Associate Level Material

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18 March 2016

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Generate a list of at least 10 of President Jefferson’s decisions and actions. Decide which party’s ideals are most aligned with the decision or action and provide an explanation of why the decision or action aligns with that party.

Decisions and Actions
Democratic-Republican Party’s Beliefs and Ideals
Federalist Party’s Beliefs and Ideals
The Size of the government was reduced
The decision was supported by Democratic and Republican as they wanted a smaller government Federalist didn’t support his decision as they wanted a larger and more stronger government Louisiana Purchase

Allowed them to lighten their grip on the nation so they were not opposed. Strongly opposed the purchase, favoring close relations with Britain over closer lies to Napoleon, and were concerned that the US had paid a large sum of money just to declare war on Spain Lewis and Clark Expedition

Through this would establish relationships with the natives. Wanted to learn more about the Natives in the west. Felt that exploring what was to the west of them would ruin what they had established in the east. The Embargo Act 1807

To Force Britain to reconsider on the American trade by prohibiting their
goods from being shipped Was to stop all trade during Jefferson’s second term.
Abolition of slave trade
It opposed to the political power of slavery rather than slavery itself Wanted to continue slave trade.
Military academy established
Opposed federalist polices if high tariffs, a navy, military spending, national debt and banking Resources to explore and expand
Less Formality
Form of dress code. They stood for the less wealthy
Believed in keeping an elegance in the white house and worn a more formal attire. The Legality of Partisanship
Want to reassess the judges.
The senate refused to convict federalist judge
Repealed many taxes and reduced the number of federal employees Lined up with their beliefs for a small, weak government.
Were in favor of taxation.
Land Policies
Made the Parcels smaller and more affordable, and allowed for payment over time, rather than a large lump sum Were not in favor of the payment plan
Expanding the Agrarian Republic
Western expansion was favored
Did no want to expand the land
Alliance with France
Was in favor of this Alliance with France
Wanted to work with the British
Repelled the judiciary Act of 1801
They were all for it
Jefferson had dismissed many federalist and judges so they were against it.

Part 2: Response

Write a 350-word response to the following question: How “Jeffersonian” was Thomas Jefferson as president?

Jefferson doesn’t fit neatly into the label “Jeffersonian”. Jefferson’s commitment to the separation of church and state, his “Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom,” adopted in 1786, barred government from taxing to fund churches. As president, he wrote that he respected the First Amendment’s “wall of separation between church and state.” Yet he allowed and attended religious services in the U.S. Capitol and used federal funds to finance Christian missions to Native American nations. Jefferson hoped that converting Indians would induce them to embrace private property and live like their white neighbors. Jefferson’s embrace of strict construction, or limiting the federal government to powers explicitly granted by the Constitution, also masks contradictions.

When in 1803 Jefferson learned that the United States could buy the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, at first he thought that a constitutional amendment would be needed to authorize the treaty. But instead, he directed American diplomats to make the deal without an amendment. Jefferson argued that he held the presidency in trust for the American people. Like any trustee, he could use his powers creatively for their benefit. If they approved of what he did, even if it seemed to violate the Constitution, they could reelect him. Jefferson’s ownership of slaves also collides with the democratic spirit that “Jeffersonian” implies. The man who wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” owned slaves all his life. His 1787 book “Notes on the State of Virginia” displays the discord over slavery that bedeviled him.

In one chapter, he insisted that slavery was a dreadful wrong and that, in a contest between rebelling slaves and their masters, “the Almighty has no attribute which could take sides with us.” In another, he suggested “as a suspicion only” that people of African descent were inferior to people of European descent, and that this inferiority might explain and even partly justify slavery. His friend James Madison explained that, like “others of great genius,” Jefferson had a habit “of expressing in strong and round terms, impressions of the moment.” The third president’s closest political ally, Madison learned the hard way to take Jefferson’s inconsistencies in stride. Posterity ought to do the same, as expecting perfect consistency from imperfect human beings will always result in disappointment and cynicism. Instead of bowing down before Jefferson, we should have the courage to look him in the eye.

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