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Thomas Jefferson Foreign + Domestic Policies

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President Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson: The United States' third President; Democratic Republican, philosopher, agrarian, plantation owner, politician. One of his more famous quotes comes from his First Inaugural Address "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." In that respect, though he was a very great man, I believe in that respect that he is wrong.

During the early years of American democracy there was no "grey area" between the party lines. If you were a Federalist you were a hardcore believer in your ideas and thought that nothing a Democratic Republican had to say was worth the time to listen to, and by the same token that's the way the Republicans thought as well. Often times Federalists and Republicans had to try to see eye-to-eye in Congress and compromise some of their views so that some sort of bills could be passed. But for the most part if one was a Republican, they were Republican.

It seems also that Jefferson didn't take this to heart either. He rarely did anything that could even be remotely deemed as being a Federalist sort of action. The greatest of these could be the Louisiana Purchase, though that didn't strengthen the American government much more than add a little more land for Congress to squabble over. (Hunt, 27-31)

A greater example of Jefferson's utter lack of any sort of Federalists view is the lack of such Federalist measures as afore mentioned. During his presidency he didn't attempt to expand the government as his predecessors had (Washington by adding the Departments of State, War, Treasury etc. and Adams by adding an American navy), instead he simply sat in office and dealt, especially in his second term, mostly with foreign affairs. (Cunningham, 45-56)

As such, I find it especially hard to look at that part of his inaugural address as little more than space filler. It was simply a sentence



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