Jefferson and Madison: The Great Collaboration

Jefferson and Madison: The Great Collaboration

Jefferson and Madison: The Great Collaboration

Jefferson and Madison: The Great Collaboration

Excerpt

Long study of the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson convinced me of the need for further research into the development of Jefferson's thought. And this became impossible without a systematic study of the friendship of Jefferson and Madison in working out a comprehensive ideology of democracy. Here were two men who had been joined in an intimate and congenial partnership for a period of almost fifty years. Their philosophic principles and political pursuits could not be isolated from the larger setting of their friendly collaboration and it was thus that Jefferson and Madison developed.

A study, then, in the history of ideas, the book explores more fully than before the political theory that Jefferson and Madison jointly professed, and indicates their characteristic differences as well as their basic agreement about political values. Their massive writings have often been consulted separately to throw light on one or the other man. Now the correspondence has been studied for the interplay of ideas between the two greatest philosopher statesmen of the American Enlightenment. The spotlight is on ideas and the interrelations of two minds. The inescapable conclusion of this investigation is that the political philosophy known simply as "Jeffersonian" is actually an amalgam of ideas, which owes very much to James Madison.

Jefferson and Madison must inevitably cut across neat . . .

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