Important Political Events and Decisions Made by Thomas Jefferson During his Presidency
Thomas Jefferson John Adams the presidential candidates of the 1800 election
The election of 1800 was the first time when political parties emerged and played a main roll in the presidential election. The two parties were the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans. Running for the Federalists was Adam’s for president and Pinckney for vice-president. For the Democratic Republicans was Jefferson for president and Aaron Burr for vice-president. During the race the Federalists were divided. Hamilton, who was a leader a of the Federalists, highly disliked Adam’s who was the Federalists presidential candidate. Jefferson – Burr won the election with 73 to 65. In those days they didn’t have a way of voting for the president separate from the vice president. So when Jefferson had 73 votes so did Burr. Burr was intended to be vice-president but legally it was a tie. The House of Representatives had to vote on the new president. For Jefferson to win he had to have nine votes for the majority. But when the votes were cast Jefferson had only eight. Burr had six. They re-voted thirty-five times until finally Delaware changed the vote from Burr to Jefferson. He won nine to five. This was a very important election because it was the first time there were separate political parties.
writing the Declaration of Independence
One of the first documents that began our nation was the Declaration of Independence. Sometimes people confuse the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence came first and was kind of like a letter. It was written to King George of England and the Parliament. What it basically said was, we feel you have mistreated us and so we are writing to tell you that we are going to be free of your rule. The Declaration of Independence was a list of ways King George had suppressed their right as England’s citizens. Many of these were statements were exaggerated and some were not entirely true. This was the first time in history when a people told their ruler that they were starting another country. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, when he was a young lawyer. This document was commissioned by the 2 nd Continental Congress. This document set into motion many important events.
first political parties of the United States Alexander Hamilton and John Adams Leaders of the Federalists Thomas Jefferson Leader of the Democratic-Republican Party
Today, the two main political parties are the Democrats and the Republicans. During the first years of our country, the two main political parties were the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans. The Election of 1800, between Jefferson and Adams, was the first time that political parties played a main roll in the presidential election. The federalists believed in a main central government and were strong believers in the Constitution. They did not want a government that controlled every aspect of life, rather a strong central government. The Democratic-Republicans wanted as small of a central government as possible. Democratic-Republicans were in favor of the power of state governments. Thomas Jefferson was Democratic-Republican, and John Adams a Federalist. During this time, political parties were built around the ideas of Hamilton. The Democratic-Republicans opposed Hamilton’s ideas, and the Federalists supported his ideas. The Democratic-Republican party eventually birthed the Democratic party of today. The federalist party was the beginnings of the Republicans.
Marbury vs. Madison William Marbury James Madison
One of Jefferson’s biggest troubles that he encountered during his presidency was his disagreement with the Judiciary Branch. The previous president was John Adams. During the last hours of his presidency, Adams had appointed many judges who were unfriendly to Jefferson. In the confusion of the last hours of Adam’s presidency, while he was appointing judges, a couple of commissions for justice of the peace were lost. In other words, someone lost the paperwork. Later, during Jefferson’s presidency, the commissions were found. Jefferson refused to appoint the commissions. William Marbury, one of Adam’s appointees, asked the Supreme Court to order James Madison, the Secretary of State, to issue the commissions Marshall, head of the Supreme Court, ruled against Marbury. He said the law allowing Marbury to sue Madison was unconstitutional. This was the first time a law had been ruled unconstitutional. This was a very important case because it showed the power of the Judiciary System.
In 1807 congress passed the Embargo Act. This law said that no American merchants could trade with other countries. You may wonder “Why did they do that?” Well, often times the English Navy would capture an American trading vessel and press it’s crew into their Navy. The Embargo Act was to stop the English Navy from taking our sailors. The Embargo Act was a very extreme way of dealing with the problem. This Act made many people angry because it limited the number of jobs in the shipping industry. It left many sailors unemployed. Many traders often broke this law to trade. Traders would announce that they were sailing to an American port and then really go to the West Indies or Europe. If caught the captain would claim that a storm had driven off course, or a different story to the same equivalent. Jefferson thought this act would help, but really didn’t. Merchants still sailed to other nations and sailors were still pressed into service by England.
Jefferson’s greatest achievement was the Louisiana Purchase. The states of America were the entire eastern coast, but the middle of America and the western coast were owned by France and Spain. Canada was owned by the British. At the time the United States had four territories, Michigan, Indiana, Northwest, and Mississippi territory. In the south the biggest port was in New Orleans. Which was owned by the French. The French had control of the river. In the south, the Mississippi River was the main mode of transportation. France told the Americans that they couldn’t use the port of New Orleans. During this time France was at war with Spain, and they needed a lot of money to support the campaign. Jefferson offered to buy Louisiana from the French. They first offered 5 million, but later raised to 15 million. When asked how large the territory was, the French said they didn’t know. This was a major step that America took in expanding west.
Lewis and Clark
Because nobody really knew how big or what was in the Louisiana Territory, Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery. Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition. The goal was to get all the way to the West coast, all the while keeping notes and journals, drawing pictures, and keeping sample. Co-captaining with Lewis was William Clark, a retired military leader. The expedition took about a year and about half to prepare for. The expedition set out from St. Lewis. They mostly Traveled along rivers. During the winter of 1804 and 1805 they wintered in Fort Morgan. One of the main obstacles was the rocky mountains. They needed horses to navigate the steep and rocky terrain. To get horses their translator, Sacagawea, convinced her brother, who was a chief of the Shoshone tribe to lend them horses if it weren’t for Sacagawea, the expedition would probably have gone no further. One of the most famous quotes from the journey was after the corps reached the Ocean. Clark penned in his journal “Ocian in view! O! The Joy!” The Corps wintered at Ft. Clatsop on Cape Disappointment. When the winter was over, they turned the fort over to their friend the Clatsop Indians. This expedition was important because it shaped our nation. Clark and Lewis made many important discoveries about the animals, plants, and terrain. The expedition lasted about two years. Only one man died. Lewis and Clark went down in history as some of the greatest explorers of all time.