questions - administration of jefferson

America: A Concise History, Volume 1: To 1877

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Homework – Jefferson’s Administration Read pages 112 – 118 Questions 1 – 6 page 119 1) What values – for example democracy – are represented by Jefferson’s idea of an agrarian republic? The foundation of Jefferson’s ideals was that of an agrarian republic. This idea was based on the great republic of Rome. Jefferson’s vision was based on the virtues of: Hard work and self-sufficiency: farmers do not receive wages from anyone. They are their own masters. The extent of the farmer’s work determines their productivity. Simplicity and purity: Farmers were aside from bitter politics, the greed of merchants, and the ruthlessness of city life. They worked in family units, in rural areas. Democracy: manufacturing, commerce and cities were opposed to democracy since they were based on hierarchy. Farmers were the epitome of being independent individuals. The president reflected these ideals by walking in the mud to the Capitol rather than by traveling by carriage. Drew support from rural areas. He thought the US should become an agrarian republic, founded upon agriculture and the virtue of farming. Farmers were true Americans. Jefferson argues not only banks are dangerous, but that farmers are morally superior than others. This is why farmers voted for him. 2) Why might the Louisiana Purchase have been illegal? The Louisiana Purchase was an effort to promote the agrarian republic, through expansion westward. It may have been illegal in that the constitution did not necessarily give Jefferson the power to acquire territory. No provision existed for a territorial acquisition of this scope. It was overstepping of federal power – something that Jefferson wanted to avoid. Jefferson himself believed that the congress could not do something that wasn’t specifically addressed in the constitution. There were no clear guidelines for how this territory would be administered. The final question of legality was whether Napoleon had the right to sell territory that was only leased from Spain. Spain indeed regarded the Purchase as illegal, since Spain’s previous treaty with Napoleon had stated Louisiana would not be sold. The Spanish eventually allowed for the concession of their lands in the west; however they did not want to let West Florida go.
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Dubious for Napoleon to sell land that didn’t belong to him. It didn’t say in the constitution that the executive president could acquire land. Not only
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