The story of the Louisiana Purchase is one of strength, of Jefferson’s adaptability and, most important, his determination to secure the territory from France, doubling the size of the country and transforming the United States into a continental power. A slower or less courageous politician might have bungled the acquisition; an overly idealistic one might have lost it by insisting on strict constitutional scruples. Jefferson, however, was neither

Good humor, Jefferson added, “is the practice of sacrificing to those whom we meet in society all the little conveniences and preferences which will gratify them, and deprive us of nothing worth a moment’s consideration;

the people are intelligent, the people are just, and in time these characteristics must have an effect on their Representatives.

I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions … but I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind….

United by no fixed principles or objects and destitute of everything like American feeling, so detestable a minority never existed in any country-Their whole political creed is contained in a single word ‘opposition’-They

He dreamed big but understood that dreams become reality only when their champions are strong enough and wily enough to bend history to their purposes. Broadly put, philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

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