The Great Work of Thomas Jefferson

The Great Work of Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was at the center of American history for more than half a century. He was a man of many talents, he was the author of the Declaration of Independence, and he was the third President of the United States.
Thomas Jefferson had many talents. One of his talents was that he was an architectural engineer. With this talent he helped design many things like the city of Washington D.C., the University of Virginia, and his home called Monticello. He designed the rotunda for the University of Virginia library in 1821 (Greene 37).

Another talent that he had was that he was a really good writer. Only Abraham Lincoln was equal in writing talents as Jefferson. It was said of Jefferson that he ?could put words together and fashion them into a powerful weapon,? (Greene 10).

He also was a great educator. Jefferson would study fifteen hours every day when he was young, because learning was important to him, (Greene 11). He wanted people to have a chance to learn. So he started the University of Virginia. He planned the buildings and chose the teachers. He was known as the father of the University of Virginia, (Greene 40).

He was one of the leading scientists of his day in America. He tried new ways of planting crops and raising animals, (Greene 37). He was one of the first farmers to grow tomatoes in the United States, (Greene 25).

One of his other talents was that he was a creative inventor. He invented a machine that could write two copies of a letter at the same time. He invented a tiny elevator called a ?dumbwaiter? to carry things up to his dining room from the basement. Jefferson also invented storm windows, a chair that turned, and much more, (Patterson 25).

Jefferson was chairman of the committee to write the Declaration of Independence. He was asked by the other four members of the committee to write the first draft of the Declaration. When he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he wrote it with common words and phrases so all could understand the plain truth of his statements. He did not consult a book or pamphlet when writing it. Everything came straight from his mind and heart, (Patterson 36).

He made many changes to the Declaration before he was happy with what he wrote. He was known throughout the colonies as a great writer on political issues. It took him seventeen days to write the Declaration of Independence, from June 11 to June 28, 1776, (Patterson 35).

In some of the Declaration of Independence he wrote ?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-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed?? This was a revolutionary idea that governments were meant to serve people, not the other way around, (Patterson 36).

Congress voted for the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This was the first Independence Day of the United States of America.

Thomas Jefferson had success as the third President of the United States. He was the first U.S. president to begin his term in the building known as the White House, (Hargrove 69).

His most important presidential decision was to buy the Louisiana Territory from France. This was the greatest real estate deal in the history of the United States. The United States got 828,000 square miles of land for $12,000,000, about two cents an acre, (Hargrove 72).

Today, the land that Jefferson purchased includes the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Over night, the United States became one of the largest countries in the world, larger than all the nations of western Europe combined, (Hargrove 73). This purchase allowed the United States to expand west over much of the continent.

Jefferson thought it was important to explore the continent. So he appointed Lewis and Clark to explore the new territory and the Rocky Mountains in May 1804. In doing this, he hoped to find a water route across the United States to the Pacific Ocean.

While he was President, Jefferson decided to use force against the North African rulers so they would not attack American ships. At that time, pirates from the Barbary Coast of Africa attacked American trade ships and demanded ransom.

The United States attacked Tripoli, and by doing this, Jefferson sent a message that the United States was not going to be taken advantage of, (Hargrove 85).

Jefferson was a very informal President. He dressed informally, and he ignored titles. When he became president he ended the levees and the formal dinners. Instead of the formal dinners where they would seat people at a long table according to how important they were, Jefferson invited about a dozen guests at a time to the White House. He used a round table instead of a long table, and who ever got there first could have the seat he or she wanted, (Morris 51).

Twice a year, on New Year?s Day and July 4th, Jefferson would open up the White House to everyone. He greeted everybody and invited them to have punch, cake, and other refreshments, (Morris 51).

Jefferson was president for two terms. At the end of his second term, he announced that he would follow the example of George Washington and not seek a third term. One of America?s greatest presidencies had come to an end (Hargrove 79).

Thomas Jefferson was a great American who shared his great talents, wrote the Declaration of Independence, and led this country as the third President. All of the things that he did made a big difference to our country. If it were not for Thomas Jefferson, our lives would be very different today.

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