October 24

Blog #147 – How Jeffersonian was Jefferson?

So, in the handouts on Thomas Jefferson and his attitudes on slavery, race, the economy, society, and other things written before he became president, many of you thought that he was inconsistent in some areas (race and slavery among others) but yet consistent in other things (belief in agriculture and the need for more land).

As a man of principle, Jefferson tried to live by his beliefs, but when he became president in 1801, he had a chance to put his beliefs into action.  Though he hated banks and strenuously opposed the creation of the Bank of the U.S. in 1791, he let Hamilton’s bank remain intact during his presidency.  In other ways, he remained true to his principles.

Thomas Jefferson Presidential $1 Coin | U.S. Mint

As you look over the notes we collected as a class, I want you to answer the following questions:

  1. Before he became president (and using the quotes we looked at on Friday), in which area was he most consistent and why?  And in which area was he most inconsistent and why do you think this?  
  2. As president from 1801 – 1809 (and using the notes we compiled on Monday), in which area(s) was he most consistent?  Explain why.  And in which areas was he most inconsistent and why?  

Blog response due by Wednesday, October 26 by class.  Your total answer for both questions above should be a minimum of 400 words.  

 

Thomas Jefferson: The paradoxical Founding Father who left an imprint on Long Island | TBR News Media

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Posted October 24, 2022 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

60 thoughts on “Blog #147 – How Jeffersonian was Jefferson?

  1. Brock K

    Q: Before he became president (and using the quotes we looked at on Friday), in which area was he most consistent and why? And in which area was he most inconsistent and why do you think this?

    A: I think that Thomas Jefferson was the most consistent regarding his belief that agriculture was the only true way to sustain the economy. Through his writings, he always expressed the same ideas, that agriculture was necessary for human wellbeing. In a 1787 letter to George Washington, he stated that “Agriculture … is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to wealth, good morals and happiness….”. he also said that farmers are “chosen people” because of their proximity to nature. The most inconsistent trait with pre-presidency Jefferson is his opinion on slavery. He spoke out against slavery and said in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” but, in 1785 he wrote that “blacks are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind.”. To make it worse, he owned hundreds of slaves and may have even sexually abused some of them.

    Q: As president from 1801 – 1809 (and using the notes we compiled on Monday), in which area(s) was he most consistent? Explain why. And in which areas was he most inconsistent and why?

    A: One thing Jefferson kept consistent within his writings during his presidency was his hatred for the idea of a national bank. He would always write how in only benefits the wealthy and it would undermine the relevance of the laws of the state banks. He also detailed in his writings how a national bank was unconstitutional because it was “the government establishing corporations”. These opinions would stay consistent until his death. An inconsistency Jefferson had was that he was a staunch advocate for a small republic because otherwise a large republic would create too many differing opinions, making congress inefficient. Though he stated this in writings, during his presidency he would double the nations size and abuse his presidential authority.

  2. Will

    Before his presidency, a major point that Jefferson was consistent with was his take on slavery. He’s been pretty anti-slave (though he owned slaves) his entire political history, and he tried and succeeded to get rid of slavery in some areas, through the Northwest Ordinances of 1784/85, and the attempted act to ban slavery between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River, though that failed to pass. Even though Jefferson owned slaves, he seemed genuine in his attempt to stop the practice – he most likely only owned slaves due to being in massive debt due to his spending habits (which he could have cut…). He was very inconsistent with foreign policy, though. He was against bribery for the pirates capturing American ships, goods, and people, but was for bribing the Natives to stay on our good side. He was so pro-French, yet was undecided about the Haitian Revolution. It’s interesting to see someone who is so pro-democracy and also pro-revolution have to make a consistent decision. He was anti-war, yet was willing to go to war with the Barbary pirates. He made so many contradictory decisions over foreign policy before his presidency that I’m surprised that people were surprised that he was a poor foreign policy maker.

    During his presidency, his foreign policy decisions stayed just as bad as his pre-presidency decisions. The Embargo Act was a pathetic attempt to limit trade that wouldn’t have worked out either way because if they really wanted the goods, they could just… come to us. It killed our economy and was an act that did very little good for any party involved. He also was a hypocritical tax collector – he was against Hamilton’s collection of taxes like the whiskey tax, yet collected taxes to build an army and a navy. Oh yeah, his takes on an army and a navy – he completely backed out on that too. He used taxpayer money to build a navy even though he was so blatantly against that before his presidency. He wasn’t consistent with much in his presidency at all – not even the economy. The Embargo act messed all that up for all the farmers. He did stay consistent on slavery, with the ban on slave imports in 1808 and continuing taxes on slave imports before that. But with pretty much everything else, Jefferson was wildly inconsistent with his political takes and actions throughout his presidency.

  3. Miller Mann

    One instance where he was the most inconsistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while not being president was during the Haitian Revolution. The Haitian Revolution was a slave uprising in Haiti against their French enslavers and French rule. During the Revolt, Jefferson was the secretary of State for George Washington, he elected to help the white enslavers rather than help the enslaved even though he claims to know that the institution of slavery was wrong. Jefferson said that white men were superior to that the African American race, in their current state, implying that if slavery had not existed, they should and would be equal.

    One instance where he was the most consistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while not being the president was when he fought against the creation of the Bank of the United States, Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the constitution, (if it doesn’t say you can, you can’t). He believed that hamilton’s proposal for the Bank of the United States was unconstitutional and took away from states’ rights. Jefferson wanted the states to be able to to create their own banks, and a national bank took away that liberty. Over the years while Jefferson was secretary of state under George Washington, Jefferson argued with Hamilton that the National bank was unconstitutional.

    One instance where Jefferson was the most consistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while being president, was when Jefferson decided to effectively shrink down the standing army of the United States. Jefferson cut the budget for the military and vastly reduced the number of troops down to just over 3,000 men. Jefferson had previously said that a standing army was among one of the most dangerous things possible. Jefferson argued that “Standing armies [are] inconsistent with [a people’s] freedom”.

    One instance where Jefferson was the most inconsistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while being president, was when he passed the Embargo Act in December of 1807. The Embargo Act effectively shut down trade with all countries outside of the United States. Jefferson was always said to be for agriculture and against an industrial-based economy. By passing the Embargo Act, Jefferson makes it clear that he thought other countries needed the food grown in the United States more than the United States needed the manufactured goods from foreign countries. Also, by passing the act, Jefferson hurt the agricultural industry by limiting their trading partners, which goes directly against what he said before and how he favored an agricultural-based economy.
    One instance where he was the most inconsistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while not being president was during the Haitian Revolution. The Haitian Revolution was a slave uprising in Haiti against their French enslavers and French rule. During the Revolt, Jefferson was the secretary of State for George Washington, he elected to help the white enslavers rather than help the enslaved even though he claims to know that the institution of slavery was wrong. Jefferson said that white men were superior to that the African American race, in their current state, implying that if slavery had not existed, they should and would be equal.

    One instance where he was the most consistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while not being the president was when he fought against the creation of the Bank of the United States, Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the constitution, (if it doesn’t say you can, you can’t). He believed that hamilton’s proposal for the Bank of the United States was unconstitutional and took away from states’ rights. Jefferson wanted the states to be able to to create their own banks, and a national bank took away that liberty. Over the years while Jefferson was secretary of state under George Washington, Jefferson argued with Hamilton that the National bank was unconstitutional.

    One instance where Jefferson was the most consistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while being president, was when Jefferson decided to effectively shrink down the standing army of the United States. Jefferson cut the budget for the military and vastly reduced the number of troops down to just over 3,000 men. Jefferson had previously said that a standing army was among one of the most dangerous things possible. Jefferson argued that “Standing armies [are] inconsistent with [a people’s] freedom”.

    One instance where Jefferson was the most inconsistent with his “Jeffersonian Ideals” while being president, was when he passed the Embargo Act in December of 1807. The Embargo Act effectively shut down trade with all countries outside of the United States. Jefferson was always said to be for agriculture and against an industrial-based economy. By passing the Embargo Act, Jefferson makes it clear that he thought other countries needed the food grown in the United States more than the United States needed the manufactured goods from foreign countries. Also, by passing the act, Jefferson hurt the agricultural industry by limiting their trading partners, which goes directly against what he said before and how he favored an agricultural-based economy.

  4. Titus Smith

    Jefferson held firm in his beliefs on personal freedom. I would say he believed in personal freedom more than anything. He was a strong supporter of the bill of rights because it gave people personal freedom, he was against the idea of slavery because it violated personal freedom, although that led to one of his inconsistencies. He believed freedom of speech and freedom of the press were fundamental human rights that every American deserved because that was a way to spread personal freedom. Jefferson wanted Americans to stay agricultural because that gave more power to individual farmers. While he remained consistent about the importance of individual freedom his whole life he is inconsistent when it comes to his views on race and slavery. As I said he believed in personal freedom and he even believed that slavery should be abolished. However, he owned hundreds of slaves and didn’t free them all after he died. He believed that native Americans were equal to whites but he also believed that black people were inferior to white people while writing “all men are created equal” in the constitution. He was pro-freedom but benefited from slavery which is a huge contradiction. Racism is probably the biggest stain on Jefferson’s legacy and it is his biggest inconsistency in ideals.

    During his presidency, Jefferson remained very consistent in his ideals relating to the supreme court and judiciary branch of the government. He was inconsistent in his ideals relating to the Haitian revolution and slavery. Jefferson was never a fan of the judicial branch. He supported the three-branch system because of the checks and balances but he didn’t support the empowerment of the judicial branch after Marbury v Maddison. Those were his ideals in theory and practice he remained consistent. Jefferson still wanted to limit the supreme court and he stayed with his ideals and kept Federalist judges but, the SCOTUS was out of his control. Congress impeached a Federalist SCOTUS judge but was not removed. These acts, no matter how successful, show how consistent he was, in theory, and practice. He showed his inconsistencies with the Haitian revolution and slavery. Jefferson hated slavery and he wanted it to be abolished but, he owned slaves and benefitted from the system. He also sent guns to Haiti secretly. After the rebellion was won by the enslaved, he refused to recognize Haiti. These ideals contradict each other and his acts as president also contradict each other. At first, Jefferson supported the white enslavers but when he was president he supported the Black rebels, but he ignored Haiti by not granting them recognition as an independent country. His ideas on Hati and slavery were very inconsistent and contradict his ideals and Jeffersonian ideals.

  5. Renna R

    1. Thomas Jefferson’s actions as president were most consistent with his personal beliefs in the case of the Supreme Court/judiciary. He wanted to weaken the Federalist control of the judiciary and told James Madison not to give commissions to the “midnight judges” Adams appointed. In general, Jefferson advocated for states’ rights, worried that a strong central government would become oppressive on them. He knew that often when national governments became too strong they would eventually wipe out the states and take complete control, like Britain did with the colonies before. He stressed the importance of checks and balances in order for each branch to check the powers of the other branches, and for the powers of each branch to be separated and individual. Although he feared a supreme national government, the national case of Marbury v. Madison established the power of judicial review for the court. This would not have been his chosen outcome because it strengthened the judiciary, but the decision was out of his control. Jefferson always wanted a smaller government that would be decentralized in order for the states to have more control over their own governing. When the Supreme Court became stronger, it enabled the national government to impose its rule on the states more easily and was against Jefferson’s ideals, even though he stuck to them throughout the process of Marbury v. Madison and the changing of government.
    2. Thomas Jefferson was the most inconsistent with this beliefs and actions in the case of slavery. He was constantly speaking out against slavery, calling it a “violation of the law of nature.” He even worked pro bono for two enslaved children to try to win their freedom, even though he lost both cases. He upheld that “all men are born free” and that slavery was against this principle. Although he was against slavery, he did not truly see enslaved people as equals, by law or by humanity. He thought they were inferior to white people and had many slaves of his own. During the Haitian Revolution, he helped white slave owners and cut off all trade with Haiti, seeking to isolate the people there so that the revolution would not spread to the United States. He never recognized Haiti as independent, and the United States did not until 1862. When Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he protected the residents’ right to property in the land. This property included slaves, so by making this purchase he was enabling slavery and even protecting it by law. He did not stick to his values at all during these instances- so much that one wouldn’t know he was against slavery if he didn’t write it so often. His actions did not reflect those texts.

  6. Lauren M.

    The area in which Jefferson was most true to his word, at least before his presidency, was regarding staying true to the constitution and the states. Jefferson effectively started the democratic republican party, a party who’s some of the core beliefs centered around protecting the power of the states as well as strict interpretation of the constitution. Whether because he valued these things, or purely out of spite and need to be against Hamilton, Jefferson seemed to uphold these values when developing the government. He was very adamant in his argument with Hamilton that the proposed bank was unconstitutional and making use of implied powers, since he believed that it was not, as the rule states “necessary”. He expressed concern that the banks combining of debt would be providing to much power to the federal government, and would not help the agricultural community he felt made up the states.
    One thing Jefferson was not consistent about was his opinion on slavery. He, on numerous occasions, explicitly expressed that “under the law of nature, men are born free” and “The abolition of domestic slavery os the great object of desire in the states.” Despite this, he not only owned slaves himself, but obviously did not object when the constitution deleberatly avoids directly mentioning slavery. Had he truly believed in his words, he would have changed (Or at least made an effort notable in history) to free slaves under the constitution.

    Later, during Jefferson’s presidency, he did things that both did and did not support his beliefs. Something he stayed constitnat with was his beliefs regarding Native Peoples. He had stated that he believed them to be equal to white people, along with his beliefs that the US was founded on agriculture, and that the US should make efforts to have good foreign relations (Europe aside.) Jefferson stayed true to all of this by allying with the Native Americans and attempting to assimilate them into western culture, specifically farmer. And while this wasn’t exactly the best way to respect the Native nations (It really wasn’t – nothing really good has happened to the native populations since 1492) it was well supported by his stated ideals.
    However, the area Jefferson could not seem to balance was the federal government, specifically its power and influence. Once dedicated to state rights and concerned by a strong central government, Jeffersons presidential power seemed to make him change his mind. For example, he approved the Louisiana Purchase without consulting Congress. While this did benefit the US, it did not make good use of the separated powers (as stated in the Constitution which Jefferson, at some point, was obsessed with following.) Additionally, when enforcing the embargo act , which did NOT benefit the country, he extended the federal government’s power and the army.

