Jefferson DBQ

Topics: U.S. state, President of the United States, United States Pages: 3 (812 words) Published: February 1, 2015
Noah Miller
DBQ #2

Many historians regard Thomas Jefferson as one of the most influential men of the post-revolutionary period. Jefferson is perhaps most well known for his ideas regarding the new American governmental system. Many supporters backed Jefferson in his ideals and opinions regarding the central government during his delegate years, and even into his presidency. In 1796, Jefferson became the President of the U.S. Some believe that Thomas Jefferson was a hypocrite in that his ideals changed after being elected President. After being elected to the White House in 1796, Thomas Jefferson was able to maintain his earlier philosophy on government by upholding his beliefs on taxation power, states’ rights and, on the contrary, foreign affairs.

Thomas Jefferson hated the excise tax. He believed it gave too much power to the central government, and left the states with little say. Jefferson could be compared to a “Republican” of today, or one that follows a strict interpretation of the government. This strict interpretation meant that the central government was not around to babysit the people, but rather to handle nationwide affairs while state government performs most of the work. This strict reading of the constitution led to a hatred for the Excise tax, which allotted too much power to the central government in controlling economic affairs. As Jefferson himself put it, “ he excise law is an infernal one.”

Jefferson goes on to explain that a loose interpretation of the constitution can only lead to a breaking apart of the Union because of the disparity it will cause. Jefferson explains that by allowing the excise tax, and furthermore by allowing it to pass through congress lawfully will eventual break up the union by setting the states afloat in a varying sea of interpretive opinions.

Jefferson not only argued for these principles before his presidency, but after his election as well. One of the first orders of business for the new president...
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