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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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8067. SPANISH AMERICA, Independence of.—[continued].
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8067. SPANISH AMERICA, Independence of.—[continued].

On the question of our
interest in their independence, were that alone
a sufficient motive of action, much may be said
on both sides. When they are free, they will
drive every article of our produce from every
market, by underselling it, and change the condition
of our existence, forcing us into other
habits and pursuits. We shall indeed, have
in exchange some commerce with them, but in
what I know not, for we shall have nothing
to offer which they cannot raise cheaper; and
their separation from Spain seals our everlasting
peace with her. On the other hand, so
long as they are dependent, Spain, from her
jealousy, is our natural enemy, and always in
either open or secret hostility with us. These
countries, too, in war will be a powerful weight
in her scale, and, in peace, totally shut to us.
Interest, then, on the whole, would wish their
independence, and justice makes the wish a
duty. They have a right to be free, and we a
right to aid them, as a strong man has a right
to assist a weak one assailed by a robber or
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 550. Ford ed., x, 19.
(M. Feb. 1816)