Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States and there are many reasons he is famous today. The following are ten of his major contributions to America, and why this lawyer, horticulturist, writer, politician, and leader has his face on the two-dollar bill.
1. President of the United States
Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States, and served for two terms from 1801 to 1809. His Vice President was Aaron Burr.
2. Principal Author of the Declaration of Independence
This is one of the achievements that Thomas Jefferson was most proud of. In 1776, Jefferson was appointed a part of a committee, and the committee selected Jefferson to write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence because of his reputation as a writer. The committee chose to only re-word one quarter of the document, meaning Jefferson was the writer of the other three quarters of the document. His wording was approved, and the Declaration of Independence was officially recognized on July 4, 1776.
3. Vice President of the United States
Thomas Jefferson was Vice President of the United States of America under the Presidency of John Adams, which makes him second VP. He served in this role from March 4, 1797 to March 4, 1801, when he then became President. He actually ran for President, but was a Democratic-Republican candidate, and lost to John Adams, but had enough electoral votes to become the Vice President.
4. United States Secretary of State
Thomas Jefferson held many political offices, one of which was that he served as the first Secretary of State. This was under the presidency of George Washington. During this time, he set many standards for fiscal policy, and it was due to the heated debates between him Alexander Hamilton over who should be responsible for the debts accrued during the war, that the terms Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian were born, showing which side they supported.
5. U.S. Ambassador to France
Thomas Jefferson was a United States Ambassador to France after Benjamin Franklin.
6. Delegate from Virginia to the Second Continental Congress (1775-1776)
The reason this delegation is of note is that it is because of this position that Jefferson was first selected for the committee put together to draft the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson was a promoter of republican ideals, and is still considered one f the most influential founding fathers for giving these opinions a voice.
8. Democratic-Republican Party
Known as Jeffersonian Democracy, this influential thinker lead to the founding of the Democratic-Republican Party.
9. Founder of the University of Virginia
Due to his love of education and academia, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, and it was the first college to offer elective courses to students, and courses outside of their chosen field of study. In addition to its forward thinking, the University of Virginia was one of the largest construction projects in North America. Jefferson himself was the architect of many of the structures on campus. The focus of the school was a library rather than a church.
10. Governor of Virginia
Jefferson served as governor of Virginia from 1779-1781, making him the second governor of Virginia. It was his home state, and the place where he built his home and chose to reside, near the University of Virginia in Monticello.