Jefferson’s political career
Presidential inaugurations are important civic rituals in our nation’s political life. On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered the very first Inaugural Address, in the Senate chamber of Federal Hall in New York City. The address fulfilled Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S.
Constitution, which states that the President, shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. Washington’s address represented a milestone in the long and difficult process of implementing the Constitution, defining the roles of the three branches of government, and forging the political basis of a unified national identity. Washington was aware that as the nation’s first president, he was setting precedents by defining the role of an elected national leader for citizens and legislators who were wary of executive power. As the single most visible figure in the new government, Washington had to define what it meant to be a president rather than a king, while infusing the office of the presidency with dignity, symbolism, and ceremony that would be appropriate in a republic. The entire nation perused Washington’s every action, from his choice of clothing to his interactions with Congress. He was well aware of the importance of his actions.
I have no conception of a more delicate task, than that, which is imposed by the Constitution on the Executive,” he wrote, adding, “So necessary is it, at this crisis, to conciliate the good will of the People: and so impossible is it, in my judgment, to build the edifice of public happiness, but upon their affections. Equally important, Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration was held on March 4, 1801, in Washington D.C, the first time an inauguration was held in the city. Jefferson knew that one of his tasks was to heal a divided nation. The election of 1800 was a tie between John Adams and Aaron Burr. The constitution said that the election would be decided by the Hhouse of Rrepresentatives. Transitions of political power throughout history had typically, with rare exceptions, been accomplished by force, but Americans demonstrated in the election of 1800 that such transitions can be accomplished without resorting to violence. Despite the personal insults during the bitterly fought contest, the election ended with a sweeping but peaceful shift of political power from Federalists to Republicans. The event was so significant that Thomas Jefferson referred to it as the Revolution of 1800 ” a revolution, he would later write, not affected indeed by the sword, but by the rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people. In the aftermath of that election, Jefferson established the precedent of using the inaugural address to urge citizens to reunite as Americans on shared political principles.
Although both Inaugural Addresses were equally important, they had a few major distinctions. For one, the purpose of one was completely different than the other. The purpose of Washington’s address was to define the role of the President and to put in action the new government. Although not required by the constitution many presidents after him followed in his steps, giving inauguration addresses. To his inauguration he wore a suit, different from his usual military uniform and took a carriage to the site of the inauguration. Washington had one of the major roles in setting the premise of what were the duties of a President. This was no easy task because the people of Early America were afraid that the President would soon become exactly like what a King was in England. Therefore, Washington had to show the difference between a President and a King. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson had a different task to complete. Being elected during the famous election of 1800, he had the duty to urge parties to end the in-fighting amongst themselves and from that came his famous phrase, We are all federalists, and we are all republicans. Different from Washington and Adams, Jefferson didn’t wear formal clothes to his inauguration, instead he wore the clothes “of a plain citizen without any distinctive badge of office,” Additionally, instead of taking a carriage to the place of the inauguration he walked a short distance to the Capitol. His supporters praised his republican simplicity, while detractors maintained that his appearance was contrived and politically motivated.
In his inaugural address he stated that good government is necessary in order to have a strong country. Without good government the country won’t be able to reach its full potential, and would be held back by and constrained by an excess of unnecessary and ineffective laws. Therefore, government needs to abide by certain principles in order to properly serve the need of the people. He also believed that the country need cooperation between both political parties and the people, the exchange of ideas is necessary to reflect public good. Lastly, like every president he made an oath to uphold all the right given to men in the Constitution.
In conclusion, Jefferson contributed to many things that shape aspects of American everyday life. His political career was very successful and he was in many political position throughout his life. These included, Secretary of State, Vice President, and finally President of the United States. Having these positions madde him one of the most influential and experienced founders. Thomas Jefferson contributed greatly to the development of the United States but the single most important item was the Declaration of Independence. His believe that each generation has the chance to remake the country’s laws and constitutions was truly visionary. Moreover, Jefferson doubled the size of the United States by agreeing to buy Louisiana from Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France, for $15 million dollars. This is deal is widely known as the ?Louisiana Purchase’. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 doubled the size of the United States, gave the country complete control of the port of New Orleans, and provided territory for westward expansion. Also, the abolition of slave trade was done under Jefferson’s presidency, which meant that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States.a very Lastly, but equally important, Jefferson considered education a very important part of society. He wanted to establish a new institution free of church influences and where students could specialize in new areas not offered at other universities. In 1819, 76-year-old Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Overall, Thomas Jefferson came to be one of the most important men of America, by using his experience to make it better than before. Making him one of the most influential founders of the United States of America.
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Presidential inaugurations are important civic rituals in our nation’s political life. On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered the very first Inaugural Address, in the Senate chamber of Federal […]