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Thomas Jefferson Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Native Americans in the United States and James K. Polk

6. Compare the expansionist foreign policies of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James K. Polk. To what extent did their policies strengthen the United States? 1. President Thomas Jefferson a. Anti-Federalist: usually weary of American expansionism b. Louisiana Purchase i. After Spain gave New Orleans to the French, Jefferson sent Monroe to France to buy the strategic land for $2 million ii. France about to engage in war in Europe and dealing with a slave revolt in Haiti, offered to sell the entire Louisiana Territory for $15 million and Jefferson accepted, even though he wasn’t sure that the Constitution allowed for it iii. Congress quickly approved the treaty iv. Strengthened the United States because gave them complete control over the strategically…

Major Turning Points in U.S. History (1492-1820)

Throughout documented United States history, immense changes in social, political, and economic establishments have been brought about by perplexing people or conditions. Often, these changes mark a turning point in the progress of civilization as new ideas are formed, new governments raised, or new discoveries put to use in the interest of progress. Whether these pivotal moments in history may be triggered due to a single nonconforming individual or a vast, radical multitude, each turning point has explicit influences and outcomes which shaped America for years to follow. Every important decision has two key dimensions. The first is the outcome in the immediate case, and the second is as a precedent for future development. When calculating the most substantial turning…

Outline for War of 1812

The War of 1812 is seen as a simple complication to the British. They figured that they had much more important matters on their hands fighting with Napoleon. The Canadians saw it as the Americans just being aggressive. However for us, the Americans we saw it as a confusion of loyalties and boundaries. The forces behind the Americans entering this war were for our personal interests and concerns. The political, geographical and nationalistic forces gave us the push to tell Britain they couldn’t do whatever they wished. Topic Sentence: The expansion of America 1) Supporting fact: the United States began expanding their territory shortly after the revolutionary war. 2) Supporting fact: a place that caused trouble was the Great Lakes…

Thomas Jefferson: Hero or Hypocrite

Few men can compare to Thomas Jefferson in terms of articulation and benevolent philosophical views. He was a brilliant man whose verbalization formulated the United States’ Declaration of Independence from mother England. Jefferson was a man who believed in the preservation of individual liberties and equality, principles that are necessary for a nation to flourish. He was the country’s first secretary of state, and eventually he would become the third president of the United States. Jefferson helped establish the country that exists today, and his contributions remain observable 186 years after his passing. His likeness is now etched upon a mountainside in South Dakota, as if he is still watching down on the country his hands helped mold. He consistently…

History Important Terms

Bacon’s Rebellion-1676 – Nathaniel Bacon and other western Virginia settlers were angry at Virginia Governor Berkley for trying to appease the Doeg Indians after the Doegs attacked the western settlements. The frontiersmen formed an army, with Bacon as its leader, which defeated the Indians and then marched on Jamestown and burned the city. The rebellion ended suddenly when Bacon died of an illness. John Winthrop-He became the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and served in that capacity from 1630 through 1649. A Puritan with strong religious beliefs. He opposed total democracy, believing the colony was best governed by a small group of skillful leaders. He helped organize the New England Confederation in 1643 and served as its first…

Marbury v. Madison

Marbury v. Madison was a very influential Supreme Court case in the history of the United States. Marbury v. Madison was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review. This happened under Article III in the Constitution. The court case helped to make a boundary between the executive and judicial branches of the American form of government. In the final days of his presidency, John Adams appointed a large number of justices of peace for the District of Columbia whose commissions were approved by the Senate, signed by the president, and had the official seal of the government on them. William Marbury, who was the Justice of Peace, asked…

1800’s Foreign Affairs

1) The XYZ Affair a) John Adams appointed Charles Pickney as minister to France in 1796 b) Charles Talleyrand, the French foreign minister, refused to recognize Charles Pickney as minister to France. c) Adams then sent a commission to France. i) Charles Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry made up this commission d) The commission’s goals were to establish a treaty to ensure peace and normalize trade. e) Charles Talleyrand sent three unidentified agents, X, Y, and Z, to the commission before any negotiations started. f) The agents told Pickney that Talleyrand would recognize Pickney if he were paid a bribe of $250,000 and France got a loan of 10 Million dollars. g) The meeting resulted in an unofficial naval…

