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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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6421. PARTIES, Birth of.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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6421. PARTIES, Birth of.—

At the
formation of our government, many had formed
their political opinions on European writings
and practices, believing the experience of old
countries, and especially of England, abusive as
it was, to be a safer guide than mere theory.
The doctrines of Europe were, that men in
numerous associations cannot be restrained
within the limits of order and justice, but by
forces physical and moral, wielded over them
by authorities independent of their will. Hence
their organization of kings, hereditary nobles,
and priests. Still further to constrain the brute
force of the people, they deem it necessary to
keep them down by hard labor, poverty and ignorance,
and to take from them, as from bees,
so much of their earnings, as that unremitting
labor shall be necessary to obtain a sufficient
surplus barely to sustain a scanty and miserable
life. And these earnings they apply to maintain
their privileged orders in splendor and idleness,
to fascinate the eyes of the people, and
excite in them an humble adoration and submission,
as to an order of superior beings. Although
few among us had gone all these lengths
of opinion, yet many had advanced, some more,
some less, on the way. And in the convention
which formed our government, they endeavored
to draw the cords of power as tight as they
could obtain them, to lessen the dependence of
the general functionaries on their constituents,
to subject to them those of the States, and to
weaken their means of maintaining the steady
equilibrium which the majority of the convention
had deemed salutary for both branches,
general and local. To recover, therefore, in
practice the powers which the nation had refused,
and to warp to their own wishes those
actually given, was the steady object of the Federal
party. Ours, on the contrary, was to maintain
the will of the majority of the convention,
and of the people themselves. We believed,
with them, that man was a rational animal, endowed
by nature with rights, and with an innate
sense of justice; and that he could be restrained
from wrong and protected in right, by moderate
powers, confided to persons of his own choice,
and held to their duties by dependence on his
own will. We believed that the complicated
organization of kings, nobles, and priests, was
not the wisest nor best to effect the happiness
of associated man; that wisdom and virtue were
not hereditary; that the trappings of such a
machinery, consumed by their expense, those
earnings of industry, they were meant to protect,
and, by the inequalities they produced, exposed
liberty to sufferance. We believed that
men, enjoying in ease and security the full
fruits of their own industry, enlisted by all their
interests on the side of law and order, habituated
to think for themselves, and to follow their
reason as their guide, would be more easily and
safely governed, than with minds nourished in
error, and vitiated and debased, as in Europe,
by ignorance, indigence and oppression. The
cherishment of the people then was our principle,
the fear and distrust of them, that of the
other party. Composed, as we were, of the
landed and laboring interests of the country, we
could not be less anxious for a government of
law and order than were the inhabitants of the
cities, the strongholds of federalism. And
whether our efforts to save the principles and
form of our Constitution have not been salutary,
let the present republ can freedom, order
and prosperity of our country determine.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 290. Ford ed., x, 226.
(M. June, 1823)