Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, the third U.S. president, and was an important figure in the early development of America. In 1775, Jefferson was selected as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. He was asked to draft the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration explained why the 13 colonies wanted to be free of British rule and included why they should be independent and it was adopted on July 4, 1776. Jefferson ran against John Adams in the presidential election of 1800 and won. The night before Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration, John Adams was signing in the appointment of the new judges at midnight. These judges became known as the Midnight Judges. Marbury v. Madison was the first U.S. Supreme Court case to apply the principle of judicial review, which was the power of federal courts to void acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution. Marbury v. Madison was written in 1803 by Chief Justice John Marshall, the decision played a key role in making the Supreme Court a separate branch of government that agreed with Congress and the executive.
In the election of 1800, the Democratic-Republican party of Thomas Jefferson defeated the Federalist party of John Adams, creating political panic for the Federalists. Towards the end of his presidency, John Adams appointed justices of peace for the District of Columbia whose commissions were approved by the Senate, signed by the president, and agreeing with the official seal of the government. The commissions were not delivered, however, and when President Jefferson took office March 5, 1801, he ordered James Madison, his Secretary of State, not to deliver them. William Marbury, one of the appointees, then petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus,which is a legal order, forcing Madison to show why he should not receive his commission. Thomas Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory was one of the most significant achievements of his presidency. Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million in 1803. This purchase doubled the size of the United States. Jefferson then instituted the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He ordered Meriwether Lewis and WIlliam Clark to explore the unknown lands and the area up to the Pacific Ocean. The expedition lasted from 1804 to 1806 and provided important information about the geography, tribes, and animal and plant life of the western continent. In 1804, Jefferson ran for re-election and won. During his second term, Jefferson focused on trying to keep America out of Europe’s Napoleonic Wars. Great Britain and France, who were at war, both began harassing American merchant ships. Jefferson institute the Embargo Act of 1807. The act closed United States ports to foreign trade.
This act was opposed by many Americans and hurt the U.S. economy. It was repealed in 1809. Afterwards, the president tried to maintain neutrality with Great Britain, but was unsuccessful and the United States ended up going to war against Great Britain in 1812. Jefferson chose not to run for a third term after his second term was up. In conclusion, Jefferson was a successful president, who had good intentions for the United States as a country and put forth an extreme amount of effort to keep it in a great state of being. Citations: History.com, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/thomas-jefferson. Marbury v. Madison Establishes Judicial Review. History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/marbury-v-madison-establishes-judicial-review.
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