Thomas Jefferson

In which John Green teaches you about founding father and third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is a somewhat controversial figure in American history, largely because he, like pretty much all humans, was a big bundle of contradictions. Jefferson was a slave-owner who couldn’t decide if he liked slavery. He advocated for small government, but expanded federal power more than either of his presidential predecessor. He also idealized the independent farmer and demonized manufacturing, but put policies in place that would expand industrial production in the US. Controversy may ensue as we try to deviate a bit from the standard hagiography/slander story that usually told about old TJ. John explores Jefferson’s election, his policies, and some of the new nation’s (literally and figuratively) formative events that took place during Jefferson’s presidency. In addition to all this, Napoleon drops in to sell Louisiana, John Marshall sets the course of the Supreme Court, and John Adams gets called a tiny tyrant.

Follow us!

Like us! Support CrashCourse on Subbable:

25 Comments on “Thomas Jefferson”

  1. Erin Howarth says:

    Is it true that the children Thomas Jefferson is alleged to have fathered
    with his slaves might have actually been fathered by his nephew??

  2. Mike Dalton says:

    hahahahahhaaha how did they cook stuff Stan!?

  3. lilrog0909 says:

    Thomas Jefferson the legendary rapist?

  4. iPr0CR4Ft says:


    Looks like I can move on now…?

  5. TheGiantKiller8 says:

    Jefferson still a great president?

  6. ComradeWinston says:

    He had a perfectly good opportunity to stem slavery with the Louisiana
    Purchase by barring it’s practice in the new territory, however Jefferson
    wittingly opted instead to assure the economic potency of the United States
    even with figures such as Thomas Paine urging him to do otherwise. For if
    he had waited for merchants and traders to settle out in the new territory
    of Louisiana it would have taken far longer to settle; leaving,
    essentially, ‘his’ republic economically impotent.

    And when it comes to slavery, come now, this was a time where race-theory
    was a legitimate contention that had yet to be dismissed. To blame him for
    putting Republic before Slave is simply unfair given the century, his
    actions, and his works.

    Jefferson would more than willingly contradict himself on a frequent basis
    to grow the United States into a power worthy of the world stage. That is
    why he’s truly great, for having been able to sacrifice his ideals upon the
    altar of practicality and the future prosperity of the republic.?

  7. aperson22222 says:

    If Jefferson and I were shipwrecked on a desert island and our only food
    source was ten bananas, he’d give me one, make a pitcher of daiquiris out
    of the other nine, and sip his daiquiris while explaining to me how, in a
    just society, we’d have split the bananas five and five.?

  8. Taylor Avalos says:

    Thomas Jefferson was a great man, and yes, he had immense flaws, not the
    least of which being his affair with one of his slaves. But if you look up
    what specifically he thought about slavery, you’ll find he really hated the
    institution itself. He even admonished the British for bringing slavery to
    the colonies in his original draft of the Declaration. He only kept his
    slaves and didn’t advocate abolition because, due in part to the
    shortcomings of science in his day, and due to his upbringing and culture,
    he honestly believed slaves were incapable of taking care of themselves.
    From his point of view, however ignorant and warped it was, it would have
    been crueler to slaves to free them. He may have been very, very wrong, but
    I don’t think you could say he was a bad person just for that, anymore than
    you could say Isaac Newton was a poor scientist because he believed in
    alchemy. ?

  9. Luke Snyder Games says:

    I actually learn more from these videos than in actual school?

  10. Ryan Larkin says:

    We need more duels :)?

  11. nfinn42 says:

    “…The best thing John Adams ever did was transfer power…”

    Yeah, except for all the things Adams did during the Revolution without
    which there never would have been an independent United States of America.
    He sucked as a President but please don’t write off his entire life’s work
    as a placeholder.?

  12. a1cjlock says:

    No matter how much you sugarcoat it, Jefferson was a racist who shared the
    views of many whites during his time. When he wrote in the DOI that “All
    men are created equal”, It’s my opinion that Jefferson didn’t include
    blacks due to the fact that most people of the time thought that blacks
    were subhuman and destined to remain in their inferior state. Whose to say
    that Jefferson thought of intellectual blacks like Benjamin Banaker as mere
    social experiments than fellow Americans because of their white supremacy.?

  13. 95LittleRed says:


  14. Tessa Netting says:


  15. aiden dennis says:

    9:15 there’s a blue guy at the curtains ?

  16. DoggyClawz says:

    Guys my first name is jefferson I feel so special?

  17. Edison Michael says:

    A complicated man from dissonant times. Very interesting.?

  18. BbbradiCP says:

    Thank god for this crash course series lemme tell ya?

  19. Jared Frick says:

    Louisiana Purchase – Lewis and Clark Rag by Jack Gladstone on his Buffalo
    Cafe CD. HOOAH!?

  20. Keith Vrotsos says:

    All honor to Jefferson. For he was a man who in the concrete pressure of a
    struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness,
    forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an
    abstract truth, applicable to all men in all times. And so to embalm it
    there that today, and in all coming days, it shall serve as a rebuke and
    stumbling to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny. -Lincoln

  21. Spaming Pyro says:

    I learned a lot?

  22. Hamish Melican says:

    you should’ve mentioned the federal reserve. ?

  23. tadman105 says:

    I knew it woot. If you want a generally good history of America I would
    look up Alan Brinkley who is the author of the book I cannot remember at
    work right now?

  24. N1N097 says:

    John, I think you are wrong about Jefferson and slaves. He wrote an
    anti-slavery clause in the first Declaration of Independence, but it was
    edited out. He also advocates for the abolition of slavery in his Notes on
    the State of Virginia. At the Confederation Congress in 1783, Jefferson
    added a provision to the discussion in which America would prohibit slavery
    in any new territory acquired from then on out. The provision was actually
    defeated 7-6 by the Congress’ delegates. This may have prevented the Civil
    War. He owned slaves, but a racist he was not.?

  25. 900mario1 says:

    1:54 or bush(unless the fact from the last video was incorrect)?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *