What Was the Significance of Jefferson's Inaugural Address?
The significance of President Jefferson's inaugural address was that it was the first inaugural address of the 19th century and the first held in the United States Capitol Building, and it proved the system was alive and working well. The election had been hard and dirty, but the changing of the guard took place smoothly. President Jefferson sought to bring all the warring factions back together in his speech.
According to About, the 1700s had been quite a decade for the young nation, and it had ended with a very politically contentious decade. The nation, not even a quarter of a century old in 1800, had endured serious growing pains in the 1790s. The election of 1800 continued the theme. It was a hotly contested election that saw the defeat of the incumbent President and the election put into the House of Representatives for a final decision.
Nevertheless, when President Thomas Jefferson stood in the Capitol Building to be inaugurated, the first President to do so, his election was proof that the country had passed a major test and that the system put forth by the Founding Fathers had worked. President Jefferson wanted to speak healing words to the country. In an attempt to show that, despite differences of opinion, all Americans really wanted the same basic things, he stated, "We have called by different names brethren of the same principle." He asked that opposing parties come together to work for the nation as a whole. The significance of a new century, a new setting and a new administration determined to bring the country together gave Americans new hope, according to About.