Skip to comments.HOW GREAT a Man Was Thomas Jefferson...?
Posted on 07/11/2012 6:49:39 AM PDT by Reaganite Republican
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You forgot some items:
Father of the Library of Congress
Kicker of Muslim ass
Was he perfect? Far from it, as with all men he was flawed, but he was a giant who moved and lived with other giants of the time. We are blessed as a country that when we needed them the giants were ours.
So many of the lessons of failure they knew then we practice today.
Thanks RR. What we have today is everything this great genius warned against. Way to go lefties!
How great? Lived WAY beyond his means, constantly in debt. Died without freeing any of his slaves. Amazing? Yes. Great? Not so much.
One of my heros. Thanks!
His Nephew was the father.
As much as blacks hate the founders it amazes me how they want to be related to Thomas Jefferson
One of my favorites: he taught himself Spanish so he could read Maciavelli in its native language-—or so I read. He also launched the first “
War on Terror” with only a joint resolution and said “those who aren’t with us are with the Bey of Tripoli,” or words to that effect.
And yet the lefties claim him as one of their own!
No doubt he was a genius and one of the great founders but there are some warts that go along with him.
While he was part of the genius behind the Declaration, he was purposely kept as ambassador to France, keeping him and his egalitarian, democratic ideas away from the creation of our Constitution and Republic.
“At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington” and as SoS he and his supporters did everything possible to undermine the Washington administration. They even secretly bought a newspaper through which they channeled vindictive propaganda pieces excoriating Washington’s policies and the man personally.
Following that approach to his political rivals “At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of the Democratic-Republican Party”, a party that while it had the name Republican in it was in no way shape or form Republican in thought or action. The Democratic-Republican party was later rechartered as the Democrat Party of the United States; that traitorous entity that has done so much over the years to undermine our constitutional republic.
He was a genius and overall a patriot, but his actions in some cases were not in keeping with the tenents of our Constitution with which he did not agree and was probably frustrated with because he had no real part in the formulation.
Had he lived 50 years later instead of hero, he would have been labeled a dirty rebel an evil slave holding secesionist by the Free Republic Neo Unionist Society i.e. Lincoln Coven. THe hypocrisy of history.
I will say this: he was a better president than one might have expected.
THe Louisianna Purchase was probably unconstitutional. Nobody objected at the time.
It probably was and there was objection after the fact; primarily I think because it was done on the sly and involving a large sum of money during a time that we didn’t have all that much in our treasury. It didn’t take too long for most to realize that it was the right thing to do and that the financial rewards to the nation and commerce far outweighed the points of dissent.
It was clearly unconstitutional and Jefferson admitted it, but he did it anyway.
If the No Penalty Robert’s court were to rule on the Louisianna Purchase it would be found Constitutional, no doubt.
As RJS1950 points out, there wasn’t much in the way of organized objection to the purchase so it likely wouldn’t have been as politically charged an issue before the court. But generally speaking I agree that roberts would have found a way to screw the pooch.
As vice president to Adams...undermined Adams too. John Adams is my guy.
Actually, he learned Spanish to read Cervantes' Quixote in the original. Machiavelli wrote in Italian.
A good summary of some of the problematic issues of an otherwise great man. I remember reading a comment that David McCullough made after his biography of Adams was published. He said that he had started out to do a joint biography of Adams and Jefferson but after a few months he realized that Adams was the “essential” man and that Jefferson was integral but mush more peripheral.
I liked Conor Cruise O’Brien’s study of Jefferson’s problematic side “The Long Affair” as well as the other biographies I read on him.
In reading O’Brien, people must understand that he is an earlier version of Chris Hitchens — his bio of Bruke was his turning point like Hitchens had with Clinton.
He was born the same year as my father and passed away at 91 the same year as my dad — he lived a long enough life to be two or threee different people.
Indeed. Adams was an incredible man...it was he who argued for Washington to be CiC at the convention in Philadelphia. He was a rare statesman who could see the other person’s point of view; a rare specimen. And surprisingly, a worse president than expected (Alien and Sedition Acts a bitter disappointment).
Good catch. See, you can’t believe every thing you hear.
Another very good book that puts Jefferson, Adams and the first ten presidents into context is “The First Ten” by Alfred Steinberg. It has some very interesting anecdotes about the people and the times that are hard to find in other works on the presidents and their time in history. I have reread it several times over the last 30 years.
The book is now out of print but I just ordered a copy through Amazon for about $8 total. I could no longer find it at the local libraries.
At least Thomas J,, that amazing man, didn’t have any Nazi fantasies!
As some have already mentioned, Jefferson was not the sole author of the Declaration but did produce the first draft. The rest of the Committee of Five consisted of John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert Livingston. If that was a poker hand, you'd stand pat.
I have to laugh at people stating Jefferson was not a great man.
The standard is not perfection.
His greatness was in his ideas and what he contributed to the New Republic.
Great, by any measure.
While serving in Congress he proposed ideas for the western territories which were adopted with modifications in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. One of them was to prohibit slavery after a certain date. In the Northwest Ordinance that was applied only to the region north of the Ohio River--but the territories south of the Ohio were still claimed by Virginia, North Carolina, or Georgia at that time. (I don't remember if South Carolina had already surrendered its claim to a narrow strip of land extending to the Mississippi.)
