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Of Money and Measuring Thomas Jefferson’s Attempt to Rationalize America

Of Money and Measuring Thomas Jefferson’s Attempt to Rationalize America

Of Money and Measuring
Thomas Jefferson’s Attempt to Rationalize America

by Tom Jewett

 

Thomas Jefferson is known for many accomplishments: legal scholar, scientist, statesman, diplomat, and educator. But, he is also the individual who developed the United States’ monetary system and was almost the father of the metric system. The last two he devised in his spare time while he was assuming other taxing duties.

Jefferson, a child of the Enlightment, saw disorder as an anathema. The English system of measurement with its ounces, feet and bushels; which were not related mathematically, grated on his rational mind. He felt the same about the nonsensical pences and pounds monetary units which the English had bequeathed to the colonies.

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