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Thomas Jefferson's Decisions and Their Historical Significance

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Thomas Jefferson wanted to reduce the size of the government, lower taxes, make the military smaller, and make an agriculturally independent society. He opposed the industrial sight of the English style. He cut taxes and the budget. He thought that this would help the economy to let the citizens be free and peaceful. He also reduced the military. By reducing the military problems arose because Britain seized American ships, the soldiers, and the cargo. The military needed to be expanded for protection instead of being reduced.

To make an agriculturally independent society Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase. This was a problem since the constitution did not address presidents buying land for the country. It was considered unconstitutional. Federalists complained that he gave money that they hardly had to land that at that time they did not need. Thomas Jefferson thought it was a good deal so all white men could have land and their farms and be self-sufficient. Jefferson contacted France and wanted to buy New Orleans. This is where all of his western citizens took their goods to be shipped out. So Napoleon decided to sell him a deal of all the land that he had acquired. Napoleon was upset with the rebellion in Haiti and the yellow fever outbreak and it stripped his ability to control Haiti. He sold the Louisiana Purchase to America for $15 million. Jefferson believed that the Constitution had to be abided by, however he also wanted to ensure that all white man had land. He had to weigh what was more important at the time. So he decided to take power he did not have and purchase the land for what he believed was for the good of the people. He felt that he was obligated to do what he had to do for the good of the nation because he was ultimately responsible for the people. “Jefferson felt he should be able to “throw himself on the justice of his country.”

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Thomas Jefferson imposed the Embargo to punish Britain for the impressment of American sailors and the taking of their goods. Britain took American soldiers and forced them to fight for the British navy. Britain’s blockade of France posed problems with America’s economy. So to fix this problem, Jefferson thought that stopping our trade would cause Britain to stop seizing American goods and would stop Britain's blockade with France. This did not happen the way Jefferson wanted it to. Britain was too busy fighting with France to see what was happening. America’s economy dropped 80% because of it. With the ports closed Americans chose to smuggle their goods out of the country. The Embargo limited the American government and was a complete failure. Jefferson decided that he had no choice but to expand governmental powers.

Some called him a “tyrant” and some said that he wasn’t acting in the interest of the people that he swore he served.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Decisions and Their Historical Significance. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Thomas Jefferson’s Decisions and Their Historical Significance.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
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