United States Declaration of Independence

•was born on August 29, 1632, in Wrington, in the English county of Somerset. •Attended Oxford University, studying logic, metaphysics, and medicine •17th century political theorist and philosopher •He is credited with coming up with the ideas that The US was built upon, mainly the Declaration Of Independence: •Locke came up with the theory of the “Blank Slate” – he said we are born with completely empty , without knowledge or prejudices. Instead we are the “authors of our own character. ” This led to the idea that “we are all created equal. ” (called Empiricism) •Locke did not believe in large, obtrusive government, and stated that we are entitled to the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of…

United States Declaration of Independence

In contemplating the relation of freedom and identity, the Latin maxim libertas non datur sine veritate aptly reminds us that there can be no freedom without truth. While certain aspects of who we are, such as nationality or ethnic ancestry, may be cul? turally or serendipitously determined, there is a truth to hu? man nature which, if not observed, corrupts or destroys life and any exercise of freedom dependent upon it. Human nature and the natural law it reflects are inescapable, and, insofar as the Constitution of the United States was consciously fashioned with an outline of human nature in mind, natural law is an in? dispensable aid to proper constitutional interpretation. This essay explores the founding conception of liberty…

Living Up to the American Ideals

“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 is how, in 1776, Thomas Jefferson began writing one of the most important documents in the History of the United States. This document is the Declaration of Independence. In these two sentences, Thomas Jefferson introduced a new outlook on the nation based on ideals. Since then, America as a nation has been trying to live up to the 5 American ideals; democracy, liberty, opportunity, rights…

Compare and Contrast of Mount Vernon and Monticello

Mount Vernon and Monticello are different places; however, they share similarities and differences in many ways, therefore, making them two amazing historical homes to learn about in American History. Mount Vernon and Monticello are similar in very few ways; Mount Vernon and Monticello are both homes of U.S presidents that lived in Virginia, the two estates were three stories high, the properties both included slave quarters and gardens, and inside both homes included Palladian windows. Each property had an ice house and a greenhouse; however, they were constructed differently. Mount Vernon and Monticello are different in many ways; George Washington inherited the property at Mount Vernon by his half brother, while it took Thomas Jefferson 40 years for him to…

Thomas Jefferson DBQ

Inaugurated into his presidency in March of 1801, Thomas Jefferson gradually began to stray away from his Democratic-Republican views. Prior to his presidency, Jefferson, along with his Republican followers, practiced ideas including a strict interpretation of the Constitution, a weak central government while obtaining strong state governments, and a separation of powers. When he came to office, he proved to the citizens of the United States that one’s views may easily be swayed when crucial political decisions are needed to be made. Thomas Jefferson contradicted his previous views as a Democratic-Republican by his decisions made through a loose interpretation of the Constitution, his failure to act in the best interest of the majority, and his violation of the separation of…

Justification of independence

In June of 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote a draft for a constitution for Virginia. In this draft, he lists why the British government has no place in America. This draft is the first evidence of what would later become Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. After the success of the Revolutionary War against England, the Constitution was adopted. The first problem Jefferson has is that the American colonists are not able to govern themselves and are left for long periods of time without any representation. He feels that the colonists are being neglected and that the King only intervenes when it suits his interests, which, because of the distance between the colonies and England, is not very often. Also involving distance, Jefferson…

Outline American Pageant

I.Federalist and Republican Mudslingers A.The Federalists labored many handicaps 1.The Alien and Sedition Acts hosted many enemies 2.The Hamiltonians split from them 3.Swelled the public debt when making unnecessary war preparations and added taxes B.John Adams became known as “the Father of the American Navy.” C.The federalists took fire on Jefferson becoming a victim of a “whispering campaign” II.The Jeffersonian “Revolution of 1800” A.Jefferson narrowly squeaked through victory 1.The 3/5 clause of the constitution was decisive in Jefferson’s victory in 1800 2.Won dead-lock with Burr because some of the Representatives hoped for moderation from Jefferson C.John Adams was the last Federalist president D.Jefferson claimed the election a revolution 1.But the election was no revolution in the sense of a massive…

Founding Brothers Summaries

Preface The preface of Founding Brothers sets up the historical context and mood for the following chapters, putting an emphasis on the American Revolution, and its significance and inevitability. After the revolutions the astounding success and America’s liberation from Great Britain, no one was certain America could hold its own for long. It had not yet established an active government and was deemed likely by many to fall apart into individual states. However, the founding “fathers” were determined to have America survive as a successful nation, so they initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787 during which the American Constitution was created. Chapter 1 the Duel The first chapter of the novel pertains to the battle between Aaron Burr and Alexander…

