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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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2366. ECONOMY, Political.—[continued].
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2366. ECONOMY, Political.—[continued].

Political economy in
modern times assumed the form of a regular
science first in the hands of the political sect
in France, called the Economists. They made
it a branch only of a comprehensive system
on the natural order of societies. Quesnay
first, Gournay, Le Frosne, Turgot, and Dupont
de Nemours, the enlightened, philanthropic,
and venerable citizen, now of the
United States, led the way in these developments,
and gave to our inquiries the direction
they have since observed. Many sound and
valuable principles established by them have
received the sanction of general approbation.
Some, as in the infancy of a science might be
expected, have been brought into question,
and have furnished occasion for much discussion.
Their opinions on production, and
on the proper subjects of taxation, have been
particularly controverted; and whatever May
be the merit of their principles of taxation,
it is not wonderful they have not prevailed;
not on the questioned score of correctness,
but because not acceptable to the people,
whose will must be the supreme law. Taxation
is, in fact, the most difficult function of
government, and that against which their
citizens are most apt to be refractory. The
general aim is, therefore, to adopt the mode
most consonant with the circumstances and
sentiments of the country. Adam Smith,
first in England, published a rational and
systematic work on Political Economy, adopting
generally the ground of the Economists,
but differing on the subjects before specified.
The system being novel, much argument and
detail seemed then necessary to establish
principles which now are assented to as soon
as proposed. Hence his book, admitted to be
able, and of the first degree of merit, has yet
been considered as prolix and tedious. In
France, John Baptisté Say has the merit of
producing a very superior work on the subject
of Political Economy. His arrangement
is luminous, ideas clear, style perspicuous,
and the whole subject brought within half
the volume of Smith's work. Add to this
considerable advances in correctness and extension
of principles. The work of Senator
[Destutt] Tracy, now announced, comes forward
with all the lights of his predecessors
in the science, and with the advantages of
further experience, more discussion, and
greater maturity of subjects. It is certainly
distinguished by important traits; a cogency
of logic which has never been exceeded in
any work, a rigorous enchainment of ideas,
and constant recurrence to it to keep it in
the reader's view, a fearless pursuit of truth
whithersoever it leads, and a diction so correct
that not a word can be changed but for
the worse * * *—
Introduction to Destutt Tracy's Political Economy. Washington ed. vi, 570.

See Tracy.