The Political & Philosophical Beliefs Of Thomas Jefferson

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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As a writer, I feel obligated to inform the people not only of the great historical events, but also of the people who are instrumental in the events. This paper is devoted to the exploits of one of the heroes of the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson. It will cover the political and philosophical ideas that influenced him, and his contributions to the war effort, such as the Declaration of Independence and A Summary View of the Rights of British America.

During the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson was a political radical, and after he was a leader of one of the newly forming political parties, the Democratic Republicans. In his early political career, Jefferson's political ideas were influenced his uncle, Peyton Randolph, the most powerful figure in legislature, and Edmund Pendleton. He became their protégé when he took a seat in the House of Burgesses in 1769. From his earliest days in the House he opposed all forms of parliamentary taxation and supported nonimportation resolutions against British trade resolutions.

He was an advocate of actual representation, rather than virtual representation. In 1774 Jefferson wrote an extremely radical pamphlet, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which stated that British parliament had no right to exercise authority over the colonies. This pamphlet gave Thomas Jefferson the reputation of a political radical and played a significant role in his selection as a member of the Virginian delegation to Philadelphia. One point of the Summary View that went unnoticed at the time gives great insight into Jefferson's philosophical views. One long paragraph of the pamphlet dealt with an elaborate and largely mythological version of English history. In the paragraph, Jefferson traced the origin of such power abuses back to the Norman Era. "This was the origin of what Jefferson called "˜the...



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