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June 2005

Thomas Jefferson
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) was President of the United States, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of the republican virtue, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state, and was the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for a quarter-century. Jefferson also served as the wartime Governor of Virginia, as United States Secretary of State, and as Vice President of the United States. A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as an horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor, and as founder of the University of Virginia.

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