By Stephanie P. Newbold
Research 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
For general fiscal policy Jefferson was responsible, but for its details and management Gallatin had a free hand. He advised the President on army and navy estimates. 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.
Writing to Robert Livingston, the American minister to France, the president maintained, “The cession of Louisiana and the Floridas by Spain to France works most sorely on the United States. The day that France takes possession of New Orleans fixes the sentence which is to restrain her forever within her low-water mark. It seals the union of two nations, who, in conjunction, can maintain exclusive possession of the ocean. ”34 Jefferson’s position in this correspondence is quite striking. Since the Revolutionary War, his distrust of Great Britain had increased exponentially while his support for France remained remarkably positive.
Removing as many Federalist civil servants as possible from their positions in the federal 16 ALL BUT FORGOTTEN government was the first step that allowed him to move forward with a different economic agenda for the nation. The organizational structure of his administration, his capacity to act as both a policy maker and a working administrator, and his ability to cultivate political support within Congress and the Democratic-Republican Party, however, would serve as the most important ways his presidency differed from the previous two.