Philip L. Carret Thomas Jefferson Essay Competition
This is a guide to the Philip L. Carret Thomas Jefferson Essay Competition. The essay competition was endowed in 1997 and was designed to have students reflect on the principles and ideals in Thomas Jefferson's life and career.
Britain and France, for Thomas Jefferson at least, posed philosophical as well as political challenges. In his ongoing attempts to define what it meant to be "American" after he had helped the thirteen colonies to declare independence, Jefferson often looked back across the Atlantic at European ideas and ideals about national identity. How did his intellectual and personal encounters with European societies shape Jefferson's conceptions of American identity and the development of new national ideas and institutions?