Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

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Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was one of the leaders of the independence movement against Great Britain, author of the American Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States of America (1801-1809). He was one of the general agents of the American enlightenment. As a diplomat and as a friend of English and French intellectuals he had direct contact to the leading scouts of Europe. Jefferson was born on 13th April 1743 in Shadwell (Virginia)as the son of a wealthy owner of a plantation. In 1767 he was admitted as a lawyer and in 1769 he was a member of the parliament of Virginia for the first time. The Independence In 1774 Jefferson published the writing A Summary View of the Rights of British America . Therein he argued that the first settlers came as independent individuals to America and not as envoys of the British government. They would have, accordingly, the right to determine their type of government by themselves. As a result the Continental Congress instructed Jefferson, a member of the Congress, to formulate of the Declaration of Independence of the 4th July 1776. It was based on the Summary View and emphasized explicitly the rights of the colonists, to loosen from their mother country because of the unlawful laws of the British Government. The Declaration of Independence As a member of the parliament of Virginia (1776-1779), Jefferson worked on a reform of the economy after the principles of the enlightenment and the republicanism. He fought ...

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