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Patriot123
12-16-2008, 07:08 PM
Now I've always liked Jefferson - he nearly single handedly built this country, and was the best president we ever had, in my opinion. However I routinely hear many liberals argue that Jefferson was a "hypocrite," and as such a dishonorable man.
The main arguments I've heard are essentially that...

A) Jefferson was a slave owner, and as such is a hypocrite for writing "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence.
B) That he was opposed to the constitution. [Fact or fiction?]
C) He had an affair with one of his slaves, and as such is dishonorable.

Is it then true that Jefferson was a hypocrite and a dishonorable man? Or is there an argument against these arguments, mainly argument A?

evilfunnystuff
12-16-2008, 07:13 PM
http://www.jeffersonhour.org/?id=16&page=Download+the+Show
check out 671 Declaration of Independence ive heard clay discuss #1 before and he should touch on it in this episode

i have never heard the accusation hes against the constitution

ive heard 3 before but honestly dont have any idea of its truthieness

edit also check out 734 Prejudice and Parties

dannno
12-16-2008, 07:18 PM
The world is a lot different now that we know it's borders. We are familiar with it's continents and inhabitants.

A long time ago, man did not know the bounds to land. He did not know of his relation to the African. Maybe "God" was just a god for white people, and there was no such thing as "earth", just a vast expanse of land and ocean that goes on forever. The point is we were living in a different world.

We enslave animals like horses, oxen and cows, but it is abhorrent to enslave another human being. We could just as easily have the belief system that it is abhorrent to enslave animals, and a lot of the liberals and progressives of today would be made to look pretty evil for supporting animal slavery all this time.

Those issues are rough to deal with. I am pretty sure that the history of men like Jefferson and Andrew Jackson have been tampered with by the powers that be over the centuries.. I mean, go ask a liberal about what a "great guy" Andrew Jackson was!! I saw a list one time of all the awful things they claimed he did, I don't think a man could accomplish all those things in one life!!

It's important to stress who he actually was. His quotes about banking institutions, individual liberty and his battles with Hamilton over centralized power.

mediahasyou
12-16-2008, 07:19 PM
Jefferson is definitely a lesser of many evils.

heavenlyboy34
12-16-2008, 07:21 PM
Now I've always liked Jefferson - he nearly single handedly built this country, and was the best president we ever had, in my opinion. However I routinely hear many liberals argue that Jefferson was a "hypocrite," and as such a dishonorable man.
The main arguments I've heard are essentially that...

A) Jefferson was a slave owner, and as such is a hypocrite for writing "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence.
B) That he was opposed to the constitution. [Fact or fiction?]
C) He had an affair with one of his slaves, and as such is dishonorable.

Is it then true that Jefferson was a hypocrite and a dishonorable man? Or is there an argument against these arguments, mainly argument A?

A) Whoever told you that he was a slave owner didn't give you the rest of the story. He inherited his slaves from his father in law, and set them free as soon as he could. B) He was opposed to the way the Hamiltonians/Federalists wrote the constitution, yes. C) I don't have any proof of this either way, but I doubt it.

If you look at how he handled his presidency, you could call him somewhat hypocritical (the war of 1812, etc). But to my knowledge, he was a pretty principled guy. :)

Jefferson FTW! :D

evilfunnystuff
12-16-2008, 07:23 PM
If you look at how he handled his presidency, you could call him somewhat hypocritical (the war of 1812, etc). But to my knowledge, he was a pretty principled guy. :)

Jefferson FTW! :D
and the louisiana purchase

mediahasyou
12-16-2008, 07:27 PM
the Louisiana purchase, the embargo acts, the Barbary pirate war were all non-libertarian and unconstitutional acts.

The biggest lie is that a Libertarian is incorruptible. Libertarians do no possess super powers, they possess the same desires we all do as humans.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Libertarians are no exception from this rule.

dannno
12-16-2008, 07:29 PM
A) Whoever told you that he was a slave owner didn't give you the rest of the story. He inherited his slaves from his father in law, and set them free as soon as he could.

I dunno if he ever set them free, unless you can find a source?

Wikipedia has some interesting stuff though..



Jefferson owned many slaves over his lifetime. Some find it baffling that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves yet was outspoken in saying that slavery was immoral and it should be abolished. Biographers point out that Jefferson was deeply in debt and had encumbered his slaves by notes and mortgages; he chose not to free them until he finally was debt-free, which he never was.[73] Jefferson seems to have suffered pangs and trials of conscience as a result.[74] He wrote about slavery, "We have the wolf by the ears; and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other."[75]



According to a biographer, Jefferson "believed that it was the responsibility of the state and society to free all slaves."


In his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson condemned the British crown for sponsoring the importation of slavery to the colonies, charging that the crown "has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere." However, this language was dropped from the Declaration at the request of delegates from South Carolina and Georgia.

evilfunnystuff
12-16-2008, 07:31 PM
the Louisiana purchase, the embargo acts, the Barbary pirate war were all non-libertarian and unconstitutional acts.

The biggest lie is that a Libertarian is incorruptible. Libertarians do no possess super powers, they possess the same desires we all do as humans.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Libertarians are no exception from this rule.

4. Don’t trust your leaders. That applies to Freedom Force as well as in politics. Don’t expect them to be saints. Most of them are corruptible under the right circumstances. Your job is to watch them like a hawk. Don’t let them violate the Creed or this Code of Conduct. Call attention to their errors, when necessary. If violations are serious, mobilize the power to remove them.

http://www.freedom-force.org/freedom.cfm?fuseaction=membership

angelatc
12-16-2008, 07:31 PM
Nobody will ever prove or disprove that Jefferson had sex with a slave. However, if he didn't, his brother, nephews or cousin did.

heavenlyboy34
12-16-2008, 07:35 PM
the Louisiana purchase, the embargo acts, the Barbary pirate war were all non-libertarian and unconstitutional acts.

The biggest lie is that a Libertarian is incorruptible. Libertarians do no possess super powers, they possess the same desires we all do as humans.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Libertarians are no exception from this rule.

The war against the Barbary Pirates was declared with consent of Congress, last I checked-so IMHO it was constitutional. But on the other stuff you're right, to my knowledge.

heavenlyboy34
12-16-2008, 07:36 PM
I dunno if he ever set them free, unless you can find a source?

Wikipedia has some interesting stuff though..

My source is Grolier's Encyclopedia on that issue. :)

Mitt Romneys sideburns
12-16-2008, 07:43 PM
Barbary pirates. Constitutional authority is granted for dealing with pirates.

paulitics
12-16-2008, 07:47 PM
As crazy as it seems, due largely to ignorance, the debate over whether Africans were human or animal was debated for at least a couple of centuries before Jefferson's day.

As I'm sure money blinded people's better judgement, those higher up, even among the most intelligent argued that Africans were simply animals, and it was their right to own them like cattle. Many of the slave traders were extremely rich and powerful and did not want slavery to end at this time. I would say there may have been propaganda occuring to perpetuate the lie that Africans were not fully men. Remember, money and power was at play.

Slavery did not begin with Jefferson, but was likely on its way out with Jefferson. Jeffersson did own slaves, yes, but society pressured most distinguished white men to own slaves at this time. It may have been political suicide to stand up for the slaves during this time period. People should not take Jefferson out of context of history.

Societies always become ignorant. Today, I would say we are very ignorant about Muslims. Would a muslim who was outspoken about his religion be elected president, or even to the Senate. No, because there is this stigma that if you are a muslim you are automatically terorist, which is just as asinine as thinking Africans are less than human.

