Thomas Jefferson

Midnight Appointments

The Midnight Appointments, also called the Judiciary Act of 1801, was an attempt to separate the Supreme and Circuit courts and to appoint Federalist supporters into the newly created court positions. The appointments were called the Midnight Appointments, because they were completed in the last 19 days of Adams presidency, with three being signed on his last day in office.

Marbury v Madison

On 1803 was the first case in which the court declared an act of Congress to be unconstitutional. President John Adams had made many federal appointments, including William Marbury as justice of the peace in the District of Columbia. Thomas Jefferson, the new president, refused to recognize the appointment of Marbury. The usual practice of making these appointments was to deliver a commission, or written statement, of appointment. This was usually done by the Secretary of State, which at the time was James Madison. At the direction of Jefferson, Madison refused to deliver Marbury's commission. Marbury sued Madison, and the Supreme Court took the case. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the Judiciary Act of 1789, which said that the practice of delivering such commissions for judges and justices of the peace, was unconstitutional because it the gave the Supreme Court authority that was denied it by Article III of the Constitution. So the Supreme Court said, the Judiciary Act of 1789 was illegal and not to be followed.

Louisiana Purchase

Was western half of the Mississippi River basin purchased in 1803 by the United States from France the U.S. rain around 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

The Lewis and Clark Expedition was group of military men, called the Corps of Discovery and civilians that were led by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark to explore the US lands that were gained in the Louisiana Purchase and the Pacific Northwest. Their mission was to explore the unknown territory and establish trade with the Natives. One of their goals was to find a waterway from the US to the Pacific Ocean. They were helped by a female guide called Sacajawea. Sacagawea was a Native American who guided their mission because she knew the native land better than the European travelers. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled along the Missouri River from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition started on May 21, 1804 and ended on September 23, 1806.

Pike Expedition

Pike was the U.S. Army officer who in 1805 led an exploration to explore the American Southwest. Pike was told to seek out headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers and to investigate Spanish settlements in New Mexico. Him and his men left Missouri and traveled through the present-day states of Kansas and Nebraska before reaching Colorado. From there, they traveled down to New Mexico, where they were stopped by Spanish officials and charged with illegal entry into Spanish held territory.


Was taking men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. Navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means.

Leopard and Chesapeake

Was a British attack on the American frigate Chesapeake that attempted to capture three Americans and one British deserter. The three Americans had been pressed into involuntary service with the British earlier, and with the British deserter, they discovered an opportunity to escape, which eventually ended with them boarding the Chesapeake.

Embargo act

The Embargo Act of 1807 was a law passed by the United State Congress and signed by President Thomas Jefferson on December 22, 1807. It prohibited American ships from trading in all foreign ports.


This Act lifted all embargoes on American shipping except for those bound for British or French ports. Its intent was to damage the economies of the United Kingdom and France. Like its predecessor, the Embargo Act, it was mostly ineffective, and contributed to the coming of the War of 1812.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.