Thomas Jefferson and Philosophical Consistency Essay examples

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DBQ #3 Thomas Jefferson was an early American politician, who was well-known for his actions during his presidency. He was labeled as a Democratic-Republican, meaning he favored stronger rights of individual states, rather than a central government with a lot of power. That is, at least in the years prior to his presidency. After he was elected, however, his convictions totally changed. During his presidency, three major events; his war with the Barbary Pirates, his restrictive economic policies, and the Louisiana Purchase, all directly contradicted the beliefs of himself and other Democratic-Republicans. Before he was elected Thomas Jefferson did not like the idea of a large military, because of his principles of Republicanism.…show more content…
He then believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, and thought a federal bank was unconstitutional as well, although the Federalists wanted to interpret it loosely. Jefferson believed that the Constitution “delegated to the federal government certain definite powers, reserving, each state to itself…the right to their own self-government” (Doc. B). He did a total reversal on his beliefs on states’ rights, and thought the federal government should be more powerful, which distanced himself from his party. He enacted the Embargo Act of 1807 during his presidency. This is thought of as one of his worst decisions ever. Instead of declaring war, as he would have done during the 1790’s, Jefferson had the Embargo Act passed, which prevented the U.S. from trading with any foreign nation. However his stubbornness did not succeed however, the Embargo Act really hurt the American economy and American merchants more than either Britain or France. The hatred for this stubborn act of neutrality was so bad that the Federalist Circular claimed that the Embargo Act would “wrest the inestimable germ of…Independence from you” (Doc. E). The Embargo Act held a stricter grip on states than previously done by Jefferson. His change in policies also affected many of his people. The Louisiana Purchase is another course of action taken by Jefferson known for contradicting his strict constitutionalist views. Neglecting the fact that there is no clause in the

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