Thomas Jefferson viewed his election as a revolution in the
Transcript Thomas Jefferson viewed his election as a revolution in the
The Age of Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson viewed his election as a
revolution in the principles of government.
• Federalists held expensive public displays to gain respect for
the government. Jefferson ended these as aristocratic
threats to the republic.
• Where the Federalists discouraged
public criticism, Jefferson invited
debate and discussion.
• Thought human beings basically selfish. “Lions and
tigers are mere lambs compared with men”
• Thought people needed free choice or civilization
would grind to a halt.
$80 to $57 million
In office, Jefferson reduced the national debt, the
government bureaucracy, and
the size of the military. He also
cut unpopular taxes on land
He benefited from
increased revenues from
foreign trade and the sale
of western lands.
TJ and Marshall cousins. TJ disliked judges though.
• A last-minute appointee,
“midnight judge”, Marshall
eventually served 35 years
and participated in over a
thousand court decisions.
John Marshall became
Chief Justice of the
• Marshall wrote over half of
those decisions himself,
more than any other
Supreme Court Justice.
principles to his
The Court’s role is to determine if
acts of Congress or the President are
constitutional, a concept known as
Federal laws are superior to state
The Constitution is to be interpreted
broadly based on the government’s
Contracts should be
strictly enforced. So state govn’ts
couldn’t interfere with business
Marshall established judicial review in Marbury v.
• In 1801, outgoing President John Adams appointed William Marbury
(Federalist) to be a judge.
• Incoming Secretary of State James Madison (Democratic Republican)
refused to give Marbury his appointment, so Marbury sued under
“writ of mandamus”.
• If Marshall refused mandamus, everyone would know he dared not
stand up to Jefferson while prestige of court suffered.
• If writ issued he would place the Court in direct conflict with the
• Marshall ruled against Marbury stating that the Judiciary Act of 1789
Marshall’s ruling was a stroke of genius that gave the
court more power which was a Federalist goal and
gave the Democratic Republicans what they wanted
by denying Marbury his appointment
Because Madison and the Democratic Republicans
won the case, he could not appeal even though
Marbury should have won.
Marshall’s decision set the precedent
Supreme Court is the institution
that determines the
constitutionality of laws
• Why did Americans want to expand US
• Population was doubling every 25 years and
there was also a need for more farmland
• Why did Jefferson want to buy Louisiana?
• Avoid war with France over control of New
Orleans and to expand US territory
• Why might historians say that the Louisiana
Purchase was possible only because of good luck?
• Jefferson had been preparing for war with Spain,
but France’s acquisition of the Louisiana Territory
and the rebellion of slaves in Haiti led France to
agree to sell the land for very little money
• Why might Jefferson have been willing to
abandon strict constructionist principles in order
to buy the Louisiana Territory?
• He saw the chance to double the size of the
country, gain control of New Orleans port, and
remove a foreign power from North America, and
this opportunity was too great for him to refuse
In 1803, Jefferson doubled the area of the United States by
purchasing the Louisiana Territory.
• Jefferson saw farm ownership as an ideal
that freed citizens from a landlord or
• He wanted to expand the U.S. westward so
more Americans could be free farmers.
• But, French Emperor Napoleon owned Louisiana and threatened to
forbid American farmers from using the port of New Orleans since
wanted to use as breadbasket for sugar growth.
Jefferson asked to buy New Orleans. To
his surprise, Napoleon offered to sell the
entire Louisiana Territory.
• Jefferson decided to
• The deal was too good
contradict his “strict
to pass up!
(The power to purchase The Louisiana
foreign territory is not
specifically granted by
828,000 square miles
and doubled the U.S.
for only $15 million.
Jefferson sent a “Corps of Discovery” led by
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to
explore the territory.
The corps was tasked with
learning about the climate,
plants, seeds, animals, and
The Lewis and Clark
Expedition was aided by
Sacajawea, a Shoshone
Lewis and Clark
• In 1805, the Barbary state of
Tripoli raised their price for
“protection” against pirates.
• Jefferson refused to pay, sending
his small navy instead. They
defeated the pirates.
• This Barbary War was America’s
first overseas victory.
also led to
The British Navy began
stopping American ships
and confiscating their
To meet a shortage of
sailors, they also began to
force or “press” American
sailors to serve in the
British Navy, a practice
Congress for an
embargo, hoping a
loss of American
goods would change
The embargo failed to
hurt Britain, but
and farmers suffered
loss of profits.
Despite the failure of the embargo, the U.S. expanded
westward, grew economically,
and reduced its debt.