Was Jefferson A Good President? Essay

902 words - 4 pages

Was Thomas Jefferson a good president?Thomas Jefferson was the 3d president and one of the most remarkable politicians in American history (American Experience). He immensely contributed to formation of the state in that shape it is presented at the moment. Contribution in emancipation of slavery, church and state separation, broadening of US territory made his representation of a successful president (Thomas 2001). Meantime his policy is both radical and uncertain, filled with contradictions, which question his success and accuracy in policy. For instance, speaking against slavery, he was hardly the hugest slave-owner; fighting for state secularity, he several times refers to God in Declaration of Independence; broadening American territory and, consequently, contributing to economic growth and social improvement, he supports embargo act and halts Navy expansion (Dorsey 2003). Thereby, it is of no surprise that Jefferson and his presidential policy is an object of heated debate: was he good or bad president? This essay analyses Jefferson's policy, evaluates conviction of the arguments both sustaining and discrediting his success in presidency and justifies that despite all decisions and policy-making which had a negative impact on state and nation, on a scale of goodness he is more presenting a good president.During the dinner in White House in honor of winners of Nobel Prize president John F. Kennedy giving a speech said that the guests present "the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone" (Kennedy 1962). Obviously, Jefferson still has an immense influence on politicians; his policy inspires and motivates them. Indeed, Jefferson was the most aesthetically gifted member of founding fathers (Ellis 1997). Hence, referring to his writing talent John Adams offered him to write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (Ellis 1997). This and his clearly stated position on emancipation of slavery enabled his name to be valiant and respected. There would not be problem, if only he was not an eminent slaveholder of Virginia. This two seriously contradicting facts lead to a conclusion that Jefferson either was unable to manage his actions with respect to his beliefs, or that his words differ from his actual thoughts. "If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves" (Thomas Day 1784 quoted in Dorsey 2003).However, Jefferson despite the risk of being condemned by influential persons advocated for separation of state and church, demonstrating the priority of his personal principles above social, economic, and political interest. He guaranteed that no church would ever become an official state religion (Ellis 1997). Nonetheless, he used to refer to God in the...

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