Week 5 Appendix E

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 165

Words: 509

Pages: 3

Category: US History

Date Submitted: 11/17/2012 07:47 AM

Report This Essay

Week5 Appendix C

In 1819, Thomas Jefferson recalled his own election as president nearly two decades earlier as a "revolution" in American politics. "Revolution" is a strong word, but it was probably the right word, for the Democratic-Republican Party Jefferson led into power in 1801 was dramatically different from the Federalist Party that had governed since 1789. But Jefferson's use of the word signified more than a mere transition from one party to another; Jefferson believed that the Federalists he defeated represented not just a different political vision, but a dangerously wrong political vision—one that threatened to restore the antidemocratic principles and institutions of the British government Americans had rejected in 1776.

For Jefferson, therefore, the election of 1800 represented more than a simple changing of the guard. It signified the restoration of America's Revolutionary vision, the return of the great ideals of 1776. And in Thomas Jefferson's mind—as in the minds of his followers—Jefferson himself, as the author of the Declaration of Independence, was just the man to lead this second revolution.

Were they right?

Why Should I Care?

Every generation has a voice—a Jack Kerouac, a Bob Dylan, a Kurt Cobain, a Maya Angelou—a philosopher, poet, or songwriter who captures the generation's ideals and its anxieties, its dreams as well as its fears. For the generation of 1776, that voice belonged to 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson, a red-haired, freckle-faced, stuttering young planter from Virginia. He burst onto the national scene in 1774 by publishing a controversial pamphlet that boldly asserted that Parliament had absolutely "no right to exercise authority over us."1 Most Americans had not yet arrived at so complete a denial of Parliament's authority. Still trying to carve out a political compromise, these moderates deemed Jefferson's position too radical. But other Patriot leaders, like John Adams, saw in the shy young man the sort of brash...