M House
12-16-2008, 07:58 PM
I'm pretty sure Jefferson had sex with one his slaves and had several children with her. I watched a special on it they did like DNA testing and everything. Actually it's really strange and kinda complicated. This was after his wife died and she was actually related to his dead wife. I'll look up some more details but yeah I wanna be more accurate about that.

M House
12-16-2008, 08:02 PM
Yeah it's very true check it out. It's pretty hard to refute a Y chromosome link. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/familyjefferson.html

Here's the proposed family explaining the link better: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/etc/genemap.html

It's suspected that he had children with Sally Hemings who was the half sister of his dead wife. The male offspring of this supposed line have Y chromosomes that match then descendants of Thomas Jefferson's uncle.

heavenlyboy34
12-16-2008, 08:07 PM
I'm pretty sure Jefferson had sex with one his slaves and had several children with her. I watched a special on it they did like DNA testing and everything. Actually it's really strange and kinda complicated. This was after his wife died and she was actually related to his dead wife. I'll look up some more details but yeah I wanna be more accurate about that.

If you find some proof of that, please post it. This rumor has been around for a long time, but it's usually bandied by self-loathing white limousine liberals who feel better about themselves after trashing Jefferson, et. al. :p

heavenlyboy34
12-16-2008, 08:16 PM
Yeah it's very true check it out. It's pretty hard to refute a Y chromosome link. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/familyjefferson.html

Here's the proposed family explaining the link better: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/etc/genemap.html

It's suspected that he had children with Sally Hemings who was the half sister of his dead wife. The male offspring of this supposed line have Y chromosomes that match then descendants of Thomas Jefferson's uncle.

Interesting stuff. Does this make him dishonorable? I don't know enough about the social standards of that time to judge. :confused:

M House
12-16-2008, 08:32 PM
Sounds like they had a fairly normal relationship with the children being freed later. Though the Hemings have only been recently accepted at the family reunions having been blocked until very recently like either 1999 or 2000. Considering many of the Jefferson descendants themselves are at fault for this I bet more than a few were a bit bitter.

Chosen
12-16-2008, 08:40 PM
Most inquiries, such as in the instance of the creator of this thread are in themselves propaganda. This Marxist idea of always trying to destroy our sense of history is old and stale. Take the words of Jefferson below, you will be hard pressed to find a better man in history. Why? Because he was also a man of action.


Duties of Citizens

What duty does a citizen owe to the government that secures the society in which he lives? What can it expect and rightly demand of him in support of itself? A nation that rests on the will of the people must also depend on individuals to support its institutions in whatever ways are appropriate if it is to flourish. Persons qualified for public office should feel some obligation to make that contribution. If not, public service will be left to those of lesser qualification, and the government may more easily become corrupted.

"No government can be maintained without the principle of fear as well as duty. Good men will obey the last, but bad ones the former only. If our government ever fails, it will be from this weakness." --Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1814.

"Every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him." --Thomas Jefferson to Francis Gilmer, 1816. ME 15:24

"A good citizen should take his stand where the public authority marshals him." --Thomas Jefferson to Mme D'Auville, 1790. ME 8:16

"That a man owes no duty to which he is not urged by some impulsive feeling... is correct, if referred to the standard of general feeling in the given case, and not to the feeling of a single individual." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814. ME 14:144

"Private charities as well as contributions to public purposes in proportion to everyone's circumstances are certainly among the duties we owe to society." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Christian, 1812. ME 13:134

"I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties." --Thomas Jefferson to Danbury Baptists, 1802. ME 16:282

Public Service

"There is a debt of service due from every man to his country, proportioned to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Rutledge, 1796. ME 9:354

"No interests are dearer to men than those which ought to be secured to them by their form of government, and none deserve better of them than those who contribute to the amelioration of that form." --Thomas Jefferson to M. Ruelle, 1809.

"I never thought of questioning the free exercise of the right of my fellow citizens to marshal those whom they call into their service according to their fitness, nor ever presumed that they were not the best judges of that." --Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 1797. ME 9:376

"Some men are born for the public. Nature by fitting them for the service of the human race on a broad scale, has stamped them with the evidences of her destination and their duty." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1803. ME 10:345

"There is sometimes an eminence of character on which society have such peculiar claims as to control the predilections of the individual for a particular walk of happiness, and restrain him to that alone arising from the present and future benedictions of mankind." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. ME 8:348

"[I have] an ardent zeal to see this government (the idol of my soul) continue in good hands." --Thomas Jefferson to William Wirt, 1808. ME 11:424

"That my country should be served is the first wish of my heart: I should be doubly happy were I to render it a service." --Thomas Jefferson to the Officials of Norfolk, 1789. Papers 15:556

"Though I... am myself duly impressed with a sense of the arduousness of government and the obligation those are under who are able to conduct it, yet I am also satisfied there is an order of geniuses above that obligation and therefore exempted from it. Nobody can conceive that nature ever intended to throw away a Newton upon the occupations of a crown. It would have been a prodigality for which even the conduct of Providence might have been arraigned, had he been by birth annexed to what was so far below him. Cooperating with nature in her ordinary economy, we should dispose of and employ the geniuses of men according to their several orders and degrees." --Thomas Jefferson to David Rittenhouse, 1778. Papers 2:202

"I do not mean... to testify a disposition to render no service but what is rigorously within my duty. I am the farthest in the world from this; it is a question I shall never ask myself; nothing making me more happy than to render any service in my power, of whatever description. But I wish only to be excused from intermeddling in business in which I have no skill, and should do more harm than good." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Osgood, 1785. ME 5:163, Papers 8:590

"I profess... so much of the Roman principle as to deem it honorable for the general of yesterday to act as a corporal today if his services can be useful to his country, holding that to be false pride which postpones the public good to any private or personal considerations." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1812. ME 13:186

"It will remain... to those now coming on the stage of public affairs to perfect what has been so well begun by those going off it." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., 1787. ME 6:165

"The first of all our consolations is that of having faithfully fulfilled our duties; the next, the approbation and good will of those who have witnessed it." --Thomas Jefferson to James Fishback, 1809. ME 12:316

Demands of Public Service

"In a virtuous government... public offices are what they should be: burthens to those appointed to them, which it would be wrong to decline, though foreseen to bring with them intense labor and great private loss." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, 1779. Papers 2:298

"I acknowledge that such a debt [of service to my fellow-citizens] exists, that a tour of duty in whatever line he can be most useful to his country, is due from every individual. It is not easy perhaps to say of what length exactly that tour should be, but we may safely say of what length it should not be. Not of our whole life, for instance, for that would be to be born a slave--not even of a very large portion of it." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1793. ME 9:118

"Whether the state may command the political service of all its members to an indefinite extent, or if these be among the rights never wholly ceded to the public power, is a question which I do not find expressly decided in England... Nothing could so completely divest us of that liberty [which the bill of rights has made inviolable, and for the preservation of which our government has been charged] as the establishment of the opinion that the state has a perpetual right to the services of all its members. This to men of certain ways of thinking would be to annihilate the blessing of existence and to contradict the Giver of life, who gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness; and certainly, to such it were better that they had never been born." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1782. ME 4:196, Papers 6:185

Advantages of Public Service

"I will not say that public life is the line for making a fortune. But it furnishes a decent and honorable support, and places one's children on good grounds for public favor. The family of a beloved father will stand with the public on the most favorable ground of competition. Had General Washington left children, what would have been denied them?" --Thomas Jefferson to William Wirt, 1808. ME 11:424

"There are minds which can be pleased by honors and preferments; but I see nothing in them but envy and enmity. It is only necessary to possess them, to know how little they contribute to happiness, or rather how hostile they are to it." --Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Donald, 1788. ME 6:427

Disadvantages of Public Service

"Public offices were [not] made for private convenience." --Thomas Jefferson to the Duchesse d'Auville, 1790. ME 8:16

"The general idea is, that those who receive annual compensations should be constantly at their posts. Our constituents might not in the first moment consider: 1st, that we all have property to take care of, which we cannot abandon for temporary salaries; 2nd, that we have health to take care of, which at this season [i.e., summer] cannot be preserved at Washington; 3rd, that while at our separate homes our public duties are fully executed, and at much greater personal labor than while we are together, when a short conference saves a long letter." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1807. ME 11:351

"Politics [is] a subject I never loved and now hate." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1796.

