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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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2937. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued].
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2937. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued].

It is a fatal heresy to suppose
that either our State governments are
superior to the Federal, or the Federal to the
States. The people, to whom all authority
belongs, have divided the powers of government
into two distinct departments, the leading
characters of which are foreign and domestic;
and they have appointed for each a
distinct set of functionaries. These they have
made coordinate, checking and balancing each
other, like the three cardinal departments in
the individual States; each equally supreme as
to the powers delegated to itself, and neither
authorized ultimately to decide what belongs
to itself, or to its coparcener in government,


Page 328
As independent, in fact, as different nations,
a spirit of forbearance and compromise, therefore,
and not of encroachment and usurpation,
is the healing balm of such a Constitution;
and each party should prudently shrink from
all approach to the line of demarcation, instead
of rashly overleaping it, or throwing
grapples ahead to haul to hereafter. But,
finally, the peculiar happiness of our blessed
system is, that in differences of opinion between
these different sets of servants, the appeal
is to neither, but to their employers
peaceably assembled by their representatives
in convention. This is more rational than the
jus fortioris, or the cannon's mouth, the ultima
et sola ratio regum.

To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 213. Ford ed., x, 190.
(M. 1821)