Political Philosophy of Democracy:
Thomas Jefferson’s Contribution.
The spirit of the article consists in investigating politico-philosophical ideas of the famous American politician Thomas Jefferson. The author demonstrates that although Jefferson’s ideas are not set forth in considerable theoretical works, he was an original political thinker and his views of democracy are not reducible to other thinkers’ ideas. In the author’s opinion, the main purpose of Jefferson’s both ideological search and practical activity was the formation in the USA of a «virtuous republic» understood in the spirit of not so much liberalism as republicanism. The author substantiates the thought that «democracy according to Jefferson» is the combination of citizens’ direct participation in the local management with representative forms of power on the national level, given a considerable degree of citizens’ control of power, especially in questions of expending budgetary means. The article also demonstrates connection of Jefferson’s conception of people’s education and of the development of citizens’ political culture with the republican political ideal. Arguments are adduced in favour of the view that it is first of all belief in the people’s common sense and creative abilities that underlies Jefferson’s political and philosophical ideas.
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