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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

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. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
collapse sectionV. 
8836. VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION, Equal rights and.—
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

8836. VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION, Equal rights and.—

The basis of our [Virginia] Constitution is in opposition to the
principle of equal political rights, refusing to
all but freeholders any participation in the
natural right of self-government. It is believed,
for example, that a very great majority
of the militia, on whom the burthen of
military duty was imposed in the late war,
were unrepresented in the legislature, which
imposed this burthen on them. However nature
may by mental or physical disqualifications
have marked infants and the weaker
sex for the protection, rather than the direction
of government, yet among the men who
either pay or fight for their country, no line
of right can be drawn. The exclusion of a
majority of our freemen from the right of
representation is merely arbitrary, and an
usurpation of the minority over the majority;
for it is believed that the non-freeholders
compose the majority of our free and adult
male citizens. And even among our citizens
who participate in the representative privilege,
the equality of political right is entirely
prostrated by our constitution. Upon which
principle of right or reason can any one justify
the giving to every citizen of Warwick
as much weight in the government as to


Page 912
twenty-two equal citizens in Loudon and
similar inequalities among the other counties?
If these fundamental principles are of
no importance in actual government, then no
principles are important.—
To John Hambden Pleasants. Washington ed. vii, 345. Ford ed., x, 303.
(M. 1824)