Critical analysis of Jeffersons First Inaugural Address


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Critical analysis of Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address

In the year 1801, in the month of March, Thomas Jefferson was elected as the United States third president. As was the norm, he had to give a speech during the inauguration ceremony. Jefferson was not a public speaker, who was effective as well as articulate. According to historians, the speech was not audible and only few people were able to hear him. Also, it was described as an awkward moment. Jefferson wanted to ensure that there was unity between Republicans and Federalists and this is what makes his speech famous. He believed that there is a difference between principle and opinion. This is after he commented that everyone in the United States was a Federalist as well as a Republican (Cogliano, 2006. 56).

Before Jefferson was elected to office he was known for being against the policy of Federalists. He showed hostility towards them most times and thus it might seem that after making the comment, he was being a hypocrite. Jefferson wanted to assure American citizens that he would have an excellent administration. According to him, there would be a dissent, which would be new .The principle, which Jefferson advocated for were fair. This means that Jefferson had to ensure that America was controlled by Federal and Republican policies (Cogliano, 2006. 57). With deeper understanding of the remarks made by Jefferson, one recognizes the truth concerning the matter. Currently, there is hostility between Republicans and Democrats. The relationship between the two is often compared to that, which has characteristics of a Federal one.

The politics, ideas, philosophies and worldview of Republicans, is different as compared to that of Democrats. Conservative is used to describe Republicans, while liberal describes a Democrat. Jefferson wanted to bring about a political environment, which is harmonious, despite there being opposing ideologies. The American political scene has its fair share of squabbles, which are of a partisan nature. Americans believe that the existing government is dysfunctional and this is because polarization has affected them. Hyper- partisan and harsh are words, which have been used to describe the administration of President Obama. This is according to John Boehner, who is a House Republican. Republicans are facing hostility from Obama whereby, he seeks to ignore them. Policies enacted by the Democrats are considered as being incompetent, as well as them failing to meet citizen’s expectations. This is similar to what those opposed to Jefferson thought concerning the Federal government (Cogliano, 2006. 61).

Similarly Obama has the same intentions as those of Jefferson, in terms of promoting unity. Partisan passions seem to take over Whitehouse, according to Obama and the consequence is that work is not being done. People do not want to be governed, while hostility exists among their leaders. Americans are tired of partisan that exists in the political arena. When Jefferson called for unity, there was no much tension as it exists today. Partisanship, which exists today, has brought about a negative impact on civics and governance. Legislation that is extremely vital is being overlooked at by congress members and this has brought about the differences between Democrats and Republicans. In conclusion, it is true that history plays a vital role in any future as has been witnessed in the speech by Jefferson. The political climate of America should be changed, in order to ensure that the constitution is being adhered to. In turn, Jefferson’s dream of enhancing unity will have been realized (Cogliano, 2006. 62).

Work Cited

Cogliano, Francis. Thomas Jefferson: Reputation and Legacy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006. Print.