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Transcript of Enlightenment Speech/Montage
Impact on Modern Society
It gives me great pleasure to announce this year's Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. The category is Enlightenment Thinkers of the 18th century. I am proud to present this award to....
Thomas Jefferson is best known for writing the Declaration of Independence, serving as the second vice president of the United States, and serving as the third president of the United States. He was an Enlightenment Thinker, emphasizing political freedom, religious freedom, and equal rights for all.
Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Without this crucial document, America would have never gained freedom from Great Britain. This was the document that officially separated the two countries. He listed American grievances against Britain. Although the Revolutionary War lasted 7 years after the Declaration of Independence, this document was a massive accomplishment. Though not the first, Jefferson was also a supporter of separation of State and Church. He founded the University of Virginia; he strongly supported education, as well. He freed a handful of slaves in his Last Will, and he was knows to be against slavery.
18th Century Impact
America still owes its freedom to Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. This won't change, unless another country is able to take over the US and there is another revolutionary war. 200 years later, he is still thought to be within the top 10 greatest presidents of all time -- despite his imperfections. He was directly responsible for Lewis and Clark's expedition west, which added the west coast to American territory. To honor him today, he appears on the $2 bill and nickels.
Money honoring Jefferson
Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson's University of Virginia.
Land acquired by Lewis & Clark, at Jefferson's request.