Thomas Jefferson: Second Inaugural Address

(1805)

Thomas Jefferson was a student of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with its emphasis on human reason and science and the rejection of outmoded traditions and social structures. At the foundation of his political philosophy was his admiration for the yeoman farmer and a distrust of financiers and big-city interests. He favored a limited federal government, strong states’ rights, and the strict separation of church and state. In his Second Inaugural Address, Jefferson summarized the accomplishments of his first four years in office—among them the discontinuation of taxes and westward expansion of the United States.

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Thomas Jefferson (Library of Congress)

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