Thomas Jefferson: A Biography

By Nathan Schachner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 50 Triumphant Republicanism

THE year of 1802 dawned on a tranquil nation. So soothing had been the uttered words of the new President, so gradual and nibbling had been the changes in government, so still intact was the fundamental structure, so quietly and serenely had this alleged atheist and wild-eyed anarchist comported himself that the rank-and-file Federalists found nothing to arouse their fears and even the leaders were hard put to it to discover issues on which the tocsin might be sounded.

It has often been said that Jefferson was merely drifting. But he knew exactly what he was doing. He had to rid the country of the fear that a French type of revolution impended and to sever the Federalist leaders from their electoral support. He had to make haste slowly in bringing about the millennium. Yet he kept the eventual goal ever clearly in mind.

He realized that the Hamiltonian financial system had become so deeply imbedded and interpenetrated with the very structure of the government that it was now impossible to excise it. Willy-nilly, and in spite of theory, it had to be continued. He made his guiding principles clear to Dupont de Nemours, who had thought his Message too big for the nation, yet exhorted him to continue on his course like Socrates, Cato, Confucius, Marcus Aurelius-and Turgot.1

Jefferson explained his strategy to the enthusiastic French expatriate. "When this government was first established," he wrote, "it was possible to have kept it going on true principles, but the contracted, English, halflettered ideas of Hamilton, destroyed that hope in the bud. We can pay off his debt in 15. years: but we can never get rid of his financial system. It mortifies me to be strengthening principles which I deem radically vicious, but this vice is entailed on us by the first error. In other parts of our government I hope we shall be able by degrees to introduce sound principles and make them habitual. What is practicable must often controul what is pure theory: and the habits of the governed determine in a great degree what is practicable."2 So spoke the man who was supposed by his opponents to be a pure theoretician and dreamer.

Though he disliked the financial system-and particularly the Bank-he knew at least that he could in a measure control them, and make good out of evil. But the federal judiciary was another matter. Here was the stronghold into which federalism had retired; an entrenched position over which, by virtue of the Constitution, he had no power. "There," he remarked bitterly, "the remnants of federalism are to be preserved and fed from the

-699-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Thomas Jefferson: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 1074

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.