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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.;

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21. ABUSES, Monarchical.—
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21. ABUSES, Monarchical.—

Nor should
we wonder at the pressure [for a fixed Constitution
in France in 1788-9], when we consider
the monstrous abuses of power under
which this people were ground to powder,
when we pass in review the weight of their
taxes, and inequality of their distribution:
the oppressions of the tithes, of the tailles,


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the corvées, the gabelles, the farms and barriers:
the shackles on commerce by monopolies:
on industry by guilds and corporations:
on the freedom of conscience, of thought, and
of speech: on the press by the Censors and
of person by lettres de cachet; the cruelty of
the criminal code generally, the atrocities of
the Rack, the venality of judges, and their
partialities to the rich; the monopoly of military
honors by the noblesse; the enormous
expenses of the Queen, the princes and the
court; the prodigalities of pensions; and the
riches, luxury, indolence, and immorality of
the clergy. Surely under such a mass of misrule
and oppression, a people might justly
press for a thorough reformation, and might
even dismount their rough-shod riders, and
leave them to walk on their own legs.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.