  7. Enzo Morucci

    Jefferson was a man of hypocrisy, self-contradiction, and inconsistency, but there were things he stayed consistent on, especially in the years before his presidency. When put in the president’s seat, however, his actions differed from his supposed beliefs. First I will consider his beliefs and how consistent he was with them before his presidency. The belief he was the most consistent on was on the purpose and powers of the government. As happy as he was with the Constitution, like many other people, he was frustrated with the omission of a bill of rights and the president’s life term, and he made those grievances known in a letter as he was in France at the moment. He believed that living in large cities like Europe will lead to corruption within the government. He was a staunch advocate for freedom of the press, which is why he became enraged upon the passing of the Alien and Sedition Acts and did all within his power to get rid of them, such as writing the Kentucky Resolutions, even going so far as saying the state should secede if the nullification was refused. He is among the strongest believers in a strict interpretation of the Constitution and the danger of a national bank, which is why he so strongly opposed and debated Hamilton’s plan for the National Bank. Now, on the flip side, he was also inconsistent in some beliefs. On the issue of slavery, while his actions were consistent in keeping slaves, his words were wildly contradictory, saying on the topic of slavery that “reducing someone to servitude is a violation of the law of nature…” but then does a full 180° and calls black people inferior to white people. So, in the subject of his words, and supposedly his beliefs, they changed from one day to the next.

    When he becomes president, his ability to adhere to his beliefs seems to mostly dissipate, however he remains true the most in his belief of how the economy should be. One reason for making the Louisiana purchase, one of the most crucial purchases in US history, was to expand the land the US owned so that people would be able to have more land to farm on, sticking to his belief in an agrarian society. He also removes many taxes that he believes are not necessary for paying off debts and/or are not good for the general good of the Union, such as the whiskey tax imposed by his predecessor, Alexander Hamilton. This all sticks to his economical beliefs. Although he did not stay with some of his economical beliefs, the economy was the ideology he stuck with the most. The earlier mentioned Louisiana purchase, while part of Jefferson’s continued fight for an agricultural society, was also part of the demise of another ideology of his: the purpose and powers of government. While it was his most consistent belief before presidency, he forsook many of his previous ideals, such as a strict interpretation of the Constitution. A strict interpretation of the Constitution, which he preached before becoming president, would have prohibited him from making the Louisiana purchase, but he did it anyway. Also, he was very harshly against the bank in the beginning, but when given the chance to eliminate it as president, he did not and left it alone. From all I’ve stated above, we can conclude that Thomas Jefferson was terrible at sticking to what he believed in and very often contradicted himself.

  8. AJ

    Jefferson pre-presidency owned over 200 slaves, but on numerous acations stated that slaves would be equal to the whitemen if thye were properly nurtured. Along with this, he saw Natives as equal to the whitemen.

    Thomas Jefferson during his presidency was consistent on some topics while inconsistent in others. Jefferson was consistent by massively reducing the standing army. He also abolished the whiskey tax and the land tax. However, he was inconsistent by not getting rid of the national bank and not building a greater navy force. Jefferson did stick to his own ideals by encouraging the Indians west of the Appalachians mountains to pursue agriculture, as he wanted the economy of America to be mostly farmers. When Jefferson made the Louisiana purchase in 1803, he gave himself the power to purchase foriegn land without congress’s approval. This completely goes against his strict constitutional ideals. Although he did purchase the land to support his idea of more land equals more farmers, thus building the economy. The Haitian revolution saw Jefferson switching sides. In the beginning, Jefferson sent guns to support the revolution, as his ideals were to support uprisings as they did. However, when it wa over, he put an embargo on Haiti as he didn’t want the ideals of revolution to reach slaves in America. During his presidency, impressment of American sailors by the French and British were a massive issue. Jefferson’s ideals stated that we should fight for the sailors. To do this, he needed a Navy. To build a navy he needed money, thus he needed to tax, but he didn’t like to tax. So where would he get the money? Jefferson wanted tax to be “leftover money” that wasn’t required for the average citizen to live. Jefferson’s idea of tax came to tuition when he abolished all internal taxes and relied on land sales and trading alone. This didn’t make sense as Jefferson wanted to pay off debt as soon as

  9. Jackson Mush

    1. An area where Jefferson stayed true to his ideals before his presidency was the economy. Jefferson had always stayed true to his belief that if a society was to be successful and not corrupt, it had to be chiefly agricultural. Jefferson represented his ideal in a few letters to Madison. “I think our government will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural…when they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become as corrupt as in Europe”. (Jefferson’s letters to James Madison). Jefferson explains how in order to have a thriving society, it needs to be agricultural based, so agriculture is an ideal Jefferson remains consistent with before his presidency. A topic that Jefferson stays inconsistent with before his presidency is about slavery. Jefferson claims to be against slavery from a numerous amount of quotes. “Under the law of nature, all men are born free, everyone comes into the world wit a right to own his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will…Reducing one to servitude is a violation of the law of nature” (Jefferson argument in the case of Samuel Howell v. Wade Netherland). Jefferson in this quote claims, in a court of law, to be opposed to slavery. While Jefferson has owned many slaves himself. This shows an inconsistency in ideals before his presidency because he claims to dislike slavery while owning slaves.

    2. One area where Jefferson stayed consistent while president was when dealing with the Native Americans. For Jefferson’s Native American policy he has two main points that he wants to cover, guarantee the safety of America in return for treaties for land, trade and alliance. Secondly Jefferson wanted the Native Americans to move westward and adopt a more “western” lifestyle of agriculture and sedentary life. A main reason Jefferson wanted the Native Americans to side with us is because he didn’t want them to instead side with the French or British. His Native American policy shows that he maintained his Jeffersonian ideals because he sticks with his ideal of having a more agricultural society, being anti-European by taking away potential allies and, he wanted to keep peace with the Indians through tributes and these policies ensured that. An area where Jefferson stayed inconsistent to his beliefs as president was during the Louisiana Purchase. When purchasing this huge plot of land from the French, Jefferson had to go against some of his ideals for the growth of the nation. These ideals include the constitutionality to sign off on the deal. Jefferson had always been a huge advocate of checks and balances but Congress believed that Jefferson violated his Constitutional rights to purchase foreign land as the head of the executive branch. Jefferson was also a strict interpreter of the constitution when it came to the national bank, but when it comes to his right of purchasing foreign land, he’s allowed to break it? One final issue with the purchase was whether or not slavery would be legal in the new land. Jefferson has always been against slavery but when the discussion of slavery was brought up, he brushed it aside. When it comes to the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson is very inconsistent about his ideals of the constitutional rights and slavery.

  10. antonia p

    1. I belive Jefferson was most consistent in his view on freedom of expression. Jefferson believed we needed to have a press free to be able to say whatever they want to have liberty. In his letter to James Currie, he says “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press”. Even in his plans for a good government he said “leaving them otherwise free to regulate and pursue their own interests”. He always wanted to allow everyone to express themselves whether it be in the press or reminding the government that there are people who have different ideas. He also believed having a rebellion every once in a while is a good thing. In his letter to William Shay, he states ” little rebellion now and then is a good thing”. His most inconsistent area was his view on slavery. In his 1769 advertisement for his runaway slave Sandy, he speaks poorly of him saying “and in his behavior is artful and knavifh”. Once Sandy is brought back to him, Jefferson sells him. While a quote of his from his argument in the case Samuel Howell v. Wade, he says “Under the law of nature, all men are born free, everyone comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will”. These 2 things are very contradicting.

    2. One thing he stayed super consistent on was the Native American Policy, he wanted to keep peace with them and thought very highly of them which you can see in his letter to Marquis de Chastellux “I believe the Indian then to be in body & mind equal to the white man”. Though a very racist comparison, I guess he meant in well, especially in 1785. Something Jefferson was very inconsistent during was the Haitian revolution. He was anti-slavery (Though he did own many slaves) yet during the Haitain revolution, he helped the white slave owners and sent guns. Once the revolution had concluded he had refused to see Haiti as the formerly enslaved had won. You can see Jefferson’s “anti-slavery” in his “Summary View of the Right of British America”, ” The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in colonies where is was unhappily introduced”. Nobody in America wanted slavery and obviously nobody in general wanted slavery expect for the white people.

  11. Spencer George

    Jefferson was seen as a fairly consistent man in most things throughout his life. There are exceptions to this fact but not many. The most glaring exception to this that has been brought closer to light in recent yeras is Jeffersons statements on slavery as opposed to his actual practices in this area. Jefferson has been cited stating “Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will,” which to him seemed to apply to only free, educated, white men. Though he opens the Decloration of Independece by saying “that all men are created equal,” Jefferson has been recorded to have owned over 600 slaves throughout his life. Though he pushed for equality in his world, he owned literal people that had no hope of freedom. Though he was inconsistent on the rare occasion, Jefferson mostly held true to his ideals. Much before he even brought up running for president, he had an idea for an American economy consisting almost entirely of agriculture. He was consistent in the sense that he reinforced these ideals through his words and actions throughout all of his political career before he entered theposition of commander in chief. He did not agree with the growing superpower of manufacturing in America and said “Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of god, if ever we had a chosen people,”. He did not much change his views at all.

    You do not see Jefferson’s character change much as he entered his presidency. As earlier stated, he was a consistent man throughout his life. One of the best ways that he demonstrated this fact was his stance on the Natives of our his young country. Jefferson wanted to become allies with the natives because it would prove beneficial for both parties. Though Jefferson mostly did not want the natives to ally with the British or French, he heavily encouraged an alliance between the US and Native tribes. He encouraged the natives into more agricultural economy amongst themselves. In the pursuit of more land for Americans he did nudge the Native Americans more western. One of the things that Jefferson thought was the best thing for America but ultimately contradicted many of his ideals is the Embargo act. The Embargo act was a show of power of the U.S. economy to Britain and France but actually just backfired because we relied more heavily on the two aforementioned countries then they did on us. Jefferson decided to close all U.S. ports for export or import until decided. This was detrimental for all aspects of the economy and just harmed the agricultural economy that he promoted so heavily. It showed that the states couldn’t do much without international trade.

  12. Asher Leopold

    Asher Leopold

    How Jeffersonian was Jefferson?

    Consistent Pre-Presidency –
    Thomas Jefferson was pretty consistent before he became president in his beliefs about what the American economy should be majorly based off of. Thomas Jefferson had always believed, from the first time he stepped into the spotlight through his whole life, that the American economy and government should be completely based on agriculture. He stayed true to this always. He was also very consistent in his ideas about banks. When Alexander Hamilton proposed his financial plan partly consisting of creating a national bank. Thomas Jefferson had always believed that banks were dangerous and unconstitutional and so, unsurprisingly, Jefferson was appalled at the idea of creating a national bank. This stayed very true to his beliefs. Thomas Jefferson thought that the proposed national bank was very dangerous and thought that it was not taking the constitution’s granted powers seriously enough.

    Inconsistent Pre-Presidency –
    Jefferson was pretty inconsistent for a lot of his ideas. A big one was slavery. Jefferson was very big on his belifs that slavery was poisoning our future generations, unconstitutional, and overall very wrong. While any of his decisions did reflect those ideas, many others did not. First off, he believed that slavery was the worse thing to plague America ever however, he owned hundreds of slaves. This is ridiculously hypocritical for obvious reasons. He believed that slavery was horrible but he knew that he needed it, and that he needed to take advantage of slavery no matter how degrading and horrible it was. Moreover, even though this was not pre-presidency, he supplied the Haitian people with the supplies they needed to revolt. That is Jeffersonian. But, while he was helping them, he took every measure possible to stop the slaves in Haiti from bringing ideas of revolution to the USA so that American slaves would not get any ideas.

    Consistent During Presidency –
    Jefferson was pretty consistent through his presidency, but not always. An example of his consistency is his beliefs on the Supreme Court and Judiciary Act. He always said that he does not think the judicial branch should be as powerful as the executive branch and legislative branch and stayed true to that in his early presidency. When the case of Marbury v. Madison happened, the Supreme Court got the power of judicial review, which allowed them to interpret the constitution and determine the constitutionality of various laws. Jefferson was angry about this because he does not think the Supreme Court should be that powerful, he thinks that the individual state’s government should have the right to determine the constitutionality of a law instead.

    Inconsistent During Presidency –
    Jefferson was consistent in a lot of ways through his presidential term but he was also inconsistent on his beliefs for a lot of issues. An example of this is his decision in relation to the Barbary “Pirates”. This was a conflict occurring with nations and tribes among the Mediterranean such as Morocco. Jefferson had inherited these horrible relations when he was inaugurated and they had been going on since 1785. Basically, these pirates had captured 13 American ships and we were pretty mad. We ended up paying them $60,000 to make peace but this is not what Jefferson wanted. He was consistent in his ideals that he would rather go to war than pay tribute but he was inconsistent because of his ideas on how. He has always said a navy is less dangerous than a standing army so that is what he wanted to do. However, he hated taxes and they were the only way to pay for this navy so his plan kind of fell apart and did not follow his ideals. This is just one of many examples of his inconsistency through his presidency such as the Louisiana Purchase where he violated his ideals of strict interpretation of the constitution and the Embargo Act, which violated his beliefs in keeping the federal government small.

  13. Sylvie Ball

    Thomas Jafferson the 3rd president of the United States of America, you may recognize him from a nickel or from the top of mount Rushmore with all of the other great leaders. Was Jefferson such a great president though? Especially when he didn’t always stick to his ideals?

