A Pragmatic Leader
By: Bailey Young and Bella Ragomo
Thomas Jefferson. Third President of the United States. Talented writer and leader. He was head strong with his ideas of having a strict interperatation of the constitusion, an economy run on agriculture and, a government run by the states. When Jefferson stepped into office, ready to follow his true princapals, he realized that not everything would work as planned. Jefferson is pragmatic due to his way of trying to stay true to principles but in the end changing his beliefs for the better.
Keeping Hamilton's Financial Plan
Hypocritical? Not quite.
Marbury VS Madison
The Louisiana Purchase
The Hated Embargo
- Bad for the nation's economy. Exports had fallen
from $108 million in 1807 to just $22 million in 1808
- Extreme unpopularity; resulted in the smuggling of goods
- Shippers suffered. Harbors were filled with large amounts of ships and unemployed sailors.
Maybe to Thomas Jefferson it was. Although he was extremely pragmatic either way. Jefferson had always wanted a strict interpretation of the constitution, to stay away from any changes. At the same time, he wanted to do what was best for the nation, and form an act for safety. Although this time, this decision wasn't as favorable as others.
An Owner of Slaves
After the Revolution it was normal to own slaves. In fact, slavery and slave trade were allowed by law! By the time Jefferson was in his early twenties slave trade had been around for about 145 years. It was perfectly normal for people to own and trade slaves.
Jefferson expressed his opinion on slavery; he wanted to abolish it. The only odd thing was, Jefferson owned slaves himself.
Opinion On Slavery
Jefferson was very much against the idea of owning people. He felt that the nation would grow apart due to anger made between whites and blacks. Jeffeson spoke out against slavery but he felt that freeing the slavess would be too hard of a task to handle. In the Declaration of Independance he wrote "... all men are created equal...", then why did Jefferson own slaves?
He Owned Slaves But, Was Against Slavery?
In this situation Jefferson is portrayed as someone who is hypocritical yet, this is not the case. Before Jefferson became president had made many efforts to abolish slavery. He stuck to his true beliefs but his banning slavery did not impact slave owners decisions. When Jefferson became president, slavery was so much of the nation’s trade and labor. In Virginia the population of slaves had sky rocketed to 469,757. Jefferson began to lose faith that he would abolish slavery and kept quiet. Since slavery was so popular when Jefferson was president he owned slaves also. It seems odd that he would own slaves due to the fact he was against slavery before.
Only Doing What The Nation Wanted
Really Jefferson is only being pragmatic. Jefferson knew his fight with slavery was over; it had already become too much a part of a normal lifestyle. Instead of being principled and pushing his idea to abolish it, he kept his beliefs but, molded himself into normal society; to benefit his nations beliefs. Jefferson is a true pragmatist due to his effort to stay true to his ideas but in the end changing it for the nation.