The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson: Part II

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1 The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson: Part II

2 Jeffersonian Democracy Jefferson championed the idea that common men should be allowed to vote, as opposed to the Federalist idea that only a privileged elite should vote He believed that better education would prepare people for participation in government and that education was the key to social mobility and building a meritocracy (a system where people advance based on their merits)

3 Jeffersonian Economics Jefferson believed that America s future was as an agrarian (farming) based economy, rather than as an industrialized state Jefferson also supported the idea, made popular by British economist Adam Smith, of a laissez-faire approach to the economy government should not use tariffs or regulations to interfere in the natural operation of the economy

4 Jefferson and the National Debt Under Hamilton, the government had borrowed money to finance national growth; he thought debt was a good thing: If the government borrowed from its rich citizens, those citizens would have an interest in the nation s growth Jefferson decided to abandon this policy; he reduced the federal budget and cut taxes, all in an effort to downsize government and reduce the national debt

5 Jefferson and Slavery Jefferson believed that slavery would ultimately fail, even without government regulation Jefferson did, however, pressure Congress to ban the importation of new slaves as soon as possible and to limit its spread into new territories Despite being a slave-owner himself, Jefferson clearly believed that slavery was morally wrong (evidence suggests, however, that he did hold racist beliefs about the inferiority of Africans)

6 The Sally Hemings Scandal In 1802, scandal erupted after a report was published that Jefferson had fathered 6 children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings (who happened to be his late wife s half-sister) Jefferson never directly addressed the reports, but modern DNA research indicates that the reports were probably true

7 Burr-Hamilton Duel More scandal rocked the nation in July 1804 when Jefferson s Vice-President Aaron Burr killed his rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel Burr was charged with murder, but was acquitted and finished his term as VP (he later was arrested and tried for treason for plotting to seize territory in Louisiana to create his own country he was also acquitted of these charges) Hamilton s death left the Federalist Party without its most effective leader

8 Ohio In 1803, Ohio was admitted as the 17 th state in the Union Ohio had achieved statehood only 7 years after the signing of the Treaty of Greenville in which the Native American tribes of the region had agreed to withdraw and leave the territory to white settlers This type of rapid growth put pressure on the government to acquire more territory for future expansion and to secure the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans

9 Louisiana Louisiana had been reacquired by France when Napoleon conquered Spain in 1800 Napoleon decided that he could not afford to protect the territory due to a threat of war with England and a slave revolt in Haiti, so he offered to sell Louisiana to the United States this would free up French troops to be used elsewhere and provide Napoleon with ready cash to cover his military expenses

10 The Louisiana Purchase Jefferson was prepared to offer $10 million to France for just the port of New Orleans, so he was shocked when Napoleon offered the entire Louisiana Territory (all 828,000+ mi² of it) for only $15 million

11 The Louisiana Purchase Afraid that Napoleon would withdraw the offer, Jefferson agreed to the purchase, even though he doubted that he had the Constitutional authority to do so Once completed, the Purchase doubled the size of the U.S. and extended its borders all the way to the Rocky Mountains The Purchase also began to build in Americans the belief that they were destined to control North America

12 Controversy Over the Purchase Jefferson, who believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, had used a loose interpretation to empower himself to make the Purchase this led to accusations of hypocrisy Federalists opposed the Purchase out of fear that the West would be mostly populated by farmers, which would reduce the political influence of rich Northern merchants

13 The Lewis & Clark Expedition Jefferson had ordered an expedition to explore the West even before the U.S. made the Purchase This Corps of Discovery was launched from Pittsburgh in August 1804 They gathered samples of minerals, plants and animals, mapped the territory and identified what Native American groups occupied the West They finally reached the Pacific Ocean in December 1805 and arrived back in St. Louis in September 1806

14

15 Meriwether Lewis Former soldier who had served during the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion Hired as President Jefferson s personal aide in 1801 Jefferson appointed him to lead the Expedition in 1803 Jefferson appointed him governor of the Louisiana Territory in 1807 Died of multiple gunshot wounds historians debate whether it was a suicide or murder

16 William Clark Veteran of the Northwest Indian Wars, fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers Recruited by Lewis to help lead the Expedition Later fought in the War of 1812, served as governor of the Missouri Territory, and as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

17 Sacagawea Shoshone Indian Wife of a French fur-trader who had been hired to guide the Expedition Served as a translator and guide for the Expedition, despite giving birth during the Expedition Later settled in St. Louis and died of fever, leaving her orphaned son to be raised by William Clark

18 The Pike Expedition

19 Zebulon Pike Army captain sent out by Jefferson in 1805 to further explore the Louisiana Territory His 1805 mission located the source of the Mississippi River His expedition was tasked with exploring the southwestern portion of the Purchase, but wandered into Spanish territory and were taken as prisoners but soon released Pike was killed during the War of 1812

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