Wednesday, January 11, 2012

History of the United States of America during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson by Henry Adams

  • "Until they [Americans] were satisfied that knowledge was money, they would not insist upon high education; until they saw with their own eyes stones turned into gold, vapor into cattle and corn, they would not learn the meaning of science." - 53
  • "The political partnership between the New York Republicans and the Virginians was from the first that of a business firm." - 80
  • "Jefferson aspired beyond the ambition of a nationality, and embraced in his view the whole future of man...Hoping for a time when the world's ruling interests should cease to be local and should become universal; when questions of boundary and nationality should  become insignificant...he set himself to the task of governing, with the golden age in view." - 101
  • "in the foreigner's range of observation, love of money was the most conspicuous and most common trait of American character." - 112
  • "the new President found in the Constitutional power 'to regulate commerce with foreign nations' the machinery for doing away with navies, armies, and wars." - 144
  • "as he privately declared and as was commonly believed, the actual office-holders were monarchists at heart, and could not be trusted to carry the new Republican principles into practice, the public welfare required great changes. For the first time in national experience, the use of patronage needed some definite regulation." - 152
  • "The essence of Virginia republicanism lay in a single maxim: The government shall not be the final judge of its own powers." - 174
  • "The whole of Jefferson's theory of internal politics...rested in the Act making an annual appropriation of $7,300,000 for paying interest and capital of the public debt; and in the Act for repealing the internal taxes." - 185
  • April 30, 1802: "Perhaps the most important legislation of the year...authorized the people of Ohio to form a Constitution and enter the Union...Gallatin inserted into the law a contract, which bound the State and nation to set aside the proceeds of a certain portion of the public lands for the use of schools and for the construction of roads between the new State and the seaboard. This principle, by which education and internal improvements were taken under the protection of Congress, was a violation of the States-rights theories, against which, in after years, the strict constructionists protested" - 205
  • "That the Spaniards should dread and hate the Americans was natural...In their eyes, United States citizens proclaimed ideas of free-trade and self-government with no other object than to create confusion, in order that they might profit by it." - 231
  • "Peace is our passion, and wrongs might drive us from it. We prefer trying every other just principle, right and safety, before we would recur to war." - Jefferson, 300
  • "Bonaparte had been taught by Talleyrand that America and England, whatever might be there mutual jealousies, hatred, or wars, were socially and economically one and indivisible." - 337
  • "The Louisianians, it was said, had shed tears when they saw the American flag hoisted in place of the French; they were not prepared for self-government." - 385
  • "The doctrines of 'strict construction' could not be considered as the doctrines of the government after they had been abandoned in this leading case [Louisiana] by a government controlled by strict constructionists." - 386
  • "Jefferson wanted no treaties which could prevent him from using commercial weapons against nations that violated American neutrality; and therefore he reserved to Congress the right to direct commerce in whatever paths the Government might prefer." - 542
  • "With nations, as with individuals, our interests, soundly calculated, will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties" - Jefferson, 603
  • "It is beyond question that there exists in this country an infinite number of adventurers, without property, full of ambition, and ready to unite at once under the standard of a revolution which promises to better their lot." - 767
  • "France [under Napoleon] had made all Europe violent and brutal; but England could boast that at the sound of British cannon the chaos had become order, that the ocean had been divided from the land, and as far as the ocean went, that her fleets made law. Two Powers only remained to be considered by Great Britain, -- Russia and the United States. Napoleon showed an evident intention to take charge of the one; England thought herself well able to give law to the other." - 876
  • "In charging America with having lost her national character, Napoleon said no more than the truth. As a force in the affairs of Europe, the United States had become an appendage to England." - 1020
  • "The Federalists of 1801 were the national party of America; The Federalists of 1808 were a British faction in secret league with George Canning." - 1094
  • "the principle was thus settled that the Constitution, under the power to regulate commerce, conferred upon Congress the power to suspend foreign commerce forever; to suspend or otherwise regulate domestic inter-state commerce; to subject all industry to governmental control, if such interference in the opinion of Congress was necessary or proper for carrying out its purpose; and finally, to vest in the President discretionary power to execute or to suspend the system, in whole or in part." - 1111
  • "He had undertaken to create a government which should interfere in no way with private action, and he had created one which interfered directly in the concerns of every private citizen in the land. He had come into power as the champion of States-rights, and had driven States to the verge of armed resistance. He had begun by claiming credit for stern economy, and ended by exceeding the expenditure of his predecessors. He had invented a policy of peace, and his invention resulted in the necessity of fighting at once the two greatest Powers in the world." - 1239

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