Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/214

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1801.
203
THE INAUGURATION.

A government restricted to keeping the peace, which should raise no taxes except for that purpose, seemed to be simply a judicature and a police. Jefferson gave no development to the idea further than to define its essential principles, and those which were to guide his Administration. Except the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, this short passage was the only official gloss ever given to the Constitution by the Republican party; and for this reason students of American history who would understand the course of American thought should constantly carry in mind not only the Constitutions of 1781 and of 1787, but also the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, and the following paragraph of Jefferson's first Inaugural Address:—

"I will compress them," said the President, "within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole Constitutional vigor, as the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the People,—a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority,—