    To cut the guy some slack he wasn’t all bad, before his time as president he held himself to high standards as far as following his ideologies went. He maintained the same ideals and opinions during his presidency but he very often strayed away from them and didn’t act on them. Some things Jefferson was consistent with before he became president were his support for agriculture being our main source of wealth and believing that mankind should make their own way in the world. Jefferson was big on farming, he even goes as far as to say, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.” Not only does he think agriculture should be the center of our economy he also states that agriculture would lead to more happiness. Where would we get all of our manufactured goods though? Europe! Jefferson wanted the factories to stay out and away from the U.S, though he felt this way he later contradicts this thought by imposing the Embargo acts, an act drafted up by Madison which halts trade from any other part of the world (not completely) but overall Jefferson was pretty consistent with his views on agriculture. When I say that he valued mankind making their own way in the world I’m not talking about entrepreneurship but people having the freedom to speak how they please and live how they please. Jefferson says that “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Along with freedom of press comes freedom of speech. Though he was baptized and believed in God he didn’t like imposing his own religion on other people. He pushed a lot for the freedom of religion and for people who follow a certain religion to not force other people to follow it with them, he calls religion a natural right to mankind.

    As president Jefferson did a lot, like cut off trade with the whole world and made our export rates drop 75% in the span of a year, he also reduced the national debt by ⅓.
    No matter, he still stayed true to his thoughts on the army and navy situation as well as his opinion on taxes. Though Jefferson decided to use both the standing army and the navy, he was not the biggest fan of a standing army. In all honesty he really didn’t like the army and maybe that was because he was a pacifist. He cut down the army’s numbers to only 3,000 soldiers and 172 officers, in comparison Britain had amassed a steady 80,000 soldiers. Besides sticking to his pacifistic ways he also stood firm in his belief that taxes were bad and that if you were to tax you should do it by the individual’s personal income. Right when he got into office he cut the whiskey tax and a bunch of others.

  14. Jenna Rivera

    Before taking office Jefferson was most consistent in his beliefs about the ideals of Agrarianism. In a letter to George Washington, he wrote about how agriculture will lead to the most wealth and happiness as well as saying it would be very wise to have an economy based around agriculture. He would constantly defend this way of life, highly disapproving of the idea of incorporating more industrial life, thinking it would lead to having citizens occupy work benches and workshops would be present in the states. On the topic of states, Jefferson also was constantly against a strong central government. Instead, he wanted the majority of the power to be in the states, and in a letter, he wrote to James Madison he said that he liked for the greater house of representatives to be elected by the people directly. Thomas J. talked often about how the abolishment of slavery is something the colonies wanted and he openly supported the idea. But Jefferson contradicted this belief because the man owned slaves and once when a slave by the name of Sandy escaped Jefferson put out information about the escape in the hopes someone would capture and return Sandy to him. Overall he was not dependable in his views on slavery.
    When Jefferson adopted the role of president he still remained mostly consistent in his beliefs before he was in office. Jefferson still remained in his belief that the states should have the most power. He hated the outcome in the case of Marbury v. Madison because the verdict now gave the Supreme Court the ability to decide on the constitutionality of a law. This angered Jefferson because it yet again added more power to the central government and he wanted that power to decide what is constitutional or now to be in the hands of the states. Jeffersonians wanted to be allied with the Indians. Encouraging the Indians to pursue agriculture and adopt the westward culture. The reasoning behind this was Jefferson was worried that the Indians might ally with the European specifically Britain if he didn’t do so first. Again showing his dislike for Britain. In the pursuit to get the Indians on his side, he treated them with kindness and informed others to do so as well. This is not unusual for him to do because Jefferson had always believed that the Indians were equal to him and in turn should be treated the same. Though as much as he remained true to his original ideas he had inconsistencies in his beliefs. When the Barbary Pirates began capturing American sailors holding more than 100 sailors as “slaves,” and asking for bribes to free them. Jefferson was left to make a tough decision. He originally was against paying tribute but in the end, he paid $60K to free prisoners.

  15. Genevieve L

    Before he became president, Thomas Jefferson was most consistent in his views on the economy and the US financial system. Jefferson thought that Americans should produce raw materials and trade with other countries, mostly Britain to manufacture goods from those raw materials. If this was how Americans made money, it would mostly benefit farmers, who Jefferson consistently thought were extremely important to the US. Jefferson didn’t want the central government to be powerful and wanted citizens to decide on their taxes. Before his presidency, Jefferson was consistent with not wanting taxes or wanting them to be smaller and chosen by the people. The views that Jefferson was most inconsistent with before his presidency was slavery and race. He argued against slavery in a court case, saying that “reducing one to servitude is a violation of the law of nature”. He also gave a proposal to ban slavery in the west which makes it seem like Jefferson was against slavery, and was an abolitionist. Nevertheless, Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves, and also wrote about how black people are not equal to white people, like when he wrote, “the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind”. Thomas Jefferson was constantly changing his views on slavery, or at least changing what he was telling people his views were.

    Thomas Jefferson stayed consistent with his views on the Supreme Court while he was president. He had been against having a powerful federal judicial branch and wanted state courts to hold most of the judicial power. Jefferson stuck to his beliefs opposing the Supreme Court in the Marbury v. Madison case when he didn’t like that the Supreme Court had the power to decide if laws were constitutional or not. The case made the judicial branch more powerful, so it made sense that Jefferson was against the decision, as he didn’t want a powerful federal court. The Embargo act was one of the issues where Jefferson was not consistent with his beliefs. Jefferson was very supportive of farmers and wanted trading to be a large part of the American economy, however, he passed the Embargo Act, which went against his earlier beliefs. The Embargo Act stopped all American ships from international trade, and one of the effects of this was a decline in the economy because merchants were unable to trade their goods. This had a hard impact on farmers, who relied on trading their goods to make money. Jefferson was inconsistent with his beliefs on this issue because he supported trade and farmers, but the Embargo Act went against them.

  16. Addison wolfe

    Before Thomas Jefferson became president he was most consistent in his idea that a country based on agriculture and farming was better than a country based on manufacturing and workshops. Jefferson believed in agriculture because he thought that commercialization and dependence on markets and customers was a more fit way to run a nation. In the Notes on the State of Virginia, 1783, he says “Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God. While we have land to labor then, let us never wish to see our citizens occupied at a work-bench.” This was a continuous argument of his because he truly believed that factory workers would be manipulated by their masters, which would make it impossible for them to think and act as independent citizens. Independent citizens were also a way in which Jefferson was inconsistent. This involved the idea of slavery, which he was publicly an opponent of, but actually owned his own slaves which felt hypocritical to many people of this time. Jefferson wrote about how “under the law of nature, all men are born free, everyone comes into the world with a right to his own person.” According to him though, his slaves were treated less harshly than how other slaveholders treated their slaves, but he still forcd his slavs to labor for his own wealth.
    When Jefferson became president in 1801, he was most consistent with his Native American policies and being an ally with them. He encouraged the Indians to pursue agriculture like he wanted the Americans to do. He also wanted them to begin to move farther out West, and not become allies with the British, only the U.S. In a letter to Marquis de Chastellux, he says that he “believes the Indian then to be in body and mind equal to the whiteman ” which backs up their partnership. One of the main ways in which Jefferson was inconsistent during his presidency was with the Embargo Act of 1807-1809. Jefferson wanted to avoid war with Britain and France, but they were impressing our soldiers and ships again. He decided to stop selling goods on any American ship to any country, but this ended up violating his own belief in keeping the federal government small. He also encouraged an agriculturally based community but quickly realized that you can’t grow an economy without being able to buy and sell products around the world.

  17. Lindsay Kennedy

    Before Jefferson’s presidency, he valued the liberty of people. Jefferson believed that all men were created equal and had natural-born rights as said in the declaration of independence. In addition, he strongly believed in freedom of religious worship because in his words “it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”. The freedom of the press also affected the liberties of people so Jefferson supported it, In a letter written to James Currie, he said “our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost”. Unfortunately, Jefferson pre-presidency was inconsistent with his values on slavery. Despite Jefferson advocating for the abolition of slavery and believing that slavery thretened human rights, Jefferson owned many slaves himself. In addition, he said “I believe that the Indian then to be in body and mind equal to the white man. I have supposed the black man in his present state might not be so, but if nurtured for a few generations he might become so”. This quote reflects Jeffsron’s believe that black people were not equal to white men but possible after a few generations of being colonized they might be. Jefferson’s views on slavery and race were very inconsistent.

    Jefferson was inconsistent after his presidency when it came to foreign policy. Before his presidency, he was very much a pacifist and firmly disliked armies. However, during his presidency, he encounters a dispute with the Barbary pirates. During this dispute, he uses naval and army forces which even if this was uncomfortable for him goes against his earlier ideology. Jefferson stated, “standing is inconsistent with freedom, a naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasional bloodshed; a land force would do both”, yet jefferson used both an army and navy. Once again during the embargo act jefferson used the army to enforce this act. In addition, the embargo act went against Jefferson’s belief in free trade and affected his belief that agriculture was so important. Jefferson is quoted saying “agriculture..is our wisest pursuit…” in a letter to washington. The embargo act impacted farmers greatly because it made selling their crops very difficult. However, during Jefferson’s presidency, he was consistent with financial policies. Jefferson cut taxes, reduced the size of the army, and still wanted a small government. I believe that Jefferson’s inconsistency could possibly be that he needed to be flexible and sacrifice his views for the betterment of his people.

  18. Parker M

    Jefferson most consistently held to his ideals of agriculture being the main economical activity in the country. Jefferson had a strong belief in the industrial economy being left to Europe, and for America to stick to agriculture seeing that they could be huge suppliers with their plentiful and well-kept land. Jefferson believed in and also followed it by having his own slave-run plantations in Virginia. This was his most consistent in seeing that while he wasn’t a national leader at the time, he still chose to run a plantation in support of this ideal of his, not veering off into industry in any sort of manner. The area he was least consistent in following was his ideals on slavery and race. Jefferson had written that he felt slavery was no good, and that the African American population should and can become just as strong in mind and body as white men. He shows that he desires African Americans to come to the level of white people and that for them to do so we need to stop enslaving them and allow them to become educated. He heavily goes against this simply because he owns hundreds of slaves himself. He wants them to become educated and strong and knows to do so they need to stop being enslaved, but he still proceeds to enslave hundreds of them.

    What Jefferson was most consistent with during his presidency was his desire for America to remain agricultural. Jefferson wanted to leave the industry to Europe and have America be a large supplier of crops and other agricultural products. During his presidency, when in power he really exercised this belief with his native American policy. His native American policy was to form an alliance with the natives and encourage them to pursue agriculture. This was to obviously help expand agriculture in America since if Americans couldn’t use the land, at least the land could still be used in a manner desirable to Jefferson. Along with the native policy, his preference for agriculture really showed through the Louisiana purchase. This was because he had made the purchase despite it not totally being agreed upon whether or not he could for the sake of having more land to expand agriculture. What Jefferson was least consistent with was his economic policy, more specifically the lessening of taxation. This is shown when the conflict with barbary pirates was going on, and Jefferson was determined to avoid paying tribute and to go to war instead. However, with going to war he needed to raise a navy, and to do that he needed money, and to get the money he would likely have to tax the people.

  19. Luci Kucab

    1-
    Before Jefferson became president he was most consistent in his appreciation for agriculture and farming. Jefferson states in his letter to Washington that he believes our wisest pursuit is agriculture. He believed this because he thought it would best contribute to our wealth and overall happiness/ morals. Jefferson didn’t want there to be more industrial factories. He thought that factories would cause everyone to no longer be independent individuals. Speaking of independent individuals one thing Jefferson was commonly inconsistent on was the topic of slavery. Jefferson supported the abolishment of slavery yet contradictly owned over 600 enslaved people. He thought of slaves as people we shouldn’t be enslaved but also weren’t equal to white people. This was strange especially considering how he viewed American Indians as equal but not black people. In 1770 Jefferson talked about how under the law of nature all men are born free. Yet owning all 600 slaves denies there right to be born free.
    2-
    As president the areas Jefferson is most consistent in are his beliefs on the government, agriculture and taxes. Jefferson stayed somewhat clear on his beliefs that he did not want a strong central government. Jefferson’s supporters in congress were the ones who repealed the Judiciary act. He was worried that the SCOTUS would have too much power and therefore stuck with his belief in no strong central government. With the Louisiana purchase Jefferson stayed consistent with his beliefs on agriculture because one of the main reasons he wanted the land was to expand on farming. This also was the case during the Native American policy. Jefferson wanted them to adapt western agricultural practices. Lastly Jefferson was consistent in his mantra of higher salary = higher taxes. When he became president, Jefferson cut the whiskey tax along with reducing the army. While there was some consistency within Jefferson’s presidency there were also an abundant amount of inconsistencies. Some of the inconsistencies were his opinions on the Hattian revolution, the bank, and interpreting the constitution. Regarding the Hattian revolution, Jefferson before had consistently sided with the French yet during the revolution was said to be trading with . He also didn’t support the revolution even though it was French inspired. Secondly, Thomas STRONGLY opposed the bank any time Hamilton brought it up. But when it came time for the Louisiana purchase he was willing to borrow money in order to grant more land to his farmers. On the topic of spending one thing about Jefferson is that he was very frugal when it came to the United States money. But during his presidency he not only made the Louisiana purchase but he stopped all trade with the embargo act causing a large decrease in funding. One thing that Jefferson argued strongly for was strict interpretation of the constitution. Jefferson yet again when it came to the Louisiana purchase was willing to “let that slide” because nothing in the constitution talked about buying land.

