Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was an ardent proponent of democracy and embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress, and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781). In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France and later the first United States Secretary of State, (1790–1793), serving under President George Washington. At the formation of the First Party System in 1792–1793, Jefferson and James Madison, organized the Democratic-Republican Party in opposition to Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Party. He was elected the second Vice President in 1796 in the administration of President John Adams. Jefferson secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798-1799, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by the Federalist-controlled United States Congress.

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