Thomas Jefferson, like William Howard Taft, was a conservative American President. He believed that if he were to be more forceful, by means of extending his presidential power by finding loop-holes around the Constitution, in running the executive branch, the presidency would become too much like an English monarchy. He also believed that the government should be defined by a more limited executive with significant governing power in the hands of a democratically-elected legislative branch rather than solely on the president; he believed in legislative supremacy and a decentralized government. A strong believer in the Constitution, he thought that the executive branch's main duty was to uphold this document and cater to the needs of the people and the republic. However, when he became President, a position that required him to be of a strong and popular standing, he continued on Adams' path to make the executive branch an essentially strong part of the government.
His domestic policy was one which advocated states' rights over national institutions. As president, he drastically cut the federal government, reducing spending in his administration as well as in the armed forces. His frugality allowed him to reduce the national debt more than 25 percent during his time in office despite paying 15 million for the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation's territory in 1803. Jefferson worried that the acquisition of foreign territory was not covered by the Constitution, and suspected that he was funding Napoleon's imperial ambitions, but ultimately decided that the opportunity was too good to pass up.
His foreign policy was one which changed over the years. Thomas Jefferson's ideals were that of a non-interventionist, meaning that he wanted to trade freely with countries and leave them alone as long as they left us alone. However, Britain and France were attacking our merchant ships so he made a bit of a rash decision and basically created a non-contact policy meaning we couldn't trade with any foreign country.
In the early part of his first term as president, Jefferson’s conservative notion was at its peak. He believed that whatever was written in the Constitution is what goes. To him, the Constitution was his only means of guidelines and therefore tried his best to follow it to the “T”. John Marshal once said, “Mr. Jefferson appears to me to be a man who will embody himself with the House of Representatives. By weakening the office of President he will increase his personal power.” He would always make sure that whatever he planned to do, the Constitution spelled it out for him or clearly granted him the authority to do so. If not, he would think of another outlet as to how to get his plan into action, while at the same time staying within the realms of his granted power. Jefferson had this view, primarily because of his firm loyalty to the United States, the drafting of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the admiration which...