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Was Thomas Jefferson a Republican?

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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 11:46 AM
Original message
Was Thomas Jefferson a Republican?
I've been doing research on him because he didn't seem to be a Republican to me and found this.

Was Thomas Jefferson democratic or republican?

Answer from Wiki:

Jefferson's political party

Thomas Jefferson was neither because the politican platforms of these two parties would not have stood a chance in his time. The two parties would have been hopelessly authoritarian and unworkable and they would have been in his time. He was effectively a liberal, secualr humanist, which would be closer, in todays world, to the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, but close to neither.

Another one:

http://whirledview.typepad.com/whirledview/2007/09/thom...

<snip>

The Republican Party, according to the history I knew, was formed by a group of businessmen and farmers who felt that the two political parties of the time, the Democrats and the Whigs, were not addressing the abolition of slavery, too wedded to the status quo, too afraid that they would wind up on the wrong side of the issue, too indebted to their big moneymen.

So I wondered what Republican Party those recent articles meant. As far as I knew, the party with that name originated in 1854. In researching this on the Web, however, I find that one of the historians of this question says that the 1854 Republicans chose the name because it had been applied by Thomas Jefferson to his party.

Thomas Jefferson opposed the Federalists, who wanted a stronger national government and alliance with England. He initially called the party Republican, but the name became Democratic-Republican. Still later, it dropped the second part of that long hyphenation and became 1854s and todays Democratic Party.

<snip>

So its quite inaccurate to refer to Thomas Jefferson as a Republican, unless you qualify that term. The New Yorker article seems unaware of this history.



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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thomas Jefferson was the founder of the Democratic Republican Party
. . . which evolved into the Democratic Party.
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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I know this now...before I kept seeing him being referred to as a Republican
Edited on Sat Oct-04-08 11:55 AM by Bryn
I am glad I went to check out the fact and the history.

Dennis Kucinich is more like Thomas Jefferson, isn't he?
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. The D-Rs often referred to themselves as Republicans, that is true
However, there is no direct link between the party headed by Thomas Jefferson and the modern Republican Party.
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flyingfysh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. that's ironic
Now it's the Republicans who are indebted to their big moneymen, and a lot of Democrats aren't far behind.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
4. Democratic Republican

They referred to themselves as "Republicans" at the time. Republican was to be taken more literally in its classic sense, i.e. "Republicans" vs. "Federalists."

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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. delete
Edited on Sat Oct-04-08 11:55 AM by MNDemNY
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. Jefferson was neither a Democrat nor a Republican
As vice-President, he was an Anti-Federalist (the opposition to the Federalist Party headed by Washington and John Adams.) As president, he headed the Democratic-Republican Party.

The Democratic Party, as such, did not exist until around 1824. The Federalist Party had effectively ceased to exist and the Democratic-Republicans were the only functioning party in the country. A group of populists, led by Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, were disillusioned with the way the D-Rs selected their presidential candidate for 1824 and organized an opposition caucus, which chose Jackson as their candidate. After the 1824 election, these populists left the D-Rs to form the Democratic Party. Jackson's win in 1828 marked the first time that a Democrat was elected to the Presidency.

After the departure of the "Jacksonian" Democrats, the D-Rs reorganized as the National Republican Party and started wooing former Federalists. They latter merged with several regional factions to become the Whig Party by 1833. The Whigs eventually split into pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions, which doomed the party. The anti-slavery faction organized into the modern Republican Party in 1958, and elected its first president, Abraham Lincoln, in 1860.

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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. "I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men...
Edited on Sat Oct-04-08 12:07 PM by jus_the_facts
.....whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. republican (small 'r') as in favoring a republic - over a monarchy, for instance.
The GOP are not republicans. Republicans are not republicans.

See the word "public" in there? The GOP prefers privatization over the needs of the public.

Their whole identity is a misnomer. Just like the "Healthy Forests" initiative to rape and timber public lands, or "Clean Air, Clear Skies" to allow more air pollution.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
10. Not of the modern Republican party
Edited on Sat Oct-04-08 12:59 PM by ZombyWoof
Jefferson was the first president from the Democratic-Republican Party - called "Republicans" in the shorthand of the day, ironically. Within a generation of Jefferson's departure from the White House, the party endured more name changes and turmoil, and eventually, Andrew Jackson convened the modern Democratic Party for the first ever nominating convention in 1824. Old Hickory is often deemed the developer or inventor of the party convention, when it actually did the dirty work of choosing the nominee.

The modern Republicans were founded in 1854, and John C. Fremont was their first nominee in 1856. Lincoln became the first Republican president.
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
11. Come on, what is a Thomas Jefferson thread without, "he was a slaveowner"
DU is going downhill fast.
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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Huh?
We all know that Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner even though he strongly opposed slavery and knew it was evil and wrong. It seems to me that his slave, Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson loved each other. It was a love that could never be acknowledged. He could not claim the children she bore him. Living a lie must have been excruciating for them both, especially when his political enemies caught on to the story and mocked him in ways that make today's press look surprisingly civil.

No one is perfect, unfortunately, but at least he knew it was wrong and evil.

Today, slavery has a different meaning. The people's needs are ignored and big boys of wall street, CEO's, the rich are being catered to by US government...the BAILOUT!

No DU is not going down. It helps to educate us.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-08 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
12. It certainly explains why its hard for some to differentiate between them.
Unfortunately, it is too easy to confuse.
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