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Thomas Jefferson: The Essential Democrat

February 21, 2018 @ 12:00 am - March 7, 2018 @ 11:59 am


Thomas Jefferson: The Essential Democrat

Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty (Basic Books, 2017) is widely praised as the best one-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson. Its author, John B. Boles, the William Pettus Hobby Professor of History at Rice University, the former editor of the Journal of Southern History, and, most recently, an acclaimed biographer, will present three lectures on Thomas Jefferson. Professor Boles will discuss Jefferson’s role in the founding of our country and in its early governance and will describe his remarkable personal qualities.

February 21: Overview
Professor Boles will place Jefferson in the context of his time and place—how he reflected and was formed by his environment— and will discuss how Jefferson has been treated by historians over time.

February 28: Jefferson in France
Jefferson’s time in France, 1784–1789, profoundly affected his ideas on government. He witnessed the French monarchy’s disregard of its people, which sharpened his belief in the virtues of a republican form of government.  He left France just as the Revolution was beginning, and the political and economic discontent he witnessed there, especially the poverty of the French peasantry, strengthened his democratic tendencies.

March 7: Jefferson as President and Politician
Jefferson’s presidency was a time of exploration and expansion and political growth.  As a reluctant president who led the nation through eight tumultuous years, Jefferson was also a reluctant politician who presided over the country in the early stages of its two-party political system.


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February 21, 2018 @ 12:00 am
March 7, 2018 @ 11:59 am
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