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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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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5539. MORALITY (National), Progress in.—[continued].
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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5539. MORALITY (National), Progress in.—[continued].

With some exceptions
only, through the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, morality occupied an honorable
chapter in the political code of nations. You
must have observed while in Europe, as I
thought I did, that those who administered the
governments of the greater powers at least, had
a respect to faith, and considered the dignity
of their government as involved in its integrity.
A wound indeed was inflicted on this character
of honor in the eighteenth century by the partition
of Poland. But this was the atrocity of a
barbarous government chiefly, in conjunction
with a smaller one still scrambling to become
great, while one only of those already great,
and having character to lose, descended to
the baseness of an accomplice in the crime.
France, England, Spain, shared in it only inasmuch
as they stood aloof and permitted its
perpetration. How, then, has it happened that
these nations, France especially, and England,
so great, so dignified, so distinguished by
science and the arts, plunged all at once into
all the depths of human enormity, threw off
suddenly and openly all the restraints of morality,
all sensation to character, and unblushingly
avowed and acted on the principle that power
was right? Can this sudden apostasy from national
rectitude be accounted for? The treaty
of Pilnitz seems to have begun it, suggested
perhaps by the baneful precedent of Poland.
Was it from the terror of monarchs, alarmed
at the light returning on them from the west,
and kindling a volcano under their thrones?
Was it a combination to extinguish that light,
and to bring back, as their best auxiliaries,
those enumerated by you, the Sorbonne, the
Inquisition, the Index Expurgatorius, and the
knights of Loyola? Whatever it was, the close
of the new century saw the moral world
thrown back again to the age of the Borgias, to
the point from which it had departed three hundred
years before. France, after crushing and
punishing the conspiracy of Pilnitz, went deeper
herself and deeper into the crimes she had
been chastising. I say France and not Bonaparte;
for, although he was the head and mouth,
the nation furnished the hands which executed
his enormities. England, although in opposition,
kept full pace with France, not indeed by
the manly force of her own arms, but by oppressing
the weak and bribing the strong. At
length the whole choir joined and divided the
weaker nations among them.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 524.
(M. Jan. 1816)