Thomas Jefferson | The Man Behind the Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceAs president, Thomas Jefferson’s stand-out achievements reflected his courage to imagine America as a great country that would play a positive role on the world stage. Just as his writing in the Declaration of Independence inspired a belief that a nation built on liberty and equality would succeed, Jefferson’s drive to expand the nation’s borders bolstered a belief in a bright future for America. Jefferson oversaw the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, doubling the size of the country. In 1804, he directed the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the West. Thomas Jefferson is regarded as the Father of the American West even though he himself never traveled more than a few miles west of his beloved Monticello home.

Other Thomas Jefferson achievements include the formation of the military academy known today as West Point, the ability of the Supreme Court to declare laws passed by Congress unconstitutional and the banning of slave importation from Africa. He was the first president to demonstrate that the transfer of power between parties could be conducted without chaos or revolution. Yet it is his vision of a country where liberty and equality prevail that is his greatest legacy.

Thomas Jefferson alongside George WashigntonAbraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt is one of four men sculpted into Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota.

What inspires me when I look back on Thomas Jefferson’s life is that the path he chose to follow was not necessarily the easy one, but the one that he knew was paved with beliefs and morals he held close to his heart. He believed in liberty for all equally and freedom to love his God.  He believed the citizens came first and the government is there to protect the people. When we think of our freedom’s it is important to remember that this Fearless Man, Thomas Jefferson, was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence that detailed why they were breaking away from Great Britain. At that time this was considered treason and punishable by death. Thomas Jefferson stood his ground, and we are better for it.

1st Photo by Chadh

2nd Photo by DrewMyers

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About John

Passionate. Life Learner. Thinker. Christ Follower. Investor. Conversationalist. Army Veteran. Dog Lover. Corporate Colleague. Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs fan. Follow me on Twitter.

Comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoy getting history lessons from you guys. It’s extremely difficult to imagine the courage it took for all of our founding fathers to lead our country into war and fight for our independence. I’m not sure we’d all have the same courage today…

    • Thanks Jason! I thoroughly enjoy writing them. I think we all easily forget about these heroes even though they were engrained in us as kids. It’s similar to how we forget our freedoms and how good we have it compared to many 3rd world countries.

  2. John,

    Another informative and inspiring article.

    I have to agree with Jason, it’s rather easy to view the heroic actions of our founding fathers from a distance and perhaps think “anyone would have done the same.” But, in the time they lived, they had to make decisions that would put their head on the chopping block if they were caught.

    • Thanks Terry! I don’t know what I’d do living back then and being in their shoes. Even though I was in the Army I never really faced any life or death decisions like that. Our founding fathers put aside their own concerns and went with what was best for the nation. Personal courage and selfless service.

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