Thomas Jefferson

Foundation of Government

BIO BACKGROUND

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia. Thomas Jefferson was a draftsman of the Declaration of Independence. He was the third president of the United States from the years of 1801-1809. Thomas Jefferson was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase. He was also the nation's first secretary of state, second vice president. Jefferson died in bed at Monticello (located in Virginia) on July 4, 1826.

WHY WAS THOMAS JEFFERSON IMPORTANT?

He declared the 13 colonies to free and independent our country. As a Secretary of the State, he established a strong diplomatic position with the European nations. Since he was the 3rd President, he agreed to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, doubling the size of the acknowledged territory of the US. He established the fundamental rights for citizens, including equality for men and women. Jefferson assigned the federal government as a democratic system, allowing and encouraging public participation. A lawyer by trade, Jefferson also served as U.S. minister to France and U.S. secretary of state, and he was vice president under John Adams.

Contributions to the United States Government

  • Wrote the Declaration of Independence (1776)
  • Wrote The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777)
  • Advocated for free public education (1779)
  • Served as the first U.S. Secretary of State (1790–1793)
  • Made the Louisiana Purchase (1803)
  • Participated in the founding of the Library of Congress (1815)
  • He found the University of Virginia (1819)