Which house tradition did Thomas Jefferson end?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Jefferson was our third president. He had many issues with which to deal while he was president. Most people give Thomas Jefferson good reviews on his two-term presidency.

Thomas Jefferson ended a house tradition that was common. George Washington and John Adams believed in bowing to other people as a way to greet them. Some people didn’t like that idea because it reminded them of bowing to a King. Thomas Jefferson ended this tradition and, instead, used the tradition of shaking hands as a way to greet people. This tradition continues to this day.

Another practice that Thomas Jefferson stopped was giving the State of the Union speech in person. One of Thomas Jefferson’s strengths was that he was a very good writer. He was not a strong speaker. Thus, he sent a copy of his State of the Union Address to Congress. The tradition of giving the State of the Union Address to Congress resumed in 1913 with Woodrow Wilson.

akanetuk | Student

Thomas Jefferson ended the tradition of “bowing” by shaking hands when greeting people.

cwp716 | Student

Being a newly liberated country, America still had many hold over traditions from motherland, England. Bowing to royalty, or in America's case the President of the United States was the norm. Jefferson wanted to end the long standing classist society of England and have the President be more of a man of the people. Thomas Jefferson ended the tradition of bowing and originated the custom of Shaking Hands with the President. 


daley1999 | Student

Thomas Jefferson ended the tradition of bowing to people. He preferred to shake people's hands. 

elzbaker | Student

Thomas Jefferson concluded 2 main traditions. One being stated in the comment above me, and the other being that rather than delivering a ‘State of Union speech’, he sent a copy to the congress who then published it. 


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