Thomas Jefferson is a Virginian native, whom served in the Virginia government before becoming president. He then became sectary of state, later becoming Vice President under John Adams in 1793. He then became the third president of the United States after the election of 1800.
Thomas Jefferson had many positive and negative contributions during his term as president. The Negative contribution Thomas Jefferson had during his term as president as the Embargo Act of 1807. The United States inflicted this embargo on trading with foreign countries as a way to call attention to war. This was mostly directed toward Britain and France while the Napoleonic War was happening. Jefferson thought the embargo would be an honest substitute for war. Instead of harming more men and destroying more property, he could protect the respect of the country and flag. He also thought this would persuade France and Britain to take America seriously and respect their rights. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison made this act up based off of Republican beliefs that refused trading between Britain and the United States would prove a point. This act refused any type of American trade, which naturally caused many economic issues within the United States. This Embargo Act was not very popular either in the congress’s eyes. Thomas Jefferson thought the people of America would go along with this act out of patriotism. If they did not follow this act it would seem as if they did not agree with the president, making them lack patriotism and love for their country.
Jefferson’s act was an expensive failure, and most still do not know the positive outlook it had on America still to this day. Not only was it a cost effecting failure, it caused export profits to plummet now more than ever. In just one year, the profits went down eighty-six million, and over twenty thousand were left jobless. As the water ways became vacant, many if not most did too. This resulted in million-dollar boats sitting in the harbors rotting, also being a cost affecting failure on Jefferson’s part. Though the harbor areas were affected in a major way, the United States as a whole suffered. The farmers of America, mostly of the south, could no longer sell their crops due to the ban of international trading. The embargo was not just a money wasting act, it caused a lack of unity within the American people. All together it was a failure diplomatically and economically.
The Embargo Act only lasted two years before the congress abolished it. Only three days prior to president Thomas Jefferson’s last days, it was repealed. After the economic stress it caused America, congress restored a new act in replace of it. This act was called the Non-Intercourse Act, this restored trade with all nations except Britain and France. The Embargo Act had little to no positive consequences for America, and at the end of Jefferson’s term he knew this. His comment toward his retirement support this, Jefferson said, “Never did a prisoner, released from his chains, feel such relief as I shall on shaking off the shackles of power.” By the end of the Embargo Act, new president Madison asked congress for the declaration to go to war. The congress did declare war upon Britain. Another example of why this act was a negative concept, and ironically it was used to call attention to war and it ended up causing one. Though Thomas Jefferson did have many positive projects he was a part of including the Louisiana Purchase and The Declaration of Independence, being a man in power he had his share of negative ideas, and the Embargo Act just happened to be one.