The Significance of Jefferson's Presidency (1801-1809)
  1. Timeline of Jefferson's Presidency
  2. Jefferson's First Inaugural Address
  3. Barbary Wars
  4. Louisiana Purchase
  5. Lewis and Clark Expedition
  6. Jefferson's Second Inaugural Address
  7. Embargo Act of 1807
  8. Non-Intercourse Act of 1809
Timeline of Jefferson's PresidencyTop
Historical Context
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, served his term from 1801-1809. He was the first President to be inaugurated in Washington D.C., after the capital was moved from Philadelphia in 1800. During his presidency he oversaw one of the largest west ward land expansions, the Louisiana Purchase, one of Americas first Naval battles, the Barbary Wars, and the Embargo Act of 1807.

Attached Documents
The image is a portrait of President Jefferson.

Questions to Consider
1. How closely does this timeline coincide with the goals he outlines in this inaugural addresses?
2. How closely does this timeline coincide with the goals he outlines in his annual addresses to the Senate and House of Representatives?
     Thomas Jefferson.jpg
     Timeline of Thomas Jeffersons Presidency.rtf  
     1st Annual Message.rtf  
     3rd Annual Message.rtf  
     5th Annual Message.rtf  
Link to the complete timeline of Jeffersons Presidency:
Link to the complete text of Jefferson's first annual message to Congress:
Link to the complete text of Jefferson's third annual message to Congress:
Link to the complete text of Jefferson's fifth annual message to Congress:
Jefferson's First Inaugural AddressTop
Attached Documents
Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address was the first one to be delivered in the new capital city. The tied election of 1800 gave Jefferson a chance to sound off about the kind of President he wanted to be and how he interprets the Constitution. At this time Jefferson believed that the government was becoming to big and powerful. He believed that states as well as individuals had certain rights; and that those rights should be protected.

Questions to Consider
1. What does Jefferson deem the essential principles of government?
2. Jefferson refers to the Constitution several times in his address. What does this suggest about the way he will interpret it when making decisions?
     Jefferson 1st Inaugural Address.rtf  
Link to the complete text of Jefferson's first Inaugural Address:
Barbary WarsTop
Historical Context
For more than 200 years, Pirate ships and crews from Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers (the Barbary Coast) were ravaging ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The Pirates would board private merchant ships, raid them, and take the crew hostage. The crews would be held hostage until their country would pay ransom for their release. As this became more frequent countries found it easier to make treaties and pay tributes to the pirate states. America was protected from the pirates, under the treaties and tributes paid by Great Britain, until they gained their independence. Upon taking office President Jefferson was faced with the pasha of Tripoli demanding a large tribute. When Jefferson refused to pay the tribute, the pasha of Tripoli declared war on America. America and Tripoli were engaged in this war for four years.

Attached Documents
The first two images are a maps of Tripoli at the time of Barbary Wars.
The third image shows American naval movements in the war.

Questions to Consider
1. President Jefferson had two options when he took office, he could pay the tribute demanded by Tripoli or he could ignore the demands of the pasha and not pay the tribute. What do you think would have happened if President Jefferson had paid the tribute?
2. Commodore Richard Dale, the leader of the first fleet of ships to the Barbary Coast, neglected to take matters regarding the shift to war into his own hands. Had he done so, would the outcome of the war been different? Would the length of the war been shortened significantly if he had taken action?
     America and Barbary Pirates.rtf  
     Barbary Wars.rtf  
     Map of Tripoli.jpg
     Map of Tripoli 2.jpg
     Barbary Wars Map.jpg
Link to original black and white map of Tripoli
Link to original color map of Tripoli
Link to original map of Naval Vessels during the Barbary Wars
Louisiana PurchaseTop
Historical Context
On April 30, 1803 Robert Livingston and James Monroe signed the Louisiana Purchase in Paris. Paving the way for westward expansion, the Louisiana Purchase added 828,000 square miles of land to the United States. This purchase, however, was a controversial one. Questions were raised over whether or not the Constitution even allowed for such a purchase. Further complicating the matter was the question about what would happen to the current inhabitants of the land. No one knew for sure if the Constitution allowed for the inhabitants to become citizens.

