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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.

2006 Carret Essay Prompt

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?

2006 Essay Winners

Name Award Title
Neal Dugre First Place "An Identity of Contrast: Defining American in the Age of Jefferson
Ian Henderson Second Place "Jefferson's Greatest Challenge and Ultimate Success: Defining an American Identity"
Jessica Keough Third Place "Thomas Jefferson and John Locke: America's Co-Founders"