Guided by his fervent and unwavering commitment to reason and the principles of natural law and natural rights, Thomas Jefferson crafted his own unique political and social vision for the United States of America which, excluding a few notable omissions, has survived to become an important contribution to the cornerstone of American democracy. His vision was of an agrarian and populist nation of citizens with access to general and widespread education, whose rulers are chosen on grounds of their individual merits and talents rather than on basis of birth and inheritance, and governed by a decentralized system of government, whose main duty is to safeguard the unalienable natural rights and freedom of the individual, and the general well-being and happiness of the citizen, as well as the unimpeded enforcement of the general will of society at large. This vision is the result and culmination of his personal beliefs on the topics of universal liberty and political philosophy, weighed and viewed through the discerning and logical lens of reason.
An enlightened figure of liberal and rational eighteenth century thought, Jefferson wholeheartedly championed the concept and principle of natural rights ¡°as derived from the laws of nature¡± (Summary View). He also believed that given ¡°the nature of things, every society¡± must naturally have some form of ¡°legislature¡± and government (Summary View), and ¡°that the will of the majority should always prevail¡± (Letter to Madison). Jefferson believed it was critical to submit absolutely to ¡°the decisions of the majority,¡± which is the ¡°vital principle of republics, from which there is no appeal but to
force,¡± which is the ¡°vital principle¡¦ of despoti...
... middle of paper ...
...ights. This led naturally to his denouncement of slavery, with its potential for marking the slave-owning population with ¡°odious peculiarities¡± unique to the condition of being a tyrant, and brands slavery as ¡°the most unremitting despotism¡± (Notes on Virginia).
Jefferson¡¯s vision for an agrarian nation, one ruled by a republican government, led by individuals of merit and talent, with guaranteed political and natural liberties for all men, is one that we don¡¯t experience in the United States today. However, although his proposals haven¡¯t been adopted entirely intact, the main points, and more importantly, the spirit of his proposals are permanent tenets of American democracy. Coupled with the consistency of his policies based entirely on natural law and natural rights and defended with unfaltering reason, Jefferson¡¯s genius and foresight is admirable.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- America has gone through an incredible journey to be the country it is today. Whether it was discovering new territories, developing new connections between regions, or acquiring knowledge to benefit the land, America has grown into a prosperous country with significant ideals that were developed by its founding fathers. Two of the country’s founding fathers were Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams. Though both had some differing visions for America, the country was founded on a combination of both of their insights and wisdom.... [tags: Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams]
1020 words (2.9 pages)
- Thomas Jefferson the third president of the United States was born in 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia. He joined the institution of William and Mary but received no formal training in architecture. Fundamentally self-taught, Jefferson accumulated a remarkable collection architecture and art that comprised several reproductions of Palladio’s Quattro Libri. Eventually, Jefferson developed a concentrated obligation of Palladio’s architectural notions based on their link to early Romans (Howard, 2003). Distinguishing the authoritative political suggestions intrinsic in antique Roman constructions, Jefferson calculated many of his civil constructions in Neo Classical elegance.... [tags: Thomas Jefferson, University of Virginia]
1831 words (5.2 pages)
- There were many men involved in the establishment of the government, the laws regulating states and people, and individual rights in the construction of the United States of America. Two men stand out as instrumental to our founding principles: Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson was an educated, articulate and accomplished man from a well-respected family. He had a great understanding of farming and of the relationship between man and his environment, working diligently to balance the two for the best interest of each.... [tags: Comparisons, Presidents of US]
653 words (1.9 pages)
- Jefferson and Hamilton both articulated admirable visions of America’s future, and both believed to be carrying out the legacy of the revolution. Hamilton favored a strong central government, a balanced market oriented economy and a national bank. Jefferson, on the other hand, desired to create strong state governments, have agriculture as the backbone of America and little government involvement within the economy. Despite the merits of each vision, implementation of only one of the plans would have led to either a very different or shortened American history.... [tags: United States, Federalism, Thomas Jefferson]
1203 words (3.4 pages)
- As the crafter of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson is widely viewed as the creator of America. His vision of human rights forms the basis for the Declaration, and his early years formed his vision of the world. By looking at Jefferson’s childhood and early adulthood we can learn what shaped the man who shaped America. Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia on April 13, 1743 (Miller, 13) and was the oldest son of a family with 8 children (Jefferson, 4). His father, Peter, had little formal education but self educated himself to the point that he was selected to create the first map of Virginia (Jefferson 3).... [tags: Declaration of independence, human rights]
894 words (2.6 pages)
- A Vision Achieved Jefferson envisioned a government that allowed its citizens to exercise inalienable rights. In exact words, he states, “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” To be more evident, how can we define these “inalienable rights” of “life”, “liberty”, and the “pursuit of happiness?” Have these inalienable rights, achieved Jefferson’s goal.... [tags: essays research papers]
875 words (2.5 pages)
- Thomas Jefferson, the founding father of the greatest country. One of the most important, respected and a popular figure in the history of America. He was the first United States Secretary of State, as well as the author of “declaration of independence”. The man of many success, Governor of my home state Virginia. Finally, yet importantly the third president of the United States of America. His vision for America happened to be uniquely different from many other founders and presidents of this country.... [tags: author of the US declaration of independence]
1097 words (3.1 pages)
- 1. Thomas Jefferson admired, respected, and praised the Indians for their intellects (Hollitz, 124). However, he also saw them in political terms as enemies in war or partners in peace. Jefferson’s extensive public career allowed him to form the relations between the United States and various Indian nations in the eighteenth centuries. Jefferson notice that the Indians still were not introduced or developed their own written language (Hollitz, 124). As a man of the Enlightenment, he knew that the Indian way of life could no longer exist in the expansion of United States.... [tags: Racial Relations, Indians, Black, Social Issues]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- It all began when Peter Jefferson, an ambitious surveyor, farmer, and mapmaker met Jane Rudolph during his trip to England. They married and moved to the British colony of Virginia. Years later, Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Albermarle County. He was the third child out of eight. By the age of five, Jefferson began to be schooled, along with his cousins, by a tutor. When he was nine, Thomas Jefferson was sent to a boarding school where he studied French, Latin, and Greek. He spent his vacations at home with his siblings, and first took interest in learning the violin given to him by his father.... [tags: Biography biographies bio]
3380 words (9.7 pages)
- President Thomas Jefferson 1801 - 1809 Thomas Jefferson came into presidency with the intentions of limiting the size and power of the central government. His success and failures in accomplishing this goal were many. Thomas Jefferson was America’s third president in reign from 1801 – 1809, once tying in the presidential race with Aaron Burr, where the decision was made by the House of Representatives to choose Jefferson whom they thought was less dangerous than Burr. As president he was the first to be inaugurated in Washington which was a city he had helped to plan.... [tags: essays research papers]
738 words (2.1 pages)