Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He is most famous for writing the Declaration of Independence. He was a great American who felt strongly about freedom and human rights. He worked hard to free people from ignorance, intolerance, prejudice and an unfair government.
Jefferson was born in 1743 in Virginia. His father was a rich planter who left his son a plantation with slaves. Jefferson was educated in Virginia and became interested in politics at a young age. When the American Revolution began, Jefferson was named chairman of the committee picked to write the declaration. The Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776 and was mostly written by Jefferson.
Jefferson was elected president in 1800. He served two terms as president. The most important thing he did was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803. He started planning for the expedition even before the United States bought it. Jefferson wanted to learn more about the land and the Native Americans because the Mississippi River was the main transportation route for Americans who lived west of the Appalachian Mountains.
When Lewis and Clark finished their trip in 1806, they gave President Jefferson an excellent report of their trip. He learned about the geography of the territory. He also learned about the kinds of trees, plants, and animals found in the west. The work of Lewis and Clark gave the U.S. a claim to the Oregon Country.
President Jefferson made many changes in the government. He cut the size of the navy and army. He stopped spending so much money to build the nationís capital, and he cut down on the number of government workers. There were many problems in hi second term. HE tried to get Florida from Spain but it did not work. U.S. ships were not able to reach ports in Europe because of blockades by Britain and France. His Embargo Act of 1807 was to cut off trade to hurt Britain and France. Instead, the Act hurt American farmers, ship owners, merchants and seamen. Many people were angry at Jefferson because of The Embargo Act so he repealed it in 1809. Thomas Jefferson left office In 1809 and retired to the house he built in Monticello He lived there until he died at the age of 83 in 1826.
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