  20. Noel Borgquist

    Prior to serving as president, Jefferson remained most consistent on topics such as taxation and the economy, powers of the government, and foreign policy. When it came to the economy and Hamilton’s bank, he retained his stance that a federal bank of America would allow for Congress to lobby exorbitant taxes, and expand their powers until they had complete control over the country. This concept can be demonstrated through his quote, “To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power” (Jefferson). Throughout this time in his life, he would remain true on this idea, and continually oppose the ideas that Hamilton and much of the federalists propposed in order to deal with the national debt. Jefferson widely opposed taxation of whiskey, the assimilation of state’s debt into a main federal debt, and the federal economic institution as a whole. Furthermore, he remains true on his opinions when it came to the powers and purpose of government, as well as the governed. He wanted to ensure that each branch of the government had a check and balance for the other, in order to ensure that they did not overstep in their powers and undermine the rights of the free people of America. He was one of the main delegates who pushed for a bill of rights that would secure the rights of the individual, and establish what a fully fledged american citizen was entitled to in our country. He mentions the idea that, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost…” (Jefferson). When it comes to his presidency, he was much more inconsistent in his ideologies on the government. To start, he was very against overestablishing government and taxation of the people, it was one of the prime principles that he held as a delegate and political thinker the country. But, the way in which he handled the situation with the Barbary pirates was hypocritical. As someone would was on the outside, anti government establishment and taxation, the idea of funding a navy through major taxation would seem silly, considering his political beliefs. But, he did it anyway, he utilized taxation in order to pay for the navy and millitary campaigns against barbary piracy. Jefferson felt it dishonorable to pay the tributes to the pirates, and instead taxed his people heavily to fund a naval / millitary operation. And, in the end, he had to pay the tribute anyway. Furthermore, Jefferson seemed to hold a strong stance on salvery, being that it was an evil that had to be removed from the American economic system, but we can see further hypocrisy in this ideaology as well. Even while he was president and actively opposing the institution of slavery, Jefferson owned slaves. It seems disingenuous to actively advocate for the abolition of an institution, while one actively takes part in that same institution. Lastly, we can see one more example of his inconsistencies, his use of the embargo act, and more taxation. During his early time running for president, we saw that he was an advocate for the rights of the individual, and the importance of the agricultural industry in the USA. Now, fast forward to his presidency, in which he decides that the best course of action to stick it to the British, is to halt all trade with the entirety of Europe and the world. Through this policy of isolation and strict trade rules, he ended up harming the agricultural industry deeply, as their crops would sit and rot as they waited for trade ships to come and pick up the product. In the action of the Embargo act, he ended up harming many of the people who supported him in the first place.

  21. Samantha Jacobs

    1)
    The area that Jefferson was most consistent in before his presidency was that of the economy. Jefferson believed heavily that the American economy should be based on farming, trade and few taxes. He believed that there should only be taxes that were necessary and beneficial to the masses. And that trading with other nations was the best way to support the nation. He believed that this would look like Americans almost entirely farming, and exporting their products to other countries. And, importing manufactured goods. None of thai is contradictory. Which is why this is the area that Jefferson was most consistent before his presidency.

    The area that we studied in which Jefferson was most inconsistent before he became president was slavery and race. Jefferson believed that all people were born free and with rigths. He believed that the slavery mindset was slowly disappearing. He believed that slavery was bad and that it should be abolished, but not until the year 1800. He believed that slavery was okay so long as it was as punishment for a crime. He believed that Natives were equal to white people. Yet, he believed that Black people were inferior to white people. But, he believed that black people could become equal to white people… but it would take generations. He believed that America should free slaves, but that the first priority should be ending the slave importation. He fought for mixed kids to be free, yet he owned slaves himself. Each of these things contradict another. How can one be against slavery, yet own over six hundred slaves throughout their life? If he believed slavery should be abolished, why did he put a date on when it had to be so? Why not abolish it right away? Jefferson was consistent in his beliefs and actions on many things before he was president, but slavaery was not one of them.
    2)
    I would say that, as president, Jefferson was most consistent is his financial policies. As president, Jefferson stuck true to his Jeffersonian beliefs about certain aspects of the government, which affected his actions as president. Jefferson believed that standing armies were dangerous, so he greatly decreased the U.S. army’s funding when he became president. As I’ve said before, he also believed that the only taxes that are implemented should be ones that are necessary or that benefit the majority of the nation. The government needed funding and was in giant mounds of debt. So, he couldn’t just eliminate taxes altogether. However, he did greatly reduce them when he became president. While Jefferson was against having a national bank, but Hamilton’s National Bank remained in the country throughout Jefferson’s presidency. While this goes against the Jeffersonial belief, it was not within Jefferson’s power to eliminate it. He had no choice. In sum, Jefferson was most consistent with his financial plan during his presidency because he stuck with his jeffersonian ideals. He didn’t do anything that would contradict his actions. And, he stuck with his Jeffersonian ideals.
    Jefferson was most inconsistent in his actions with the Embargo Act of seventeen eighty nine through eighteen o’ one. This was because many of his actions contradicted the Jeffersonian beliefs that he had previously established. For example, he stopped all exportation from the United States. The Jeffersonian belief that this goes against is that of trade and exports being pivotal in the economy. It also harmed the farmers because they no longer had access to the European Markets that they relied on. This is inconsistent because of the Jeffersonian belief that farmers should be the main source of our economy. He also went against the Jeffersonian ideal of having a weak central government, by expanding it’s powers and “mobilizing” the national forces in order to stop smugglers and enforce the Embargo Act. While Jefferson essentially implemented the Embargo to create world-peace, it had the opposite effect. Instead of peace, it resulted in more hardships for the U.S. nation. All of this is why the embargo act was Jefferson’s most contradictory and inconsistent action as president of the United States of America.

  22. Avery Betts

    Throughout his political life, Thomas Jefferson had many strong opinions on several topics, and he stuck to them. Mostly… okay, so he was full of contradictions, but he managed to stay consistent with a few things, especially before his election as president in 1800.
    For example, throughout all of his writings that we looked at, he remained an avid fan of agriculture. In a letter to James Madison about the Constitution, he claimed that “our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they remain chiefly agricultural,” and in a letter to George Washington in 1787, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit,” and yet again in his notes on the State of Virginia in 1783, “we have an immensity of land courting the industry of the farmer”. This man loved his agriculture (most consistent thing pre-presidency). He adored the common people, especially the poor (economically poor, not pitiful) farmers. He believed in proportional taxing and that people below a certain standard should not be taxed at all. He also abolished a few laws that passed farms down to the eldest son and the eldest son alone and prevented land from getting divided up. The rich would not get richer on Jefferson’s watch. Much like most other landowners in Virginia, Jefferson owned slaves. I mean, to some credit, it was good for an agricultural economy, free labor and all, but even he knew how awful it was. Jefferson always spoke about slavery with a negative tone in his letters, and he advocated for its abolishment. He even thought through the order in which it should be abolished. In his Summary
    View of the Rights of British America in 1774, he exclaimed that “previous to the enfranchisement of the slaves we have, it is necessary to exclude all further importations from Africa.” (Looking back, this could be viewed as a method to been seen as anti-slavery while also keeping people enslaved, but my point still stands.) Thinking further along the lines of agriculture as well, he believed in “setting commerce at perfect liberty”, meaning that people had the right to trade with whatever and whoever they wanted, and yet, he also believed that we should rely solely on agriculture and leave all manufacturing to Europe and simply trade raw goods with them. Not so perfect liberty of trade.
    My man Jefferson did an even worse job of sticking to his beliefs as the president. Remember that “setting commerce at perfect liberty” thing I just typed up? That went flying out the window with the Embargo Act of 1807, where he cut off literally all trade with the entire world in an attempt to prevent the impressment of the American sailors by Britain and France. He even made a standing army and a navy using tax-payer dollars. He does not like taxes… or standing armies… hmm… It also severely harmed the farmers that he loved so much, all their crops rotting at the harbor with nowhere to go… (The Embargo Act was the most contradictory). But hey, he did stay true to his word with his policy on Native Americans. Before becoming president, he wrote about his desire for peace, treaties, and alliances with the Native Americans. He talked about showing them the “superior” ways of white people and convincing them that it was advantageous to become “civilized” and join society and, get this, turn to agriculture instead of their traditional ways of gathering food and things to trade. His thought process was a little messed up, but he stuck to his beliefs on that. He did in fact attempt to form trade stations and create treaties and alliances with the Indians, and he tried to get them to become more like the white farmers he was ever so fond of. It was mildly successful, and some Native American groups decided to somewhat merge into American society, but others were not so pleased. That’s besides the point however, as Jefferson clearly stuck to his ideals, and even advocated more for agriculture, even if his morals were a little out of whack. TJ loved his farming, what can I say…

  23. Teddy Abbot

    Before Jefferson’s presidency, he was very inconsistent with most of The Haitian Revolution. The Haitian Revolution occurred when Enslaved people in today’s nation of Haiti were inspired by the word of the French Revolution and started to rise up to overthrow the sovereign government and demand the same equality and rights advocated during the French Revolution. Jefferson decided to aid the white slave owners which is inconsistent as Jefferson was against Slavery. Jefferson stated this in 1770 in two legal suits for freedom by enslaving “under the law of nature, all men are born free, everyone comes into this world with a right to his own person”. Jefferson was consistent with his ideologies in The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. Jefferson states in The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions “the powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively…each party [state] has an equal right to judge for itself…”. Jefferson sticks to his ideals of states ruling themselves and not being controlled by a national government.

    Jefferson was inconsistent in his presidency with a part of his financial policies. Jefferson stated in 1791 “The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill [Hamilton’s bank bill], have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution”, Yet in Jefferson’s presidency, he allowed the Bank to run its course until 1811 which was when the charter expired. Jefferson goes against his ideals during his presidency by allowing Hamilton to create his national bank and run it through America. Jefferson went against his ideologies again in 1807 with the Embargo Act. The Embargo Act Stops all trade with the world. Jefferson stated earlier in 1785 in a letter to John Adams “I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty”. Jefferson doesn’t just twist his ideologies, he does the exact opposite of “setting commerce at perfect liberty” by stopping all trade with the whole world. Not only did the Embargo Act affect trade it also involved the downfall of agriculture in America which Jefferson believed was our wisest pursuit. Jefferson stated in a letter to George Washington in 1787 “Agriculture…is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals & happiness”. Jefferson’s passing of The Embargo Act hurt agriculture because the farmers of America continued to grow crops but there was no one to ship it to or trade with because all trade had been stopped with the rest of the world. Jefferson was consistent with his ideologies in The Supreme Court/Judiciary because his first goal was to weaken the federalist control of the Federalist Judiciary. Jefferson was also consistent in his Financial policies with taxing. Jefferson, the whiskey tax started and abolished all internal taxes. Jefferson was against tax as stated in his plans for good government in 1801 “and shall not take from them the fruits of their labor and the bread they have earned”.

  24. Claire P

    Before Jefferson became president he was extremely inconsistent with his beliefs on race and slavery. He thought salvery was infelicitous and should be done away with entirely. He expressed this belief in Summary View of the Rights of Britsih America, “The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in colonies where it was unhappily introduced…” Jefferson also declares that he believes salvery is a form of oppression and is unjust. On the contrary, Jefferson states, “the blacks, whether originally a distant race, or made distant by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind” in Notes on the State of Virginia.” Jefferson strays from his original views that slavery is unfair and should be terminated, by voicing that African Americans are inferior to white people. In addition to his beliefs on slaves being inferior, Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves and was an avid member of selling slaves. I belive even though Jefferosn knew slavery was wrong, he countinued to endorce it because that is what other men of his social status were doing. He would be isolating himself if he didn’t pracitce the act of slavery. Even though Jefferosn had his inconsistencies, he didn’t stray from his ideas on the economy. Jefferson was a true democratic-reoublic. He agreed with the ideas of keeping America with an agricultural based economy. He openly supported this plan and informed Washington of these ideas in a letter in 1791 to the President, “Agriculture…is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, & happiness.” Jefferson also sided with the democratic-republicans on the topic of taxes. He didn’t believe in Hamilton’s idea of a national bank nor the idea that Congress can lay taxes for any purpose they please to. He sides with the fact that the national bank is a poor idea in Jefferson on Financial Issues of 1791, “I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies…” Jefferson remains consistant with his ideas of a democratic-republican based economy, yet he strays with his beliefs on race and slavery.

    Jefferosn stayed true to his beliefs on Native Americans and policies surrounding them. While president of the United States he crafted a treaty that would ally the United States with Indiginous people. This agreement would also gain the United States land, which Jefferson was a great supporter of because of his positive views on agriculture, and would strengthen trade with the natives. All of this stayed consistent with Jefferson’s views because he always viewed native americans as equal with white people. Jefferosn stayed true to his beliefs about wanted to incorporate indigious people into American’s lifestyle and to protect them as shown in Thomas Jefferson to William Henry Harrison, Feb. 27, 1803, “Our system is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians, to cultivate an affectionate attachment from them…by giving them effectual protection against wrongs from our own people.” On the other hand, Jefferson was inconsistent with his views on financial policies. Even though he was able to cut many taxes, which aligned with his democratic-republican beliefs, he kept Hamilton’s idea of a national bank. Jefferson was extremely against the idea of a federal bank and even went to say it was more dangerous than a standing army, yet when he was president he maintained the bank as shown in America’s History, 8th edition, “As president, Jefferson nevertheless allowed the Bank of the United States to run its course until the charter expired in 1811.” While in office our third president stayed true to his beliefs on native americans but differed from his original beliefs on the national bank.

  25. Sammie Koch

    Before he became president (and using the quotes we looked at on Friday), in which area was he most consistent and why? And in which area was he most inconsistent and why do you think this?

