A President's Vision

"A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry…advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye..."

First Inaugural Address,
March 4, 1801

Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States
March 4, 1801–March 4, 1809

Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of the Independence, was the third president of the republic he helped establish. His election marked the first transfer of power to an opposition camp and the first time the House of Representatives elected the president after a tie in electoral votes. After a bitter and divisive campaign, Jefferson issued a broad appeal for calm in his first inaugural address: “We are all republicans: we are all federalists.”

Jefferson was an active president who worked closely with allies in Congress, communicating his initiatives in powerful written messages. The successes of his administration included negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the national domain. He dispatched the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the huge territories in the west of the North American continent. In keeping with his Republican principles, he repealed most internal taxes and reduced the public debt.

The nation’s fortunes suffered during Jefferson’s second term. The ongoing war in Europe and British naval interference in the Atlantic threatened commerce. In an attempt to maintain neutrality and punish British aggression, Jefferson asked Congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807, which effectively halted all trade between America and other countries. This far-reaching and unpopular measure created hardship and dissent at home, unleashing bitter political attacks on his administration. Despite the renewed rancor, Jefferson kept his faith in the American people’s “love of liberty, obedience to law, and support of public authorities.”

Teacher Resources

At First Glance Worksheet

A brief worksheet that guides students through an initial examination of the Jefferson poster.

Image Analysis Worksheet

A worksheet that asks students to examine closely each image featured on the Jefferson poster.

Primary Source Worksheets

Worksheets that ask students to examine a primary source and then answer several questions regarding its context, meaning, and significance.

Spanish Translation of Poster Narrative

A translation of the poster narrative describing Jefferson's vision for his presidency.

Classroom Activities, Assignments, and Further Resources

Further activities, assignments, and resources related to the Jefferson poster.

TEKS Correlation

This guide shows how the President’s Vision Thomas Jefferson materials correlate to the TEKS for social studies.

Download the Poster

Download a full-size, high resolution version of the Jefferson poster.

pdf preview image

Explore Resources

Download images of the primary sources used in the poster series and search for related resources in the Digital Repository.

Make Your Own Poster Activity

In this activity, students research, design, and create their own President's Vision poster in either hard copy or digital format.


Call 512.440.1991 or email pv@humanitiestexas.org.