Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/14

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Ch. 1.

for Jefferson had made a democratic polity victorious at home and respectable in the world's eyes, and the privilege of hearing him reaffirm his doctrines and pronounce their success was one that could never be renewed. The Moses of democracy, he had the glory of leading his followers into their promised and conquered Canaan.

Jefferson began by renewing the professions of his foreign policy:—

"With nations, as with individuals, our interests, soundly calculated, will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties; and history bears witness to the fact that a just nation is taken on its word, when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bridle others."

The sentiments were excellent; but many of Jefferson's followers must have asked themselves in what history they could find the fact, which the President asserted, that a just nation was taken on its word; and they must have been still more perplexed to name the nation, just or unjust, which was taken on its word by any other in the actual condition of the world. Without dwelling on this topic, which had already become one of interest in the councils of his Cabinet, Jefferson, passing to practical questions involved in redemption of debt, advanced a new idea.

"Redemption once effected," he said, "the revenue thereby liberated may, by a just repartition among the States and a corresponding amendment of the Constitution, be applied, in time of peace, to rivers, canals, roads, arts,