Jefferson believed that sociability was essential to Republicanism, in that citizens would become more virtuous and act for the public good on a regular basis. However, Jefferson never invited Republicans AND Federalists to his dinner parties . . . he absolutely abhorred conflict in his presence. So, Jefferson used his dinner parties to create more personal and political attachment to himself; very often, he let his guests sit where they chose, except for his usual seat, of course. Jefferson encouraged free-flowing conversation (with plenty of wine) instead of guests "toasting" each other non-stop, which he saw as false bonhomie. Jefferson had the gift of making everyone at his dinner parties feel comfortable and respected, which led to the kind of conversations that Jefferson could at least potentially use politically.
On 31 October 1803, the U.S.S. Philadelphia was captured by Barbary Pirates based out of Tripoli. In February 1804, Stephen Decatur and a detachment of Marines torched the U.S.S. Philadelphia, which had been overrun and taken, denying the Barbary Pirates use of the frigate against the United States. After a successful "Black Ops" mission that was led by William Eaton (and authorized by Jefferson), a detachment of Marines, and a bevy of North Africans opposed to Tripoli, Jefferson announced to Congress that the enemy in the Mediterranean had, in essence, learned their lesson, and the U.S. would no longer have to pay "Tribute" . . . shortly thereafter, hostilities once again resumed.
The Louisiana Purchase needed to be ratified by 30 October 1803; Jefferson called on Congress to meet on 17 October for "great and weighty matters". Jefferson's initial view on the purchase was that it required an amendment to the Constitution; his original intent was to formally ask both houses of Congress to propose the necessary amendment (Jefferson's initial thought was that purchasing the Louisiana Territory may have been in excess of his powers under the Constitution). In mid-August 1803, Jefferson received information that France was not as interested in the deal . . . that information changed the landscape dramatically, in that there was no time for an amendment, hence the "weighty matters" communication to Congress.
After Vice-President Aaron Burr killed former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel
on 11 July 1804, Jefferson kept silent, which was politically wise. Jefferson thought that Hamilton had possessed dangerous tendencies, yet he used Hamilton's institutions and methods to be the first President to drastically increase the power of the Executive branch. On 6 August 1804, Jefferson was informed that his Vice-President was interested in effecting a separation from the nation in Western states/territories. In the months that followed, Jefferson was re-elected in 1804 with an Electoral vote count of 162 to 14 for the Federalist candidate Thomas Cotesworth Pinckney.
On March 1807, Burr was arrested for treason; Jefferson was deeply involved with the prosecution, but from a distance. During the trial, Jefferson was subpoenaed to testify against Burr . . . Jefferson refused to submit himself and the office of the President to the control of others. Jefferson did agree to submit "relevant documents", which were mostly copies of documents that the presiding judge, Chief Justice John Marshall, refused to allow into evidence. Burr's acquittal enraged Jefferson; to him, it was yet another in a line of incorrect decisions made by Federalists in the Supreme Court. Added to Marbury v Madison, and the failed removal of Associate Justice Samuel Chase, Jefferson's distrust of the newly self-empowered Judicial branch increased.
Jefferson was willing to use force, but he knew in this situation he couldn't act unilaterally. Jefferson was also practical, in that the U.S. Navy was nowhere-near the strength of the Royal Navy. "War Fever" had subsided overall in America, and the only realistic alternative seemed to be the embargo . . . Jefferson reluctantly agreed that an embargo was the "least-bad" alternative.
In the early stages, Great Britain felt some of the effects of the embargo, and actively encouraged U.S. ships to try and sail to Europe despite the rigid enforcement. What Jefferson didn't know was that embargoes are impractical over the long-term, and Great Britain, while inconvenienced, was able to procure most of what they imported from the U.S. elsewhere.
The Embargo of 1807 turned U.S. politics on its head; now even loyal long-time Republicans believed that Jefferson had become a de facto Monarch, since he was now negatively affecting the lives of regular citizens (the embargo led to a severe economic downturn). Federalists (who were concentrated in New England) focused more-and-more on state's rights, and discussions to explore the possibility of secession intensified. Yet, as time would determine, any other decision but the embargo would have been madness or cowardice.