Shocking Facts about Thomas Jefferson - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Early modern era & beginning of the modern era. Exploration, enlightenment, industrialisation, colonisation & empire (1492 - 1914 CE).
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#14185866
I'm a huge history buff and often write history articles for leisure, the latest one featuring on Thomas Jefferson: http://socyberty.com/history/six-shocki ... jefferson/

This, however, is a work in progress, for I update the article with additional facts about Thomas Jefferson as I come across them. Do you feel there was anything "shocking" about Jefferson's presidency -- or, more generally, his life -- that I left out and should be included? The article centers on the many contradictions Jefferson is still getting flak for to this day.
Thoughts?

Thanks.
#14201643
He was very likely autistic.


I doubt it. Just because he was shy did not make him autistic. Finally he was a very well rounded person, a renaissance man of his time. People on the autistic spectrum tend to be very focused on intense interests, and Jefferson if anything had more interests than the average person.
#14201697
In France, Jefferson mingled with educated French men like Lafayette, arguing about the issue of equality, and he was not autistic at all but he may not have been a great orator and he made only few public speeches. Thomas Jefferson was a progressive who opposed the slave trade and he proposed federal legislation banning slavery, which narrowly failed to pass Congress by one vote, and he could have changed the course of American history if the legislation had passed. Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves as most of wealthy Americans did at the time but he treated his servants humanely as fellow human beings and he did not mind keeping one of them as his mistress.

While arguing that black Africans could probably never learn the habits of civilization, he allowed skilled African carpenters, masons, roofers, joiners and nail-makers to construct Monticello itself. Blacks raised his tobacco and later his wheat and cotton, tended his grapes, apples, cherries and pears, ran his stables and blacksmith shop, made his clothes and barrels. Many taught themselves to read, despite Jefferson’s persistent argument that no black African could ever do so. Jefferson took Sally Hemmings (a black slave) with him to France and had children with her, some of whom he later sold or traded away.
http://www.kansas.com/2012/12/16/2605548/jeffersons-slaves.html
#14201699
JohnRawls wrote:How Obama and Jefferson are so alike.


A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circlue of our felicities.


Agriculture, manufacturers, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.


I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.


A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.


I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.


You are out of your fucking mind if you think Jefferson has anything to do with that statist asshole called Obama.
#14202083
None of this is really shocking to those who study history.

1. So what? What is so shocking about him being introverted? There have been plenty of successful introverts or people who are very private who have been successful throughout history. I’m tired of introversion being talked about like it’s "shocking" or some kind of impairment. It’s just his personality.

2. The Louisiana Purchase is pretty much the best thing Jefferson did during his presidency and most Americans tend to agree it was awesome for us. So who cares if it was hypocritical? Americans strongly desired westward expansion and he delivered with a great deal doubling US territory.

3. This one is really shallow and not particularly interesting.

4. Has been mentioned to death. The "all men are created equal" line didn’t have the same interpretation or connotations back then as it does now and it was only later that it acquired its present interpretation. That said its one of the most poorly thought out proclamations ever made since people clearly aren’t equal. So it’s quite fitting that this one has been used to criticize him later, though for different reasons.

5. This is just the political reality at the time. It is interesting to note at the time there was some considerable wary about the dangers factions which Washington mentioned in his farewell address. At the same time though the divisions between federalists and anti-federalists was already clearly forming and the reality of the American political system meant that a two party system around this was going to form. So while there may have been some initial tendency on Jefferson’s part to follow the line of Washington the realties of the situation and his rivalry with the federalists meant that a nascent two party system wound up being the result. Modern politicians frequently do the same kind of thing when they talk about bipartisanship yet continue to play party politics.
#14204260
nucklepunche wrote: I doubt it. Just because he was shy did not make him autistic. Finally he was a very well rounded person, a renaissance man of his time. People on the autistic spectrum tend to be very focused on intense interests, and Jefferson if anything had more interests than the average person.


Very well put. In his earlier years he spent 15+ hours a day studying. The guy had an insatiable hunger for knowledge, and that's one of the things I most admire about him.
#14268157
Rich wrote:One of the greatest hypocrites of all time. He led America into a war against the Barbary Pirates, to stop them taking White slaves. Jefferson was of course a White slaver himself. Sally Hemmings being White.


Indeed, many find him to be a major hypocrite.
#14285547
Alpha/S. wrote:
1. So what? What is so shocking about him being introverted? There have been plenty of successful introverts or people who are very private who have been successful throughout history. I’m tired of introversion being talked about like it’s "shocking" or some kind of impairment. It’s just his personality.



It just amazes me, though, that someone that introverted could run for the presidency. I'm sure that if he were expected to deliver as many speeches as Obama does today, he would not be so quick to throw his hat in the ring.

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