I am glad you brought this up because despite the fact his personal life and finances were in shambles, he handled the finances of the nation very well.
Just like many of our heroes, he was not perfect.
I think then we as conservatives must always be careful to avoid the character assassinations of our enemies. While it is tempting to point out that Karl Marx was a moocher and lived off the work of others, we should stick to discussing his IDEAS, else our heroes be taken down by those same standards.
Where I fault Jefferson on the ideas front would be his love affair for the French. He failed to foresee that their revolution would fail in a tyranny of bloodletting. In the end though, his love for France and revulsion of the British was a good counter to the love in for the English we had in that tyrant, Alexander Hamilton.
My pleasure, sir
‘Just like many of our heroes, he was not perfect.’
Few great men are, Ole Blood-n-Guts comes to mind
In his talents and intellect he was far above today's politicians, but in some things he was very human, even small.
The Internet is chock full of outright fake Jefferson quotes, and even more real quotes taken out of context to distort their original meanings.
That includes several of those you listed here:
Fake: "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
This is a fake quote from 1986.
It does vaguely resemble an actual Jefferson quote:
Fake: "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
Actual quote in context:
If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.
Their finances are now under such a course of application as nothing could derange but war or federalism.
The gripe of the latter has shown itself as deadly as the jaws of the former."
Fake quote: "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government"
Incomplete quote: "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
The real quote: "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms within his own lands.
Fake quote: "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
A variation on that fake quote is also fake: "When governments fear the people, there is liberty.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
Misquote: "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
The correct quote is:
Ron Paul is a rare speciman of a modern statesman who traces his lineage to Jeffersonian Republicanism (e.g. Madison, Franklin, Henry, Tyler and their ilk). Other Republicans and Democrats are both descended from Hamiltonian Federalism (Adams, Lincoln, FDR), with the only distinctions being distinctions of emphasis on which of Hamilton’s ideals dominate their policy. Jefferson’s intervention against the Barbary pirates, and likewise Madison’s intervention against British interruption of American shipping (war of 1812) both occured for the same reason; Jeffersonian Republican’s believe in free trade, with no subsidies of production or services, no tariffs, and no interference from foreign powers, so a military response was a no brainer. Ron Paul, incidentally would also support a miliary response in similar situations in which our freedom to trade was threatned by miliary action (e.g. Iranian blockade of the Persian gulf, for example). Rand Paul is also of the same ilk, but can’t think of any other Republicans, alhough some libertarians are also basically of this ilk. Walter E. Williams is a self-declared Jeffersonian Republican as well.
In normal American English usage, the word "ilk" is always negative, as in: "you can't trust people of that ilk."
Yes, in the original Scottish, "ilk" referred to landed gentry, but we don't cotton much to those types here, FRiend. ;-)
LambSlave: "Other Republicans and Democrats are both descended from Hamiltonian Federalism (Adams, Lincoln, FDR)...
...Jeffersonian Republicans believe in free trade, with no subsidies of production or services, no tariffs, and no interference from foreign powers, so a military response was a no brainer."
Under President Washington average tariffs began at 15% (1792), were reduced to 8% (1795).
Under President Jefferson tariffs rose to 10%.
Under President Madison (1815) tariffs fell to 7%.
Under President Monroe (1820) tariffs rose to 20%, and
under John Quincy Adams to 22% before peaking
under President Jackson (1830) at 30%.
This triggered a near revolt, which brought tariffs back down to 14% by the end of Jackson's term, and to 13% under President van Buren (1840).
Until 1840, all presidents belonged to Jefferson's Democrat-Republican or Jackson's Democrat party.
From 1840 through 1860, tariffs went up (to 22% in 1845 under Democrat Polk) and down (to 15% in 1860 when Lincoln was elected).
Under President Franklin Roosevelt, tariffs began near the 19% of 1930, fell to 15% in 1935 and to 13% by 1940.
Since WWII, tariffs have been steadily reduced and today stand just over 1%, the lowest in history.
LambSlave: "Jeffersons intervention against the Barbary pirates, and likewise Madisons intervention against British interruption of American shipping (war of 1812) both occured for the same reason..."
This site lists every US military operation from 1775 through present.
Please note that every President, without exception, was involved in some foreign and/or domestic military operations.
Doubtless, all of them seemed necessary at the time.
Ooooops. Shoud read: from Jefferson in 1800 until...
It was a no brainer, but my point was Jefferson was not against foreign interventionism when the nation's security was at risk.
Jefferson was restricted by law from freeing his slaves. The reason why he died in debt is the law didn’t prevent him from paying his slaves a salary, which he did.
Machavelli was not Spanish. He was Italian, but wrote The Prince (De Principatibus) in Latin.
Jefferson did teach himself Arabic.
How was Jefferson restricted when Washington wasn’t? They both lived in Virginia, and Washington DID free his slaves.
Virginia changed the law after Washington freed his slaves. Jefferson raised the issue as governor every year, trying to change the law back, and could not get it passed.
A later version of the prince was written in Italian.
Yeah, I corrected that above. The bio I read said he taught himself Spanish. Can’t remember the book right now.