EC Abstract - “ Thomas Jefferson ” By R.B. Bernstein By: Isapela Marie Cannon Within his book, Bernstein analyzes Jefferson’s upbringing and adulthood to explain the reasoning behind his political contradictions, internal conflicts, and clash between his professed and actual ideals during and before his ‘reign’ as the third president of the United States. Chronologically within his book, Bernstein sets the scene by summarizing Jefferson’s trials and environment as a child. Jefferson grew up in one of Virginia’s most prominent families, with slaves to aid his family on their large plantation. Despite his upbringing, Jefferson was very hardworking and never let his natural intelligence lead him to laziness. Jefferson was a very shy and timid person, yet he was an excellent lawyer and judicial representative. Despite his inability to speak to large crowds, Jefferson’s ideas and thoughts were revolutionary and very much undervalued. Before his presidency, Jefferson made it well known that he was not interested in being heavily involved in politics. Jefferson was very soft spoken and often let other political leaders overrule ideals that he was very passionate about. When drafting the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson devoted much of his time to editing and reforming the document but was undermined by those in Congress. With their forceful exclusion of many of his ideas in the draft, the Declaration of Independence was published before Jefferson could take a second look at the changes that the Congress had made to his original document. According to Bernstein Jefferson was carried with the Declaration, “Enshrining the soft-spoken draftsman as the author of the central statement of the American political creed.” Although Jefferson was very passionate about his ideas, he never outwardly professed them in fear of humiliation or a fight between him and someone with an opposing view. However, because of his soft spoken personality, Jefferson kept quiet. Even though he was the main writer of the document, many ideas added last minute
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