Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Thomas Jefferson, one of the American Presidents of the past, wasborn in Virginia in 1743. When he was 14 years old, his fatherdied and the young boy was left to choose for himself what to do.Jefferson studied literature and languages. He also studied to bea lawyer, and later he wrote many of the Virginia laws. One ofthe laws for which he worked very much was a law to allow manychildren to attend schools for free. Schools in America were only for thechildren whose parents were rich. When Jefferson was still ayoung man he was one of those who wanted freedom from England.His most outstanding achievement was the Declaration of Independence, a statement of human rights andliberties. It was read to the happy people on the 4th of July,1776. Jefferson also drew up the constitution for his state,Virginia, and served as its governor. He was sent to France asthe foreign minister of the United States of America andafterwards was President's Washington secretary of state. A fewyears later he became the country's third president, serving inthis position for 2 terms. The author of the Declaration ofIndependence did another important thing for the American people.He worked out a plan for a university where the students andteachers could live and work together in a village built forthem. It was one of the first schools to teach science. Today, itis the university of Virginia. This well known man was also aself-taught architect. He introduced the simple classical designto America when he designed the Virginia State Capital Building.He also designed his own home, he remained the most influencialarchitect of his time. Thomas Jefferson did many useful thingsduring his life time and he always thought of how to helpordinary people. He was a practical and theoretical scientisttoo. Jefferson's best traditions have been kept up by Americanprograssive people in their struggle for peace and democracy.