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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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7764. SELF-GOVERNMENT, America and.—
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7764. SELF-GOVERNMENT, America and.—

Before the establishment of the American
States, nothing was known to history
but the man of the old world, crowded within
limits either small or overcharged, and
steeped in the vices which that situation generates.
A government adapted to such men
would be one thing; but a very different one,
that for the man of these States. Here every
man may have land to labor for himself, if
he chooses; or, preferring the exercise of any
other industry, may exact for it such compensation
as not only to afford a comfortable
subsistence, but wherewith to provide for a
cessation from labor in old age. Every one, by
his property, or by his satisfactory situation,
is interested in the support of law and order.
And such men may safely and advantageously
reserve to themselves a wholesome control
over their public affairs, and a degree of freedom,
which, in the hands of the canaille of
the cities of Europe, would be instantly per
verted to the demolition and destruction of
everything public and private. The history of
the last twenty-five years of France, and of
the last forty years in America, nay of its
last two hundred years, proves the truth of
both parts of this observation.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 226. Ford ed., ix, 428.
(M. 1813)