Out of the many historical figures that could be considered a hero, the person that I would chose as my hero would be Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was one of the founding fathers of the United States, and espoused a political philosophy that I agree with. Who was Thomas Jefferson, and what did he do to make me consider him a hero?
Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Virginia in 1743. He studied as a young man at the College of William and Mary where he found friendship and mentor-ship with George Wythe, who trained Jefferson to become a lawyer [Millercenter.org]. During this time, Jefferson was an advocate of American independence. He wrote pro-independence literature, and then attended the second Continental Congress. After this, he produced the most important document of his career, the “Declaration of Independence”. The Declaration is one of the most important documents in American history, and served to lay out the ideas that the nation would be founded on in Jefferson’s own words.
Thomas Jefferson served as the third President of the United States. During his tenure, his ideas were put to the challenge, as a bad economy and disputes with England furthered. However, he is responsible for doubling the size of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase [Montecello.org]. He also tried to end the dispute with England over their policies of impression on American sailors. This proved to backfire as the embargo’s against England only furthered their deeds and led to a poor economy [Bailey, Cohen, and Kennedy].
Why I consider Jefferson a hero though is because of the ideas he believed in and helped to further. He espoused that all men should have freedom, and that they have rights that are “inalienable”. Likewise, he fought against the attempts to turn the United States into the empire that they fought for independence from. He also proposed many ideas, such as states’ rights, that have continued to influence our country to this day. Lastly, he argued for an economic model with little government intervention.
While Jefferson made mistakes and sometimes erred from his ideas, he believed wholeheartedly in his ideas. These are the same ideas that I believe in. I feel that Jefferson is a hero to me, since he contributed so much for the cause of freedom. His time as President is one where the country was still growing and he had to contend with enemies inside and out.
Bailey, Thomas A., Lizabeth Cohen and David M. Kennedy. The American Pageant: Volume 1 to 1877. Boston; Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. Print.
Miller Center. University of Virginia. Web. 1 Nov 2012 http://millercenter.org/president/jefferson/essays/biography/2
Montecello.org. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Web. 1 Nov 2012 http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/brief-biography-thomas-jefferso