Specific Areas of Service

"There [are moments] in which the aid of an able pen [is] important to place things in their just attitude." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1798. (*)

"It is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities which occur to him for preserving documents relating to the history of our country." --Thomas Jefferson to Hugh P. Taylor, 1823. ME 15:473

In Difficult Times

"The man who loves his country on its own account, and not merely for its trappings of interest or power, can never be divorced from it, can never refuse to come forward when he finds that she is engaged in dangers which he has the means of warding off." --Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1797. ME 9:407

"The patriot, like the Christian, must learn that to bear revilings and persecutions is a part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy. It requires, indeed, self-command. But that will be fortified in proportion as the calls for its exercise are repeated." --Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 1805. ME 11:73

Maintaining Vigilance

"Lethargy [is] the forerunner of death to the public liberty." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787.

"Let the eye of vigilance never be closed." --Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1821. ME 15:326

"We, I hope, shall adhere to our republican government and keep it to its original principles by narrowly watching it." --Thomas Jefferson to ------, March 18, 1793. ME 9:45

"It behooves our citizens to be on their guard, to be firm in their principles, and full of confidence in themselves. We are able to preserve our self-government if we will but think so." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., 1800. ME 10:151

"Very many and very meritorious were the worthy patriots who assisted in bringing back our government to its republican tack. To preserve it in that will require unremitting vigilance." --Thomas Jefferson to William T. Barry, 1822. ME 15:388

"If our fellow-citizens, now solidly republican, will sacrifice favoritism towards men for the preservation of principle, we may hope that no divisions will again endanger a degeneracy in our government." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard M. Johnson, 1808. ME 12:10

"Our duty to ourselves, to posterity, and to mankind, call on us by every motive which is sacred or honorable, to watch over the safety of our beloved country during the troubles which agitate and convulse the residue of the world, and to sacrifice to that all personal and local considerations." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to New York Legislature, 1809. ME 16:362

"Come forward, then, and give us the aid of your talents and the weight of your character towards the new establishment of republicanism." --Thomas Jefferson to Robert Livingston, 1800.

"Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Jefferson Smith, 1825. ME 16:110

"Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than life." --Thomas Jefferson to T. J. Grotjan, 1824.

Chosen
12-16-2008, 08:40 PM
I truly believe leftists can be fixed thru education. Those who cannot can be assisted by charity, there are many organizations which volunteer their services to the learning disabled.


The Sovereignty of the People

The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, "In free governments the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns." The ultimate powers in a society, therefore, rest in the people themselves, and they should exercise those powers, either directly or through representatives, in every way they are competent and that is practicable.

"The whole body of the nation is the sovereign legislative, judiciary, and executive power for itself. The inconvenience of meeting to exercise these powers in person, and their inaptitude to exercise them, induce them to appoint special organs to declare their legislative will, to judge and to execute it. It is the will of the nation which makes the law obligatory; it is their will which creates or annihilates the organ which is to declare and announce it. They may do it by a single person, as an emperor of Russia (constituting his declarations evidence of their will), or by a few persons, as the aristocracy of Venice, or by a complication of councils, as in our former regal government or our present republican one. The law being law because it is the will of the nation, is not changed by their changing the organ through which they choose to announce their future will; no more than the acts I have done by one attorney lose their obligation by my changing or discontinuing that attorney." --Thomas Jefferson to Edmund Randolph, 1799. ME 10:126

"Every nation has a right to govern itself internally under what forms it pleases, and to change these forms at its own will; and externally to transact business with other nations through whatever organ it chooses, whether that be a King, Convention, Assembly, Committee, President, or whatever it be. The only thing essential is, the will of the nation." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Pinckney, 1792. ME 9:7

"[The people] are in truth the only legitimate proprietors of the soil and government." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1813. ME 19:197

"[It is] the people, to whom all authority belongs." --Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1821. ME 15:328

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved), or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press." --Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. ME 16:45

"We think experience has proved it safer for the mass of individuals composing the society to reserve to themselves personally the exercise of all rightful powers to which they are competent and to delegate those to which they are not competent to deputies named and removable for unfaithful conduct by themselves immediately." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816. ME 14:487

"The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union." --Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823. ME 15:451

Sovereignty Unaffected by Change in Government

"I consider the people who constitute a society or nation as the source of all authority in that nation; as free to transact their common concerns by any agents they think proper; to change these agents individually, or the organization of them in form or function whenever they please; that all the acts done by these agents under the authority of the nation are the acts of the nation, are obligatory on them and enure to their use, and can in no wise be annulled of affected by any change in the form of the government or of the persons administering it." --Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on French Treaties, 1793. ME 3:227

"When, by the Declaration of Independence, [the nation of Virginia] chose to abolish their former organs of declaring their will, the acts of will already formally and constitutionally declared, remained untouched. For the nation was not dissolved, was not annihilated; its will, therefore, remained in full vigor; and on the establishing the new organs, first of a convention, and afterwards a more complicated legislature, the old acts of national will continued in force, until the nation should, by its new organs, declare its will changed." --Thomas Jefferson to Edmund Randolph, 1799. ME 10:126

"Louis XIV, having established the Coutumes de Paris as the law of Louisiana, this was not changed by the mere act of transfer; on the contrary, the laws of France continued and continues to be the law of the land, except where specially altered by some subsequent edict of Spain or act of Congress." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1808. ME 12:58

"Indeed in no case are the laws of a nation changed, of natural right, by their passage from one to another denomination. The soil, the inhabitants, their property, and the laws by which they are protected go together. Their laws are subject to be changed only in the case, and extent which their new legislature shall will." --Thomas Jefferson: Batture at New Orleans, 1812. ME 18:31

"When a question arises, whether any particular law or appointment is still in force, we are to examine, not whether it was pronounced by the ancient or present organ, but whether it has been at any time revoked by the authority of the nation, expressed by the organ competent at the time." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. ME 8:302

The Powers of Legislation

"From the nature of things, every society must at all times possess within itself the sovereign powers of legislation." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. Papers 1:132

"[If the] representative houses [are dissolved,]... the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, [return] to the people at large for their exercise." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776. ME 1:31, Papers 1:430

"Necessities which dissolve a government do not convey its authority to an oligarchy or a monarchy. They throw back into the hands of the people the powers they had delegated, and leave them as individuals to shift for themselves." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIII, 1782. ME 2:175

"There is an error into which most of the speculators on government have fallen, and which the well-known state of society of our Indians ought, before now, to have corrected. In their hypothesis of the origin of government, they suppose it to have commenced in the patriarchal or monarchical form. Our Indians are evidently in that state of nature which has passed the association of a single family... The Cherokees, the only tribe I know to be contemplating the establishment of regular laws, magistrates, and government, propose a government of representatives, elected from every town. But of all things, they least think of subjecting themselves to the will of one man." --Thomas Jefferson to Francis W. Gilmer, 1816. ME 15:25

Government Receives its Powers from the People

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:429

"I consider the source of authority with us to be the Nation. Their will, declared through its proper organ, is valid till revoked by their will declared through its proper organ again also." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. ME 8:301

"Independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Ritchie, 1820. ME 15:298

"What government [a nation] can bear depends not on the state of science, however exalted, in a select band of enlightened men, but on the condition of the general mind." --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1817. (*) ME 15:114

"The government of a nation may be usurped by the forcible intrusion of an individual into the throne. But to conquer its will so as to rest the right on that, the only legitimate basis, requires long acquiescence and cessation of all opposition." --Thomas Jefferson to ----, 1825. ME 16:127

The People are Capable of Exercising Sovereign Powers

"Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law." --Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819.

