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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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7015. PROGRESS, In government.—
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7015. PROGRESS, In government.—

Laws and institutions must go hand in
hand with the progress of the human mind.
As that becomes more developed, more enlightened,
as new discoveries are made, new
truths disclosed, and manners and opinions
change with the change of circumstances, institutions
must advance also, and keep pace
with the times. We might as well require
a man to wear still the coat which fitted
him when a boy, as civilized society to remain
ever under the regimen of their barbarous
ancestors. It is this preposterous idea
which has lately deluged Europe in blood.
Their monarchs, instead of wisely yielding
to the general change of circumstances, of
favoring progressive accommodation to progressive
improvement, have clung to old
abuses, entrenched themselves behind steady
habits, and obliged their subjects to seek
through blood and violence rash and ruinous
innovations, which, had they been referred to
the peaceful deliberations and collected wisdom
of the nation, would have been put into
acceptable and salutary forms. Let us follow
no such examples, nor weakly believe that
one generation is not as capable as another
of taking care of itself, and of ordering its
own affairs.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 15. Ford ed., x, 42.
(M. 1816)

See Generations.