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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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2661. ENGLAND, Morality of government.—
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2661. ENGLAND, Morality of government.—

It may be asked, what, in the nature
of her government, unfits England for the observation
of moral duties? In the first place,
her King is a cipher; his only function being
to name the oligarchy which is to govern her.
The parliament is, by corruption, the mere
instrument of the will of the administration.
The real power and property in the government
is in the great aristocratical families of
the nation. The nest of office being too small
for all of them to cuddle into at once, the
contest is eternal, which shall crowd the
other out. For this purpose, they are divided
into two parties, the “Ins” and the “Outs,”
so equal in weight that a small matter turns
the balance. To keep themselves in, when
they are in, every stratagem must be practiced,
every artifice used which may flatter
the pride, the passions or power of the nation.
Justice, honor, faith, must yield to the
necessity of keeping themselves in place. The
question whether a measure is moral, is never
asked; but whether it will nourish the avarice
of their merchants, or the piratical spirit of
their navy, or produce any other effect which
may strengthen them in their places. As to
engagements, however positive, entered by
the predecessors of the “Ins,” why, they
were their enemies: they did everything
which was wrong; and to reverse everything
which they did, must, therefore, be right.
This is the true character of the English government
in practice, however different its
theory; and it presents the singular phenomenon
of a nation, the individuals of which
are as faithful to their private engagements
and duties, as honorable, as worthy, as those
of any nation on earth, and whose government
is yet the most unprincipled at this day
known. In an absolute government there can
be no such equiponderant parties. The despot
is the government. His power suppressing
all opposition, maintains his ministers
firm in their places. What he has contracted,
therefore, through them, he has the power to
observe with good faith; and he identifies his
own honor and faith with that of his nation,—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. v, 513.
(M. March. 1810)