Questions to Consider
1. Was it Constitutional for Jefferson to authorize the Louisiana Purchase?
2. What provisions, if any, does the Constitution lay out for making the inhabitants of the Louisiana territory citizens?
     Louisiana Purchase Treaty.jpg
     The Louisiana Purchase Treaty Text.rtf  
     Jefferson Letter on Louisiana Purchase.rtf  
     Authority Given to the President to Take Possession of the Louisiana Territory.rtf  
     Map of Louisiana Purchase 2.jpg
     Map of Louisiana Purchase 3.jpg
Link to original maps
Link to original treaty
Link to the complete text of the Treaty of the Louisiana Purchase:
Link to the complete text of the Jefferson's Letter to John Breckenridge regarding the Louisiana Purchase:
Link to the complete Act allowing the President to take possession of the Louisiana Territory:
Lewis and Clark ExpeditionTop
Historical Context
After the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, Jefferson begins the exploration of the territory. His main goal was to find a water route that linked the Columbia and Missouri Rivers. In a secret letter to Congress, Jefferson asked for funding to carry out this expedition.

Attached Documents
The text of this letter can be found below the picture of the actual letter.

The map below is of the path that Lewis and Clark took on their journey.

The first image is of Jefferson's secret message to Congress regarding the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The second image is a map of the track taken by Lewis and Clark.

Questions to Consider
1. Why does Jefferson feel western exploration is important?
2. Why does he choose Meriwether Lewis to lead this expedition?
     Journal Entry by Meriwether Lewis.rtf  
     Jeffersons Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis and Clark Expedition.jpg
     Transcript Jeffersons Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis and Clark Expedition.rtf  
     Thomas Jeffersons Instructions to Captain Lewis.rtf  
     Map of Louis and Clark Track.jpg
Journal entry of Lewis:
Link to complete text of Jefferson's secret message to Congress:
Link to the complete text of Jefferson's letter to Captian Lewis:
Link to original of Louis and Clark Track Map:
Link to original of Jefferson's secret message to Congress regarding the Lewis and Clark Expedition:
Jefferson's Second Inaugural AddressTop
Attached Documents
In his second address Jefferson outlines his goals related to domestic and foreign affairs. He also stresses the importance of American neutrality in foreign affairs.

Questions to Consider
1. What are Jefferson's domestic goals at the time of his second inaugural address?
2. How does Jefferson plan to keep America neutral at the time of his second address?
     Thomas Jefferson Second Inaugural Address.rtf  
Link to the complete text of Jefferson's Second Inaugural Address:
Embargo Act of 1807Top
Historical Context
Relentless in his pursuit of American neutrality in a world at war, Jefferson found his second term to be consumed with this goal. In 1803, with the renewal of the Napoleonic wars between France and Great Britain, the United States found themselves once again trapped between the two nations.

Attached Documents
Wanting to remain neutral in the commerce battle between France and Britain, Jefferson proposed the Embargo Act. In the end the Embargo Act turned out to be a huge failure. The Act had such a negative impact on the economy that the nation was nearly forced into a deep depression.

Questions to Consider
1. Overall the Embargo Act was seen as a failure. Do you agree with this? If not, in what ways was it successful?
     Embargo Act 1807 Text.rtf  
     Embargo Act Why It Happened.rtf  
Link to the complete text of the Embargo Act:
Non-Intercourse Act of 1809Top
Attached Documents
In an attempt to rectify his prior mistakes, the Non-Importation and Embargo Acts, President Jefferson proposed the Non-Intercourse Act in 1809. This Act, however, did very little to ease the strains on the economy or the people.

Questions to Consider
1. How did the Embargo and Non-Intercourse Acts affect the economy of the United States?
     Non Intercourse Act 1809.rtf  
Non-Intercourse Act:
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