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The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It - Study Guide Chapter 2, Thomas Jefferson: the Aristocrat as Democrat Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It.
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Chapter II concerns the life, politics and temperament of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is an important figure, not only for his historic role in shaping American political institutions, but because he contained many of the foundational American ideals within his own thought, even those that we think are in tension with one another.

Hofstadter begins by emphasizing that Jefferson has a certain mythology that surrounds him, much of which is simple nonsense. Jefferson has his flaws and complexities, unlike the worshipful attitude of many historians. He did not, for instance, revolutionize social life in Virginia but made some important but modest reforms. He did secure freedom of religion by disestablishing the Anglican Church in Virginia as well. Jefferson was an enormous proponent of the agrarian mode of economic life. He was appalled by industrial...

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This section contains 564 words
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