Shaping The World: Conversations on Democracy
produced in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
Teacher Resources and Lesson Plans are available for each of the Conversations programs to help students
"Indulge in Jefferson's Favorite Pursuits...Reading, Studying, Thinking"
Episode Seven - President Thomas Jefferson And Former Vice President Aaron Burr: People, Places and Politics
They were both Democratic-Republicans -- Thomas Jefferson, born in Virginia; Aaron Burr, in New Jersey. They both were men of brilliant intelligence. They both played roles in the American Revolution, one yielding the pen, the other fighting the war. Both were lawyers turned politicians to better serve their nation. Both were controversial.
In the presidential election of 1800, Jefferson and Burr would tie at 73 electoral votes. On the 36th ballot in the House of Representatives Jefferson was elected President and Burr Vice President. Aaron Burr would serve as Vice President from 1801 - 1805. Believing Alexander Hamilton responsible for a smear-campaign and ferocious assassination on his character, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. On July 11, 1804 Burr's shot proved fatal and he was charged with the crime of murder in New York and New Jersey. Following his tenure as Jefferson's Vice President, Burr visits the American West and finds himself the center of an accusation of treason. In January 1807, President Jefferson issued a proclamation calling for Burr's arrest. Burr is acquitted on September 1, 1807 of the treason charge and in December on the misdemeanor charge.
Students from Appomattox Middle School will confront these two men, seeking to find answers that give us insight into their lives, their roles in the American Revolution and the new government, and into those dark days known as The Burr Conspiracy. Students and teachers can join this conversation and learn more about these two men, their early years, education, careers, their roles in the American Revolution and the American Government, their thoughts on democracy, and their views on their country's future.