We the People: Formative Documents of Americas Democracy

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We The People Formative Documents Of America's Democracy

Works of John Adams. Works of Thomas Jefferson. Works of James Madison. The Works of Thomas Paine.

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American Revolution Military Documents. Court Decisons U. Statutes U. Sections Reform Proposals Annotated Constitution. Constitutional Convention. Bill of Rights History. Ratifying Conventions. The Federalist Papers. Antifederalist Papers. Declaration of Independence.

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Rule of Law. Latin Maxims of Law. Robert's Rules. Constitutional Design. Constitutional Construction. Constitutional Action. Basic Principles. Founding and Founders. Rights, Powers and Unity and Federalism. Abuses and Usurpations. Each academic unit, called a pavilion, was designed with a two-story temple front, while the library "Rotunda" was modeled on the Roman Pantheon.

We, the People--: Formative Documents of America's Democracy by Adolph Caso...

Jefferson referred to the university's grounds as the " Academical Village ," and he reflected his educational ideas in its layout. The ten pavilions included classrooms and faculty residences; they formed a quadrangle and were connected by colonnades, behind which stood the students' rows of rooms. Gardens and vegetable plots were placed behind the pavilions and were surrounded by serpentine walls , affirming the importance of the agrarian lifestyle. When Jefferson died in , James Madison replaced him as rector.

Jefferson and John Adams had been good friends in the first decades of their political careers, serving together in the Continental Congress in the s and in Europe in the s. Jefferson, on the other hand, was angered at Adams for his appointment of "midnight judges". However, an exchange of letters resumed open hostilities between Adams and Jefferson. As early as , Benjamin Rush , signer of the Declaration of Independence, desired that Jefferson and Adams reconcile and began to prod the two through correspondence to re-establish contact.

Thus began what historian David McCullough calls "one of the most extraordinary correspondences in American history". In , at the age of 77, Jefferson began writing his autobiography, in order to "state some recollections of dates and facts concerning myself".

He related that his ancestors came from Wales to America in the early 17th century and settled in the western frontier of the Virginia colony, which influenced his zeal for individual and state rights. Jefferson described his father as uneducated, but with a "strong mind and sound judgement". His enrollment in the College of William and Mary and election to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in were included. Jefferson gave his insight about people, politics, and events. He used notes, letters, and documents to tell many of the stories within the autobiography.

He suggested that this history was so rich that his personal affairs were better overlooked, but he incorporated a self-analysis using the Declaration and other patriotism. In the summer of , the Marquis de Lafayette accepted an invitation from President James Monroe to visit the country. Jefferson and Lafayette had not seen each other since Jefferson's grandson Randolph was present and recorded the reunion: "As they approached each other, their uncertain gait quickened itself into a shuffling run, and exclaiming, 'Ah Jefferson!

Jefferson had someone else read a speech he had prepared for Lafayette, as his voice was weak and could not carry. This was his last public presentation. After an day visit, Lafayette bid Jefferson goodbye and departed Monticello. In February , he successfully applied to the General Assembly to hold a public lottery as a fund raiser.

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During the last hours of his life, he was accompanied by family members and friends. His last recorded words were "No, doctor, nothing more," refusing laudanum from his physician, but his final significant words are often cited as "Is it the Fourth? Shortly after Jefferson had died, attendants found a gold locket on a chain around his neck, where it had rested for more than 40 years, containing a small faded blue ribbon which tied a lock of his wife Martha's brown hair.

Jefferson's remains were buried at Monticello, under an epitaph that he wrote:. In his advanced years, Jefferson became increasingly concerned that people understand the principles in and the people responsible for writing the Declaration of Independence, and he continually defended himself as its author. He considered the document one of his greatest life achievements, in addition to authoring the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and his founding of the University of Virginia. Plainly absent from his epitaph were his political roles, including President of the United States.

Jefferson died deeply in debt, unable to pass on his estate freely to his heirs. Jefferson subscribed to the political ideals expounded by John Locke , Francis Bacon , and Isaac Newton , whom he considered the three greatest men who ever lived. He distrusted cities and financiers, favored decentralized government power, and believed that the tyranny that had plagued the common man in Europe was due to corrupt political establishments and monarchies. He supported efforts to disestablish the Church of England [] wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom , and he pressed for a wall of separation between church and state.

According to Jefferson's philosophy, citizens have "certain inalienable rights" and "rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. He advocated enfranchising a majority of Virginians, seeking to expand suffrage to include "yeoman farmers" who owned their own land while excluding tenant farmers, city day laborers, vagrants, most Amerindians, and women.

He was convinced that individual liberties were the fruit of political equality, which were threatened by arbitrary government. He was less suspicious of a working democracy than many contemporaries.

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He tried to restore a balance between the state and federal governments more nearly reflecting the Articles of Confederation , seeking to reinforce state prerogatives where his party was in a majority. Jefferson was steeped in the British Whig tradition of the oppressed majority set against a repeatedly unresponsive court party in the Parliament.

He justified small outbreaks of rebellion as necessary to get monarchial regimes to amend oppressive measures compromising popular liberties. In a republican regime ruled by the majority, he acknowledged "it will often be exercised when wrong.

On departing the presidency in , he described America as "trusted with the destines of this solitary republic of the world, the only monument of human rights, and the sole depository of the sacred fire of freedom and self-government. Jefferson considered democracy to be the expression of society, and promoted national self-determination, cultural uniformity, and education of all males of the commonwealth.

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After resigning as Secretary of State in , Jefferson focused on the electoral bases of the Republicans and Federalists. The "Republican" classification for which he advocated included "the entire body of landholders" everywhere and "the body of laborers" without land.

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Beginning with Jefferson's electioneering for the "revolution of ," his political efforts were based on egalitarian appeals. At the onset of the Revolution, Jefferson accepted William Blackstone 's argument that property ownership would sufficiently empower voters' independent judgement, but he sought to further expand suffrage by land distribution to the poor. Baptized in his youth, Jefferson became a governing member of his local Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, which he later attended with his daughters.

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Jefferson compiled Jesus' biblical teachings, omitting miraculous or supernatural references. Jefferson was firmly anticlerical , writing in "every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty Ratified in , it made compelling attendance or contributions to any state-sanctioned religious establishment illegal and declared that men "shall be free to profess Jefferson donated to the American Bible Society , saying the Four Evangelists delivered a "pure and sublime system of morality" to humanity.