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President Thomas Jefferson 1801 - 1809

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President Thomas Jefferson 1801 - 1809

Thomas Jefferson came into presidency with the intentions of limiting the size and power of the central government. His success and failures in accomplishing this goal were many. Thomas Jefferson was America's third president in reign from 1801 - 1809, once tying in the presidential race with Aaron Burr, where the decision was made by the House of Representatives to choose Jefferson whom they thought was less dangerous than Burr.

As president he was the first to be inaugurated in Washington which was a city he had helped to plan. President Jefferson's inauguration was probably the start of the changes in government. It has been said that his particular taking of office had lead to the simplest speech stating that "essential principals" would guide his administration and would support all states with "equal and exact justice to all". And the actual changes of administration were the most peaceful of all, nothing like those previously.

Jefferson's accomplishments were most greatly seen by the ability to simplify the Republican government in the new capital by cutting back the unnecessary branches and less useful positions while replacing Federalists with Republicans. And by the year 1808, Republicans held almost all the government offices. At the same time Jefferson fought to keep the size of the government from continuously growing.

President Jefferson work diligently with congress to change the Alien Acts to have a more relaxed naturalization for only requiring five years of residency achieve United States citizenship, instead of the previous fourteen years.

While president Jefferson achieved credit for making the Federal governments priorities foreign affairs, and leaving local matters for the state and local governments to tend with.

Jefferson's beliefs in local self government created differences between himself and Alexander Hamilton which created the Federalists (Hamilton followers) and the Democrat Republican's (Jefferson followers).

President Jefferson was instrumental in the Louisiana Purchase, which secured an area extending from Canada to the Gulf and the Mississippi to the Rockies, for fifteen million dollars. This purchase also led to the planning and organization of the Lewis and Clark expedition. However, the argument over whether or not Florida was included in the Louisiana Purchase caused many sarcastic attacks on Thomas Jefferson from members of congress.

Although, shortly before leaving office President Jefferson was forced to yield on certain acts that he had implemented, such as the Non-importation Act of 1806 and the Embargo Act of 1807. This was brought on by rebellious attitudes of the people during the attacks on neutral shipping of the U.S. by Britain and France.

However, President Jefferson was able to lift many restriction's on American commerce, and at the same time improve relations between America and France.

Also, President



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