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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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1420. COMMERCE, Pursuit of.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1420. COMMERCE, Pursuit of.—

You ask what I think on the expediency of encouraging
our States to be commercial? Were
I to indulge my own theory, I should wish
them to practice neither commerce nor navigation,
but to stand, with respect to Europe,
precisely on the footing of China. We should
thus avoid wars, and all our citizens would be
husbandmen. Whenever, indeed, our numbers
should so increase as that our produce would
overstock the markets of those nations who
should come to seek it, the farmers must
either employ the surplus of their time in
manufactures, or the surplus of our hands
must be employed in manufactures, or in navigation.
But that day would, I think, be distant,
and we should long keep our workmen
in Europe, while Europe should be drawing
rough materials, and even subsistence from
America. But this is theory only, and a theory
which the servants of America are not
at liberty to follow. Our people have a decided
taste for navigation and commerce.
They take this from their mother country;
and their servants are in duty bound to calculate
all their measures on this datum: we
wish to do it by throwing open all the doors
of commerce, and knocking off its shackles.
But as this cannot be done for others, unless
they will do it for us, and there is no probability
that Europe will do this, I suppose we
shall be obliged to adopt a system which May
shackle them in our ports, as they do us in
To Count Van Hogendorp. Washington ed. i, 465. Ford ed., iv, 104.
(P. 1785)