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Jefferson Memorial, Washington D.C.

The year is 1776; the original 13 colonies are on the brink of war with the greatest superpower of all time, Great Britain, when a revolutionary young Virginian writes some of the most powerful words of all time. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The author of these words is Thomas Jefferson, one of the most critical and consequential leaders of the early United States. These are some of the words that would officially separate the United States from a tyrannical government.

Jefferson would serve as Governor of Virginia, Minister to France, Secretary of State, Vice President, and the third President of the United States. As Minister to France, Jefferson would ensure that the newly independent United States had a military backbone, with aid from the French. While serving as Secretary of State, Jefferson fought vehemently against Alexander Hamilton’s First Bank of the United States, a plan to dramatically enlarge the size of the Federal Government.

Jefferson was a vocal critic of the Adams Administration while serving as Vice President. When Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which limited Freedom of Speech, Jeffersonians and Democratic-Republicans denounced it as unconstitutional, which is one of the events that led to Jefferson’s win in the election of 1800.

Arguably Jefferson’s most significant accomplishments came while he served as the Third President of the United States when he single-handedly doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana purchase.

However, like most men, Jefferson was not perfect; he enslaved over 600 humans during his life, and unlike George Washington, did not free any of them upon his death.

Still, Jefferson’s accomplishments have made America what it is today, and his legacy should be remembered.

In a recent letter to the Tampa Bay Times, there was an argument for taking down the Jefferson Monument. While Jefferson was not a perfect man, his actions not only ensured the existence of the United States but made our county the best nation in the World.

Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of America becoming independent, an act he was instrumental in.

Eli Whaley
Eli Whaley

Originally posted 2020-07-03 18:50:59.

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