    A: Before his presidency, I believe Thomas Jefferson was the most consistent with his beliefs and actions concerning the government and purpose of powers. He knew exactly what he wanted as well as what he despised the most. He was very intuitive with the idea of checks and balances; he liked the idea of having three different government branches, those being Executive, legislative, and judicial. He enjoyed the rotation of the presidential office to ensure there would not be any sort of tyranny. He also relished the ability for individuals to vote for their next president rather than state votings. However, he was very inconsistent with his beliefs on that of slavery and race. He talked of how slaves were inferior to white men and they owuld always be but he also said that overtime they could become smarter and something more. He claimed he did not believe in slavery but he had his own plantation in the state of virginia called monticello which inhibited over a hundred slaves. He was trying to be a people pleaser.
    As president from 1801 – 1809 (and using the notes we compiled on Monday), in which area(s) was he most consistent? Explain why. And in which areas was he most inconsistent and why?

    A: As president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was most consistent with the Supreme court as well as the Judicial branch of government. He did not support having a strong Judicial branch of government because after the Marbury v. Madison court case , the supreme court was allowed to declare laws unconstitutional and bend the constitution to benefit major court cases. Thomas Jefferson did not like that they were able to loosely abide by the laws of the Constitution to which he helped write. He would have rather the United states be run on smaller state courts. He did not like the Judicial branch being close in power to that of the executive branch as well as the legislative branch. He would prefer if individual state courts were able to determine whether or not a law is constitutional; this is seen in the Kentucky Resolution. On the contrary, Thomas Jefferson was excruciatingly inconsistent with his beliefs on the topic of the Louisiana Purchase. The purchase was great for the United States as a whole however, he did not consult congress prior to the movement. He claims that he was a firm believer and follower in the Constitution and its ideals. But then he partook in this major land purchase from the French for 15 million dollars without the blink of an eye or any consultation.

  26. Margaret Holloway

    1. The area he was most inconsistent with his beliefs involving race and slavery. He would constantly say things akin to “We need to stop slavery!” but in the end owned 100+ slaves of his own. Although he recognized that his generation wasn’t capable of stopping slavery on their own thanks to their stern beliefs at the time (and it being a semi-widespread thing at the time), he still put no effort in his general life to stop slavery. This isn’t counting during his presidency when he banned slave trade to the U.S.- but even so, people still smuggled whatever they wanted. It was a very minor attempt. Back to before his presidency, though; he ended up having children with one of his slaves named Sally Hemings. Although instead of sending them back to work immediately without a care, he actually ended up trying to father the six children he had with Sally. Only four survived, but he let two leave and be free when they were adults. This is directly contradicting the fact that he even owned slaves, and also the fact that he would speak about his want and the country’s need for slavery to end. Yet, he still promoted it by participating in it. If he was smart enough to recognize that it was an issue, then why didn’t he address it himself?
    Moving onto his consistencies, though, he was a man that could at least firmly believe one thing- his want for the U.S. to be majorly agricultural in nature. He believed that the “bench-working” was for the people in Britain, and if we were a majorly agricultural country, then we would be one of the necessities for other nations.

    2. Thomas Jefferson was most inconsistent with his beliefs during his presidency especially with his actions in trade. As I said before, he was a believer in our country flourishing as an agricultural one, yet when Britain and France were at war with each other and the British were impressing US ships, he put up the Embargo Act. This would not have helped the economy, and in fact actively brought down most U.S. economic processes by 80%. He thought that the U.S. had made themselves a large and necessary agricultural trade capitol, and by shutting down exports to other countries, they would come begging for more- especially Britain and France. This was not the case, though, as the targeted countries were mostly self sufficient and didn’t need the trade from the U.S. to prosper.

  27. Tyler C

    Thomas Jefferson was most consistent in his beliefs regarding the economy, and what values he believed it should be based on. Jefferson was a “farming fanatic.” He loved farmers, especially those on the frontier, and that shined through extensively in his pre-presidential political beliefs. Jefferson once said that “those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of god”, referring to white farmers in America. He believed that our focus should be on farming, not manufacturing, which we should leave to the Europeans, namely the British. Jefferson also believed in widespread free trade, and that agriculture was the true way for Americans to get ultra-wealthy. Regarding taxes, Jefferson believed that people should only be taxed what they can spare, and that people should be taxed proportionally to their wealth, also known as “tax the rich”. Finally, Jefferson believed that a national bank is one of the most dangerous things that could happen to the United States.

    Thomas Jefferson was the most inconsistent in the area of slavery and race. First, he says that he dislikes slavery, and even tries to have it banned throughout the country at one point. He says and does all of this while owning many slaves who he kept in involuntary servitude at his plantation. Jefferson also believed native americans to be equal to white people. However, this sentiment did not extend itself to black people in Jefferson’s view. He believed that black people were not equal to white people because of the oppression placed on them by white people in America. In general, Jefferson was very inconsistent in what he said versus what he actually did.

    During his presidency, Thomas Jefferson was most consistent in the topic of the Supreme Court and judiciary matters. Jefferson never liked the idea of the Supreme Court having much power over him, and that was pretty consistent through his presidency. First, Jefferson repealed the Judiciary act which John Adams passed at the end of his presidency. He also never did anything to substantially benefit the Supreme Court during his presidency. He was also very vocal in his distaste of them, shown through his and James Madison’s actions to withhold the commission of the Midnight Judges appointed by John Adams. Jefferson was consistent in this area because he only ever did anything to substantially hurt the Supreme Court.

    During his presidency, Thomas Jefferson was most inconsistent in the topic of foreign policy/ trade. First, Jefferson constantly preached that we need to be farmers, and that we should leave manufacturing to the Europeans, then trade with them for manufactured goods. However, as president, his response to European impressment by the British and French, and finally the Chesapeake-Leopard affair in June of 1807, was the enforce an embargo on trade. The embargo stopped all American ships from leaving America, and going to any other country in order to trade. This hurt trade immensely, causing a 75% decrease in imports while it was in effect. Farmers were hit especially hard by Jefferson’s actions because it was much harder to get their raw goods out of the country. Jefferson loved farmers, so it was very inconsistent of him to do something that caused them immense harm. Jefferson also loved the idea of free trade, so restricting international trade so heavily was very inconsistent for him, and his beliefs.

  28. Ryan Cifolelli

    Before Thomas Jefferson became president, he was most consistent on his views of the economy. Overall as a whole, Jefferson believed that farming was a really good thing for the United States of America. He wanted the Economy of the United States to be mostly agricultural based where everyone owned a plot of land and could farm on it. He believed that if the economy became very industrial based then it would become very corrupt. He wanted citizens to stay agriculturally based and not stuck at a work bench like in Europe. Next, Jefferson believed that farming would create the most happiness among the citizens. I believe Jefferson was most consistent on this because he never believed that America’s economy would do well as an industrialized system. First off, he always thought that the bank of the United States was bad and he never believed in it. He always thought that it was taking away people’s rights which is the reason that he did not like it. Secondly, Jefferson never promoted the idea of America turning into an industrialized nation. He always thought that the government would take control of industry and rights would be taken away from the people. This would then lead to America becoming a corrupt society so he wanted all the industry to be left in Europe. That is why before he was president I thought he was the most consistent on his views of the economy. After that, I thought he was very inconsistent on his views about slavery before he became president. Jefferson believed that slavery was bad and that it took some ones liberty and natural rights away. In the Declaration of Independence he wrote people are certain unalienable rights that can not be taken away by the government or anyone. He thought that forcing someone to become a servant and taking away all their freedoms was unacceptable and that depriving someone of liberty was horrible. Also, he was against the African slave trade to America and wanted it abolished because he thought it was unhappily introduced and inexcusable. He also fought in order to make certain territories have laws where slavery would be outlawed and that this destruction of freedom would be put to and end. Though, Jefferson owned many slaves on his land at Monticello and never freed them. Also, he believed that slaves were not equal citizens and that they were inferior in all ways. I think that this is where Jefferson is inconsistent because he can not pick which side he is on. He believes that slavery is wrong and that no one should be deprived of there rights. He asserts this argument a lot trying to ban slavery and prove why it is so wrong. In many cases, he goes’ against slavery trying to get it abolished and put and end to it. Though, he owns a bunch of slaves on Monticello. If he really cared about abolishing slavery he would not own any slaves and let them all become free. He was a hypocrite because he fought to end slavery but never had the will to free his own slaves. Also, he thought that they were already not equal citizens and when he says that he is basically saying they are lesser people than him. He believes they are under him and that they are not equal citizens at all. That is why I think he is very inconsistent when it comes to slavery.

    One thing that I thought he was consistent on while he was president was his thoughts about the Supreme Court and the Judiciary branch of government as a whole. Jefferson did not support having a strong branch of government. He hated the idea of a strong federal court throughout his whole presidency. Jefferson believed in having strong states courts so the power could reside in the states and not be left in the hands of the federal government. Jefferson resented how the Supreme Court had the power to interpret the law and determine the constitutionality of new laws being put into place. In the case of Marbury versus Madison, Jefferson disagreed with how the case was put into the hands of the government because he felt like the power of the federal government was becoming too strong. Also, he did not like the fact that the judiciary branch was equal to the legislative and executive branches of government. I think that Jefferson is very consistent with this because he always had the same thoughts about the Judicial Branch. He always liked the idea that the states should decide what is and what is not constitutional. He always wanted the power to reside in the state governments and not the federal government. This is consistent because he hated the idea that the power to decide the constitutionality of a law was left with the federal government. He never shied away from this idea that the states should be left with the power to decide cases and the constitutiality of new laws. This is why this was one consistency that Jefferson had while he was president. One thing that I thought was inconsistent while Jefferson was president was when he purchased the Louisiana territory. Jefferson was a very firm believer in the idea of checks and balances. He liked that there would always be one branch of government to check another branch of government which might be abusing power and getting away from the ideas of the constitution. Though, while Jefferson was president he gave himself the power to by foreign land from France without consulting congress at all. He got the opportunity to buy land and he did it right away without getting consent with anyone else but himself. I think Jefferson was inconsistent here because he did not get consent from congress to buy the land from France. While Jefferson was president he was always in love with checks and balances because he never wanted one branch of government to get too strong. Here, he was shown to be getting away from that idea when he bought the land without the consent of congress. He never got checked to see if what he was doing was right and instead went off to do his own thing. That is why I thought this was one inconsistency in Jefferson’s presidency.

  29. Sabrina

    1. Jefferson was always an advocate for freedom of speech. In the document given to us in class, one of the examples in the section about his views on the purpose and powers of government is an excerpt from a letter to James Currie from 1786. In this, he states, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” In 1798, Jefferson and Madison wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, which declared their perceived rights as states to nullify federal laws that they believed oppressed them and to secede from the nation if the government says they can’t. It was not uncommon for Jefferson to write things like this and openly speak his mind. Also, Madison was the one that wrote freedom of speech into the Bill of Rights created while amending the constitution, and because they both wrote the resolutions they must have had similar views. He was most inconsistent with his views on race. In the handout, it says that he fought for the freedom of two mixed-race slaves, and in the Declaration of Independence, he wrote that all men were created equal and were endowed with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, Jefferson himself owned slaves. In fact, it is reported that he owned more slaves than any other American president, with the number supposedly over 600. He also fathered at least 6 mixed-race children with one of his slaves and freed at least 4 of them when he died. All of these facts contradict each other and his viewpoints, so this was not very consistent at all.

    2. As President Jefferson stuck to his beliefs on relations between Native Americans and the United States. He wanted to remain allies with them so they would not instead side with European powers. Because of this, he kept relations peaceful. He also said in the handout we were given that he viewed Indians to be equal to white men, and that showed when he treated them as such when trying to peacefully coexist with them throughout events such as the Louisiana Purchase. He stuck to his beliefs and didn’t switch his opinion randomly as he seems to do sometimes. I believe that he was most inconsistent with the placement of the Embargo Act. In the handout, Jefferson describes how he believes that America should be strictly agricultural and leave all the manufacturing to Britain, however, the Embargo Act stopped all trade going in and out of the ports of America, which meant that these farmers the country was supposed to rely on for their economy could no longer sell their goods. This also meant that they could not import the goods Jefferson literally said they should only import. This is directly contradicting his opinion that we should rely solely on agriculture, as it does not allow us to do so.

  30. christina

    1. I think that before his presidency, Jefferson is very consistent when it comes to his
    beliefs on foreign policy. He strongly believes in revolution, and supports it when other countries engage in it. We see this when his first response is to want to aid the French in their revolution, even when we lacked the resources and numbers to do so. We were recovering from the revolution we’d just ended, and Jefferson wanted to aid others in another, which would seem silly to nearly anyone else but wasn’t to him. He says that he hopes that the revolutionary ideals will travel around all of the enlightened parts of the world. He’s very consistent in his belief that war is healthy. Jefferson also doesn’t believe in bribes, and we see this when he’s considering war with the Barbary States. He said that he would rather obtain peace by war than succeed to a tribute payment- he would rather fight a revolution, a war, an act of vengeance than make a payment. Another reason why I think that Jefferson is obsessed with wars, and is consistent with his obsession with them. This doesn’t change when he is elected president either.
    However, Jefferson was inconsistent when dealing with ideas of slavery and race. In some instances, he explicitly goes against slavery and claims that it will be abolished in said states, with awaited punishment if one goes against said rule. In a case argument, Jefferson claims that personal liberty is given to people by the law of nature, and that taking away one’s personal liberty is a violation of the law of nature. He also states that he believes that the Indians are equal to the white man, and that the blacks can be too, if properly cultivated and educated. That statement is when he begins to contradict himself, and then when we realize that Jefferson actually owned slaves himself, it gets a little bit confusing. Owning slaves earned Jefferson money, and he displays time and time again that the latter is more important than the former in his eyes. He also states that Black people, naturally and nativley, are inferior to white people, and, to reference a statement I’d mentioned earlier, he believes that a black person must be cultivated before he can be equal to a white person. This kind of feeds into the racist white savior ideal, and this can be seen in some of his actions, but why is this the case when the man spends so much of his time preaching against slavery? How can he act as an abolitionist while also owning slaves?

