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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Age of Jefferson by University of Virginia

426 ratings

About the Course

This course provides an overview of Thomas Jefferson's work and perspectives presented by the University of Virginia in partnership with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Together, UVA and Monticello are recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site....

Top reviews


Jul 24, 2016

Fantastic course by Dr. Onuf! I learned much and he helped correct misconceptions I harbored regarding Thomas Jefferson. Great videos and selected readings. The quizzes were relatively challenging.


Jul 29, 2020

Great lessons in the history of UVA and its architect/founder Thomas Jefferson. The professor was clearly excited about the subject matter and conveyed the history with enthusiasm and vigor.

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1 - 25 of 148 Reviews for Age of Jefferson

By Manuela E

Oct 2, 2015

Being Australian, I knew nothing about Jefferson so I came to this course with no expectations. I found it fascinating as it explained not only about Jefferson but about the American model of Government and Americans unique view of their nation. It is sometimes puzzling to an outsider to see this super nationalism and allegiance to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. As an aside, I wonder what Jefferson would think of the apparent obsession with the literal words of the Founding Fathers with respect to things like gun control. Very interesting indeed.

Mr Onuf is an excellent lecturer. You brought the topic alive


By H. M

Jul 25, 2016

Fantastic course by Dr. Onuf! I learned much and he helped correct misconceptions I harbored regarding Thomas Jefferson. Great videos and selected readings. The quizzes were relatively challenging.

By Paul L

Jul 29, 2020

Great lessons in the history of UVA and its architect/founder Thomas Jefferson. The professor was clearly excited about the subject matter and conveyed the history with enthusiasm and vigor.

By Anujay S

Jul 24, 2020

Dear Mr. Onuf and Jim, I hope you're both doing well and in good health. To all the readers of this review, I'm a student of Comparative Constitutional Law and Constitutional History, a law graduate primarily with great involvement in student leadership and drafting of policies. This course has been exceptionally helpful for my understanding of Jefferson and an important part of American History, especially Constitutional History. In my opinion, this course is a MUST for everyone and is designed beautifully with exceptional efforts. This course has taught me a lot about Jefferson and American History that I will never forget and strengthened my already existing views on the Constitution and Equality, especially on Slavery, Women, Sunset Clauses, Generational Sovereignty, Jeffersonian view on Education, Religion and many more things. I'm immensely happy to have taken this course and completed it. It was also great doing this course after doing courses on Constitutional Law from both Coursera and my own alma maters. I hope to take some of these ideas forward in my approach towards life.

By Natalia Z

Jul 24, 2021

Very interesting and well planned course. It's addressed to beguinners, but for a person whitout a previous knowledge of USA XVIII century history or, at least, an idea of who Thomas Jefferson is, this course could be really challenging. A brief introduction of what is happening in the world in 1776 could be helpful.

As someone interested in Thomas Jefferson and avid reader of everything I can find about him, I loved above all the original approach. I found new ideas about well-known topics, which is refreshing. I would love to have another course to go in depth and Jefferson is an incredible source of knowledge.

Thank you!

By Aubrey P

Sep 30, 2017

This was an awesome class because of the teaching methods, use, discussion and analysis of a variety of primary sources documents to dig deeper int understanding Thomas Jefferson, the man, plantation-slave owner, the politician and his thoughts about education and religion. It was very balanced in historical approach. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about understanding all elements that Jefferson pulled into the writing of the Declaration of independence.

By Charles E M

May 9, 2018

Thanks to this course I understand a great of the legacy of President Thomas Jefferson, and why my first cousin seven times removed, Congressman Thomas Wynns of North Carolina, was such a staunch supporter of this president. Thomas Wynns helped to begin the University of North Carolina at Chapel H

By Инна В

Sep 1, 2018

I enjoyed the course, though initially I expected more factual information. It's more of an emotional overview and, surprisingly, it allowed me to get a feel of that epoch. Lots of issues I found answers to. Great thanks to the entire team that worked to put this course together!

By Amanda D

Jun 17, 2017

This was a great course. It was very informative and enjoyable. I liked the professor a lot. I am American and thought I knew a lot about Jefferson already, but this course really helped me consider the man from a lot of different angles and gave me a lot to think about.

By Shirley K

Jul 18, 2020

what a great course! being a native Virginian, I knew a lot of Jefferson but there was a few little nuggets of info I didn't know. thank you for this interesting course!

By Margaret C

Mar 11, 2017

Really insightful course giving a really amazing insight to the past political climate of the US, but also really shedding light on the current climate as well.

By Diana C

Apr 15, 2022

Clear lectures and engaging reading from primary sources.

By Sharon I

Jun 12, 2017

I learned so much about Thomas Jefferson and his actual views and role in the Declaration of Independence. This course also helped me to form my own view of the issue of Mr. Jefferson and slave ownership that I can also apply with other Founding Fathers. This brief course has made me a better history teacher as well and I was happy to be able to share my new understandings with my students this past school year. It was especially satisfying to learn from a professor who is expert in this field and from the very university that Jefferson founded.

By Michael H

Apr 25, 2017

Jefferson is a fascinating, controversial, brilliant, and hugely important figure - unquestionably a "Founding Father", if you will - in our nation's history. Professor Onuf brings to light the key aspects of Jefferson's thinking, work and accomplishments, prompting this course participant to want to further explore all that he did, the challenges, and especially the people, who he was up against, his relationship with Sally Hemings and how that influenced his views regarding slavery, and much more.