"I have such reliance on the good sense of the body of the people and the honesty of their leaders that I am not afraid of their letting things go wrong to any length in any cause." --Thomas Jefferson to C. W. F. Dumas, 1788. ME 6:430

"Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights." --Thomas Jefferson to David Humphreys, 1789. ME 7:322

"Our fellow citizens have been led hoodwinked from their principles by a most extraordinary combination of circumstances. But the band is removed, and they now see for themselves." --Thomas Jefferson to John Dickinson, 1801. ME 10:217

"Reflection,... with information, is all which our countrymen need, to bring themselves and their affairs to rights." --Thomas Jefferson to James Lewis, Jr., 1798. ME 10:37

"The revolution of 1800... was as real a revolution in the principles of our government as that of 1776 was in its form; not effected indeed by the sword, as that, but by the rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people." --Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819. ME 15:212

"There is a steady, good sense in the Legislature, and in the body of the nation, joined with good intentions, which will lead them to discern and to pursue the public good under all circumstances which can arise, and... no ignis fatuus [misleading ideal] will be able to lead them long astray." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1806. ME 11:108

"I am sensible that there are defects in our federal government, yet they are so much lighter than those of monarchies, that I view them with much indulgence. I rely, too, on the good sense of the people for remedy, whereas the evils of monarchical government are beyond remedy." --Thomas Jefferson to David Ramsay, 1787. ME 6:226

"Time alone [will] bring round an order of things more correspondent to the sentiments of our constituents." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1798. ME 10:45

"My confidence is that there will for a long time be virtue and good sense enough in our countrymen to correct abuses." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Rutledge, 1788. ME 7:81

"Manfully maintain our good old principle of cherishing and fortifying the rights and authorities of the people in opposition to those who fear them, who wish to take all power from them and to transfer all to Washington." --Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1826. FE 10:378

The Power of Public Opinion

"The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to." --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491

"Ministers... cannot in any country be uninfluenced by the voice of the people." --Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786. ME 5:452

"A court has no affections; but those of the people whom they govern influence their decisions, even in the most arbitrary governments." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1785. ME 5:12, Papers 8:228

"Public opinion... [is] a censor before which the most exalted tremble for their future as well as present fame." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1816. ME 14:393

"Public opinion [is the] lord of the universe." --Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1820. ME 15:246

"More attention should be paid to the general opinion." --Thomas Jefferson to George Mason, 1791.

"The advantage of public opinion is like that of the weather-gauge in a naval action." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1815. ME 14:226

"When public opinion changes, it is with the rapidity of thought." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:382

"The opinions and dispositions of our people in general, which, in governments like ours, must be the foundation of measures, will always be interesting to me." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, 1786. ME 5:294

"Government being founded on opinion, the opinion of the public, even when it is wrong, ought to be respected to a certain degree." --Thomas Jefferson to Nicholas Lewis, 1791. FE 5:282

"Opinions... constitute, indeed, moral facts, as important as physical ones to the attention of the public functionary." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1820. ME 15:284

"The people cannot be all, and always, well-informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:372, Papers 12:356

"The people have a right to petition, but not to use that right to cover calumniating insinuations." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1808. ME 12:166

"I like to see the people awake and alert. The good sense of the people will soon lead them back if they have erred in a moment of surprise." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1786.

The Spirit of Resistance

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356

"Governments, wherein the will of every one has a just influence... has its evils,... the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem. [I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.] Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. ME 6:64

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere." --Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1787.

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion... We have had thirteen States independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half, for each State. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?" --Thomas Jefferson to William S. Smith, 1787. ME 6:372

"Most codes extend their definitions of treason to acts not really against one's country. They do not distinguish between acts against the government, and acts against the oppressions of the government. The latter are virtues, yet have furnished more victims to the executioner than the former, because real treasons are rare; oppressions frequent. The unsuccessful strugglers against tyranny have been the chief martyrs of treason laws in all countries." --Thomas Jefferson: Report on Spanish Convention, 1792.

"If our country, when pressed with wrongs at the point of the bayonet, had been governed by its heads instead of its hearts, where should we have been now? Hanging on a gallows as high as Haman's." --Thomas Jefferson to Maria Cosway, 1786. ME 5:444

"The commotions that have taken place in America, as far as they are yet known to me, offer nothing threatening. They are a proof that the people have liberty enough, and I could not wish them less than they have. If the happiness of the mass of the people can be secured at the expense of a little tempest now and then, or even of a little blood, it will be a precious purchase. 'Malo libertatem periculosam quam quietem servitutem.' Let common sense and common honesty have fair play, and they will soon set things to rights." --Thomas Jefferson to Ezra Stiles, 1786. ME 6:25

"The tumults in America I expected would have produced in Europe an unfavorable opinion of our political state. But it has not. On the contrary, the small effect of these tumults seems to have given more confidence in the firmness of our governments. The interposition of the people themselves on the side of government has had a great effect on the opinion here [in Europe]." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:57

"The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it should have done. Calculate that one rebellion in thirteen states in the course of eleven years, is but one for each state in a century and a half. No country should be so long without one. Nor will any degree of power in the hands of government prevent insurrections." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. ME 6:391

"[An occasional insurrection] will not weigh against the inconveniences of a government of force, such as are monarchies and aristocracies." --Thomas Jefferson to T. B. Hollis, July 2, 1787. (*) ME 6:155

"Cherish... the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:58

Misdirected Resistance

"There are extraordinary situations which require extraordinary interposition. An exasperated people who feel that they possess power are not easily restrained within limits strictly regular." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. ME 1:196, Papers 1:127

"[The] uneasiness [of the people] has produced acts absolutely unjustifiable; but I hope they will provoke no severities from their governments. A consciousness of those in power that their administration of the public affairs has been honest may, perhaps, produce too great a degree of indignation; and those characters wherein fear predominates over hope, may apprehend too much from these instances of irregularity. They may conclude too hastily, that nature has formed man insusceptible of any other government than that of force, a conclusion not founded in truth nor experience." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Jan. 30, 1787. ME 6:64

"The arm of the people [is] a machine not quite so blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a certain degree." --Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1793. ME 9:10

"I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is medicine necessary for the sound health of government." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. ME 6:65

"[No] degree of power in the hands of government [will] prevent insurrections." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. Papers 12:442.

