Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809.He was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. Following the American Revolutionary War and prior to becoming president in 1801, Jefferson was the nation's first U.S. secretary of state under George Washington and then the nation's second vice president under John Adams. During the American Revolution, Jefferson represented Virginia at the Second Continental Congress and served as the second governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781. In 1785, Congress appointed Jefferson U.S. minister to France, where he served from 1785 to 1789. President Washington then appointed Jefferson the nation's first secretary of state, where he served from 1790 to 1793. During this time, in the early 1790s, Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the nation's First Party System. Jefferson and Federalist John Adams became both friends and political rivals. In the 1796 U.S. presidential election between the two, Jefferson came in second, which made him Adams' vice president under the electoral laws of the time. Four years later, in the 1800 presidential election, Jefferson again challenged Adams, and won the presidency. In 1804, Jefferson was reelected overwhelmingly to a second term. As president, Jefferson assertively defended the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. Beginning in 1803, he promoted a western expansionist policy with the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the nation's geographic size. To make room for settlement, Jefferson began the process of Indian tribal removal from the newly acquired territory. As a result of peace negotiations with France, Jefferson was able to reduce military forces and expenditures. In his second presidential term, Jefferson was beset by difficulties at home, including the trial of his former vice president Aaron Burr. In 1807, American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act to defend the nation's industries from British threats to U.S. shipping.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,
Random House, March 2016,