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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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2665. ENGLAND, National debt.—[continued].
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2665. ENGLAND, National debt.—[continued].

I have long considered
the present crises of England, and the origin
of the evils which are lowering over her as
produced by enormous excess of her expenditures
beyond her income. To pay even the
interest of the debt contracted, she is obliged
to take from the industrious so much of their
earnings as not to leave them enough for
their backs and bellies. They are daily,
therefore, passing over to the pauper-list, to
subsist on the declining means of those still
holding up, and when these shall also be exhausted,
what next? Reformation cannot
remedy this. It could only prevent its recurrence
when once relieved from the debt. To
effect that relief I see but one possible and
just course. Considering the funded and real
property as equal, and the debt as much of the
one as the other, for the holder of property
to give up one-half to those of the funds, and
the latter to the nation the whole of what
it owes them. But this the nature of man
forbids us to expect without blows, and blows
will decide it by a promiscuous sacrifice of
life and property. The debt thus, or otherwise
extinguished, a real representation introduced
into the government of either property
or people, or of both, renouncing eternal
war, restraining future expenses to future
income, and breaking up forever the consuming
circle of extravagance, debt, insolvency,
and revolution, the island would then again
be in the degree of force which nature has
measured out to it in the scale of nations,
but not at their head. I sincerely wish she
could peaceably get into this state of being,
as the present prospects of southern Europe
seem to need the acquisition of new weights
in their balance, rather than the loss of old
To Edward Everett. Washington ed. vii, 232.
(M. 1822)