Jefferson, Thomas (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Thomas Jefferson served as an American Revolutionary and political theorist and as the third president of the United States. Jefferson, who was a talented architect, writer, and diplomat, played a profound role in shaping U.S. government and politics.
Jefferson was born April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, in Albemarle County, Virginia. His father was a plantation owner and his mother belonged to the Randolph family, whose members were leaders of colonial Virginia society. Jefferson graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1762, and worked as a surveyor before studying law with GEORGE WYTHE. He was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767.
His interest in colonial politics led to his election to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1769. In the legislature he became closely aligned with PATRICK HENRY, Richard Henry Lee, and Francis Lightfoot Lee, all of whom espoused the belief that the British Parliament had no control over the American colonies. He helped form the Virginia Committee of Correspondence, which protested legislation imposed on the colonies by Great Britain.
In 1774 Jefferson wrote A Summary View of the Rights of British America, a pamphlet that denied the power of Parliament in the colonies and stated that any loyalty to England and the king was to be given by choice. He attended the Second CONTINENTAL CONGRESS in 1775 and drafted the...
(The entire section is 1240 words.)
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