    2. I think that Jefferson stayed the most consistent in the instance of Marbury v. Madison
    and his response to said case, and his feelings about the Supreme Court and the Judiciary Branch. Jefferson was not a fan of the idea that the Judiciary branch should have a lot of power, and this was made clear when the Marbury v. Madison case occurred, in which John Marshall decided that the law under which Madison was making decisions was unconstitutional. We see that Jefferson didn’t like this ruling, because he didn’t believe that the Judiciary Branch should have said power. He did not like that this branch was becoming equal to the other two. He was also a strong believer in the constitution, and he was an advocate for the idea that whatever wasn’t explicitly stated in the constitution wasn’t technically a law, and what Marshall did wasn’t explicitly stated in the Constitution. So, Jefferson did not like this, and he did not like the overly powerful Judiciary Branch and its power to make such pivotal decisions. He is also a fan of state power, which we see in the Kentucky Revolution when he states that each state should have the power to do what the Supreme Court just did- decide if a federal law was unconstitutional. Overall, Jefferson was very consistent when it came to this.
    Jefferson is most inconsistent when dealing with the Haitian Revolution and freedom of press and race when it comes to that. In the Haitian Revolution, yes, Jefferson does end up supporting the slaves in Haiti by supplying them with guns, but this was simply because he is a big fan of revolutions. But we also see that he placed an embargo on Haiti to keep those ideas of freedom from coming to the Americas. He is limiting his own people from the ideas of liberty that so many other enslaved are gaining. But how is that the case when he claims to be such a lover of black people and liberty and a hater of slavery. It’s almost like he wants the enslaved to rebel, and thinks slavery is bad, but only when its other people’s slaves and not his own. This shows inconsistency continuously, because how can one have such a great freedom of speech when he doesn’t know what he is speaking on. I think this might have been done purposefully, to his slaves and the slaves around him from getting ideas and speaking up. This has to do with both race and freedom of speech.

  31. kaylin arthur

    HOW JEFFERSONIAN WAS JEFFERSON?

    Before Thomas Jefferson became president he was consistent about the economy. He believed that the economy depended on agriculture, trade, farming, and few taxes. He did not want to tax the Americans unless it was helping the country, if it wasn’t he was against taxes. He thought trading with other countries was one of the best things for the economy. He believed that agriculture would be the only thing that would make a person have good morals, happiness, and real wealth. He believed that the establishment of banks would be more dangerous than a standing army.

    The area we studied that Jefferson was most inconsistent in before he became president was slavery and race. He believed that all people were born free with personal liberty. But that not all races were equal to what he thought was the superior race, being european/white. He also believed that personal liberty is the idea that everyone has the right to his own person, including the ability to move and use it on his own will. He believed that slavery should be abolished but not until 1800. Jefferson was very contradictory to his own beliefs especially in this topic because he believed that slavery was bad but owned slaves.

    When he was president, Jefferson was most consistent about his financial policies. Jefferson believed that congress could lay taxes for any reason, the only reason they could tax the citizens was if it was going to pay off the country’s debt. When he was president he cut taxes, he reduced the size of the army, he wanted a very cautious and frugal government. He was consistent about this by adhering to his beliefs of not taxing and making the army smaller and less powerful. He also believed that if the government was going to tax the citizens, to tax the wealthy more than the poor.

    When he was president, the area he was the most inconsistent in the embargo act. This was not Jeffersonian because he not only stopped trade with our main trading partner (Britain) but stopped trade with everyone. This was very contradicting to his beliefs because he wanted to import goods from other countries but instead, he did the opposite. He also had to go against his dislike of the navy and use it to enforce this act, and stop smuggling from happening. He affected not only our economy but the people who were trading their goods, mainly the farmers. Farmers could not sell their goods because Jefferson had shut down trade. American exports had dropped by about 75% during this time.

  32. Ashton Denys

    I would say before his presidency, Jefferson was most notably inconsistent with his views on race. For example, and I’m guessing this one is going to come up a lot, Jefferson was “anti-slavery” yet owned over six hundred slaves in his lifetime, which doesn’t make much sense. He also had some interesting ideas on race, saying that African Americans were less civilized than White people but also Native people for some reason? But also stated that African Americans had the potential to become as “civilized” as whites and Natives if given the opportunity. So I guess Sally Hemmings was given a chance.
    As for his most consistent, I’d say his Societal beliefs are his least inconsistent. For starters, in the Land Ordinance of 1785, a plot of land was reserved for the creation of a school in each community. Guess whose idea that was? Tommy J. His ideas of a more virtuous and morally fulfilling life as a rural farmer rather than a worker in a factory also stuck with him both before and during his presidency. This is seen in his distaste for a national bank, seeing as Hamilton planned on using it to help American manufacturing and his idea of the “Faith of the common man” which stated the common man (which at the time would have been a farmer) should be the center of the US economy.
    I would say Tommy J. was most consistent when it came to his views on the economy. More specifically, the idea the farmers are better than anything else. For example, right off the bat, there is the war of 1812. What does that have to do with farmers? Well, what do you think Jefferson planned to do with all that new land? Farm it. Quite similar to that, the Louisiana purchase, which as many people may point out, went against his ideals of the small, less central government, but what did he want to do with this new land? Farm it. (Granted he didn’t know about it until after but he justified it by using it to further agriculture in the united states).

    As for his least consistent, I would probably go with Foreign policy, though as I said in class, I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that it’s harder to stick to a strict set of beliefs when negotiating and bartering with other nations/people. An example of this would be how he claimed that in the Barbary wars he wouldn’t pay any more tribute and that he was putting his foot down, yet he paid bribes to natives (which was before but Barabry was during). Jefferson also believed diplomacy and trade were the foundation of international exchanges yet passed the Embargo Act. Didn’t believe in large government spending yet spent a goofy amount of money on the Louisiana purchases and didn’t believe in a standing army yet invaded Canada with a national army.

  33. Giovanni Baldini

    1. Thomas Jefferson was consistent in a few things before his presidency. One of which is his opinion on Standing Armies. An example of this is when, in 1789, he stated: “There are instruments so dangerous to the rights of the nation…Such an instrument is a standing army…Standing armies [are] inconsistent with [a people’s] freedom..A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both…” He clearly believed that a standing army is a terrible idea for the United States, and his opinion on this topic doesn’t change. On the other hand, one of the areas Jefferson was the least consistent in before his presidency was his belief in slavery. At some point, he firmly believed in the removal of slavery from the U.S., and at other points, he states how “inferior” African Americans are to the whites. For example “After the year 1800…there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said states, otherwise than in punishment of crimes…” At this point, which was 1784, he clearly believed that slavery needed to go, but in 1781, he says this: “the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowment both of body and mind.” This is plainly inconsistent and is a great example of Jefferson’s opinion changing.

    2. One of his most consistent opinions of Jefferson was his respect for Native Americans. Throughout his presidency, he wants to keep peace with the Indigenous, and he thought highly of them. Despite this, he wanted them to become American and adopt the ways of the American, but this idea from him does not change throughout his 2 terms. An extremely inconsistent opinion of his is his opinion on the Haitian Revolution. During his presidency, and during the Haitian Revolution, he declared neutrality with Haiti and acted as if he wasn’t getting involved in it at all, but he was secretly supplying the Black rebels. But, once Haiti received independence, Jefferson completely ignored them and did not recognize their independence. the United States didn’t recognize them as their own nation until 1862, long after Jefferson passed away. Jefferson really could not make a single decision on this topic, and that could have been for many reasons, but, in truth, he did not stay consistent with his beliefs on the Haitian Revolution.

  34. Vincent

    Before Jefferson became president his ideals were the most consistent when it came to the Purpose and Powers of Government. When he was writing to James Madison about the Constitutional Convention while he was in France he liked what they were doing about the Legislative branch and the Executive branch. He did not really like the way the Judicial branch was in terms of checks and balances. He would have liked to see the Judicial branch check the Executive branch somehow. The ideal that Jefferson was most inconsistent with before he became president was slavery and race. Jefferson kept writing letters on how we do not need slavery and how in a few generations that African American people could join society. But Jefferson was saying all this stuff while also owning 200+ slaves to keep his quite lavish lifestyle. The only reason, it is said, that Jefferson kept his slaves was that he absolutly loved his very luxurious lifestyle. In 1773 one of Jefferson’s slaves ran away and he put a wanted add in the paper with a description and a $40 ($ 1,447.84 now) reward for the person who caught the runaway slave.
    When Jefferson was president he was most consistent with his ideals on the supreme court. Jefferson is most consistent because he believes that the supreme court should not have all the power that Marshall gave it in Marbury v. Madison, but he had no control over this decision. He stayed consistent with his ideals of the supreme court especially when he repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801. Jefferson liked the idea of the way the constitution laid out the supreme court and he believed that the checks and balances of the government that the constitution laid out is great. Jefferson was the MOST inconsistent with his ideals when he passed the Embargo Act of 1807 which made it so America could not trade with the rest of the world, which is against his ideal of free trade. He did the embargo act to try and stop the impressment of American sailors by the French Navy and British Navy. The embargo act did not stop impressing American sailors so it’s a failure of his ideals and a failure in execution. Jefferson also had American troops enforce the embargo by finding the smugglers. Everything that Jefferson does with the embargo act is against his ideals when he became president.

  35. Zack S

    1.
    Thomas Jefferson is most consistent with his beliefs on the relationship between the government and its people. Jefferson, a firm anti-federalist, believed that a just government should not in any way infringe on the natural rights of its citizens. He was a strong advocate for the bill of rights, as he thought it would help ensure that these rights are not violated. Jefferson also thought that the constitution should be interpreted as strictly as possible, so as to give the central government less power. Jefferson was very consistent in these beliefs on government because he may have feared that another tyrannical government would arise. He also may have embellished these beliefs in order to gain more support from his party, furthering his political career.

    Thomas Jefferson is most inconsistent in his beliefs on slavery and race. At first glance, Jefferson appears to be a strong advocate for an end to slavery. He thought that slavery was vile and had no place in the U.S. This is shown in many of his letters and writings. Jefferson also represented Mulatto children in two legal cases for their freedom. However, Jefferson’s slave ownership contradicts this anti-slavery sentiment. Jefferson owned over six hundred slaves during his lifetime. He also stated that he viewed black people as inferior to white people. I think Jefferson is inconsistent in his beliefs on slavery and race because of his own personal greed. Owning slaves earned him money, and that was more important to him than the well-being of the people he owned. Even though his abolitionist beliefs were likely genuine, Jefferson’s slave ownership takes away from his reputation as an anti-slavery figure.

    2.
    During his presidency, Jefferson was consistent with his financial policies. He lifted taxes, which he intended to do. Jefferson’s main financial plan was to cut unnecessary government spending, in order to reduce taxation. He also reduced the size of the standing army, which was in line with his view that standing armies are a threat to national security. Jefferson was consistent with these policies because as a democratic-republican, he was opposed to heavy taxation. He believed that the government should tax only as much as is absolutely necessary for the function of the government.

    During his presidency, Jefferson was highly inconsistent with his belief in free trade. Jefferson, who was a strong advocate of free trade, issued the Embargo Act, which highly goes against his beliefs. Not only did the Embargo Act halt trade between America and the rest of the world, it also required the army and navy to enforce the act. The Embargo Act was highly unpopular since it was terrible for the American economy. During this time, British impressment had become serious, and Jefferson was forced to do something about it. Jefferson felt that the Embargo Act was the best choice as it would cripple the British economy, forcing them to stop interfering with American ships. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

  36. Camryn J

    Before he became president (and using the quotes we looked at on Friday), in which area was he most consistent and why? And in which area was he most inconsistent and why do you think this?
    I think Jefferson was most consistent when it came to his views on the economy. Jefferson was known to believe America’s economy should be built on the back of agriculture and was the path to success. In the quotes we reviewed he stated he believed workshops should remain in Europe. He said he believed that the permanence of government is better than having the transport of commodities. Another consistency in Jefferson’s belief system relating to the economy lay in limited powers of the federal government and taxation. In the quotes we reviewed, Jefferson stated that he believed congress should only lay taxes to pay debts or provide welfare, and that lower taxation for some groups would help lessen property inequality. He was also known to be against Hamilton’s plan to create a national bank and establish debt. In the quotes Jefferson said he believed banking establishments are more dangerous than armies. In contrast to Jefferson’s consistency on the economy, he was very inconsistent and hypocritical when it came to slavery and race. The general theme in all of Jefferson’s quotes on slavery and race would give one the impression he was completely against enslavement and open to equality. Jefferson said that everyone comes into the world with the right to be their own person. He said that slavery is degrading and wrong, and should be abolished. He said he believed that Indians were equal to white people, but was not fully convinced of the equality of white people. All of these ideas fell within Jefferson’s writing, even though he was to own hundreds of slaves.

    As president from 1801 – 1809 (and using the notes we compiled on Monday), in which area(s) was he most consistent? Explain why. And in which areas was he most inconsistent and why?
    One of the events under his presidency that Jefferson stayed the most consistent with his own beliefs was on The Supreme Court/Judiciary. Thomas Jeffersonn believed that the determination of constitutionality of laws should be left to the states. This was specifically addressed in his writing of the Kentucky Resolution. Jefferson stayed true to this when he stated he didn’t support a strong judicial branch, and instead wanted strong state courts. He hated Marbury V Madison because The Supreme Court had the authority to determine constitutionality. Another topic under his presidency that he stayed relatively true to his values and beliefs was Native American Policy. Jefferson wanted to be allies with the Native Americans and encouraged them to pursue agriculture. He wanted them to move out West and wanted them to ally with the US and not Britain. However, Thomas Jefferson was not as consistent when it came to the Embargo Acts from 1807-1809. He wanted to avoid war with Britain and France, but Britain had been impressing our soldiers. Jefferson expanded his powers and punished smugglers and enlarged the army to enforce the Embargo Act. Jefferson went against his beliefs by expanding rather than keeping the government small and enforcing Embargo Acts that did not help the growth of agriculture.

