Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third President of the United States (1801-09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. As a political philosopher, Jefferson idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of the republican virtue, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal government. He supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the founder and leader of the Jeffersonian Republican party, which dominated American politics for a quarter-century. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779-1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789-1793) and second Vice President (1797- 1801).