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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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2516. EMBARGO, Alternative of war.—[further continued].
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2516. EMBARGO, Alternative of war.—[further continued].

All regard to the rights
of others having been thrown aside, the belligerent
powers have beset the highway of commercial
intercourse with edicts which, taken
together, expose our commerce and mariners,
under almost every destination, a prey to their
fleets and armies. Each party, indeed, would
admit our commerce with themselves, with a
view of associating us in their war against the
other. But we have wished war with neither.
Under these circumstances were passed the laws
of which you complain, by those delegated to
exercise the powers of legislation for you, with
every sympathy of a common interest in exercising
them faithfully. In reviewing these
measures, therefore, we should advert to the
difficulties out of which a choice was of necessity
to be made. To have submitted our
rightful commerce to prohibitions and tributary
exactions from others, would have been to
surrender our independence. To resist them
by armies was war, without consulting the state
of things or the choice of the nation. The
alternative preferred by the Legislature of
suspending a commerce placed under such
unexampled difficulties, besides saving to our
citizens their property, and our mariners to
their country, has the peculiar advantage of
giving time to the belligerent nations to revise
a conduct as contrary to their interests
as it is to our rights.—
Reply to a Boston Repeal Request. Washington ed. viii, 134.
(Aug. 1808)