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Jefferson, Thomas. (1743 - 1826).

L i f e

- versatile personality: a diplomat, statesman, architect, environmental planner, scientist, politician, and theorist of education

- received university education:

(a) < Dr William Small

(b) < the Scottish Common Sense school

- shed the orthodox heritage, embraced Deism, and believed in moral sense as man’s highest faculty equally present to all

- as an architect designed the estate Monticello, took part in the plan for the nation’s Congress, and designed the University of Virginia

- governor of Virginia >> member of Congress >> member of G. Washington’s Cabinet > Vice-President under J. Adams > President for 2 terms

W o r k

A Summary View of the Rights of British America:

- defended colonial rights

“The Declaration of Independence as Adopted by Congress”:

- ‘an expression of the American mind’ = the common sense

- states the self-evident truths coming from nature/God: all men created equal with unalienable Rights for Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

- founds the principal equality in the most fundamental aspects of life

- defends religious freedom, and abolition of slavery (his half-a-life-long relationship with the slave woman Sally Hemings)

Notes on Virginia:

- his major work of natural science

- defends America against the widely held Eurupean view of America being an unhealthy place causing degeneration of its species


"What all agree upon is probably right; what no two agree in most probably is wrong".

Jefferson's Axiom.


(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Thomas Jefferson. (1743 - 1826). American.
  • Work

    Politician. US President. Author of "The Declaration of Independence" (1776).
  • Genres

    Political writing. Scientific writing.


Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.

Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American  Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.

Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.

McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.

Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od  puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.

Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.


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