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Thomas Jefferson

(1743—1826) revolutionary politician and president of the United States of America


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(1743–1826)

The statesman and third President of the United States was also the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. A polymath and widely-read man, his ideal of tolerant and representative government by an educated citizenry was profoundly influenced by Enlightenment ideas, and especially the Second Treatise of Government of John Locke. This example of the direct and benign influence of a philosopher on a major political figure in a Western democracy has seldom been paralleled since the eighteenth century, and is utterly remote from the twenty-first.

Subjects: arts and humanities.