Thomas Jefferson is an American icon. He has also been one of American history’s most polarizing and controversial figures. This introductory module will explore how Jefferson’s reputation has changed and evolved over the last two centuries. We’ll discover what Jefferson considered his most important contribution to the “Age of Enlightenment” in which he was living. We’ll discuss why some people in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries viewed Jefferson and his ideas with skepticism or worse, while others embraced Jefferson. Learning about how people from many different backgrounds and perspectives have interpreted Jefferson throughout history will help us understand why it’s so important to think critically and honestly about Jefferson’s life and legacy today.
Professor Peter S. Onuf
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, Emeritus
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Great lessons in the history of UVA and its architect/founder Thomas Jefferson. The professor was excited about the subject matter and conveyed the history with enthusiasm and vigor.
by IP Jul 6, 2020
I was very well taught and happy to be part of this course. Thanks to Mr. Onuf. and the University of Virginia.
by GS Sep 25, 2016
Excellent course! I learned so much about Jefferson and appreciated Dr. Onuf’s expertise.
by SK Jul 18, 2020
what a great course! being a native of Virginia