Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/219

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208
Ch. 7.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

ideas and those of President Washington; yet even at the moment of these assurances he was writing privately in an opposite sense. In his eyes the past was wrong, both in method and intention; its work must be undone and its example forgotten. His conviction of a radical difference between himself and his predecessors was expressed in the strongest language. His predecessors, in his opinion, had involved the government in difficulties in order to destroy it, and to build up a monarchy on its ruins. "The tough sides of our Argosie," he wrote two days after his inauguration,[1] "have been thoroughly tried. Her strength has stood the waves into which she was steered with a view to sink her. We shall put her on her Republican tack, and she will now show by the beauty of her motion the skill of her builders." "The Federalists," said he at one moment,[2] "wished for everything which would approach our new government to a monarchy; the Republicans, to preserve it essentially republican. . . . The real difference consisted in their different degrees of inclination to monarchy or republicanism." "The revolution of 1800," he wrote many years afterward,[3] "was as real a revolution in the principles of our government as that of 1776 was in its form."

Not, therefore, in the Inaugural Address, with its amiable professions of harmony, could President Jefferson's

  1. Jefferson to J. Dickinson, March 6, 1801; Works, iv. 365.
  2. Jefferson's Works, ix. 480.
  3. Jefferson to Roane, Sept. 6, 1819; Works, vii. 133.