Thomas Jefferson

The turmoil inflicted by the American Revolution and the American Civil War did not waver the desire of the Americans to extend its territory. They were driven with a strong nationalism which kept them as a country despite the domestic turmoil. However, the ideology of “Manifest Destiny” became a major factor in the American continental expansion. This ideology lies on the belief that America is destined by God and by history to expand its territories as a way of extending American liberty (Brinkley 340). This idea evolved in the concept of “white supremacy” and used as a tool to justify its expansion. This movement first began when America acquired Louisiana or famously called the “Louisiana Purchase” in 1803. The French…

Federal Government

To what extent did the Federalist administrations of George Washington and John Adams promote national unity and advance the authority of the federal government? George Washington and John Adams were the first two presidents of the United States. As they had just fought a civil war against their oppressive mother country, it was only fitting that they were federalists. Federalists believed in national unity and a strong central government. They knew that in order for the country to succeed, a strong central government was needed. As a result, their administrations were built around promotion of national unity and advancements of the authority of the federal government. However, there was a limit to what extent they were successful. In my opinion,…

Hamilton Versus Jefferson

The differences between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were certainly profound. Hamilton in general was more eloquent, a centralist, some may even call him a monarch-sympathizer. Thomas Jefferson was anti-federalism, pro-state authority, and overall down-to-earth. These two men have created the types of ideologies the modern two-party system operates by, despite George Washington’s warning of such division. Alexander Hamilton was one of the vigorous advocates of ratifying the constitution in replacement of the Articles of Confederation that did nothing to form a single currency, a strong economy, or a proper domestic security, in wake of the Shay’s rebellion. Thus, Alexander authored the majority of the federalist papers, which urged for a more central government. Hamilton wished for a stronger economy…

AP U.S History

When one reviews American History from 1785-1850, it can be concluded that, “Americans never learned to add without also dividing”. This is referring to America’s inability to have more land without also having the land divided into sections, whether it be north and south or east and west. For example when the Louisiana Purchase was made, yes it added more land to the U.S, but it also made it so there was another territory that was different than the rest of America. The Missouri Compromise can be an example as well, when they applied to become a state, it was being considered however James Tallmadge Jr. introduced an amendment that created a rift being those who were pro slavery and…

Two Party System DBQ

Despite the fact the founding fathers advised contrary to the establishment of political factions as the Constitution withstood the ratification process, a rift amongst men in President George Washington’s cabinet instituted the move toward the conception of political party. During the time period between 1791 and 1833, a two-party system had begun that demonstrated the philosophy of the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans. Although these two political groups were unyielding in their original ideas and beliefs, both had to change a few of their initial standpoints on numerous topics as they dealt with the truth of the government. America’s first president, George Washington, assembled some of the finest political thinkers of the era in his group of advisers, often referred to as…

Locke and Hobbes

How does the founders’ view of power affect the framers’ reactions to John Locke? According to Locke, how does man enter the political society and what is the purpose of that society? What obligations does the government have in the civil society? What obligation does the individual have? How do Hobbes and Locke differ? Do you think Americans would agree with Locke? You may read the first paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence to assist you. What evidence do you have to support your view? The founders believed that the power of government should be limited, so it doesn’t trample on peoples’ natural rights. The framers thus wrote in guarantees that the government could not usurp individual freedoms. Locke believed…

Hamilton Vs Jefferson Essay

Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were two of the most politically influential men involved in building the new American government. They both agreed on creating a strong government, but disagreed on where the supreme power should be located. Hamilton wanted a strong central government, while Jefferson wanted strong state governments. Alexander Hamilton was a man who represented the Federalists. Some of his contributions consist of The Federalist Papers1, the Report on Public Credit2, and the creation of the national bank. Each of these was used to strengthen the central government. The Federalist Papers were 85 highly persuasive essays explaining each provision of the Constitution and the key element in its campaign. Hamilton’s Report on Public Credit analyzed the financial standing,…

