Socialism in America
"The struggle of History is not
between the bourgeoisie and the
proletariat; it is between government
and the governed."
|Selected Papers of Thomas Jefferson
| Abuse of Power by Supreme Court
FROM: THOMAS JEFFERSON
TO: JUDGE ROANE.
Poplar Forest, September 6,1819.
In denying the right they usurp of exclusively explaining the constitution, I go further than
you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, of an opinion that "the
judiciary is the last resort in relation _to the other departments of the government_, but not
in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the judiciary is derived."...
...The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary,
which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered, as an
axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is
absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as
fast as that relaxes. .
| On General Welfare Clause
FROM: THOMAS JEFFERSON
TO: ALBERT GALLATIN.
Monticello, June 16, 1817.
...You will have learned that an act for internal improvement, after passing both houses, was
negatived by the President. The act was founded, avowedly, on the principle that the phrase
in the constitution, which authorizes Congress 'to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for
the general welfare,' was an extension of the powers specifically enumerated to whatever
would promote the general welfare; and this, you know, was the federal doctrine. Whereas,
our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only land-mark which now divides the
federalists* from the republicans, that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the
general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was
never meant they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated
powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the
enumeration did not place under their action: consequently, that the specification of powers
is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money. Read More...
Final Draft Declaration of Independence
Between June 13 and June 28, 1776 Thomas Jefferson wrote the draft of
the Declaration of Independence. When completed he submitted it
separately to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams requesting their
corrections. After a few minor corrections, "merely verbal", it was
submitted to Congress on July 2.
After two days of intense debates, painful and humiliating to Jefferson,
Congress officially adopted the finished version on July 4. During the
debate Jefferson sat in silence beside his friend Benjamin Franklin. For
the most part Jefferson continued his silence on the subject for several
years. It was years before anyone outside of Congress realized Jefferson
was the author. Read Draft....
| On Public Debt
TO: JOHN W. EPPS
FROM: THOMAS JEFFERSON
Monticello, June 24, 1813.
...It is a wise rule, and should be fundamental in a government disposed to
cherish its credit, and at the same time to restrain the use of it within the
limits of its faculties, 'never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the
same instant for paying the interest annually, and the principal within a
given term; and to consider that tax as pledged to the creditors on the
public faith.' On such a pledge as this, sacredly observed, a government
may always command, on a reasonable interest, all the lendable money of
their citizens, while the necessity of an equivalent tax is a salutary warning
to them and their constituents against oppressions, bankruptcy, and its
inevitable consequence, revolution. But the term of redemption must be
moderate, and, at any rate, within the limits of their rightful powers...
| Unconstitutionality of a National Bank
Thomas Jefferson to President George Washington
February 15, 1791
Soon after his appointment by President George Washington as Treasury
Secretary, Alexander Hamilton proposed the establishment of a national
bank. His proposal was vehemently opposed by Thomas Jefferson and
James Madison on Constitutional grounds. Washington asked Jefferson
to put his objections in writing, which he did in the following report. His
report has relevance to today because of his explanation of the two
"general phrases" in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution listing the
enumerated powers of Congress. Read Report
Separation of Church and State
Letters between Danbury Baptist Association and Thomas Jefferson, 1801.
The phrase "a wall of separation between chuch and state" extracted from
Jefferson's reply to an inquiry from the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist
Association is the most frequently used quotation when arguing against any
relationship between religion and government. Complete text of letters with
annotations and commentary. Read Letters
| President of the Senate
Near the end of his life, Jefferson found himself deeply in debt. He
wished to pay those debts by selling off some partials of property. Due
to a decline in real estate prices at the time he believed the only way he
could get a reasonable price for the property was through a lottery. The
Virginia Legislature had passed a law forbidding the operation of a
private lottery without the express permission of the state legislature. In
his petition to the legislature, Jefferson recapped his sixty-five years of
public service to his country.
This has relevance to us today due to his description of his four year
term as President of the Senate during the term of John Adams. (1797 -
1801) which he termed "the most important in its consequences, of
any transaction in any portion of my life;" Read Petition
|The Illinois Conservative