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Politics in Thomas Jefferson’s “Selected Letters”

Having read Thomas Jefferson’s “Selected Letters”, it is possible to say that each of them contains issues which deserve attention. The ideas delivered by the president are clear and imperative. It is impossible to leave reasonable and argumentative statements without attention. Having read the “Selected letters”, much information seems interesting and educative. In the letter to Pierre Samuel DuPont de Nemours in 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote the following:

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We consider society as one of the natural wants with which man has been created; that he has been endowed with faculties and qualities to effect its satisfaction by concurrence of others having the same want; that when, by the exercise of these faculties, he has procured a state of society, it is one of his acquisitions which he has a right to regulate and control, jointly indeed with all those who have concurred in the procurement, whom he cannot exclude from its use or direction more than they him” (Jefferson, 2009, p. 168).

This quote is considered as one of the most significant in the letters by Thomas Jefferson in several reasons. First of all, this quote says that a person creates a society he/she wants to live into. Jefferson stresses an idea that while living people behave and this behavior creates an environment. People make choices, decisions, act in some ways and as a result they create the society they live into. Having made a decision to become a leader, to try to be the president a person assures that this is his/her society and he/she is going to do all possible in order to make sure that this society is necessary and deserves his/her attention.

Second, it should be remembered that it is a society that selects its presidents by means of the following procedure “our President is chosen by ourselves, directly in practice, for we vote for A as elector only on the condition he will vote for B, our representatives by ourselves immediately, our Senate and judges of law through electors chosen by ourselves” (Jefferson, 2009, p. 169). Thus, the president and other members of the government are selected by people who create their society.

Dwelling upon the necessity of this particular statement, I would like to say that it should be directed to those who try to criticize the existing government. Two reasons to avoid criticism and to do at least something are discussed. First, society is created by people, therefore, they are responsible for the actions which occur there. Second, this is the society that selects a president. Having made a choice people seem to agree that his person is able to guide the same people as he/she is. A deep idea presented by Jefferson lies in this statement. He wanted to show that the development of the state depends not on the president or government but on people in general. It is important to understand the main idea of this quote and therefore, its importance is going to be captured. The society, its cultural and morale state depends both on the government and on people as initially these notions are interconnected. All the members of society are to follow the principles declared by the state in order to make sure that the satisfaction is achieved. Thus, much attention is to be paid to the very process of power creation and distribution.

Reference List

Jefferson, T. (2009). Selected Letters. In K. M. Dolbeare & M. S. Cummings (Eds.), American Political Thought (162-174), New York, NY: CQ Press.

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