TIME Thomas Jefferson: America's Enduring Revolutionary
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Thomas Jefferson remains a potent influence in America more than 200 years after his birth. TIME examines his lasting and sometimes controversial legacy as revolutionary, president and diplomat through his political beliefs and battles, his extraordinary achievements, including the westward expansion of the young United States; as well as his letters and writings, from the Declaration of Independence to his own, personally edited version of the New Testament. TIME also explores Jefferson’s enduring influence on our culture, as the founding father of American architecture, our higher education system and the slow food movement--and even planting the seeds for America’s modern, flourishing wine industry.
vigorous central government marked by a strong President, an independent judiciary and a liberal reading of the Constitution. As the first Secretary of State, Jefferson believed that liberty was jeopardized by concentrated federal power, which he tried to restrict through a narrow construction of the Constitution. He favored states’ rights, a central role for Congress and a comparatively weak judiciary. At first glance, Hamilton might seem the more formidable figure in that classic matchup. He
who had rallied to the Continental Army. The French Revolution �immediately struck him as a bloody affair, governed by rigid, utopian thinking. On Oct. 6, 1789, he wrote a remarkable letter to Lafayette, explaining his “foreboding of ill” about the future course of events in Paris. He cited the “vehement character” of the French people and the “reveries” of their “philosophic politicians,” who wished to transform human nature. Hamilton believed that Jefferson, while in Paris, “drank deeply of the
crave a better understanding of what the man credited with most eloquently expressing the American creed felt about race. What did Jefferson think about black people? How does his relationship with Sally Hemings complete our picture of him? How should we, in a more racially enlightened era, interpret what we know about his thoughts and actions? In his Farm Book, Jefferson listed the more than 600 slaves he owned Two documents authored by Jefferson have served as templates for examining his
Jefferson concurred that religion “lies solely between Man & his God” and expressed reverence for the “wall of separation between Church & State.” On Westward Expansion June 20, 1803, to Meriwether Lewis Captain Meriwether Lewis “As it is impossible for us to foresee in what manner you will be recieved by those people, whether with hospitality or hostility, so is it impossible to prescribe the exact degree of perseverance with which you are to pursue your journey. We value too much the lives
the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin of the National Mall. The real man who walked the earth from 1743 to 1826 was replaced by an incandescent symbol whom Roosevelt called the “Apostle of Freedom.” Roosevelt’s more urgent purpose was to enlist Jefferson in what he called “a great war for freedom” against America’s totalitarian enemies in World War II. This same juxtaposition of freedom vs. tyranny worked its rarefied magic a few years later to make the Jeffersonian message the sanctioned