University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
collapse sectionF. 
2940. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued] .
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

2940. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued] .

The radical idea of the
character of the Constitution of our government,
which I have adopted as a key in cases
of doubtful construction, is, that the whole
field of government is divided into two departments,
domestic and foreign (the States
in their mutual relations being of the latter);
that the former department is reserved exclusively
to the respective States within their
own limits, and the latter assigned to a separate
set of functionaries, constituting what
may be called the foreign branch, which, instead
of a federal basis, is established as a
distinct government quoad hoc, acting as the
domestic branch does on the citizens directly
and coercively; that these departments have
distinct directories, coordinate and equally
independent and supreme, each in its own
sphere of action. Whenever a doubt arises
to which of these branches a power belongs,
I try it by this test. I recollect no case where
a question simply between citizens of the
same State, has been transferred to the foreign
department, except that of inhibiting tenders
but of metallic money, and ex post facto legislation.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 342. Ford ed., x, 300.
(M. 1824)