External Links for Thomas Jefferson
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Establishing a Federal Republic
Although Thomas Jefferson was in France serving as United States minister when the Federal Constitution was written in 1787, he was able to influence the development of the federal government through his correspondence. Later his actions as the first secretary of state, vice president, leader of the first political opposition party, and third president of the United States were crucial in shaping the look of the nation's capital and defining the powers of the Constitution and the nature of the emerging republic.