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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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3401. GENERATIONS, The Earth and.—[continued].
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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3401. GENERATIONS, The Earth and.—[continued].

That our Creator made
the earth for the use of the living and not of
the dead; that those who exist not can have no
use nor right in it, no authority or power over
it; that one generation of men cannot foreclose
or burthen its use to another, which comes to it
in its own right and by the same divine beneficence:
that a preceding generation cannot
bind a succeeding one by its laws or contracts;
these deriving their obligation from the will of
the existing majority, and that majority being
removed by death, another comes in its place
with a will equally free to make its own laws
and contracts; these are axioms so self-evident
that no explanation can make them plainer;
for he is not to be reasoned with who says
that non-existence can control existence, or
that nothing can move something. They are
axioms also pregnant with salutary consequences.
The laws of civil society, indeed, for
the encouragement of industry, give the property
of the parent to his family on his death,
and in most civilized countries permit him
even to give it, by testament, to whom he
pleases. And it is also found more convenient
to suffer the laws of our predecessors to stand
on our implied assent, as if positively reenacted,
until the existing majority positively repeals
them. But this does not lessen the right
of that majority to repeal whenever a change
of circumstances or of will calls for it. Habit
alone confounds what is civil practice with
natural right.—
To Thomas Earle. Washington ed. vii, 310.
(M. 1823)