University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
collapse sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

7516. REVOLUTION (French), Jefferson's relations to.—

I considered a successful
reformation of government in France, as
insuring a general reformation through Europe,
and the resurrection, to a new life, of their people,
now ground to dust by the abuses of the
governing powers. I was much acquainted
with the leading patriots of the Assembleé.
Being from a country which had successfully
passed through a similar reformation, they were
disposed to my acquaintance, and had some
confidence in me. I urged, most strenuously,
an immediate compromise; to secure what the
government was now ready to yield, and trust
to future occasions for what might still be
wanting. It was well understood that the King
would grant, at this time, 1. Freedom of the
person by habeas corpus; 2. Freedom of conscience:
3. Freedom of the press: 4. Trial by
jury: 5. A representative legislature: 6. Annual
meetings: 7. The origination of laws: 8. The exclusive
right of taxation and appropriation: and
9. The responsibility of ministers; and with the
exercise of these powers they could obtain, in
future, whatever might be further necessary to
improve and preserve their constitution. They
thought otherwise, however, and events have
proved their lamentable error. For, after thirty
years of war, foreign and domestic, the loss of
millions of lives, the prostration of private happiness,
and foreign subjugation of their own
country for a time, they have obtained no more,
nor even that securely. They were unconscious
of (for who could foresee?) the melancholy
sequel of their well-meant perseverance; that
their physical force would be usurped by a first
tyrant to trample on the independence, and even
the existence, of other nations; that this would
afford a fatal example for the atrocious conspiracy
of kings against their people: would
generate their unholy and homicide alliance to
make common cause among themselves, and
to crush, by the power of the whole, the efforts
of any part, to moderate their abuses and oppressions.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 93. Ford ed., i, 129.

See Holy Alliance.