The founding fathers of America have to be perfect, they have to be immaculate or else America would be deemed imperfect. This illusion is what deprives people like Thomas Jefferson to be termed as the ‘Father of the Nation’ while only bestowing this title unto George Washington. George Washington was an influential figure in the American Revolution and the work he did for the Independence of America will always be cherished but Thomas Jefferson was equally significant too, from his pen flowed many important words the most important of them being the Declaration of Independence.
George Washington is known as the Father of the Nation for various reasons. Not only was he the first president of independent America but he was also the head of the Revolutionary Army. As the Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary Army it was mainly because of his steadfastness, leadership and his explicit refusal to give in did the Colonists win the war in their favor. He made a bold attack on the Hessian fort in Trenton which turned the tables in favor of the Colonists as compared to the British. When it was time to take charge of the Continental Congress, because it proved again and again that it was incapable of leading a young nation, Washington took charge and that too in the most explicit way. Washington was a powerful, charismatic personality; merely looking at him convinced many people to predict great heights for this man including the title of the Leader of the Nation. The organizers of the Constitutional Convention were of the opinion that only because of the charismatic and strong personality of George Washington did they enjoy success in the Convention. Hence, it was fortunate for America when Washington, who was also known as the ‘indispensable man’ not only attended the Convention of Philadelphia in 1787 but was also chosen to become its president and he indeed, did serve this position. Washington holds an exemplary position in the leading political and mainly military circumstances of the American Revolution. He became involved early in 1767 when he stood up against the political standing of the parliament of Britain. When the Battle of Lexington and Concord broke out he assumed military position as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. He depicted his readiness to go to war when he appeared in military attire in front of the Second Continental Congress. The Continental Army was formed on the 14th of June and the very next day was Washington appointed as its General or Commander in Chief. The job he took on was vast, corresponding local wants and needs, rivalry amongst his inferiors, spirits amid the grades and shots by Congress to administer the army’s dealings too narrowly, wishes of state governors for support, and an infinite requirement of funds to clothe, feed, arm, equip and move the troops. As it became more and more tensed politically for the colonies to continue peacefully Washington chaired a meeting in June 1774 and Fairfax Resolves were adopted then. These resolves called for many actions the most important being the assembling of the Continental Congress. Washington attended the First Virginia Convention in August and as it became more politically tensed in 1774 he helped train the militias of the country in Virginia and convened enforcement to boycott all those goods by the British which were instituted by the Congress. Washington is known most for his long lasting effects as the President of the United States of America, his first two terms being the most prominent. The Constitution gained popularity and one reason for that was the appointment of Washington as its Chief executive. Washington was a dedicated patriot and time and again he passed various opportunities to gain supreme authority. When he arrived in the Capitol, he waited for the convening of the Congress before assuming his duties the President of America. His popularity was as such that people wanted him to be treated as King however, he passed that opportunity too. He would arrive at his Inauguration wearing a plain broadcloth brown suit instead of some lavish dress and most explicitly when he resigned after two terms so as to lay down the legacy of having orderly and timely conversions in political leadership and power. His dedication and commitment to republicanism and civic virtue established his position as an ideal individual among the early politicians of America.
Thomas Jefferson was more in favor of the relatively more advanced Patriots and he based his rank on a vast knowledge of British Political philosophy as well as their history. His powerful and daring pamphlet A Summary View of the Rights of British America was his most significant contribution to the Patriots, this pamphlet was originally written to be presented in the Virginia Convention of 1774. He stressed upon the natural rights of an individual which include the right to migrate and the refusal to accept the parliamentary authority over all the colonies. During 1775-6 Jefferson was a member of the Continental Congress and in the year 1776 he was requested to write the draft of the Declaration of Independence.
He recapitulated contemporary revolutionary viewpoint in a short section that has been considered since then as the charter of not just American liberties but also universal liberties. He presented the case of the Patriots in a sequence of blazing charges not in favor of the king. If one considers the declaration in modern context then it might need some alterations however, there is an eternal quality of the philosophical division of the Declaration which bestows equal rights to all men in spite of their wealth, or even status. The government is considered as the servant instead of the ruler of the people. The Declaration alone would give the right to Jefferson to endure eternal fame. Wanting to be nearer to his family and also the hope of interpreting the philosophy of his rights of human into a legal institution in his own state Jefferson resigned from the Congress in the year 1776. He was elected as the Governor in 1779 and prior to that he served in the legislature of Virginia. This proved to be his most creative and initiative time of his revolutionary self. He tried but in vain to make the electorate broader and to establish a more equitable system to represent people, and the times were such that no particular action was taken for the abolishment of slavery except the closing down of the slave trade internationally. He was not only successful in disestablishing the church but also helped eradicate the feudal land system and its vestiges which included entailment primogeniture. In 1779, in the company of George Wythe and Edmund Pendleton, he sketched a very momentous statement on the amendment of the laws. His most well-known solitary bills are the Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (taken up in 1786) and the Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge, which went in vain when he originally wrote it. His primary functions were to obliterate simulated concession of each sort, to endorse social mobility, and to make way for the innate nobility of aptitude and good value, which ought to supply headship for a liberated society.
Jefferson provided us with the Louisiana Purchase, custom-made the Voyage of Discovery, and was the original ambassador to France. He set financing with Dutch and French bankers which helped keep the U.S floating. The negative aspect was his over spending, which kept him mostly broke. Despite of that he was responsible for establishing faith and creditworthiness of the United States of America post-revolution. Keeping in mind these achievements Thomas Jefferson should therefore, share the title of the ‘Father of the Nation’ with George Washington.
- Appleby, Joyce O, and Arthur M. Schlesinger. Thomas Jefferson. New York: Times Books, 2003. Print.
- Irving, Washington, Allen Guttmann, and James A. Sappenfield. Life of George Washington. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982. Print.
1831-1913, Granger M. M. Washington vs. Jefferson. S.l.: Hardpress Ltd, 2013. Print.
- Boller, Paul F. Presidential Campaigns: From George Washington to George W. Bush. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.
- Ferling, John E. Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.