By Stephanie P. Newbold
Learn of Thomas Jefferson's legacy in public management.
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Additional resources for All but Forgotten: Thomas Jefferson and the Development of Public Administration
In addition to Jefferson’s commitment to analyzing and evaluating every administrative matter that concerned the presidency, he also had a distinctive ability for organization and management: The keys to Jefferson’s success may be found in his talent for system and organization, his reliance on discussion and persuasion rather than authority to achieve his ends, and his ability to keep men of conflicting temperaments working together effectively. Jefferson was readily accessible to members of his Cabinet, genuinely solicitous of his advisors’ opinions, and fully tolerant of dissenting views.
Gallatin’s administrative role throughout Jefferson’s two terms was critically important to the successful implementation of the president’s goal of reversing Hamiltonian fiscal policy initiatives, and it remains a historically accurate position to maintain that this would have been considerably more difficult to accomplish without Gallatin. Jefferson and Madison’s relationship was more personal than the one the president shared with Gallatin due to their longstanding friendship that extended well beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains that housed Monticello and Montpelier.
As the previous chapter highlighted, prior to his presidency, Jefferson defended his strict constructionist beliefs by publicly opposing Hamilton’s plan for establishing a national bank in 1791 as well as through his anonymous authorship of the Kentucky Resolutions in 1798. The opportunity to purchase Louisiana in its entirety convinced Jefferson, although begrudgingly, to abandon this principle temporarily—although this decision was not without serious contemplation and deliberation. 42 In a letter to Dickenson, Jefferson expressed his overwhelming concern for amending the Constitution: “The general government has no powers but such as the constitution has given it; and it has not given it a power of holding foreign territory, & still less of incorporating it into the Union.
All but Forgotten: Thomas Jefferson and the Development of Public Administration by Stephanie P. Newbold