October 15, 2012 by Lorene
Thomas Jefferson first used the word “ideology” in 1816 in reference to a French writer who had popularized the term in France. John Adams liked the word, but wanted to know what it meant. “Does it mean Idiotism? The Science of Lunacy?” He thought ideology was a French word that Jefferson was trying “to smuggle into the American language, so it should be obliged to pay an import duty.”
It is interesting that Jefferson was the first President to use the term “ideology” since he was also the first President who liked party politics. George Washington and Adams did not believe in political parties.