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The Cost of War

Recent Books I have Read and Recommend

  • "John Adams" by David McCollough
  • "Traitor to His Class" by H.W. Brands
  • "FDR" by Jean Edward Smith
  • "Truman" by David McCollough
  • "Thomas Jefferson Passionate Pilgrim" by Alf J. Mapp, Jr.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A New Republican Party?

There is a relatively new party in the US calling itself the Jefferson-Republican Party or JRP. Being a student of history, I beg to differ with the founders of this party that Thomas Jefferson was a conservative. Let's check the facts, shall we?

The main author of "The Declaration of Independence", a scathing tome against the ultimate form of conservative governance, a monarchy. From 1776 to 1779, Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Delegates, one of the two houses of the General Assembly of Virginia. While the American Revolution continued, Jefferson sought to liberalize Virginia's laws. Joined by his old law teacher, George Wythe, and by James Madison and George Mason, Jefferson introduced a number of bills that were resisted fiercely by those representing the conservative planter class. Back in Congress, as chairman of the committee dealing with the government of western lands, Jefferson submitted proposals so liberal and farsighted as to constitute, when enacted, the most progressive colonial policy of any nation in modern history. The proposed ordinance of 1784 reflected Jefferson's belief that the western territories should be self-governing and, when they reached a certain stage of growth, should be admitted to the Union as full partners with the original 13 states. Jefferson also proposed that slavery should be excluded from all of the American western territories after 1800. Although he himself was a slaveowner, he believed that slavery was an evil that should not be permitted to spread. In 1784 the provision banning slavery was narrowly defeated. He advised against any harsh punishment of those responsible for Shay's Rebellion (1786-87) in Massachusetts. He was also the principle founder of the Democratic-Republican Party, which became today's Democratic Party.

One must remember, that over time, the parties have changed their policies and views many times, but one cannot say, in my opinion, and the facts back me up, that Thomas Jefferson was a conservative. I am sure there a many conservatives that would disagree and I invite discussion.

1 comment:

Joseph M. Fasciana said...

Hi T,

Thanks for stopping by, hope you like the new site. This post is very informative I never realized how liberal Jefferson was for that time in history, especially on the issue of slavery I always thought that he was apathetic about that issue. Talk soon.



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