Legs tremble and your heart rate speeds up. You quietly take a seat and prepare for your presentation. The response from your audience will change the world forever and there’s no room for mistakes. It is your turn to make a difference and if you don’t, the months of hard work you spent on planning and creating this will go to waste. This is the Continental Congress and your name is none other than Thomas Jefferson. Born on April 2, 1743, Jefferson came into the world to Peter and Jane Jefferson in Virginia. He grew up in a rich home, and in result began to learn science, math, Latin, Greek, and French by the age of 9. When his father passed away in 1757, Jefferson inherited 2700 acres of land, 60 slaves, and 250 cattle when he was only 14 years old. Throughout his entire childhood, Jefferson was very cultured by exposure to the arts, sciences, and politics. He was able to attend William and Mary University at 16 and studied there for two years before graduating when he was 18. His studies at the university taught him a lot about law and politics which led him to making a significant impact during the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson was the most important figure in American history for his stellar leadership.
Jefferson lived in Paris from 1784-1789 as the American minister to France.
University of Virginia
191 years later, the University of Virginia still stays an elite university.
The Declaration of Indpendence
Despite his plethora of achievements, this is clearly his greatest one. In 1776, Jefferson lead America gain freedom by writing The Declaration of Independence.
- Jefferson was appointed to the Committee of Five along with Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams, and Robert Livingston to write a statement of independence.
- Jefferson was selected to write it and on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously agreed with his ideas. For two days they analyzed the statement, making 30 changes, and on July 4, 1776, The Declaration of Independence was signed.
- Jefferson was America's first republican president. He believed in a weaker central government and larger state power.
- In 1803, Jefferson expanded America's border to the Rocky Mountains by spending $11,250,000 for the Louisiana Purchase.
- Although Jefferson failed at abolishing slavery for everyone's freedom, he wrote a bill in 1786 that was passed to establish religious freedom in all of young America.
- A year before his death in 1825, Jefferson opened the University of Virginia. At the time it only had 40 students; however today it is one of the most elite schools in the country.