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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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7374. REPUBLICANS, Early contests of.—[continued].
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7374. REPUBLICANS, Early contests of.—[continued].

When Congress first met,
the assemblage of facts presented in the President's
[Adams's] speech [message], with the
multiplied accounts of spoliations by the
French West Indians, appeared by sundry
votes on the address, to incline a majority to
put themselves in a posture of war. Under
this influence the address was formed, and
its spirit would probably have been pursued
by corresponding measures, had the events of
Europe been of an ordinary train. But this
has been so extraordinary, that numbers have
gone over to those, who, from the first, feeling
with sensibility the French insults, as they
had felt those of England before, thought
now as they thought then, that war measures
should be avoided, and those of peace pursued.
Their favorite engine, on the former
occasion, was commercial regulations in preference
to negotiations, to war preparations,
and increase of debt. On the latter, as we
have no commerce with France, the restriction
of which could press on them, they
wished for negotiation. Those of the opposite
sentiment had, on the former occasion,
preferred negotiation, but at the same time
voted for great war preparations, and increase
of debt; now also they were for negotiation,
war preparations and debt. The
parties have in debate mutually charged each
other with inconsistency, and with being governed
by an attachment to this or that of the
belligerent nations, rather than the dictates
of reason and pure Americanism. But, in
truth, both have been consistent; the same
men having voted for war measures who did
before, and the same against them now who
did before.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 190. Ford ed., vii, 152.
(Pa., June. 1797)