© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The American Revolution

The American Revolution

Thomas Jefferson in The American Revolution

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America for the central role he played in drafting the Declaration of Independence. During the American Revolution, Jefferson was elected governor of Virginia and, after the war, he was appointed minister to France. He also served as the nation's first secretary of state, its second vice president, and its third president.

Jefferson helped to found the Virginia Committee of Correspondence in 1773. He went on to make one of the most eloquent arguments against Parliament's authority over the colonies, asserting that the colonists were only united with England through their voluntary allegiance to the king. Jefferson was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1776, when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. Afterwards, he returned home to Virginia and vigorously campaigned for democratic reforms and religious freedoms in the new state government. Though a supporter of democracy and freedom for whites, Jefferson's policies were altogether different when it came to the African-Americans he owned and the Indians his fellow colonists had been battling for land on the frontier. In 1779, Jefferson succeeded Patrick Henry as Governor of Virginia but only served one term. During that period, he urged a war of extermination against the Shawnees in Ohio. The Kentucky militia repeatedly crossed the Ohio River to burn Shawnee villages.4

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...