The 1800s to 1820s, America was still in its growing phase; it had gained independence only 25 years prior and was already becoming a great nation filled with proud, hard working men. Arts, architecture, business, and books were all a large part of society. Eighty percent of the population was farmers and the import of slaves to America was banned. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had each been elected as President, in a government that was beginning to build a nation. “During this decade we were once again at war with England, in the War of 1812” (Sutton, 2008). Colleges were for the privileged, “The cost of education at Harvard was $300 a year” (Sutton, 2008). Slavery was still ramped in America and women had no rights.
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 to a prominent planter on the Shadwell Plantation located in Virginia. As a young man, he studied mathematics, several languages, and literature. He then attended the “College of William and Mary in Williamsburg” (Biography.com, 2014). Jefferson became part of an elite crowd including lawyer George Wythe. “After three years at William and Mary, Jefferson decided to read law under Wythe, one of the pre-eminent lawyers of the American colonies” (Biography.com, 2014). In 1772, he married Martha Skelton, recently widowed, and they proceeded to conceive six children together.
In 1763, Great Britain was in debt from defending their American colonies from the French and Indians; hence, they imposed the Stamp Act of 1765 to collect taxes from the American colonies. Thomas Jefferson strongly opposed the taxation; he opted to fight against the British with his written words. “In 1774, Jefferson penned his first major political work, "A Summary View ...
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Kindig, T. (1995, July 4). John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776". Retrieved April 13, 2014, from U.S. History: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/trumbull.htm
PBS.ORG. (n.d.). Only a Teacher. Retrieved April 13, 2014, from PBS.ORG: http://www.pbs.org/onlyateacher/horace.html
Snyder, D. (2009, October 26). Education's Historic Shift (Part III). Retrieved April 13, 2014, from Pondering Principles: http://ponderingprinciples.com/2009/10/26/
Sutton, B. G. (2008). American Cultural History. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from Lone Star College-Kingwood Library: http://wwwappskc.lonestar.edu/popculture/19thcentury1800.htm#art
The Jefferson Monticello. (n.d.). Thomas Jefferson, A Brief Biography. Retrieved April 13, 2014, from The Jefferson Monticello: http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/thomas-jefferson-brief-biography
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