"The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1820. ME 15:283

"What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356

Rebellion, Right and Wrong

"Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [i.e., securing inherent and inalienable rights, with powers derived from the consent of the governed], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:315

"In no country on earth is [a disposition to oppose the law by force] so impracticable as in one where every man feels a vital interest in maintaining the authority of the laws, and instantly engages in it as in his own personal cause." --Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Smith, 1808. ME 12:62

"In a country whose constitution is derived from the will of the people directly expressed by their free suffrages, where the principal executive functionaries and those of the legislature are renewed by them at short periods, where under the character of jurors they exercise in person the greatest portion of the judiciary powers, where the laws are consequently so formed and administered as to bear with equal weight and favor on all, restraining no man in the pursuits of honest industry and securing to every one the property which that acquires, it would not be supposed that any safeguards could be needed against insurrection or enterprise on the public peace or authority. The laws, however, aware that these should not be trusted to moral restraints only, have wisely provided punishments for these crimes when committed." --Thomas Jefferson: 6th Annual Message, 1806. ME 3:418

"As revolutionary instruments (when nothing but revolution will cure the evils of the State) [secret societies] are necessary and indispensable, and the right to use them is inalienable by the people; but to admit them as ordinary and habitual instruments as a part of the machinery of the Constitution, would be to change that machinery by introducing moving powers foreign to it, and to an extent depending solely on local views, and, therefore, incalculable." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1803. FE 8:256

"The paradox with me is how any friend to the union of our country can, in conscience, contribute a cent to the maintenance of anyone who perverts the sanctity of his desk to the open inculcation of rebellion, civil war, dissolution of government, and the miseries of anarchy." --Thomas Jefferson to William Plumer, 1815. ME 14:235

Dangerous Associations

"I acknowledge the right of voluntary associations for laudable purposes and in moderate numbers. I acknowledge, too, the expediency for revolutionary purposes of general associations coextensive with the nation. But where, as in our case, no abuses call for revolution, voluntary associations so extensive as to grapple with and control the government, should such be or become their purpose, are dangerous machines and should be frowned down in every well regulated government." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1822.

"Private associations... whose magnitude may rivalize and jeopardize the march of regular government [may become] necessary [in] the case where the regular authorities of the government [combine] against the rights of the people, and no means of correction [remains] to them but to organize a collateral power which, with their support, might rescue and secure their violated rights. But such is not the case with our government. We need hazard no collateral power which, by a change of its original views and assumption of others we know not how virtuous or how mischievous, would be ready organized and in force sufficient to shake the established foundations of society and endanger its peace and the principles on which it is based." --Thomas Jefferson to Jedediah Morse, 1822. ME 15:357

"Military assemblies will not only keep alive the jealousies and fears of the civil government, but give ground for these fears and jealousies. For when men meet together, they will make business if they have none; they will collate their grievances, some real, some imaginary, all highly painted; they will communicate to each other the sparks of discontent; and these may engender a flame which will consume their particular, as well as the general happiness." --Thomas Jefferson: Answers to de Meusnier Questions, 1786. ME 17:90

"Where an enterprise is meditated by private individuals against a foreign nation in amity with the United States, powers of prevention to a certain extent are given by the laws; would they not be as reasonable and useful were the enterprise preparing against the United States?" --Thomas Jefferson: 6th Annual Message, 1806. ME 3:419

"The framers of our constitution certainly supposed they had guarded, as well their government against destruction by treason, as their citizens against oppression under pretence of it; and if these ends are not attained, it is of importance to inquire by what means, more effectual, they may be secured." --Thomas Jefferson: 7th Annual Message, 1807. ME 3:452

"Looking forward with anxiety to [the] future destinies [of my fellow citizens], I trust that, in their steady character unshaken by difficulties, in their love of liberty, obedience to law, and support of the public authorities, I see a sure guaranty of the permanence of our republic." --Thomas Jefferson: 8th Annual Message, 1808. ME 3:485

Chosen
12-16-2008, 08:41 PM
On Republican Values:

Republican Principles

The best form of government that has ever been devised for protecting the rights of the people has been found to be the republican form. While not perfect, it nevertheless gives a voice to the people and allows them to correct the course of government when they find it moving in a wrong direction.

"It must be acknowledged that the term republic is of very vague application in every language... Were I to assign to this term a precise and definite idea, I would say purely and simply it means a government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally according to rules established by the majority; and that every other government is more or less republican in proportion as it has in its composition more or less of this ingredient of direct action of the citizens. Such a government is evidently restrained to very narrow limits of space and population. I doubt if it would be practicable beyond the extent of a New England township." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:19

"A democracy [is] the only pure republic, but impracticable beyond the limits of a town." --Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1816. ME 15:65

"The first shade from this pure element which, like that of pure vital air cannot sustain life of itself, would be where the powers of the government, being divided, should be exercised each by representatives chosen either pro hac vice, or for such short terms as should render secure the duty of expressing the will of their constituents. This I should consider as the nearest approach to a pure republic which is practicable on a large scale of country or population. And we have examples of it in some of our State constitutions which, if not poisoned by priest-craft, would prove its excellence over all mixtures with other elements; and with only equal doses of poison, would still be the best." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:19

"Societies exist under three forms, sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments, wherein the will of everyone has a just influence; as is the case in England, in a slight degree, and in our States, in a great one. 3. Under governments of force; as is the case in all other monarchies, and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem not clear in my mind that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that, enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too; the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. ME 6:64

"The preeminence of representative government [is maintained] by showing that its foundations are laid in reason, in right, and in general good." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1810. ME 12:408

A Republic is Controlled by the People

"We may say with truth and meaning that governments are more or less republican as they have more or less of the element of popular election and control in their composition; and believing as I do that the mass of the citizens is the safest depository of their own rights, and especially that the evils flowing from the duperies of the people are less injurious than those from the egoism of their agents, I am a friend to that composition of government which has in it the most of this ingredient." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23

"The catholic principle of republicanism [is] that every people may establish what form of government they please and change it as they please, the will of the nation being the only thing essential." --Thomas Jefferson: The Anas, 1792. ME 1:330

"The mother principle [is] that 'governments are republican only in proportion as they embody the will of their people, and execute it.'" --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:33

"Independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government." -- Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Ritchie, 1820. ME 15:298

"I freely admit the right of a nation to change its political principles and constitution at will." --Thomas Jefferson to the Earl of Buchan, 1803. ME 10:400

"It accords with our principles to acknowledge any government to be rightful which is formed by the will of the nation substantially declared." --Thomas Jefferson to Gouverneur Morris, 1792. ME 8:437

"A government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns: not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:33

"A representative government [is] a government in which the will of the people will be an effective ingredient." --Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Austin, 1816. ME 14:388

"Action by the citizens in person, in affairs within their reach and competence, and in all others by representatives, chosen immediately, and removable by themselves, constitutes the essence of a republic... All governments are more or less republican in proportion as this principle enters more or less into their composition." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816. ME 14:490

"Other shades of republicanism may be found in other forms of government, where the executive, judiciary and legislative functions, and the different branches of the latter, are chosen by the people more or less directly, for longer terms of years, or for life, or made hereditary; or where there are mixtures of authorities, some dependent on, and others independent of the people." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:20

The Danger of an Hereditary Aristocracy

"The further the departure from direct and constant control by the citizens, the less has the government of the ingredient of republicanism; evidently none where the authorities are hereditary... or self-chosen... and little, where for life, in proportion as the life continues in being after the act of election." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:20

"The hereditary branches of modern governments are the patrons of privilege and prerogative, and not of the natural rights of the people, whose oppressors they generally are." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1784. ME 4:218, Papers 7:106

"Hereditary bodies... always on the watch for their own aggrandizement, profit of every opportunity of advancing the privileges of their order, and encroaching on the rights of the people." --Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. ME 15:483

"There is no King, who, with sufficient force, is not always ready to make himself absolute." --Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, 1786. ME 5:398

"An hereditary aristocracy... will change the form of our governments from the best to the worst in the world. To know the mass of evil which flows from this fatal source, a person must be in France; he must see the finest soil, the finest climate, the most compact State, the most benevolent character of people, and every earthly advantage combined, insufficient to prevent this scourge from rendering existence a curse to twenty-four out of twenty-five parts of the inhabitants of this country." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1786. ME 6:3

"I was much an enemy of monarchies before I came to Europe. I am ten thousand times more so since I have seen what they are. There is scarcely an evil known in these countries which may not be traced to their king as its source, nor a good which is not derived from the small fibres of republicanism existing among them." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1788. ME 6:454

"Courts love the people always, as wolves do the sheep." --Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1789. ME 7:264

"The small and imperfect mixture of representative government in England, impeded as it is by other branches aristocratical and hereditary, shows yet the power of the representative principle towards improving the condition of man." --Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. ME 15:482

"I do not flatter myself with the immortality of our governments; but I shall think little also of their longevity, unless this germ of destruction [i.e., the aristocratical spirit] be taken out." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1786. ME 6:3

A Republic is Consistent with Equal Rights

"We cannot open the mantle of republicanism to every government of laws, whether consistent or not with natural right." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816.

