Thomas Jefferson (April 13, [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was a statesman, diplomat, architect, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he had been elected the second vice president of the United States, serving under John Adams from 1797 to 1801. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level.
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Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.