Thomas Jefferson Declaration of Independence
Early Life • Born April 13 (April 2 O.S.), 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia. • Parents: Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph • He was the third of 10 children; three died in infancy. • Because of his father´s wealth as a plantation owner, surveyor and slave owner, he had a good upbringing. • Her mother was descended from a wealthy english family, while his dad made himself a rich man • His family moved to Tuckahoe Plantation in Virginia so his father could run the plantation; they returned to Shadwell in 1752. • His father died in 1757, leaving him with a 5,000 acre land and close to 40 slaves.
Education • As a young man, he enjoyed reading; he maintained this passion for the rest of his life. • His first teachers where tutors he had in the Tuckahoe plantation and in Shadwell. • Studied with the Reverend James Maury for 2 years (1758-1760) • He was very interested about many subjects, including history, classical philosophy, science, architecture and nature studies. • Fluent in 4 languages: English, French, Latin and Greek • Enrolled at the College of William and Mary in 1760; he studied various subjects but focused in Law. • Studied under Dr. William Small and George Wythe; he graduated in 1762. • Admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1767. George Wythe William Small
Personal Life and Interests • Married Martha Wayles Skelton January 1st, 1772 (1742-1782) • Six Children: Martha, Jane, infant son, Mary, Lucy Elizabeth and Lucy Elizabeth (again) • Never remarried. • He hadtwofamousaffairs: • MariaCosway: Wife of anenglishpainter, he mether in Paris duringhis time as a diplomat. Theykeptcorrespondance (romantic in nature) until he died. • Sally Hemmings: A slave, shealsohappenedto be Martha´shalf-sister. DNA findings in 1998 concludedthat Jefferson fathered at leastsix of herchildren. • Jefferson was a philosopher, politician, diplomat, scientist, writer, inventor, botanist, musician, lawyer, political scientist, theologist, zoologist, artist and self-taught architect. Renaissance Man
Professional Career • Member of the Virginia House Of Burgesses 1769-1775 • DelegatetotheSecond Continental Congressfrom Virginia 1775 – 1776 • Member of the Virginia House of Delegates 1776-1779 • Governor of Virginia 1779-1781 • DelegatetotheCongress of theConfederation 1783-1784 • Ministerto France 1785-1789 • 1st US Secretary of State 1789-1791 • 2nd Vice-President of theUnitedStates 1797-1801 • 3rd President of theUnitedStates 1801-1809 • Founder of theDemocratic-Republican Party
Preludeto Independence • The people living in the colonies were sick of being treated differently from the people in Britain. • Colonists wanted the same rights regular British subjects had. • ¨No Taxation without Representation¨ • The Enlightment: New ideas about government and governance insipre the Founding Fathers, including Jefferson. • Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Quartering Acts, Townshend Acts, Tea Acts, and the Boston Massacre. • French and Indian War.
Drafting • Second Continental Congress- Richard Henry Lee (Virginia) proposes a resolution that calls for independence from Great Britain (June 7, 1776)} • It is decided that a declaration will be written to express reasons for Independence. Committee of Five • John Adams (Massachusetts), Roger Sherman (Connecticut), Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania), Robert R. Livingston (New York) and Thomas Jefferson (Virginia) (June 11) • Jefferson, at Adams´suggestion, doesmost of the actual writing in twoweeks. • Inspirations: John Locke(“there are just powers from the consent of the people” ), Rousseau, English Bill of Rights, Mason´s Virginia Declaration of Rights, Thomas Paine´s¨CommonSense¨. ClassicalGreekphilosophy. • Franklin and Adams Editit; presentedtothe Continental CongressonJuly 2; • DeclarationadoptedonJuly 4, signedAugust 2nd.
Passages and Analysis 1. When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 2. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. 3. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures 4. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us
5. For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: 6. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent 7. For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States 8. That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved
LaterLife and Death • Jefferson retiredto Monticello afterhisPresidency. • He reconciledwithhisgreatfriend and foe, John Adams, throughcorrespondence • FoundedtheUniversity of Virginia • Jefferson wasindebtedmost of hisadultlife, and consequentlydiedwithtons of debts. • Donatethousands of bookstothe Library of Congress. • DiedJuly 4, 1826, 50 yearstothedaytheDeclaration of Independence wasratified and thesameday as John Adams.
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