Thomas Jefferson

By Elisabeth Stoner


Thomas Jefferson was mostly influenced to be the author of the Decleration of Indepepndence by his avid reading and the people in his life.

His education helped him significantly

Because of his family's wealth, Jefferson attended boarding school from ages 9-16. Few families could afford to do so. Jefferson was strong in classical language such as Greek and Latin. After boarding school, he attended college at The College of William and Mary. There he pursued legal studies under George Wythe. He became a very well known lawyer. He thought legal studies would help him with understanding society, politics, culture and people.

The Declaration of Independence changed the US

The writing of this document set and example for the entire world. It was one of the first acts that gave an example and stand for human equality. In 1776, when this document was written, the birth of a new nation began. US broke away from Britain and lived under the thought of unalienable rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

His home life effected his thoughts and ideas

His family had owned 7,000 acres of land. His father, Peter, was a politician and Thomas very much looked up to him. So when Peter passed away when Thomas was 14, he started looking up to his teachers for advice. He had 9 siblings and 2 of them died the same year they were born. This, unfortunately, prepared him for the two losses of his children after his marriage.

The people and opportunities he was given helped him form ideas as a writer

Thomas Paine and his writing of Common Sense introduced the idea of unalienable rights and Jefferson used that in the Declaration of Independence. He was elected into the Virginia House of Burgesses as a popular legislature who spoke strongly against the way Britain was treating the colonies. He began writing and speaking more about how he felt about this topic. England heard about him and declared him a traitor to be hanged. The US then decided he should be the person to write the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston all helped Jefferson revise and improve the document.

Jefferson was involved in other activities

Being involved helped his responsibility and helped him stay involved with others. He met people that hepled him because of the activities he was in. As soon as he could, Jefferson learned to read. When the original Library of Congress was burned down in 1814, Jefferson he offered his personal library as a replacement. In 1815, the library was restocked with Jefferson's 6,487 books. He played an active role in the Virginia Committee of Correspondence. His reading helped him with his strong writing abilities.

He was born into a time that Britain was in charge of the US

Jefferson was alive in a time period that the Britain was majorly in charge of the US. They presented the 5 acts that taxed certain goods for the good of ONLY Britain. The Stamp Act, the Townshend Act, Sugar Act, Tea Act, and the Intolerable Act. The Intolerable Act was a punishment for the US standing up for themselves. It was after these acts that the US decided to write a Declaration to break away from Britain. Some think he was the first to come up with the idea of being seperate from Britain, but many before him agreed with this idea. He just pursued it.