Voting rights were gained by many white men at the beginning of the nineteenth century after the required property qualifications were reduced. Thomas Jefferson aged fifty-seven got inaugurated on March 4, 1801, in Washington, Columbia District (1). Washington was a newly named national capital making Jefferson the first president that was inaugurated in it, having his oath administered to him by John Marshall, the chief justice. In his inauguration speech, Jefferson appealed for peace and unity, setting a guide for his administration that was for the equality of justice for all men and freedom of press, religion, and persons protected by habeas corpus.
By interpreting the Constitution, Jefferson reduced the federal government by slashing their budget without infringing the states’ rights. His second running as president on 1804 was successful after which he made men from his party get positions, granting him the support of the Congress. James Madison was the secretary of state and Albert Gallatin, a well-respected Republican by the Federalists was the secretary of the treasury where the leading figures of the cabinet (2). Jefferson chose representatives for the positions of secretary of war, postmaster general, and attorney general from the New England party.
MARBURY V. MADISON
John Adams appointed William Marbury, a Maryland Federalist, as the Justice of the piece of Columbia district. Madison took office before the letter of appointment as secretary of state written and signed by Adams was delivered. Jefferson then directed Madison to withhold the Commission, which lead to Marbury suing Madison at court to receive his commission. According to the constitution, the court only had original jurisdiction in cases involving the state or foreign ambassadors, stopping it from issuing any order in the Marbury v. Madison case. Despite Marbury not getting his judgeship, it was established that the Supreme Court was the final judge of constitutional interpretation. Jefferson Republicans in the year 1804 (3) used impeachment powers to remove one of the Federalist judges from fear of having no control the judges’ partisanship after the Marbury decision.
The fundamental division of nature of the new nations became clear after the Marbury case. The Federalist and Marshall suggested that there should be a central government that is powerful and capable of creating and enforcing laws for the American Citizens while on the other hand Jefferson and the Republicans stated that the primary agents of political power should be the individual states themselves. Marshall having served as chief justice from the year 1801 to 1835 got the better of the argument establishing the foundation of the Supreme Court, American jurisprudence and the supremacy of the constitution of the national government over the state. (3)
Jefferson criticized Alexander Hamilton’s methods of programming the economy, but despite this he did not entirely change it. Hamilton believed that it was ok to have a federal debt that Jefferson disagreed with because this gave the investors and banks that the government owed money to a financial stake in the new republics success. To avoid high taxes imposed on the citizens of the U.S. and possibly corruption taking part in the government, Jefferson reduced the government spending and paid federal debt down to a lower figure (5). The military expenditure where to cut back on where the Navy was reduced further from the already reduced amount by the Federalists and the state military given full responsibility for the Nation’s defense.
Whiskey taxes were lifted reducing the income of revenue which led to the federal government to concentrate more on other sources of income. Revenue was earned mainly through import tariffs and selling of western land owned by the government. The sources of incomes chosen were successful due to the European war that increased the demand for the western land bought by settlers and the export to both sides of the Europe. The import of African slaves became banned after Jefferson signed a law that took effect on 1st of January 1808. Illegal smuggling of slaves still took place with an approximation of three hundred thousand imports between the years 1808-1861 (5).
THE BARBARY PIRATES
The Mediterranean Sea had pirates that Islamic rulers from Tripoli, Algeria, Tunis, and Algeria promoted that preyed on American and European merchants on the Barbary coasts. Jefferson began to have second thoughts about the Navy after the pasha of tripod declared war against the United States after demanding for $300,000. In 1804, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, however, sabotaged the pasha’s plot after sinking into the tripod territory and setting ablaze the frigate Philadelphia that was captured along with its crew. A ransom of $60,000 was paid, and the crew set free that was much cheaper in comparison to the ransom asked before or the expenses expected from a war (6).
THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE
Thomas Jefferson’s greatest accomplishment happened on 1803 where more than half of United States territory had increased from the Louisiana Purchase. At first the Spanish-owned the Louisiana territory after it being ceded to them but in the year 1800 the French lead by Napoleon Bonaparte pressured the Spanish into transferring the territory to them. News of the transfer reached Jefferson, who sent Robert R. Livingstone as the minister of the U.S. of France to try and negotiate for the purchase of the land. The Spanish were still in control over Mississippi River outlet that was a challenge for the U.S. but having the French taking over Louisiana would have meant trouble, especially under Napoleon’s leadership. The Louisiana territory was purchased for $15 million on 30th of April 1803 under the Cession Treaty, which was finally ratified by the Senate on 20th of December 1803 (8). The U.S. began a rebellion against the Spanish rule in Baton Rouge in 1810 which they finalized in acquiring legally as part of the Louisiana Purchase in the year 1813.
CLARK AND LEWIS
The Congress funded expenditure for science and exploration for the land in the far northwest of the Mississippi river that was foreign territory at the time. After the congress approval, Jefferson sent a crew of fifty led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, former army officers that left in the year 1803 (10). With the help of local Indians, Lewis and Clark adapted to the hushed environment and obstacles they faced in their journey. They built Fortresses Mandan and Clatsop to shelter against the winter through their journey. They experienced difficulties such as attacks from some hostile Indian tribes, experienced starvation, encounters with grizzly bears and illnesses.
Despite the difficulties experienced by the researchers, the far west was no longer an unknown region. The Lewis and Clark journals finally produced in fine print including a map of the region in the year 1814 attracted trappers and traders especially after knowing there were friendly Indians which later on led to the claiming of the territory by the United States by right of discovery and exploration (11).
Thomas Jefferson gained a lot of popularity from his policies and the Louisiana Purchase over his first two terms. New England began moving to Jefferson’s side where the son of the second president, John Quincy Adams, was going to become a Republican. The other Federalists panicked for losing their own and the New England party significance in the states’ political affairs. They then hatched a scheme that would make Aaron Burr, a successful New Yorker, the governor of New York. Burr was opposed bitterly by Alexander Hamilton, who accused Burr of being a dangerous man and should not be trusted. Hamilton’s opposition led to their famous duel in the year 1804. Burr shot Hamilton dead that marked the end of his political career (12).
The president’s campaign had in the meantime began in the year 1804.George Clinton from New York as vice president and Thomas Jefferson won 162 to 172 votes against federalists Rufus King and Charles C. Pinckney in the 1804 elections (12). That was the first election in American history to be won by a landslide.