By Stephanie P. Newbold

Learn of Thomas Jefferson's legacy in public management.

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Extra resources for All but Forgotten: Thomas Jefferson and the Development of Public Administration

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Within the first year of Jefferson’s presidency: The Republic had met “all the regular exigencies of government” and been able to pay from the Treasury “upward of eight million dollars, principal and interest, of the public debt,” which meant the wipingout of five and a half million of the principal. 5 million of the principal had been paid off, though it was of course true that the Louisiana Purchase added a further $13 million to the sum outstanding. . In 1804, it was much the same” (1993, 203).

This correspondence is but one example that exists among many primary documents that illustrated Jefferson’s astute interest in the administration of the federal government: 28 ALL BUT FORGOTTEN In order that he [Hamilton] might have the entire government of his machine, he determined so to complicate it as that neither the President [n]or Congress should be able to understand it, or to control him. . He gave to the debt, in the first instance, in finding it, the most artificial and mysterious form he could devise.

Gallatin took the initiative in determining naval policy. He stood with Jefferson for a reduction of the army. The concept of the Treasury Department held by Gallatin was, however, substantially the same as that held by Hamilton; and Jefferson took full advantage of Gallatin’s wide-ranging mind and influence. (White 1951, 135) Jefferson relied heavily on Gallatin’s knowledge of economics and financial management. Quite simply, Gallatin possessed the political and administrative wisdom that instructed the president on how to manage the Treasury Department as well as how to reverse the course of Hamilton’s fiscal policy initiatives.

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