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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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8029. SPAIN, English alliance against.—
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8029. SPAIN, English alliance against.—

I think you have misconceived the nature
of the treaty I thought we should propose to
England. I have no idea of committing ourselves
immediately or independently of our
further will to the war. The treaty should be
provisional only, to come into force on the
event of our being engaged in war with either
France or Spain during the present war in
Europe. In that event we should make common
cause, and England should stipulate not
to make peace without our obtaining the objects
for which we go to war, to wit, the acknowledgment
by Spain of the rightful boundaries
of Louisiana (which we should reduce to our
minimum by a second article) and 2, indemnification
for spoliations, for which purpose we
should be allowed to make reprisal on the
Floridas and retain them as an indemnification.
Our cooperation in the war (if we should really
enter into it) would be sufficient consideration
for Great Britain to engage for its object; and
it being generally known to France and Spain
that we had entered into treaty with England,
would probably ensure us a peaceable and immediate
settlement of both points. But another
motive much more powerful would indubitably
induce England to go much further. Whatever
ill-humor may at times have been expressed
against us by individuals of that country, the
first wish of every Englishman's heart is to see
us once more fighting by their sides against
France; nor could the King or his ministers
do an act so popular as to enter into an alliance
with us. The nation would not weigh the consideration
by grains and scruples. They would
consider it as the price and pledge of an indissoluble
friendship. I think it possible that
for such a provisional treaty they would give us
their general guarantee of Louisiana and the
Floridas. At any rate we might try them. A
failure would not make our situation worse. If
such a one could be obtained, we might await
our convenience for calling up the casus
I think it important that England
should receive an overture as early as possible,
as it might prevent her listening to terms of
peace. If I recollect rightly, we had instructed
Monroe, when he went to Paris, to settle the
deposit; if he failed in that object to propose
a treaty to England immediately. We could
not be more engaged to secure the deposit than
we are the country now, after paying fifteen
millions for it. I do expect, therefore, that,
considering the present state of things as analagous
to that and virtually within his instructions,
he will very likely make the proposition
to England.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 585. Ford ed., viii, 377.
(M. Aug. 1805)