Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“People constantly speak of the government doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men. They may have some better man working for them, but they themselves are seldom worthy of any respect.”     H. L. Mencken

April 15, 2008

Jefferson v. Hamilton

by Doug Mataconis

The HBO Miniseries John Adams has been excellent, and this dramatized exchange between Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Secretary Of The Treasury Alexander Hamilton highlights the great differences that were to define the first twenty years of the Republic:

Part II:

H/T: Freedom Democrats

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3 Comments

  1. In my opinion Jefferson is without question one of the most overrate of the founding fathers. Certainly, Hamilton had many faults. But Jefferson was certainly no champion of liberty in the purest sense. How can anyone rationalize state sponsored mass murder (the Terror) as a necessary evil in time of revolution. He certainly was no constitutionalist and his presidency was a near disaster for the country. James Madison had to clean up Jefferson’s many mistakes…

    Comment by ThePhalanx — April 15, 2008 @ 7:30 pm
  2. Jefferson viewed the French Revolution, in it’s beginning as the step-child of America’s Revolution.

    In some respects, he was correct about that.

    As for the Terror, yes it was horrid, but the reign of the Bourboun’s was no picnic either. Louis XVI pretty much deserved what he got.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 16, 2008 @ 5:17 am
  3. I’ll say that although I agreed with much of Jefferson’s thinking and I tended to identify with him more than the other Founding Fathers, I believe the miniseries did a good job highlighting some of his major flaws as well.

    There was little admirable or useful to us about the French Revolution…it overthrew an ally who helped our own Revolution, it turned into a barbaric atrocity that had little or nothing to do with helping the cause of individual freedom, and it paved the way for yet another bloody dictator to seize the throne (one who eventually waged war against much of Europe). Jefferson had many admirable qualities, but his willingness to overlook the terrible events and ramifications of the French Revolution was not among them. Idealism is nice, but it’s not a sufficient reason to ignore the realities of the world around you.

    Comment by UCrawford — April 16, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

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