  37. jack

    Jefferson was consistent in many things such as farming but none as much as his beliefs of the relationship between the government and the people. For one Jefferson loved to emphasize the idea of a bill of rights for the people of the country. He wanted to protect the people’s rights and to make sure the government doesn’t infringe on it. As well Jefferson was an anti federalist believing in a small government and wanted the rights of citizens to stay safe. Jefferson believed that the government is and should be propped up by the people and said government would be no functional government without the commonwealth running it. Jefferson was very consistent during his presidency, he may have been fearful of the government becoming too powerful over the people.

    Jefferson’s most inconsistent belief by far is his opinions on slavery. For one Jefferson believed that black and enslaved people are individual humans with rights just as white men. He believed that after a time slaves should be free, and that mixed children should be free. That works as a belief until the fact of him being a slave owner. He had up to six hundred people enslaved, on his ranch/plantation and house. He also screwed with some of the female slaves and had babies with them and those were the ones he freed after his death.

    During presidency

    Jefferson was in fact very consistent about his beliefs of the supreme court/ judiciary. Jefferson during the midnight judges event refused to give the judges appointed at the last second by federalists commissions for their work even when they were out of control. When Marbury vs Madison was finalized and judicial review was initiated Jefferson was devastated because it led to a more powerful supreme court and he didn’t like a strong government in general, and as a result of him being a anti federalist he wanted a strict interpretation and didn’t want a court to interpret it loosely.

    Jefferson was least consistent however with his beliefs in the revolution in Haiti which was a slave rebellion inspired by the American revolution. Jefferson was not fond of slavery (even though he had slaves) he believed that slaves should be free. His actions speak otherwise because he wouldn’t recognize Haiti as a country, as well he stated he supported slave owners, and funded the slave owners and sent them guns to fight against the rebelling slaves.

  38. Ray Glory-Ejoyokah

    Prior: The area he was most consistent on was sticking to his beliefs about agriculture and its economic importance. This is shown in his quote “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.” On many other accounts, he defended the farmers and supported movements started by farmers. He also backed laws that helped farmers flourish. Jefferson was also very consistent on his beliefs on the idea of a bill of rights for the nation’s citizens. He aimed to safeguard citizens’ rights and prevent the government from violating them. As well, Jefferson was a staunch opponent of federalism who favored limited government and the protection of citizens’ rights. Jefferson asserted that the commonwealth should be in charge of operating the government and that it is and should be supported by the people. Because of his unwavering consistency as president, Jefferson may have been worried about the people’s rights being overstepped by the government.

    Jefferson’s views on slavery are by far his most contradictory beliefs. For example, Jefferson was of the opinion that both white men and black and enslaved people are all their own people and all of them deserved rights. He held the view that both mixed-race children and slaves should eventually be set free. But as a contradictory to that, On his ranch/plantation, he had up to 600 people in slavery, as well as in his home. He had many house laborers and slave cooks. Additionally, he had relationships with some of the female slaves and had children with them; those slaves were released after his death.

    After: Regarding his views on the Judiciary Branch/ The Supreme Court, Jefferson was actually often consistent. Including when the judges nominated by federalists were out of control, Jefferson refused to give them commissions for their service during the midnight judges’ event. Jefferson was majorly pissed off when Marbury v. Madison was decided and judicial review was started because it resulted in a more powerful supreme court. He’s made it clear he didn’t like a strong government in general. He also wanted a strict interpretation because he was an anti-federalist and didn’t want a court to interpret things loosely.

    The area he was most inconsistent on was sticking to his beliefs about revolution and rebellion are good. At the beginning of the revolution in Haiti, he started off by helping them w/ guns to the enslaved. He showed this In the beginning of the Haitian revolution, he stepped up by helping them with guns to the enslaved. Then after, he put the embargo on Haiti to keep those ideas of freedom from coming to America. He did it because he didn’t want to risk the chance of the Slaves In The United States to follow Haiti’s footsteps for a revolution.

  39. Sebastian Forberg

    Before Jefferson’s presidency, Jefferson was mostly consistent with his Ideals but occasionally strayed away from them like with slavery. Jefforson always stayed consistent with his belifes on what the American economy should look like. He says in his letter to George Washington, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contuibute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.” Even into his presidency this idea was the most important to him. He also thought taxes should be only set to repay debts and provide for welfare and the rich should be taxed more than the poor. Another view on the economy that remained consistent was opposing a national bank. He was against a bank because he thought it would undermine state banks and it would favor merchants and financiers. The most inconsistent ideals for Jefferson were on slavery. Jefferson was strongly for abolishing slaves but he personally owned hundreds of slaves. Jefferson says in 1770, “Under the law of nature, all men are born free, everyone comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will… reducing ones to servitude is a violation of the law of nature.” In this quote his is specifically saying that every person has rights and cannot be slaves wich further contradicts him owning his own slaves.During Jefferson’s presidency he was sometimes was consistent and sometimes inconsistent. Jefferson was the most consistent with his ideals of the economy. Throught his presidency he always did what he thought would help the farmers and agricultural economy. For example the Louisiana Purchase which was bought to make more land for farmers. He also made tax cuts to help farmers. You could say the the federal bank goes against his ideals but it was out of his control. The ideals he was most inconsistent with were slavery, foreign trade and a standing army. Jefferson went his against his ideals of slavery, which were abolishing slavery, during the Hatian revolution when he helped white slaveowners with the rebeling slaves but he aslo sent guns to the rebeling slaves to help them in the revolution. After the revolution, Jefferson acted like the whole revolution never happened and refused to recognize haiti as a country. Jefferson went against his ideals of foreign trade, which were international trade should not be restricted, when he set the Embargo Act of 1807 which restricted any american ships from selling goods. During the Embargo Act, Jefferson also went against his ideals of not having a standing army. Jefferson made a standing army to enforce the Embargo Act because americans were smuggling exports.

  40. Juno Saulson

    1. Before Jefferson’s presidency in 1801, he was a man of principle, of many beliefs and ideals which he stuck to strongly. These ideologies, while seen as radically liberal during his time (but more moderate nowadays) were often dependent on how the economy acted, as well as the government’s power. He believed strongly in education, in republican motherhood, as well as an agrarian based society. The most consistent of these principles were his belief in equal and fair taxation, the danger of banks, as well as the danger of an army as opposed to a navy. To elaborate, Jefferson believed that taxation from the government should be for only fair and reasonable purposes like paying off war debts, or welfare (but not the kind of welfare we know today). Taxes should be equal to what you earn, or to a person’s property value; meaning the richer you were, the more you were taxed (honestly I agree with him there, taxing billionaires is a totally wise decision). He also believed that banks, especially the National Bank plan created by Alexander Hamilton, were inherently dangerous, that a true economically sound society would be based in agriculture. That the agrarian lifestyle would make for a happy and prosperous man. In addition to all of his staunch principles he kept before his presidency, Jefferson was quite anti-army, claiming that they imposed on the liberty of the citizens of our country, as well as caused unnecessary bloodshed and violence. As a devoted pacifist, he was definitely not a fan of bloodshed or violence.

    In the other facets of Jefferson’s ideologies, he was mainly inconsistent about his beliefs on racism, slavery, and the treatment of people of color. He’s a walking contradiction when it comes to his beliefs on race, especially how he claimed to understand that “all men are created equal”, born with personal liberties and rights, yet still managed to think that black people were unequal to white people (while also believing that the indigenous people were equal to white people, if you’re gonna be racist, at least make up your mind about it, Thomas). Mind you, his idea of “liberty” was the right to OWN a person. Despite all this, he believed that slavery should be abolished and that black people should be educated (to make them more “civilized”), but this wasn’t until after he got elected. Jefferson is an interesting case in American history, not only because of his weirdly liberal beliefs for the time, but also because of his ideological contradictions on the topic of race, slavery, and human rights.

    (Like c’mon man, natural rights apply to all people, you read Locke and Rousseau)

    2. Though, while Jefferson was president, his consistency with his ideologies shifted quite a lot. Being in office meant a tremendous amount of pressure on his shoulders, though I expected more from a man of such pious principality. Though his presidency wasn’t all bad, he was quite consistent with his economic policies; levying taxes against the people for any reason besides necessity wasn’t right nor needed by the government. While in office he cut taxes a solid amount, making it easier for the poor to exist. He also worked to lower the army’s budget and overall size, making it significantly smaller than it had been previously.
    However, Jefferson wasn’t perfectly consistent in his beliefs, neither is the common man, but unlike the common man, his ideals had more weight to them. One of the biggest inconsistencies and overall failures as a president was with the god awful Embargo act of 1807. Everyone hated the Embargo act, but it specifically hurt the farmers, the people responsible for the exports that were traded with europe! The same people Jefferson wanted to help, the same people that Jefferson wanted to be a majority! Another reason why he contradicted himself with the Embargo Act was due to its stance on foreign policy; Jefferson happened to like the idea of allyship and commerce between European nations, it went directly against that, it cut off trade from the rest of the world, creating an isolated America with no cheap, manufactured goods, from across the sea. This made American exports drop by ¾ of what it had been! Not only did this not solve the impressment crisis, but he had to swallow his pacificstic ideologies in order to implement the act. As much as he liked the navy, he wasn’t a fan of using it for violence. Nor was he a fan of the constant smuggling that was going on right under his nose. As a result of this, the economy plummeted further than it had before, even worse than the economic depression which occurred after the revolutionary war.

    Word count – 780

  41. Kiera

    1. Before Thomas Jefferson became president his beliefs stayed consistent, especially with the economy. Jefferson liked the idea of having a mostly agricultural-based economy. He believed taxes should only be put in place if needed, he didn’t love the idea of taxing the citizens. Jefferson believed that the citizens should be doing lots of farming and trading with other countries. Another thing that Jefferson was consistent about in the economy was that the bank was dangerous. He had always felt like adding a United States bank wouldn’t be constitutional. In 1791 he said, “I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies”. This shows how Jefferson felt about the bank, he liked them less than standing armies and he didn’t like those either. He stayed consistent about these things before the presidency because he wanted to try and prevent dictatorship.
    On the contrary, there were things that Thomas Jefferson didn’t stay consistent with and this included slavery and race. Jefferson mentioned in 1770 that “Under the law of nature, all men are born free, everyone comes into the world with a right to his own person. . .” This shows how much Jefferson believed that all were equal. He was inconsistent on this topic because in 1781 he mentioned that black people are inferior to white people in both body and mind. He was also inconsistent in the fact that he owned many slaves. I think this is very inconsistent because he mentions many times that everyone is created equal and should have the same rights but then says that he sees slaves as lesser than whites while owning many slaves himself.
    2. While Thomas Jefferson was in office he stayed consistent especially in the Supreme Court. Jefferson did not support having a strong judiciary branch, he wanted strong state courts. Jefferson did not like Marbury vs. Madison because it gave the Supreme Court the power to decide on the constitutionality of a law which made them equal to the other branches. This shows Jefferson staying true to the ideas he believed, which was if states should determine if a law is constitutional or not. Jefferson stayed consistent because he liked the separation of powers.
    An event where Thomas Jefferson was not consistent during his presidency was the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson was a strong believer in an agricultural economy so he thought purchasing this land would help the economy grow. Another thing Jefferson believed in was checks and balances, when Jefferson went to congress with the idea to purchase this land, congress turned him down and Jefferson ignored that. There were many concerns about if there would be slavery in these states and Jefferson ignored all of them. He was not consistent because he went against congress and purchased the land anyway. Jefferson was a very strict interpreter of the constitution until he became president. Once he became president he felt like he had more free rain.

  42. india winnett

    Thomas Jefferson was the most hypercritical when he would go on about how African Americans don’t deserve to be treated like this and how they shouldn’t be slaves but when saying that he had many many slaves him self.

    Thomas Jefferson was president he was a very hypercritical man stating one thing while his actions state another. though he does decide to keep constant the native Americans, Jefferson was a full believer in being anti-Europe, Jefferson wanted to expand so he was very much pro agriculture and wanted people to but lots more land and finally he was pro native American when others wanted to get rid of the natives jefferson would stand up for them.

    when Thomas Jefferson was the president he was most inconsistent in the embargo act, Thomas Jefferson was very strict on not wanting to help either side with their war against each other, he had put a blockade, on everyone they were trading with, and when he did it after awhile the blockade really only effected America and once the Americans weren’t doing so well he decides to just give in and just had a blockade in place for Britain and France but allowed everyone else to trade with America

  43. Ireland K.

    1.) Thomas Jefferson was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States, he also served as the third president of the U.S. from 1801 to 1809. Before Jefferson’s time as president, he was consistent on some topics and policies but he also was very inconsistent at times as well. Before Jefferson became president, he was consistent on the topics and policies involving how close the relationship between the government and its people was. He believed that the government should not in any way interfere with the rights of its citizens. This can be proven through his own founding of the Democratic-Republican Party. This party focused on the idea of local governance compared to nationwide supervision. Compared to this Jefferson wasn’t consistent on his beliefs on slavery and race. This is quite confusing though because Jefferson previously stated that he was against slavery and was all for abolishing it. However, its confusing because Jefferson contradicts his own statements, by owning slaves himself. He also stated in his many letters and writings that he believed that he viewed black people as inferior to white people. Jefferson is inconsistent on many of his beliefs but I believe the most frustrating one is slavery because he did it merly out of self-ishness. He believed that it was more important for his debt to be payed off and for his greed to be taken care of, more than the well-being of his own slaves and the example he gave by owning slaves.
    2.) While president, Jefferson’s principles were tested in many ways. During his presidency, Jefferson was consistent with some of his financial policies. He cut taxes which he intended to do from the start. He believed that people should be taxed depending how much their income was, more better known as taxing the rich. He also reduced the size of the standing army, which was also in line with his views. Jefferson recognized that a stronger federal government would make the country more secure economically and militarily, but he feared that a strong central government might become too powerful, restricting citizens’ rights. In comparison Jefferson was willing to expand his narrow interpretation of the Constitution, in order to purchase the Louisiana Territory from France. The Constitution did not specifically grant the federal government the authority to acquire more territory, so Jefferson considered it an amendment to the Constitution. The area that Jefferson was most inconsistent in his presidency was that of the economy. Jefferson believed heavily that the American economy should be based on farming, trade and few taxes. He believed that there should only be taxes that were necessary and beneficial to the masses. And that trading with other nations was the best way to support the nation. He believed that this would look like Americans almost entirely farming, and exporting their products to other countries. But he went against his own principals with the establishment of the Embargo Act. Jefferson at the time felt that a solution to the lack of respect of America that was given by Britain and France was to cut off trade and to forbid American ships from engaging in foreign trade. Although to enforce the embargo, Jefferson greatly expanded the federal government. He mobilized the army, navy and arrested smugglers. In the end, Jefferson completed two full terms as president. He also paved the way for the future of the country at the time and future presidents to come long after.

