the Virginians in Congress forced Hamilton to quit his
office.

Jefferson retired as Secretary of State at the end of the year 1793.
During a respite of three years from public duties, he began to remodel his
house at Monticello and interested himself greatly in agriculture.

He was supported by the Republicans for president in 1796, and running
second to John Adams by three electoral votes, he became vice president.

Jefferson and his running mate Aaron Burr defeated John Adams in the
elections of 1800. Jefferson\'s own title to the presidency was not real for some
weeks because he was tied with his running mate under the workings of the
original electoral system. The election was thrown into the House of
Representatives. The Federalists voted for Burr through many indecisive ballots.
Finally, enough of them allowed the obvious decision of the majority