What were the aims of Jefferson's presidency?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Thomas Jefferson became President, after the House of Representatives broke the tie between Aaron Burr and Jefferson, he had specific goals he wanted to accomplish as President. Jefferson represented the Democratic-Republican Party. Jefferson’s beliefs closely reflected the goals of the Democratic-Republican Party. President Jefferson wanted to reduce the size and the influence of the federal government. He believed the federal government had become too large and too power. To reduce the size of the federal government, President Jefferson wanted to reduce taxes. If the government took in less money through taxes, the size of the government and the spending of the federal government would need to decrease. He also wanted to end unpopular taxes such as the Whiskey Tax.

Another goal of President Jefferson was to end the unreasonable laws that the Federalist Party had passed. He wanted to end the Alien and Sedition Acts. These were laws that reduced the freedom of our people by curtailing their free speech rights. These laws were also aimed at hurting the Democratic-Republican Party by increasing the time it took for immigrants to become citizens. Both of these laws were ended while he was President.

President Jefferson wanted to stand up to countries that were abusing our freedoms. He went to war against the North African countries that supported pirates. These pirates were attacking our shipping unless we paid bribes to them. We stopped paying the bribes, fought the pirates, and won. As a result, we no longer had to pay the bribes. President Jefferson also tried to keep our shipping safe when France and Great Britain were interfering with our trade. However, the Embargo Act and the Non-Intercourse Act were ineffective because we depended on trade with both Great Britain and with France.

President Jefferson understood the desire that many people had for our country to grow and to expand. While he hesitated to make the Louisiana Purchase, which would double the size of the country, he eventually did make the Louisiana Purchase with France.

President Jefferson had many goals for his presidency. He was able to accomplish many of them.