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Thomas Jefferson Essay

954 words - 4 pages

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson's ideals and beliefs were derived from a deep regard for life, liberty, and freedom. His concept of individual freedoms strongly disagreed with the notion of a "guided republic" which he believed concentrated a great deal unchecked power among a few people. This could have the potential of tyrannical government that might suppress personal freedoms of any kind especially those of religion, which Jefferson feels very strongly felt should be protected. After fighting hard to rid America of British domination, Jefferson was determined to create a government that was responsible to, and derived its powers from, a free people. As the writer of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Jefferson is thought by many to be the founder of the Democratic Party. He was foremost among the influential men who believed that laws should be made by those who are to obey them. Thomas Jefferson pushed hard to create a government that would serve and protect all its constituents.
A "guided republic" is a form of government where an essentially omnipotent council determines the legislation passed by the legislative body. Though the legislative and executive branches may be elected by the people, they supervising power is not and therefore has the ability to rule in any way they please. The council can, and often does, refuse the rights to freedom of press, speech, and religion. They may prevent bills that attempt to revive these powers and, in the same sense, may prohibit people from speaking about ideas that oppose those of the council. This governing group does not hesitate to use violent force to protect their power. At its worst, a "guided republic" is a tyrannical form of government, whose people are denied basic rights to life. The people in a "guided republic" are not the constituents but the subjects of their government.
Thomas Jefferson believed that all Americans should have the "freedom of language and sentiment…as derived from the laws of nature" . In his most famous document, the Declaration of Independence, he stated "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain [inherent and] inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" . Jefferson was a strong advocate of a bill of rights within the Constitution. In a letter to James Madison, he says that he "did not like…the omission of a bill of rights providing…for freedom of religion [and for] freedom of the press" . Jefferson was in favor of religious freedom because it did him "no injury for [his] neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god" . Jefferson wrote the Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom which essentially stated "that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of...

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