Thomas Jefferson's Presidency

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Thomas Jefferson Failures

What are some of Thomas Jefferson's failures?

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Thomas Jefferson is generally viewed as a very good or even great president. However, there were some shortcomings or failures during his presidency.

One of the failures is that Jefferson owned slaves and didn’t try to bring slavery to an end. It was inconsistent with his words in the Declaration of Independence about all men being equal. As president, Jefferson had the opportunity to try to do something about slavery, but he did nothing to try to end slavery.

Jefferson also wasn’t successful in dealing with Great Britain and France interfering with our trade. Great Britain and France were in a war, and they wanted to prevent American goods from reaching their enemy. As a result, each country seized our ships that were heading to their rival. Great Britain seized our ships heading to France while France seized our ships heading to Great Britain. Great Britain also impressed our sailors. Our response was to initially stop all trading with other countries by passing the Embargo Act of 1807. Jefferson was trying to avoid the United States getting dragged into this conflict between Great Britain and France. The Embargo Act of 1807 was a complete failure because our economy depended on trade. The Non-Intercourse Act was passed in 1809 that said we would trade with others, but not with Great Britain or France. We did leave the door open to trading with Great Britain or France if either country agreed to leave our shipping alone. However, so much of our trade was with Great Britain and France, this action also failed.

While Jefferson was mostly successful as our President, there were a few failures that existed.

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