The Declaration of Independence and David Simon

In this essay, I will explain what “The Declaration of Independence” says about the people’s right to happiness and compare it to David Simon’s essay “There Are Now Two Americas. My County is a Horror Show” and what he believes about Americans enjoying the same rights. David Simon believed that happiness involves money, land and opportunity. Lastly I will give my opinion on what I believe the right to pursue happiness involves and means. According to the first draft of The Declaration of Independence, people’s rights were being ignored by the King. Thomas Jefferson once said “mankind is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed” (Jefferson,1),…

The contributions of Washing and Jefferson

In 1789 George Washington was elected as the First President of the United States of America under the Constitution. In the following years after George Washington’s administration was John Adams and succeeding him was the Third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s’ administrations contributed to establishing a stable government after the adoption of the Constitution. They strengthened the national government by passing important legislature, peaceful international affairs and economic plans. Washington strengthened the government financially because during his presidency the financial system was built. George Washington himself did not create the financial system but Alexander Hamilton the secretary of the treasury did. After the Revolutionary War the United States had gathered a lot of…

Jeffersonian Republicanism vs. Jacksonian Democracy

Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were two influential political figures in two very different eras, ranging from 1800-1808 and 1808-1840 respectively, that established two very different political philosophies. Each formed their own system that helped shape the way people think about American government. Liberalism is a political philosophy that goes against the established status quo at the time in order for change, where as a conservative is one which adheres to principles established by that same status quo. The Jeffersonian Republicans image of the common man was one vested in the educated and independent farmer, who by no stretch of the imagine had the capabilities to serve in government. The Jacksonian Democracies image of the common man expanded from farmers…

“The Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson

“The Declaration of Independence” is one of the most defining works of American history. During the writing of the “Declaration of Independence”, the Thirteen American Colonies were very busy deciding whether America should be independent or not. Some of the topics included how Britain treats the American Colonies, and whether the timing is right to depart from the rule of Great Britain. However all of this heated debate all boiled down to one inspirational document which set the course of American history. In “The Declaration of Independence”, Thomas Jefferson declares that the American Colonies should abandon King George III because of the king’s tyranny toward the Colonies, demolition of the colonies’ right to self-rule, and neglect of the colonies needs….

Declaration of Independence DBQ

In the two decades prior to the Revolution, the Americans built up a series of grievances against the British government. Those complaints were clearly articulated in the Declaration of Independence. The colonists did this to prove to every other country in the worlds that their reason for war was justified. It is also important to keep in mind that when Thomas Jefferson wrote this, he did not mean for it to be a historical text, he wrote it as a persuasive essay to gain support from other European countries. So the fact that some of the grievances listed may be fabricated or altercated, is only natural if you want to gain allies, and make your parent country look bad. The…

Freedom VS Security

Many theories and assumptions have been fabricated upon the basis of man’s desires and beliefs. H. L. Mencken wrote, “The average man does not want to be free, only to be safe. ” However, this observation does not correlate with what has been witnessed over the course of contemporary society. Since the 18th century, man has sacrificed safety for a reward that is much more paramount, freedom. Patrick Henry, an orator for freedom in the middle to late 1700’s, knew that liberty was a vital necessity in every man’s life, and that one must do whatever it takes, including sacrificing their security, in order to achieve it. In his speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, he is most memorably…

Freedom VS Security

Many theories and assumptions have been fabricated upon the basis of man’s desires and beliefs. H. L. Mencken wrote, “The average man does not want to be free, only to be safe. ” However, this observation does not correlate with what has been witnessed over the course of contemporary society. Since the 18th century, man has sacrificed safety for a reward that is much more paramount, freedom. Patrick Henry, an orator for freedom in the middle to late 1700’s, knew that liberty was a vital necessity in every man’s life, and that one must do whatever it takes, including sacrificing their security, in order to achieve it. In his speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, he is most memorably…

Thomas Jefferson: Assess this statement (AP question)

Thomas Jefferson was elected president of the United States in 1801 representing the Democratic-Republican Party. During his inaugural address he declared “We are all Republicans; we are all Federalists.” Follow Federalist president John Adams, Jefferson says this because he wanted a smooth transition of powers. With this quote he promised his people that he would compromise, if necessary, for the sake of unity and he backed up his words with his domestic and foreign policies. During his first years as president, Jefferson really lived up to his word concerning his domestic policies. Jefferson decided to keep Hamilton’s National Bank and debt repayment plan even though he was completely against it. He lowered the national debt from 83 million to 57…