Thomas Jefferson

Pragmatic, Principled, or Hypocritical

Undoing of The Alien and Sedition Acts

During the undoing of the Alien and Sedition acts, Jefferson was pragmatic. He pardoned all charges on Martyrs (people affected legally by the acts). And also changed the amount of time that you had to become a citizen. He also excised the excise tax which helped the people, but cost the country a lot of money; as well as keeping the national bank, and tariffs against his principles for the better of the country.

Marbury vs. Madison

William Marbury was going to get a new job, however, his papers were unprocessed. When James Madison realized this, he asked what to do, and ended up trashing the papers. Marbury was furious and sued Madison in court. In the end of the court, they used the judiciary act of 1782 to say that the trial was unconstitutional and Madison got off scott-free. During this situation Jefferson was principled because he stayed with what the constitution said.

Louisiana Purchase

With the Louisiana land on the market, Jefferson sent James Monroe to France to negotiate a deal. He said he was willing to buy for $10 Million. Monroe came back with More land than asked for, but for more money. Knowing that presidents were unable to negotiate for land, but were able to negotiate a treaty, Jefferson proposed a treaty where we would pay them the money and they would give us the land. In this situation, Jefferson was pragmatic because he went against his principles for the better and expansion of the country.

Embargo Act of 1807

The US passed an embargo act against the United Kingdom and France. It was because while they were busy fighting eachother, they ran into us and stole some of our ships. Even though the embargo would cost us money, it was passed so Britain and France were unable to trade with us and dock in our ports. Thomas Jefferson demonstrated his pragmatic side again as he went against his principles with the greatest intentions.

Thomas Jefferson, A Pragmatic Leader

Weighing in some of the various and important decisions made by Thomas Jefferson, it can be very easily argued that he was a pragmatic leader. During the undoing of the Alien and Sedition Acts, by keeping things from Hamilton's financial plan against his plan, he showed he was pragmatic, as he did during th Embargo act, and louisian purchase. Even though he stayed true to his principles during the Marbury vs. Madison, Jefferson was overall, a pragmatic president.