The election of 1800 was a tight race and a tie broken by the House of Representatives, led to the election of Thomas Jefferson as the third president of the United States. Thomas Jefferson was in office as president for two terms, serving from 1801-1809. As a whole, Thomas Jefferson had a very positive presidency even though there were a few setbacks throughout. There were many significant events that happened during these eight years and the most well known would be: the Louisiana Purchase, the undeclared Barbary War, and the trade acts imposed due to problems with France and Britain .
All great things must come to an end and Jefferson was succeeded by John Adams. America is a superpower and Thomas Jefferson was a great impact to all that as been accomplished as a nation. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803, was the greatest accomplishment of Jefferson in his presidency. The French under Napoleon had a great deal of economic problems already and maintaining the land in the west was a lot to handle so they sold it to the United States. In addition, France was fighting Britain and they needed more money and they wanted to only sell New Orleans at first, but ended up selling the whole territory (Henretta).
At the time they sold this territory for 15 million dollars which ended up being about two cents an acre(Holmes). This purchase was very positive because this territory doubled the United States territory and this was great for them in order with westward expansion and exploration of the west. This expansion led to Lewis and Clark to explore the new lands. They were sent to experience the plants, animals, geography, and to learn how this region could be exploited economically. Without Jefferson in power, this expedition that they set out on may not have been accomplished and the United States may have not been so advanced at this time.
At the time of the purchase, buying it was deemed unconstitutional but Thomas Jefferson went through with it anyway. The purpose at the time was to get French out of this region all together to protect our trade on the port of New Orleans. Also, it was to protect the free passage along the Mississippi River. Not only was this one of the greatest accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency, but may have been one of the greatest events in America’s history. During Thomas Jefferson’s presidency another event that is very significant would be the undeclared Barbary Wars.
During this time, a reason this is so remembered, Jefferson was spending a lot of the country’s money. The Barbary States were off of North Africa and leading up to this undeclared war, they were seizing the international ships and holding the crews hostage for ransom money. At the time, he wanted to avoid all out war which would increase taxes and national debt which at this point he was very right (Henretta). This was particularly dangerous for the country because at the time there was not a strong navy.
Merchants were in danger every time they went out on the water. As a nation, the United States defeated the Barbary States and that led to not paying the Barbary people money. These tensions may have been negative during the time, but as we look back on history, Jefferson did the right thing for the country and him defeating these pirates really reflects on his presidency being very positive for the United States. Lastly, major trade problems with Britain and France and relationships were very important to Jefferson’s presidency.
With all of these problems many acts were passed in order to relive the tension. The United States wanted to be neutral during problems between Britain and France, but somehow always ended up right in the middle. One of the first acts that was imposed was the Nonintercourse Act(1806), and that halted importation of British products. This did little to no harm to the British so in 1809 trade with Britain was reopened. Another act that was imposed on America was the Embargo Act which prohibited all trade and this really hurt New England the most.
This hurt New Englanders so much that it caused many of them to side with Pinckney in the 1808 election. Even though some may have sided, John Adams won the election and succeeded Thomas Jefferson. This was a rough patch to his presidency, but despite the few foreign affairs he did a great job with dealing with France and Britain during these times. Thomas Jefferson was one of the very first presidents of the United States and his presidency is one of many that have made America the super power that it is.
Each president that lasts the full two terms must have been liked by many to stay in the office for eight years so he definitely did something right. Jefferson purchased territory that nearly doubled America’s size, defeated the Barbary pirates in “undeclared war”, and although there were many foreign affairs during this time he handled them very well. He is one that is remembered and will continue to be remembered through time for all of the positive things he accomplished. Thomas Jefferson had a very positive presidency and in eight years did a lot for Americans and has been apart of shaping the nation.
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