By Becky E

Dec 28, 2016

Excellent class! This is an overview of who Jefferson was, what he really thought and believed in, what his contradictions were and why they existed, and how the perception of him has changed through different historical periods. I thought I knew a reasonable amount of information about Jefferson and the revolutionary period, but I learned so much about the historical and cultural context of the time and how it shaped Jefferson's thoughts!

Given our current judicial system's split over whether the constitution should be regarded according to the 'originalist' intention or whether it is a living document, I was surprised to find that Jefferson himself saw it as a living document, to be reshaped by each generation. Understanding why he thought that is really essential to understanding how to think about the problem today. So this isn't just history, it's current events!

I was concerned that the course seemed to be all lecture, but by the second week I was hooked. Dr Onuf is a compelling speaker, and tries to convey who Jefferson was, the world he existed in, and get you to think about Jefferson in all his complexity. The reading material is all pertinent, and (thank you!) not overwhelming. This course is "right-sized" for an online forum. I think you could spend about an our or maybe two per week on the lectures and reading material, and do fine. You would do yourself a favor to view each lecture twice though, as there is a lot of material in each one.

I would consider retaking the course for review, and would definitely take another course from Dr. Onuf. This was terrific, and I don't say that lightly.

By Eric W

Jan 29, 2022

Thank you, Professor Onuf, for an outstanding course. You have shown, in a consistently lively and engaging way, a fundamental Enlightenment Era- integrity to the subtle, complex, wide-ranging and, for us, at times surprising thought of Jefferson, stemming, in his own view, from the American revolutionary moment as epitomized by the Declaration of Independence, which brought into existence a republic founded on natural law, yet forever after threatened by the corruption of influence, be it monarchical or priestly or financial. And what a delight to have so many of the points made by Professor Onuf backed up on site by Mr. Jefferson's enduring architectural marvels.

By Robyn J

Oct 8, 2017

Mr. Onuf's knowledgeable, impassioned presentation, together with the readings provided me with so much. At age 57, this was my first look at the Declaration of Independence and other important historical events. The material both challenged and encouraged me and I highly recommend this course. It's sad that we are not learning this as part of our primary education, which is where it should begin in earnest. I am looking forward to more courses on Jefferson and other history courses and would love very much to a student of Mr. Onuf's again. I am looking forward to receiving more information on the courses offered at UVA.

By Ashley J B

Apr 7, 2020

Articulate, insightful, balanced, and a tremendous examination of the mindset of Jefferson and the principles which shaped his perspective. It incorporated a fantastic use of primary sources along with beautifully relevant cinematography on the grounds of the University of Virginia and Monticello, providing an inspired digital classroom setting. The Age of Jefferson is a valuable overview into complex subjects explained in a comprehensible, compelling scholarly manner - a phenomenal presentation and launching point for a deeper exploration into Jefferson's rationale, motivating factors, and his hopes for our republic.

By David H

Aug 17, 2020

I found this course very enlightening and full of facts and ideas about who Thomas Jefferson was. I learned about a topic that I really knew next to nothing and now have a good understanding and knowledge of Jefferson. Anyone wanting to learn about the creation of the USA should and would gain valuable knowledge from this course. Mr. Onuf was a pleasure to learn from and he was so focused and had an easy way of capturing my full attention. I enjoyed the entire experience immensely. Well done and Thank You.

By James C

Feb 23, 2023

Thank you. What a clear, meaningful presentation of the importance of Jefferson to our nation. I am certainly no Jefferson scholar but thought I "knew" the differences between Jeffersonian democracy and Hamiltonian democracy but Mr. Onuf has, in an interesting and an engaging way, filled in many of the blanks that were in my Jefferson knowledge. I thank him and I am quite pleased I took this course. Certainly much food for thought and reflection, especially in this time in the country's history.

By Mark G

Aug 28, 2020

Terrific course on every level. Fascinating subject that Professor Onuf brought to life with passion and energy. I totally enjoyed every minute of every lecture. I have historically (pun intended) focused on European and Ancient history. Sadly I know less about US History, even as a citizen. However, Professor Onuf and this course drive to me learn more. The Age of Jefferson was the perfect starting point and a catalyst to dig deeper. Also, Thank You Coursera!

By George B

Sep 21, 2020

INCREDIBLE COURSE!!! I live across the mountain in Staunton, and am launching a podcast on the life, times, and works of Edgar Allan Poe - this course helped me so much with understanding more about Poe's experience at UVA - almost as though I was seeing UVA though Poe's eyes - and more importantly, the instructor's understanding (and ability to convey) Jeffersonian concepts really expanded my view of our country's purpose and development.

By Anthony L T

Dec 13, 2020

This superb course surpassed contextualizing materials we have about Jefferson in his time and place; it offered a practical and illuminating glimpse into the mind of Jefferson as he reacted to events of the day, as well as allowed participants to ascertain what Jefferson's intentions were as he shaped the legacy of the Revolutionaries, and most importantly his well-crafted vision for future generations.

By Borremans J

Dec 21, 2022

Great course because of exceptional teacher. Professor Onuf is an exceptional scholar, teacher , mentor and humanist who brings his subject with passion, knowledge, and a sense of humor. I understand a little bit better the complicated figure Thomas Jefferson was with his great ideas, his visions on the future of the American Republic but also with his darker side and his inconsistencies.

By Domi Y

Aug 27, 2021

This course is truly amazing. He gave me a new perspective on the American Revolution and the founding of the American nation from the eyes of one of the greatest men in history. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn about the formation of the American Union as an independent state from the perspective of one of the founders of this union - the view of Thomas Jefferson.