Thomas Jefferson's Presidential Legacy Essay

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Thomas Jefferson's Presidential Legacy Thomas Jefferson, our third president, was born in 1743 in Virginia. He studied at William and Mary and then read the law. In 1772, he married a widow lady, Martha Skelton and he took her to live at his partially completed home at Monticello, the plantation consisting of approximately 5,000 acres that he inherited from his father. Mr. Jefferson was considered to be a gifted writer, but he was not a public speaker. He wrote his support for the patriotic cause in the House of Burgesses and the Continental congresses but he did not give any speeches. He was a silent member, and as such, drafted the Declaration of Independence. He became the first Secretary of State under George Washington, but…show more content…
The landmark case of "Marbury v Madison" involved William Marbury and James Madison. After his defeat in 1800, then President Adams appointed as many federalist judges to the court system as possible, but the commissions were not delivered. Mr. Marbury was appointed as a Justice of the Peace for the District of Columbia; James Madison tried to use his power as Secretary of State to shelve Mr. Marbury's commission. Mr. Marbury sued in the Supreme Court for the delivery of the commission and based his appeal on the Judiciary Act of 1789. However, Chief Justice Marshall dismissed the suit, explaining that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional because it attempted to assign powers to the Supreme Court that the Constitution had not foreseen. He adamantly asserted his opinion that the Constitution embodied a higher law than regular legislation. Chief Justice Marshall stated that "it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is…" His decision greatly increased the authority of the Supreme Court; the Court now had the final say-so in the interpretation of the Constitution and to determine the constitutionality of a law. Just a few months later, in May 1804, Jefferson completed one of the largest land transactions in history. He purchased the entire Louisiana Territory, consisting of more than 800,000 square miles, from Napoleon for $15 millions
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