Last Updated 21 Mar 2021

Us History Essential Questions on Thomas Jefferson

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Why does Kennedy refer to the case of Marbury vs. Madison as “epochal? ” Describe the short and long-term ramifications to the decision. The case of Marbury vs. Madison established judicial review of acts of Congress to determine if they are unconstitutional. It was so epochal because had it not established judicial review, Congress would be free to pass laws that are completely unconstitutional and a violation of the rights set in place by the first ten amendments. It brought order out of the chaos that occurred when Adams appointed the Midnight Judges.

Over the long term, it has affected many congressional bills that if passed, would not be constitutional. 2)What basis did Thomas Jefferson have for believing that American trade could be used as a diplomatic tool? Explain. Trade could be used as a diplomatic tool in many ways. If America stopped trading with certain countries, the thought was that those countries would cooperate with the demands made by Americans. America would trade with anyone who met their demands. The problem with this is that when America did use trade as a diplomatic tool to get the English and French to cooperate with their demands, and America ended up being hurt.

They stopped trading with England and France, as well as any other country who traded with England and France. England and France did not completely depend on American trade for their economy, so they were unaffected. These laws were called the Embargo of 1807. Jefferson tried to fix this with the Nonintercourse Act, which stated America would cease trade with just England and France. This also ended up being a failure, so James Madison passed Macon’s Bill #2, which said that America would trade with whoever met their demands first.

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This also was repealed, and America went back to open trade with England and France. 3) List at least three key principles of government advanced by Thomas Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists before 1800. Describe how these ideals fared during Jefferson’s administration. Were they translated into public policy? Explain. The first principle of government advanced by Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists before 1800 was the exploration and organization of Western Land set by the Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance of 1787, part of the Articles of Confederation.

These laws held through the Jefferson presidency and were largely the basis of exploration in the future. The second was the Bill of Rights set forth in the Constitution. They guaranteed the natural rights of citizens in the first ten amendments. The were maintained through the presidency and although debated, are in tact today. The third principle are the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. They called for state’s rights and supported nullification, which meant that a state can nullify a law that the federal government passes.

This did not become public policy mainly because of Federalist opposition. It was fought for in the Civil war, and today states have to obey federal law. 4) Jefferson said “The day France takes possession of New Orleans we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation. ” Why was he so alarmed? New Orleans was a key port on the Mississippi that gave the possessor a substantial amount of power in that area. France would gain critical access to the Mississippi River and have the ability to travel about it and maybe take land along the way.

Possession of New Orleans would also give it access to western land, which is something America was after. America would have to team up with the British to combat the French, who would become extremely powerful with New Orleans. 5)Assess the Jeffersonian presidency. What do you think were his three most important legacies? Jefferson was successful in the fact that he was moderate in getting rid of the opposing party, the federalists. If a Federalist was doing a good job, they stayed. He also was smart to not get rid of Hamilton’s financial system. One of his most important legacies was the Louisiana Purchase.

Although he believed it to be unconstitutional, he could not pass up the offer from Napoleon. The Louisiana Purchase more than doubled the size of America, which provided many opportunities in resources for the future. Another legacy was the defeat of the barbary pirates. Prior to the defeat, these pirates were paid not to attack American ships. Despite the size of the American navy, called the “mosquito fleet,” they were defeated and American ships were safe. His final legacy was the Embargo of 1807. It led America to an economic mess that James Madison eventually inherited.

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