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The Problem With Thomas Jefferson Essay

796 words - 4 pages

As Christopher Hitchens said,“We make no saint of Thomas Jefferson—we leave the mindless business of canonization and the worship of humans to the fanatics—but aware as we are of his many crimes and contradictions we say with confidence that his memory and example will endure long after the moral pygmies who try to blot out his name have been forgotten.” Jefferson was a great politician, and “beacon of liberty” for the early Americans, but he was also flawed. Sure he’s well known for the aspiring Declaration of Independence, but these flaws, also led him make some choices, that would leave a mark on his impressionable record, and lead to the problems with his presidency.
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Thomas Jefferson thought that through the Indian Removal, the Native Americans could be removed without causing chaos, but when it didn’t work he got angry and suggested extermination instead, making him a hot headed and impulsive president.
In spite of the fact that Thomas Jefferson was considered to be a “beacon of liberty” by many people, as President he ran an embargo against all US foreign trade in 1807 and then instituted martial law to enforce the embargo. By 1808, people were starving due to the embargo and it had caused an 80% decrease in exports and a high amount of unemployment soon followed. The attempt to stop all smuggling of exports and imports became so insistent that people were unconstitutionally searched, arrested, and imprisoned without any arrest warrants. Jefferson was obsessed over this embargo, even though it was so awful people were literally starving and losing their Constitutional rights solely because of a government policy.
Many people assume that Thomas Jefferson was a good president because they confuse his actions as a patriot and a founding father with his Presidential legacy. What this argument fails to consider is that although Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant man and eminent patriot, he wasn't a great president. He implemented an Embargo that was unconstitutional and caused many to starve and suggested the creation of an Indian Removal that was...

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