American Sphinx - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Joseph Ellis
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In contrast to Jefferson's opulent arrivals in Philadelphia and Paris, his arrival in Washington, D. C. to assume the presidency in 1801 was austere. Jefferson walked the few hundred yards from his boardinghouse to the Capitol. He was preceded by a company of militia bearing drawn swords and followed by a small parade of dignitaries. The parade included several Republican congressmen and two members of the outgoing cabinet. The lack of pomp was entirely intentional, since Jefferson had been elected on a platform of restoring pure republican values, including minimizing federal government and reducing the national debt.

The most remarkable thing about the transfer of power is that it happened at all. In Europe, regimes were often overthrown violently. Americans were aware that they were creating a new world order with the predictable, peaceful transfer of power from one elected official to the next. The previous...

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This section contains 1,664 words
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Buy the American Sphinx Study Guide
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