Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. He is known for having written the famous Declaration of Independence in 1776 in which the 13 British colonies declared independence from Britain and proclaimed the birth of the United States of America. Jefferson later served as the third President of the newly born USA.

Thomas Jefferson Early Life

Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743 in Virginia. Jefferson came from a wealthy landowning family.

His father died while he was still only 11, so Jefferson had to manage his father’s estate from an early age.

He attained proper education and eventually went to the college of William and Mary in Virginia. At college, Jefferson decided that he wanted to be a lawyer. He was eventually elected as a member of the Virginia legislature where he began his political career.

Role in American Revolution

Before 1775, Britain imposed many unfair taxes on the American colonies. The American colonies opposed these taxes and believed that only their own legislatures had the right to impose new taxes.

The difference between Britain and the colonies eventually resulted in the American revolutionary war. The war began in 1775 and the colonies elected a parliament of their own which was called the Continental Congress.

Jefferson was elected as a member of the Second Continental Congress which convened in 1776. It was here that the American colonies decided to write down an official declaration in which they would proclaim their independence. They selected five men to write a draft of this declaration. Thomas Jefferson was one of them.

Writing the Declaration of Independence

The Second Continental Congress selected five men to write the Declaration of Independence. These were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman.

The five members of the committee first discussed it and then Thomas Jefferson was the one who wrote it down. This document became one of the most important documents in the history of the United States of America.

In it, the 13 original colonies stated that they were free from Britain and were united among themselves to create a new nation.

Thomas Jefferson as President

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected as the third President of the United States of America. He accomplished many important things during his presidency.

The most important of these was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory which Jefferson bought from France for $15 million in 1803. This was a huge piece of land which almost doubled the size of USA at the time.

And this made it possible for America to expand into the west. Jefferson was also actively involved in the Lewis and Clark expedition. This expedition travelled west from America and reached the Pacific Ocean.

With the help of this expedition, Jefferson and the American government were able to better understand the land they had just purchased. Another important achievement of President Jefferson was that he lowered the taxes and sent the US navy to deal with pirates on the North African coast.