For Jefferson and Liberty

Adrian Castro

For Jefferson and Liberty



In this video, I began with a quote from Jefferson (“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”) to symbolize the message of this platform: the People should be in control, not the government.  The picture of the Liberty Tree shadows back to the American Revolution, more specifically, to the problems with the taxation occurring throughout the colonies.  The depiction of the colonists attacking the tax collector (with the aforementioned quote attached) is used to show that the power still lies with the People and not any form of government. It is neither condoning nor reprimanding their actions but merely showing that Jefferson believed in the power of the People and not in a centralized government.


The song chosen is titled, “For Jefferson and Liberty,” and was written and used in 1800 as part of his campaign.  The song specifically targets Adams, his presidency, and, more specifically, the concerns Jefferson had to the Alien and Sedition Acts.  The first image with the song is the actual bill detailing the “Act concerning aliens.”  As we know, Jefferson was completely against this because of the major invasion of privacy.  The song progresses to talk about inquisitors and spies and the abolition of this type of system (should Jefferson be elected).  The image looks very hazy and hard to see, signaling the disappearance of this act (to the point where people don’t even remember these “spies” anymore).  It is supposed to signal a distant past.  The last image attacking Adams is a picture of himself over the lyrics, “Its hordes of harpies are no more.”  When I looked up what this line meant, I realized that the entire first paragraph was signaling a potential change away from a system of spies and inquisitors who steal one’s privacy, hence the phrase “hordes of harpies.”  I put Adam’s picture here to show that his policies infringed on one’s personal rights and is completely against Jefferson’s stance on this issue.


At the chorus, I begin with a zoomed in Declaration of Independence to show that the document he drafted received unanimous support.  “Columbia’s sons” can rejoice knowing that they are free and not under the reign of a tyrant or “harpy.”  The next image is one of Jefferson as the song says, “To tyrants never bend the knee.”  This is supposed to imply that Jefferson never gave up, despite the number of people whom he believed to be tyrants.  Instead, he continued fighting and pushing back to better the nation (by fighting the tyrants), and as a grand symbol of this, he is running for the presidency.  The two newspaper clippings were added to show that Jefferson was seen as a strong supporter of a republican government and the general interests of the United States.  Again, Adams was seen as a tyrant president and someone who acted against what the general public wanted.  Jefferson, however, was all about the people.  The last image in this sequence is another image of him and the fade into him (and transition to the next photo) was used as a way to go back in time to when the nation was headed by King George III.


The video progresses to show the flag flown during Washington’s inauguration, signaling the united colonies under a “happier home.”  Unlike British America, the United States was in essence a much happier place and better place to live in (according to a majority at least).  Therefore, this ad is trying to convey the message that America will be a happy place without a leader like Adams, who infringed on one’s rights, or King George III, who epitomizes tyranny, but instead, a leader like Jefferson would lead the nation in a positive direction.


As the chorus repeats, I repeated some of the images to show, again, his influence on national liberty and the importance of a republic to him.  I changed the image of Jefferson to give another depiction of him and his qualifications as a leader.  It ends with yet another quote (“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”) to end with him telling the public why he should be elected.  Since Adam’s and others attacked Jefferson for being too secular, I felt that it would go with the spirit of the time to cater towards the religious by ending with something that would appeal to them as well.  By combining God (and therefore, religion) with the lack of tyranny and his allegiance towards abolishing any tyranny that may result, he is able to rest some fears of a non-religious leader.


Overall, the message was supposed to be one of liberty from tyranny and the polciies of the past.  While not directly focused on one aspect of society (i.e. Federalists or just the monarchy of Britain), I tried to tap into different platforms against Jefferson (since he was accused of favoring France) in order to dispel reservations that citizens may have had.

Picture of Washington in 1800

Leaders of the Continental Congress,

Lyrics to “Jefferson and Liberty”

Map of North America, 1732

Picture of Presidential Election (Washington)

King George III, 1782

Congressional Pugilists, 1798

For background information

Picture of John Adams, 1797

Picture of Declaration of Independence

Liberty Fund (The Public Conduct and Character of John Adams), “ungovernable temper”, 1800

Lyrics to “Jefferson and Liberty”, 1800


Recent circumstances give us…


His excellency…


Columbia’s sons (lyrics again)


The testimony of esteem



image of jefferson 1791



image of tree






“Duty of the Chief Magistrate is to unite in himself the confidence of the whole people”

“produce a union of the powers of the whole, and point them in a single direction, as if all constitued but one body and one mind.”

-page 283 (Quote)

Image of younger Jefferson