    -Ireland K. Hour:3

  44. Bella Ruggirello

    1. During the American Revolutionary War, before he served as president, Jefferson served in the Virginia legislature and the Continental Congress and was governor of Virginia. He later also served as U.S. minister to France and U.S. secretary of state and was vice president under John Adams in 1826. During Jefferson’s time, few colonial Americans could afford the quality and personal education that he received. He owed his good fortune to the financial success of his father. When the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1776, Jefferson found himself appointed with four other delegates to write a declaration of independence. The 5 other members wanted Jefferson to draft the document. Jefferson’s selection to draft the Declaration of Independence was based on his powerful writing style and the fact that he represented the interests of Virginia, which was the most influential southern colony. Jefferson also helped to break the original link between religion and government by authoring the famous Virginia Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, which was finally passed into law thanks to the efforts of Jefferson’s friend James Madison. Jefferson also advocated a complete system of free public education. He argued that all white male Virginians, should be educated fully at lower schools while the naturally smarter minded and talented people should be supported in a system of higher education. These intellectually talented men would then become the natural leaders of the nation. Jefferson said that the only barrier to a student’s admittance to the university should be his own intellectual limits.

    2. Jefferson took office determined to roll back the Federalist program of the 1790s. His administration reduced taxes, government spending, and the national debt, and repealed the Alien and Sedition Acts. while Jefferson was elected as president, the crisis in France had passed. He cut Army and Navy expenditures and numbers, cut the budget, eliminated the tax on whiskey so unpopular in the West, yet reduced the national debt by a third. Jefferson’s Act to cut the officer’s army and navy by roughly one third, to a grand total of 3,289, was one f his worse ideas. Jefferson had wanted to get rid of the standing army and the navy altogether, saying standing armies were useless, but in the face of repeated Federalist warnings he allowed by making only marginal reductions. He was heavily against slaves and slave ownership, though, he was one of the largest slave owners in Virginia, Jefferson frequently engaged in human trafficking. In his lifetime, he enslaved more than 700 people, physically teaching those he thought to be incompetent. The terrible treatment he enacted upon other human beings demonstrated his complete disregard for the rights of others.

  45. Christian Pearson

    1. Jefferson wasn’t entirely awful, prior to being president, he had high standards for himself in terms of adhering to his ideals. Throughout his administration, he upheld the same beliefs and viewpoints, although he frequently strayed from them and did not put them into practice. Before becoming president, Jefferson always supported agriculture as our main source of prosperity and held the view that people should forge their own paths in the world. Jefferson was a huge supporter of farming, even going so far as to suggest that it was “our wisest pursuit” since it would ultimately result in the greatest amount of material prosperity, moral virtue, and happiness. He claims that agriculture will increase happiness in addition to the fact that he believes it should be the mainstay of our economy. But from whence would we get all of our produced goods? Europe! Although Jefferson had this opinion, he eventually contradicted it by enacting the Embargo Acts, a piece of legislation authored by Madison that partially halts trade with any other country. Nevertheless, on the whole, Jefferson’s views on agriculture were fairly constant. He respected people having the right to live their lives as they choose and to speak as they please. I’m not talking about people starting their own businesses when I say that. Our freedom of the press, according to Jefferson, “cannot be reduced without losing what it already has.” Freedom of expression goes hand in hand with freedom of the press. Despite being baptized and believing in God, he disliked forcing his faith on others. He worked hard to promote religious freedom.

    2. President Jefferson accomplished a lot, including cutting off trade with the entire world and causing a 75% decline in exports in a year. He also managed to cut the national debt by one-fourth. Whatever the case, he continued to hold fast to his beliefs regarding the situation with the army and navy as well as his stance on taxes. Jefferson was not a huge fan of a standing army, even though he elected to deploy both the navy and the standing army. Since he was a pacifist, it’s safe to say that he didn’t like the army. In contrast to Britain, which had gathered a stable 80,000 men, he reduced the army’s size to just 3,000 soldiers and 172 officers. Along with upholding his pacifist principles, he also remained steadfast in his conviction that taxes were evil and that, in the event that they must be levied, they should be based on an individual’s personal income. Correct, upon taking office, he reduced the whiskey tax as well as a number of other taxes.

  46. Ally O.

    Before Jefferson became president he stayed consistent with his ideologies in the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. Jefferson states in the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions “the powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states respectively. Each party (state) has an equal right to judge for itself…”. Jefferson sticks to his ideals of states ruling themselves and not being controlled by a powerful central government. The areas in which Jefferson stayed least consistent in general before and after his presidency were around the topic of slavery. He was inconsistent around this topic because he preached about the importance of abolishing slavery and stopping the slave trade but meanwhile, he had 1000s of his own slaves. He was hypocritical and another example of this was during the Louisiana Purchase when the huge concern of all people in the US especially those against slavery was whether or not the states in the Louisiana territory would have the ability to own slaves. These concerns were expressed to Jefferson because he was president and controlled this purchase, however, he basically completely ignored these worries even though he thinks slavery should not exist which is inconsistent. Jefferson strongly disagreed in a national bank, an area where he and Hamilton butted heads. During Jefferson’s presidency, an area where he stayed consistent was in his belief of agriculture was the strongest asset for our future economy. His actions showed this with his strong desire to buy the Louisiana territory. He believed the more land the better so more people had more space to farm. An area in which Jefferson was inconsistent more than one time was in his belief in keeping the government small. He seemed to preach this before he came into power because he did not want people he disagreed with to change things against what he thought. For example, in the Louisiana purchase, he amended the constitution to give himself more power since the constitution did not give him the ability to decide whether or not we get the Louisiana purchase. He felt it was so important that we make this purchase even if others did not agree that he made the choice to amend the constitution. By giving himself more power he gives the national government more power which he was against. Another example of his doing this was when he expanded his powers for the Embargo Act. Both of these examples make him look extremely selfish because he thinks his ideas are above all other opinions. He does not hear deflecting opinions or negotiate very well.

  47. Helena Hewer

    1. Before his presidency Thomas Jefferson was consistent in his beliefs about the economy. He believed that we should have an agricultural economy with lots of land to farm. In 1783 he said “Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God” then in 1787 he said “Agriculture… is our wisest pursuit , because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals & happiness.” Thomas Jefferson also believed that the national bank, proposed by Alexander Hamilton, was dangerous to the economy and it would give the national government too much power. In 1791 he said “I severely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” Coming from him this meant that banking establishments were very dangerous as he considered standing armies to be “inconsistent with a people’s freedom” and “dangerous to the rights of the nation”.
    2. Before his presidency, Thomas Jefferson was inconsistent in his beliefs about slavery. Firstly, he held over 600 slaves throughout his lifetime. In 1769, he released an ad for the return of a runaway slave named Sandy and upon Sandy’s return, he sold him. Yet in 1770 he acted as an attorney pro bono in two legal suits for freedom by enslaved mulatto children where he was quoted saying “Under the law of nature, all men are born free… Reducing one to servitude is a violation of the law of nature.” Then in 1781 he stated that “the blacks… are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind.”
    3. Thomas Jefferson’s belief in an agricultural economy stayed consistent through his presidency for the most part. It led Jefferson to agree to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. One of his biggest motivators to agree to the Louisiana Purchase was the fact that he believed Americans needed as much land as possible to continue with their agricultural economy as the population of America grew.
    4. While the Louisiana Purchase shows how Jefferson was consistent in his beliefs, it also highlights a major inconsistency in his beliefs. Before Jefferson’s Presidency, Jefferson was vocal about his beliefs on the importance of not giving the central government too much power. In 1791 he stated that “To take a step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power.” But during his presidency he made an amendment to the constitution which would allow him to agree to the Louisiana purchase without consulting congress.

  48. Emily Kruntovski

    I think that one idea Jefferson had that he stayed consistent with before his presidency was his beliefs on the relationship between the people and the government. Jefferson was an anti-federalist and believed that government should never interfere with the natural rights of the people. He was a strong believer in the Bill of Rights because he thought that this was the main way we could protect our natural rights from being violated. He thought that strictly reading and interpreting the Constitution was better because it would give the central government less power and the state governments more. He was very consistent with these beliefs on the governments relationship because he feared the idea of a corrupt government woud arise. He also advocated these ideas strongly to get more support for himself and his party taking his political careere to the next level. An area that I think Jefferson is most inconsistent on is his ideas on slavery and race. Jefferson always advocated for the end of slavery because he said that it was vile and had no place in the U.S. This can be shown in many writings and letters wrote by Jefferson. You also can see this advocate for freedom of slaves when he represented two Mulatto children in two different cases for their freedom. However he was inconsistent with these ideas because he was a slave owner himself. He owned over six hundred slaves in his lifetime and also refered to African-Americans as inferior to white people. I think this shows inconsistencey in his beliefs in slavery and race because of his own personal background with slavery and race. Jefferson was blinded by greed and became inconsistent because owning these slaves was a source of income and he cared more about that then the wellbeing of the humans he owned. Though his ideas could truely be true to his thoughts, he can’t be held accountable for his thoughts because of the slaves he owned.

    Jefferson Beliefs of an agricultural economy stayed consistent throughout his presidency. It led to him agreeing to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 which gained even more land for us. This shows that he is willing to make compromises to raise our agricultural economy. Jefferson never changed our economy to industrial which showed completely that he is an advocate to agricultural economy. An inconsistency that Jefferson shows is with his beliefs with the economy of taixng people and borrowing money. You will see this inconsistency with the problem with the Barbary pirates. Jefferson offers up sixty thousand dollars to get the Americans captured back from the pirates. This will end up making him raise taxes and borrow money from banks putting the country in more debt. This goes against all of his beliefs on not raising taxes and borrowing money.

  49. Sanuthi W

    1. Jefferson was most consistent with his beliefs on the relationship between the government and his people because Jefferson was an anti federalist. He believed that the government should not be involved with the rights of their citizens and was a strong advocate for the Bill of Rights so the citizens rights wouldn’t be violated by the government. He also believed the government itself should have less power and that the constitution should be interpreted better so the citizens will know their rights. He was consistent in his beliefs because he was a strong believer about the freedom of press and religion.
    The area he was most inconsistent in before he became president was slavery and race. He believed that all people were born free with rights and that enslavement violates that. He also belived that slavery should be abolished but he still continued to own slaves in 1769 and was very hypocritical. He also claimed that the Indegeinous were equal to European folks but believed that black folks weren’t equal to Europeans unless they were colonized/learned the “European way”. His visions were very contradictory due to his beliefs on slavery and race and how he published them.
    2. During Jefferson’s presidency, Jefferson was most consistent about financial policies because he strongly believed that the economy should be based on less taxes, trade, and farming. He cut taxes such as the whiskey tax, reduced the size of the army because he didn’t like them, and wanted a frugal government which was more cost efficient. He wanted to trade with other countries to export our products and also wanted to import manufactured goods to help our economy. His visions weren’t contradictory because he withheld commissions, talked about how SCOTUS was becoming too powerful, and also didn’t believe in spending more money on the army.
    Jefferson was inconsistent about his beliefs towards the Haitian Revolution because he talked about how he doesn’t support enslavement but was ok with the French enslaving the Haitians and selling guns to the French to help them win but not for a good cause. He also traded and opposed giving the free Haitians the same rights as the French even though he claimed he didn’t support slavery.. His beliefs were incredibly contradictory due to the fact that he claimed to not want slavery but didn’t help in the Haitian Revolution. The U.S.A also didn’t recognize Haiti as an independent nation until 1882.

  50. Jacob G

    Jefferson was very hypocritical many times during his presidency and his personal life. Especially when it came to racism. Jefferson was openly anti-slavery in his public life, throughout many writings both under his name and suuedonyms. He was known to call this slave trade a “hideous blot” and a “moral depravity”. When asked about slavery he had also said it presents the most grave threat to the survival of a new American Nation. He even made multiple legislative efforts to try and abolish slavery, though none passed. However in his own home he had as many as 200 slaves. No matter how much he despies the slave trade, and thought it was evil, he had to keep these slaves for his own financial success. He was in so much debt from his extentuous importation of goods that after his death his slaves were needed to pay off these debts. He also had fathered at least six children with a slave named Sally Hemming, four of these kids survived to adulthood, they were named Beverly, Harriet, Madison and Ernest Hemming. This depravity was committed years after his wife had died and these children never assumed his name as not to implicate him.
    Jefferson, during his presidency had disliked the idea of bribery to get the barbary pirates to stop their piracy. The Barbary pirates were muslim sailors from the north aftican barbary states. They would capture American sailors and goods and hold them for ransom, failure to pay would lead to these sailors being enslaved. Jefferson sent US naval forces to combat these pirates, as he was ferociously against bribing these pirates to end the war. This led to the first Barbary war. This war was ended successfully by this. The barbary pirates later resumed their previous actions in 1812 during the war of 1812, which led to the secondary barbary wars. Jefferson’s successor, James Madison, bribed these pirates to end the war, something Jefferson was extremely opposed to.

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