University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
collapse sectionS. 
8078. SPANISH AMERICA, Self-government and.—[further continued] .
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

8078. SPANISH AMERICA, Self-government and.—[further continued] .

I feared from the beginning
that these people were not yet sufficiently
enlightened for self-government; and that after
wading through blood and slaughter, they would
end in military tyrannies, more or less numerous.
Yet, as they wished to try the experiment, I
wished them success in it; they have now tried
it, and will possibly find that their safest road
will be an accommodation with the mother
country, which shall hold them together by
the single link of the same chief magistrate,
leaving to him power enough to keep them in
peace with one another, and to themselves the
essential power of self-government and self-improvement,
until they shall be sufficiently
trained by education and habits of freedom, to
walk safely by themselves. Representative
government, native functionaries, a qualified
negative on their laws, with a previous security
by compact for freedom of commerce, freedom
of the press, habeas corpus and trial by jury,
would make a good beginning. This last would
be the school in which their people might begin
to learn the exercise of civic duties as well as
rights. For freedom of religion they are not
yet prepared. The scales of bigotry have not
sufficiently fallen from their eyes, to accept it
for themselves individually, much less to trust
others with it. But that will come in time, as
well as a general ripeness to break entirely from
the parent stem.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 200. Ford ed., x, 186.
(M. Jan. 1821)