Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address

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Jake Blaszak
10-31-12
History 1301
“Hope and Heritage: Myth and Thomas Jefferson” by Gordon S. Wood “Thomas Jefferson: First Inaugural Address, 1801” by Thomas Jefferson
Gordon S. Wood wrote that Thomas Jefferson was a very important figure in the development of what we know today to be the United States of America. But, he was also hypocritical in the things he proposed.

On March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson gave his inaugural address to become the third president of the United States. In his address, he says that the minority should have equal rights, which the law protects by the Constitution and any violation of these rights would be oppression. They have been all called different names, but all have the same principles. “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.” He believes many distrust the Republican Party because they think it is too weak and will not be able to withstand the country, but Jefferson believes the contrary: The Republican party is the strongest government on Earth. A good government is one who restrains men from injuring one another, leaves men free to regulate their pursuits of industry and improvement, and does not take from those who earn what they have.

Gordon S. Wood said that Thomas Jefferson was a symbol of what we as a people are. “No figure in our past has embodied so much of our heritage and so many of our hopes.” But, he was also a hypocrite. He said in his inaugural address that minorities should be protected by the law and treated as equals when he himself had many slaves. He even had one of his slaves as a mistress to whom he fathered many children.

Thomas Jefferson had good intentions to unify the country, but he decided he did not have to follow his own words. He believes he was always correct and knew what would be best for the United States. Wood suggests that he was unoriginal and a hypocrite.
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