A decision and legacy that worried him until the day he died. "His choice was the wrong decision for his peace of mind, his moral consistency, and the principle of strict construction, but it was the right decision for the nation," Newbold states.
Jefferson met the criteria of a "genuine man." He did so by, at the same time, admitting the constitutionally immoral nature of his action (he made the purchase without congressional consent) and benefits of the action to the nation. His executive action serves as a noteworthy case that highlights the ethical complexities of statesmanship, administrative ethics, and public administration. "Jefferson lived for, and not off politics," Newbold concludes.
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Stephanie Newbold is a doctoral candidate in the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech. She is currently a research associate at the Institute for Policy Outreach, Virginia Tech. Ms. Newbold is available for questions and interviews.