Jefferson the Hypocrite

By: Priya Soni & Emma Kramer

Why Jefferson was a hypocrtite

During the Dead Clutch of Judiciary, Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans wanted the Constitution to be strictly followed. However then the Democratic-Republicans and Jefferson plot revenge after Marshall's decision which was that the court must interpret the Constitution. These actions by Jefferson were hypocritical because he was only concerned for himself and his followers. Jefferson believed that the Constitution should be strictly followed by the President and the common people as well. Although while the Dead Clutch of Judiciary was occurring, him and followers believed that the decision Marshall came to a conclusion on was absurd.

The Louisiana Godsend

During the Louisiana Godsend, Jefferson actions were very hypocritical because he detested Britain and didn't want anything to do with Britain but then Jefferson runs and side's with Britain because France has control over Mississippi and the New Orleans territory. "Though a passionate hater of war and an enemy of entangling alliances, he was proposing to make an alliance with his old foe, Britain, against his old friend, France, in order to secure New Orleans." Jefferson states that “the day that France takes possession of New Orleans ...we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation.’’

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The Louisiana Purchase

Jefferson's actions were also hypocritical when making the Louisiana purchase. Jefferson declared the purchase of Louisiana unconstitutional which he was against doing. Declaring anything unconstitutionally is something the Federalist's are agreeing with and it empowers the national government which Jefferson is against. Jefferson was against unconstitutional institutions such as Andrew Jackson's national bank, and believed in a strict interpretation of the constitution. Jefferson goes ahead and declares the purchase of Louisiana unconstitutional because he is afraid the offer would be declined if not declared unconstitutional stating that he is selfish and cares more about land than his principles.

The Embargo Act

The Embargo Act put a stop to trade to any nation. Exports would not be allowed to any country at war or not. The Embargo Act was established because the British were demanding sailors to impress on and when the United States turned them down the British started to shoot nearby people. The public aroused and began to declare war but due to Jefferson's reaction and actions toward the public, Congress passed the Embargo Act. Jefferson's actions are what caused the Embargo Act to establish and they caused quite some damage to the economy, to the public, to Britain, and his old friend France. Jefferson's hypocrisy comes into play during the embargo act. Jefferson was acting like a dictator towards the United States although he was bossing our country around while he wanted to detach himself from Britain who was bossing the United States around.

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Jefferson's Self-indulgence

During the Jeffersonian Restraint, Jefferson's actions were hypocritical because he seemed to only care about his farmers and the common people but it turns out that he is willing to listen to other people and their opinions but he wouldn't take action on there ideas. He seemed to be very open and listening to other voices other than his own but he did not use any of those ideas, making it a balance of opinions between him, Hamilton, and the government. While the Jeffersonian Restraint was occurring, the Democratic-Republican party didn't destroy the Federalist's bank which they wanted to, they did not tamper with the Federalist programs for funding the national debt at par and assuming the Revolutionary War debts of the states, and they did not repeal the mildly protective Federalist tariff. All of these actions not occurring proved that Jefferson and his leading party were hypocritical, by changing their minds.

Jefferson's Opinions on Slavery

Jefferson had slaves that worked for him, but he was still involved in the "anti-slavery stance" and his support for the hierarchy- shattering French revolution. This means to the people that he "approved" of blacks but when he was home with family he was a different person than what he was showing to the country. This states that Jefferson was a hypocrite because he says that he approved of blacks and he has slaves but then he says that slaves should not be allowed and that he doesn't approve of blacks.

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Overall Jefferson was an admirable leader, but his actions to certain events made him hypocritical. Taking Britain's side when in trouble, disowning up to his principles, owning slaves when the constitution says "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain and inalienable rights, among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." and when Jefferson states that the Constitution should be strictly followed were all reasons why today Jefferson is seen as a hypocrite.