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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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2956. FEDERALISTS, Divisions among.—
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2956. FEDERALISTS, Divisions among.—

Among that section of our citizens called
federalists, there are three shades of opinion.
Distinguishing between the leaders and people who compose it, the leaders consider the English
constitution as a model of perfection, some,
with a correction of its vices, others, with all
its corruptions and abuses. This last was
Alexander Hamilton's opinion, which others,
as well as myself, have often heard him declare,
and that a correction of what are called
its vices, would render the English an impracticable
government. This government
they wished to have established here, and only
accepted and held fast at first, to the present
Constitution, as a stepping stone to the final


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establishment of their favorite model. This
party has, therefore, always clung to England
as their prototype, and great auxiliary in promoting
and effecting this change. A weighty
MINORITY, however, of these leaders, considering
the voluntary conversion of our government
into a monarchy as too distant, if not
desperate, wish to break off from our Union
its eastern fragment, as being, in truth, the
hotbed of American monarchism, with a view
to a commencement of their favorite government,
from whence the other States, May
gangrene by degrees, and the whole be thus
brought finally to the desired point. For
Massachusetts, the prime mover in this enterprise,
is the last State in the Union to mean
a final separation, as being of all the most dependent
on the others. Not raising bread for
the sustenance of her own inhabitants, not
having a stick of timber for the construction
of vessels, her principal occupation, nor an
article to export in them, where would she
be, excluded from the ports of the other
States, and thrown into dependence on England,
her direct, and natural, but now insidious
rival? At the head of this MINORITY is
what is called the Essex Junto of Massachusetts.
But the MAJORITY of these leaders do
not aim at separation. In this, they adhere to
the known principle of General Hamilton,
never, under any views, to break the Union.
Anglomany, monarchy and separation, then,
are the principles of the Essex federalists.
Anglomany and monarchy, those of the Hamiltonians,
and Anglomany alone, that of the
portion among the people who call themselves
federalists. These last are as good
republicans as the brethren whom they oppose,
and differ from them only in their
devotion to England and hatred of France,
which they have imbibed from their leaders.
The moment that these leaders should avowedly
propose a separation of the Union, or the
establishment of regal government, their
popular adherents would quit them to a man,
and join the republican standard; and the
partisans of this change, even in Masschusetts,
would thus find themselves an army of
officers without a soldier. The party called
republican is steadily for the support of the
present Constitution. They obtained at its
commencement, all the amendments to it
they desired. These reconciled them to it
perfectly, and if they have any ulterior view,
it is only, perhaps, to popularize it further, by
shortening the senatorial term, and devising
a process for the responsibility of judges,
more practicable than that of impeachment.
They esteem the people of England and
France equally, and equally detest the governing
powers of both. This I verily believe,
after an intimacy of forty years with the public
councils and characters, is a true statement
of the grounds on which they are at
present divided, and that it is not merely an
ambition for power.—
To John Mellish. Washington ed. vi, 95. Ford ed., ix, 374.
(M. Jan. 1813)