"The principles of government... [are] founded in the rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. ME 16:51

"The equality among our citizens [is] essential to the maintenance of republican government." --Thomas Jefferson: Thoughts on Lotteries, 1826. ME 17:461

"No Englishman will pretend that a right to participate in government can be derived from any other source than a personal right, or a right of property." --Thomas Jefferson: Answers to Soules Questions, 1786. ME 17:133

"The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Address, 1790. ME 8:6, Papers 16:225

"[As Montesquieu wrote in Spirit of the Laws, VI,c.2:] 'In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former because they are everything; in the latter because they are nothing.'" --Thomas Jefferson: copied into his Commonplace Book.

"I conscientiously believe that governments founded in [republican principles] are more friendly to the happiness of the people at large, and especially of a people so capable of self-government as ours." --Thomas Jefferson to David Howell, 1810. ME 12:436

"It is, indeed, of little consequence who governs us, if they sincerely and zealously cherish the principles of union and republicanism." --Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 1821. ME 15:330

Establishing Republican Government

"From the moment that to preserve our rights a change of government became necessary, no doubt could be entertained that a republican form was most consonant with reason, with right, with the freedom of man, and with the character and situation of our fellow citizens." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Virginia Legislature, 1809. ME 16:333

"[To establish republican government, it is necessary to] effect a constitution in which the will of the nation shall have an organized control over the actions of its government, and its citizens a regular protection against its oppressions." --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1816. ME 19:240

"[The first step is] to concur in a declaration of rights, at least, so that the nation may be acknowledged to have some fundamental rights not alterable by their ordinary legislature, and that this may form a ground work for future improvements." --Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1788. ME 7:18, Papers 13:190

The Extent of a Republic

"Where the citizens cannot meet to transact their business in person, they alone have the right to choose the agents who shall transact it; and... in this way a republican or popular government... may be exercised over any extent of country." --Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1816. ME 15:65

"A government by representation is capable of extension over a greater surface of country than one of any other form." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816. ME 14:491

"I suspect that the doctrine, that small States alone are fitted to be republics, will be exploded by experience, with some other brilliant fallacies accredited by Montesquieu and other political writers. Perhaps it will be found that to obtain a just republic (and it is to secure our just rights that we resort to government at all) it must be so extensive as that local egoisms may never reach its greater part; that on every particular question a majority may be found in its councils free from particular interests and giving, therefore, a uniform prevalence to the principles of justice. The smaller the societies, the more violent and more convulsive their schisms." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois d'Ivernois, 1795. ME 9:299

"It seems that the smaller the society the bitterer the dissensions into which it breaks... I believe ours is to owe its permanence to its great extent, and the smaller portion comparatively which can ever be convulsed at one time by local passions." --Thomas Jefferson to Robert Williams, 1807. ME 11:390

"Our present federal limits are not too large for good government, nor will [an] increase of votes in Congress produce any ill effect. On the contrary, it will drown the little divisions at present existing there." --Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1786. ME 5:259

"The character which our fellow-citizens have displayed... gives us everything to hope for the permanence of our government. Its extent has saved us. While some parts were laboring under the paroxysm of delusion, others retained their senses, and time was thus given to the affected parts to recover their health." --Thomas Jefferson to Gen. James Warren, 1801. ME 10:231

"Every nation is liable to be under whatever bubble, design, or delusion may puff up in moments when off their guard." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:381

"Montesquieu's doctrine that a republic can be preserved only in a small territory [has been proved a falsehood]. The reverse is the truth. Had our territory been even a third only of what it is we were gone. But while frenzy and delusion like an epidemic gained certain parts, the residue remained sound and untouched, and held on till their brethren could recover from the temporary delusion; and that circumstance has given me great comfort." --Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Niles, 1801. ME 10:232

"I know that the acquisition of Louisiana has been disapproved by some, from a candid apprehension that the enlargement of our territory would endanger its union. But who can limit the extent to which the federative principle may operate effectively? The larger our association, the less will it be shaken by local passions." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural, 1805. ME 3:377

"If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruption, indifferent and incapable of a wholesome care over so wide a spread of surface." --Thomas Jefferson to William T. Barry, 1822. ME 15:389

"I have much confidence that we shall proceed successfully for ages to come, and that, contrary to the principle of Montesquieu, it will be seen that the larger the extent of country, the more firm its republican structure, if founded, not on conquest, but in principles of compact and equality." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois de Marbois, 1817. ME 15:130

"My hope of [this country's] duration is built much on the enlargement of the resources of life going hand in hand with the enlargement of territory, and the belief that men are disposed to live honestly if the means of doing so are open to them." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois de Marbois, 1817. ME 15:131

"I see our safety in the extent of our confederacy, and in the probability that in the proportion of that the sound parts will always be sufficient to crush local poisons." --Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:120

The Proper Size of States

"How may the territories of the Union be disposed of, so as to produce the greatest degree of happiness to their inhabitants? The ultramontane States... will not only be happier in States of moderate size, but it is the only way in which they can exist as a regular society. Considering the American character in general, that of those people particularly, and the energetic nature of our governments, a State of such extent as one hundred and sixty thousand square miles, would soon crumble into little ones. These are the circumstances which reduce the Indians to such small societies. They would produce an effect on our people similar to this. They would not be broken into such small pieces, because they are more habituated to subordination, and value more a government of regular law. But you would surely reverse the nature of things, in making small States on the ocean, and large ones beyond the mountains. If we could, in our consciences, say, that great States beyond the mountains will make the people happiest, we must still ask, whether they will be contented to be laid off into large States? They certainly will not; and, if they decide to divide themselves, we are not able to restrain them. They will end by separating from our confederacy, and becoming its enemies." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1786. ME 5:360

"A tractable people may be governed in large bodies; but, in proportion as they depart from this character, the extent of their government must be less. We see into what small divisions the Indians are obliged to reduce their societies." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1786. ME 6:10

"[If] we treat them as fellow citizens, they will have a just share in their own government; they will love us, and pride themselves in an union with us. [If] we treat them as subjects, we govern them, and not they themselves; they will abhor us as masters, and break off from us in defiance." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1786. ME 5:360

How Republican is America?

"The people through all the States are for republican forms, republican principles, simplicity, economy, religious and civil freedom." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1800. ME 10:164

"If, then, the control of the people over the organs of their government be the measure of its republicanism, and I confess I know no other measure, it must be agreed that our governments have much less of republicanism than ought to have been expected; in other words, that the people have less regular control over their agents, than their rights and their interests require. And this I ascribe, not to any want of republican dispositions in those who formed these constitutions, but to a submission of true principle to European authorities, to speculators on government, whose fears of the people have been inspired by the populace of their own great cities, and were unjustly entertained against the independent, the happy, and therefore orderly citizens of the United States. Much I apprehend that the golden moment is past for reforming these heresies. The functionaries of public power rarely strengthen in their dispositions to abridge it, and an unorganized call for timely amendment is not likely to prevail against an organized opposition to it." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:22

"The great body of our native citizens are unquestionably of the republican sentiment. Foreign education, and foreign connections of interest, have produced some exceptions in every part of the Union, north and south, and perhaps other circumstances... may have thrown into the scale of exceptions a greater number of the rich. Still there, I believe, and here, I am sure, the great mass is republican... Our countrymen left to the operation of their own unbiased good sense, I have no doubt we shall see... our citizens moving in phalanx in the paths of regular liberty, order, and a sacrosanct adherence to the Constitution." --Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 1797. ME 9:378

"Our preference to [the republican] form of government has been so far justified by its success, and the prosperity with which it has blessed us. In no portion of the earth were life, liberty and property ever so securely held." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Virginia General Assembly, 1809. ME 16:333

Chosen
12-16-2008, 08:42 PM
The three initial points/"questions" are nothing but immature blather.

