Could it be argued that Jefferson laid the foundations for an imperial US and a powerful federal government?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Because Thomas Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican, you would not think that he would have helped lay a foundation for these things.  However, you can certainly argued that he did, indeed, lay the foundations for a powerful central government and an imperial US.

The main argument for this comes from the fact that Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase on his own accord as president -- he did not ask permission.  He did this even though the Constitution does not give the president permission to do this.  By doing this, Jefferson set a precedent that presidents can kind of do whatever they want if it's not clearly unconstitutional.  He also gained a huge amount of land for the US and started it on its way to being a huge and imperial country.