Thomas Jefferson's Presidency

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What obstacles did Thomas Jefferson face while he was president?

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The first obstacle Thomas Jefferson faced was simply becoming the President. In the presidential election of 1800, Jefferson tied with Aaron Burr in the dysfunctional Electoral College. The House of Representatives had to break the tie, and it did so after 36 ballots.

Upon assuming office in 1801, Jefferson faced another challenge as he sought to move the government away from the Federalist policies of his predecessors. The Founding Fathers had not foreseen the development of political parties, but it became a reality during the terms of the first two presidents from 1789–1801. As a Republican, Jefferson fought hard to return more power to the state and local governments.

Jefferson's biggest accomplishment was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. It doubled the size of the nation. Jefferson was troubled by his acquisition because the Constitution did not specifically authorize it. Ultimately, he had decided to proceed with the purchase, fearing that Napoleon...

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