Danke
12-16-2008, 08:44 PM
He wrote about how it would be cruel to just free them one day into society, to make it on their own, after living in a life of slavery. He wrote about setting up their own country out west and providing funding until they were self sufficient. He did ponder the task of how to humanely end slavery, not just the legal aspect.

nate895
12-16-2008, 08:47 PM
the Louisiana purchase, the embargo acts, the Barbary pirate war were all non-libertarian and unconstitutional acts.

The biggest lie is that a Libertarian is incorruptible. Libertarians do no possess super powers, they possess the same desires we all do as humans.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Libertarians are no exception from this rule.

I am not going to disagree with the Louisiana purchase, but I support it. The embargo was necessary because they were impressing our citizens into their navy through force. As for the Barbary Pirate wars, they were attacking our citizens ships, and the primary peacetime purpose of the navy is protecting citizens against pirates.

M House
12-16-2008, 08:48 PM
Not sure about the first two but evidence seems to very strongly suggest he had children with a slave. Enough to finally get them to the family reunion, but not enough apparently to do it without having a family spat first.

nate895
12-16-2008, 09:00 PM
Now I've always liked Jefferson - he nearly single handedly built this country, and was the best president we ever had, in my opinion. However I routinely hear many liberals argue that Jefferson was a "hypocrite," and as such a dishonorable man.
The main arguments I've heard are essentially that...

A) Jefferson was a slave owner, and as such is a hypocrite for writing "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence.
B) That he was opposed to the constitution. [Fact or fiction?]
C) He had an affair with one of his slaves, and as such is dishonorable.

Is it then true that Jefferson was a hypocrite and a dishonorable man? Or is there an argument against these arguments, mainly argument A?

A) He owned slaves, and he admitted to being a hypocrite because of it in his letters. It was quite a conundrum for Southerners until it was abolished. It was impossible to free them because they had nowhere to go, and they couldn't keep them enslaved because they felt like hypocrites.

B) So did Patrick Henry.

C) It is possible that Ms. Hemmings was Martha Jefferson's half-sister, and it is believed that they had a real romantic relationship, not a slave-master pseudo-rape.

Brooklyn Red Leg
12-16-2008, 09:14 PM
A) Jefferson was a slave owner, and as such is a hypocrite for writing "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence.

Not at all.


B) That he was opposed to the constitution. [Fact or fiction?]

Fact, as he and the other Anti-Federalists knew that Hamilton would bring about a nightmare government ruled by the mercantile-banking class.....which is our exact problem now. If not for the Anti-Federalists, there would have been no Bill of Rights.


C) He had an affair with one of his slaves, and as such is dishonorable.

Not only never proven, but the DNA evidence doesn't even come from Jefferson himself, but from a near relative.

nate895
12-16-2008, 09:26 PM
Not only never proven, but the DNA evidence doesn't even come from Jefferson himself, but from a near relative.

There were only 17 people alive at the time it could have come from, and only one of them was around anywhere near the likely dates of conception.

M House
12-16-2008, 09:28 PM
Well they can't exactly get DNA evidence from TJ himself to prove 100 percent conclusively can they?

M House
12-16-2008, 09:37 PM
Haha can't believe it some of the Jefferson's are still fighting about it today. Even more interesting it appears some of the Jeffersons are already descended from a Eston Hemings Jefferson.

wizardwatson
12-16-2008, 10:10 PM
If your slave doesn't get sex from you, where are they going to get it from? And what's the fun in owning a slave if you have to agree not to have sex with it? I would think that would be half the reason for getting a slave.

:p

Seriously though, people deify the 'founding fathers' too much. They weren't Gods, they masturbated, picked their nose, took dumps, scratched their ass and farted just like the rest of you. Everyone talks about the precious founding fathers all the time and no one talks about the actual soldiers, the farmers and young boys who actually picked up weapons and kicked ass.

Ron Paul Supporters are like those young ass kickers who fucked the British up. We aren't those land owning aristocrats who wrote the Constitution. Only a few of them are even worth giving honorable mention. Jefferson being one.

And Jefferson is cool. If AJ Nock thought he was cool, he was cool. End of story.

M House
12-16-2008, 10:35 PM
Yeah, I guess we're not getting the picture. There's a hot female thrown in your face and you're told she's yours and will do anything you say. What's the first thing that comes to mind?

Chester Copperpot
12-16-2008, 10:55 PM
The war against the Barbary Pirates was declared with consent of Congress, last I checked-so IMHO it was constitutional. But on the other stuff you're right, to my knowledge.

Yeah, It took me a while to figure this one out too, But like usual, if Ron Paul sayeth, its the truth.. I eventually found out with the help on people on here actually. The Barbary wars were constitutional as the uses of force were all authorized by Congress..

Just FYI, thats alot different than today even though they say "Congress authorized the use of force." Nowadays, Congress doesnt authorize anyhthing.. they just give their power to declare war to the president and let HIM decide when and/or if he wants to go to war. Big difference.

Chester Copperpot
12-16-2008, 10:55 PM
Yeah, I guess we're not getting the picture. There's a hot female thrown in your face and you're told she's yours and will do anything you say. What's the first thing that comes to mind?

Ask her if she's been treated well, if shes hurt at all, and if she is hungry.

heavenlyboy34
12-16-2008, 11:09 PM
Yeah, It took me a while to figure this one out too, But like usual, if Ron Paul sayeth, its the truth.. I eventually found out with the help on people on here actually. The Barbary wars were constitutional as the uses of force were all authorized by Congress..

Just FYI, thats alot different than today even though they say "Congress authorized the use of force." Nowadays, Congress doesnt authorize anyhthing.. they just give their power to declare war to the president and let HIM decide when and/or if he wants to go to war. Big difference.

qft :(

M House
12-16-2008, 11:18 PM
Ask her if she's been treated well, if shes hurt at all, and if she is hungry.

She's a hot personal female slave, why wouldn't you treat her well and give her good food? Heck I'd treat her better than me, bathe her regularly, take her out for exercise, give her a choice of sexy clothes, make sure her diet was balanced.....

Conza88
12-16-2008, 11:41 PM
the Louisiana purchase, the embargo acts, the Barbary pirate war were all non-libertarian and unconstitutional acts.

The biggest lie is that a Libertarian is incorruptible. Libertarians do no possess super powers, they possess the same desires we all do as humans.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Libertarians are no exception from this rule.

Except Ron Paul. ;)

paulpwns
12-17-2008, 01:14 AM
Freeing your slave wasn't a productive thing to do. Jefferson treated his slaves like family knowing that if he " freed" them, they would be captured and re-sold into a situation far worse than he provided. That is like blaming, cavemen for beating their wives. It was just the times.

Pericles
12-17-2008, 02:18 AM
Yeah it's very true check it out. It's pretty hard to refute a Y chromosome link. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/familyjefferson.html

Here's the proposed family explaining the link better: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/etc/genemap.html

It's suspected that he had children with Sally Hemings who was the half sister of his dead wife. The male offspring of this supposed line have Y chromosomes that match then descendants of Thomas Jefferson's uncle.

