Thomas JeffersonRembrandt Peale [Public domain]It can be argued that many of the individual freedoms we take for granted today can be traced back to one document and one man. Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, a Founding Father, and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743. He is most remembered for being the author of the Declaration of Independence and for being the third President of the United States. Jefferson also served as Secretary of State under George Washington and Vice President under John Adams. A hero is someone who dedicates their life to an idea or belief that is bigger than they are. Thomas Jefferson is a hero because he demonstrated bravery and selflessness by writing the Declaration of Independence, thereby putting his life at risk. Jefferson also dedicated his life to serving the American people and increasing personal freedoms.
In writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson became a traitor to the English crown and therefore subject to death. Jefferson showed courage by risking his own life to free the American people from tyranny. “His great work was the Declaration of Independence. In June of 1776, he was surprised to find himself at the head of the committee to prepare this paper. He submitted a rough draft to Adams and Benjamin Franklin, two of the committee, who suggested only minor changes, revised it to Jefferson's satisfaction, and sent it to Congress” (“Thomas Jefferson.” Encyclopedia). Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and as a result was a significant figure in not only the founding of America, but also the concept of individual rights and freedoms. “Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, which explained why the 13 colonies wanted to be free of British rule and also detailed the importance of individual rights and freedoms” (“Thomas Jefferson.” History Channel). The ideas set forth by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence became the blueprint for America’s fight for independence and belief in individual freedoms.
Thomas Jefferson continued to demonstrate his dedication to what he believed in when he became President. This was confirmed when he released everyone imprisoned under the Alien and Sedition Acts. By doing this, Jefferson backed a core individual right that said that freedom of speech was protected in America. “After becoming President, he immediately freed all persons who had been jailed or prosecuted under the Alien and Sedition Acts. He also reduced the size of the Army, Navy, and diplomatic corps, and urged Congress to lower taxes” (“Thomas Jefferson.” Badertscher). Jefferson made these decisions because they were what was best for the individuals in America. “During his presidency, Jefferson worked to restore individual freedoms. The Jeffersonian reformation was bottomed on fiscal policy; by reducing the means and powers of government, it sought to further peace, equality, and individual freedom” (“Thomas Jefferson.” Encyclopedia). Jefferson firmly believed that individual rights were more important than government powers.
Thomas Jefferson is recognized in history as a brave figure who risked his own life writing the Declaration of Independence and who stood up for freedom of speech and the individual rights of Americans. He is an inspiration for what he did for the American people. An example of this was when he freed everyone imprisoned under the Alien and Sedition Acts. Thomas Jefferson inspires me as a hero who put his life at risk in order to help others. Many freedoms we take for granted today can be credited to Thomas Jefferson, a hero of the people.
"Thomas Jefferson." Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998. Biography In Context,
https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/K1631003352/BIC?u=powa9245&sid=BIC&xid=ac40a977. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019.
“Thomas Jefferson.” Badertscher, Eric Thomas Jefferson; 8/1/2017, p1-4, 4p, 1 Chart
“Thomas Jefferson.” History Channel,
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