You need to do some more reading -

http://www.tjheritage.org/scholars.html

The story is first published in 1802, and DNA testing rules out Jefferson as the father of the first 4 Hemmings children. Thus, the story that Jefferson fathered her first child is shown to be clearly false. Jefferson could have fathered the last child, born in 1808, but one must judge as to whether a liaison would take place after the story had been published, when critics would be looking for some substantiation. Also present at Montecello, between 8 and nine months before the birth of Hemmings last child, were Jefferson's brother, and two nephews, which also share (with over a dozen other Jefferson males living in the region) the same chromosome which was found in the DNA test.

And the only way to know for certain is comparing genetic material from Thomas Jefferson himself with that of descendants of Eston Hemmings.

Those interested in history may find the following facts of interest. Sally is born in 1773, and comes to live at Monticello in 1776. She is rumored to be the half sister of Jefferson's wife, Martha married to Jefferson in 1772. The rumor is that Martha's father is also Sally's father. Thomas and Martha had 6 children (1) Martha born 1772, (2) Jane born and died 1775, (3) a son born and died 1777, (4) Maria born 1778, (5) Lucy born 1780 and died in 1781, and (6) Lucy Elizabeth born 1782. Martha Jefferson (wife) dies in 1782. It would seem that Thomas had little problem fathering children.

Now, let us pick up the trail of Sally. She is 11 years old when Jefferson leaves for France in 1784. Sally arrives in France in 1787 at 14 years old. The Jefferson family and Hemmings return to Monticello in 1790, as Jefferson becomes Secretary of State. At this point we can pick up the "affair" which is supposed to have produced a son, by tradition his name is Thomas Woodson. No record of his birth exists at Monticello, but the births of Sally's 4 children (Beverly 1798), (Harriet 1801), (Madison 1805), and (Eston 1808) are kept. Sally had 2 other children that died shortly after birth. Sally seemed to have little trouble getting pregnant.

DNA testing ruled out Jefferson as the father of Thomas Woodson, and confirmed that Eston had been fathered by a Jefferson.

The other leading possibility as the father of Eston, is Randolph Jefferson.

From http://www.angelfire.com/va/TJTruth/background.html

"Randolph, named for his maternal Randolph family, was a widower and between wives when shortly after his wife’s death, Sally became pregnant with her first child, Harriet I. It had been almost six years since her arriving at Monticello from Paris, thus, we can see that there was no “long term love affair” between Thomas and Sally. She continued having children until 1808 when Eston was born. Randolph Jefferson would marry his second wife the next year, 1809, and would have a child, John, born about 1810. Three of Sally Hemings’ children, Harriet, Beverly and Eston (the latter two not common names), were given names of the Randolph family who had earlier owned Randolph’s plantation, “Snowden”, and who had received it as his inheritance."

Eston was born when Thomas Jefferson was 64 and Sally was 35.

The DNA evidence clearly shows the Thomas Woodson was not the result of an affair between Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson, thus the story that Jefferson fathered a son by Hemmings as the result of such an affair is shown to be false. Notice the gap in births attributed to either Thomas or Sally from 1790 to 1795, when neither had any other gap of more than 3 years between children, and that gap was when Sally was in her 30's.

Finally, Abigail Adams described Sally, when she arrived in London in 1787 as needing more care than the child she was attending. Jefferson had asked for another servant instead of Sally to accompany the children, which indicates she had not made a favorable impression.... but as with all personalty assessments of historical figures, it is speculation and not fact.

Descendants of Madison did not agree to provide samples for testing.

Truth Warrior
12-17-2008, 02:52 AM
Though the United States is a young country, Americans are prone to ancestor worship. We learn not merely to admire the Founding Fathers but also to revere the Founding Fathers, who are sometimes described as if they had been touched directly by God. We question our governors, including our judges, but we rarely question our founding document. We feel free to ridicule or to despise the decisions of the Supreme Court, but not those of the Founders (putting slavery to one side).

Toward the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson expressed some exasperation about this state of affairs. He complained of those who "look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched." He noticed with evident alarm that people were ascribing "to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human," and seeing "what they did to be beyond amendment." He proclaimed that the founding generation "was very like the present, but without the experience of the present." Insisting that the Constitution should be rethought every generation, Jefferson offered a plea to posterity: "Let us not weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself.... The dead have no rights."

James Madison had a fundamentally different view. Fearing the effects of popular passions, and insisting that the Constitution had been adopted under unusually favorable historical circumstances, Madison wanted the founding document to be a kind of fixed star, immunized from the vicissitudes of history and the pressures of endless public scrutiny. In his words, "frequent appeals to the public" would remove "that veneration which time bestows on every thing, and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability." To be sure, Madison accepted the amendment process set out in Article V of the Constitution, which allows the Constitution to be changed after the approval of three-fourths of the states. But constitutional amendments are extremely difficult to produce; they are deliberately reserved, in Madison's own words, for "great and extraordinary occasions."

http://ignoblus.newsvine.com/_news/2006/10/13/398877-jefferson-madison-burke-on-the-us-constitution

heavenlyboy34
12-17-2008, 08:41 AM
Jefferson FTW! :D


Though the United States is a young country, Americans are prone to ancestor worship. We learn not merely to admire the Founding Fathers but also to revere the Founding Fathers, who are sometimes described as if they had been touched directly by God. We question our governors, including our judges, but we rarely question our founding document. We feel free to ridicule or to despise the decisions of the Supreme Court, but not those of the Founders (putting slavery to one side).

Toward the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson expressed some exasperation about this state of affairs. He complained of those who "look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched." He noticed with evident alarm that people were ascribing "to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human," and seeing "what they did to be beyond amendment." He proclaimed that the founding generation "was very like the present, but without the experience of the present." Insisting that the Constitution should be rethought every generation, Jefferson offered a plea to posterity: "Let us not weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself.... The dead have no rights."

James Madison had a fundamentally different view. Fearing the effects of popular passions, and insisting that the Constitution had been adopted under unusually favorable historical circumstances, Madison wanted the founding document to be a kind of fixed star, immunized from the vicissitudes of history and the pressures of endless public scrutiny. In his words, "frequent appeals to the public" would remove "that veneration which time bestows on every thing, and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability." To be sure, Madison accepted the amendment process set out in Article V of the Constitution, which allows the Constitution to be changed after the approval of three-fourths of the states. But constitutional amendments are extremely difficult to produce; they are deliberately reserved, in Madison's own words, for "great and extraordinary occasions."

http://ignoblus.newsvine.com/_news/2006/10/13/398877-jefferson-madison-burke-on-the-us-constitution

M House
12-17-2008, 01:41 PM
TJ was stud and why wouldn't he have had a relationship with the half-sister of his dead wife? He swore to never marry another woman after she died.... While it appears wrong and even disturbing, if Sally had been there why not? She would've been much like a younger version of the woman he loved. They can't fully test the DNA to confirm it for alot of her children, as there would be only one potential male descendant of the mating to do even the Y chromosome match. You can only get the rest of the picture if you got the DNA from the man himself.

Omphfullas Zamboni
12-17-2008, 02:03 PM
is Ron Paul more Jefferson or Madison?

Truth Warrior
12-17-2008, 02:05 PM
is Ron Paul more Jefferson or Madison? I'd say say Madison, though Ron's favorite is John Adams. ;)

M House
12-17-2008, 02:08 PM
Doesn't sound too bad I always though Madison was way better than Adams, both of them put together. Though I'm not sure what the general consensus here on that is....

SeanEdwards
12-17-2008, 02:09 PM
TJ was a hypocritical prick.

But despite that he got a few things right. And he tried to atone for at least some of his sins before he died, so at least he had a conscience.