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Thread: Jefferson vs Lincoln

  1. #1
    Senior Member dback's Avatar
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    Default Jefferson vs Lincoln

    I make no claims of being an expert on our Founding Fathers or of having read the volumes of writings they left us, but I found this article to be very interesting. Yardley has already made his position abundantly clear.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/eboch1.1.1.html
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    I've never considered the contrast between the two and certainly an interesting observation.

    Seems like the Jeffersonian Republic was abused by Honest Abe and continues to this day.
    It's time we abandon our party affiliations and rather than being good Dems or good Repubs we all become good Americans. MJH345

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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Talk about taking words completely out of context.

    The general feeling among our forefathers was that a rebellion against a monarch was justifiable because the monarchy existed without the support of the governed. By contrast, rebellion against the will of a republic was viewed as a heinous crime since it sought to violently overturn the will of the people in mass as expressed through their elected representatives.

    The Shay Rebellion in Massachusetts was a major factor in the adoption of the "Virginia Plan" calling for a stronger central government that would be capable of putting down such insurrections in the future. Jefferson was actually in Europe at that time. However, he enjoyed the notion of an occasional rebellion as a way of reminding the government of the innate power of the people. However, he also believed that the government's responsibility was to put down the insurrection to enforce the will of the people as expressed through their representative government. This is evident in his comments on the Shay rebellion where he wrote:

    "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356

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    Senior Member Steve's Avatar
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    There is a huge difference in a group rebelling against a state compared to the legally elected governments of several states formally declaring secession.

    My philosphy (which is basically Libertarian) is that people, groups, states, etc. should come together for mutual benefit. When that association is no longer desired by any party, then an amicable split is the right of that party.

    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Talk about taking words completely out of context.

    The general feeling among our forefathers was that a rebellion against a monarch was justifiable because the monarchy existed without the support of the governed. By contrast, rebellion against the will of a republic was viewed as a heinous crime since it sought to violently overturn the will of the people in mass as expressed through their elected representatives.

    The Shay Rebellion in Massachusetts was a major factor in the adoption of the "Virginia Plan" calling for a stronger central government that would be capable of putting down such insurrections in the future. Jefferson was actually in Europe at that time. However, he enjoyed the notion of an occasional rebellion as a way of reminding the government of the innate power of the people. However, he also believed that the government's responsibility was to put down the insurrection to enforce the will of the people as expressed through their representative government. This is evident in his comments on the Shay rebellion where he wrote:

    "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356
    Kelly, Weis, Willingham, & Davies

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    Senior Member dback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Talk about taking words completely out of context.

    The general feeling among our forefathers was that a rebellion against a monarch was justifiable because the monarchy existed without the support of the governed. By contrast, rebellion against the will of a republic was viewed as a heinous crime since it sought to violently overturn the will of the people in mass as expressed through their elected representatives.

    The Shay Rebellion in Massachusetts was a major factor in the adoption of the "Virginia Plan" calling for a stronger central government that would be capable of putting down such insurrections in the future. Jefferson was actually in Europe at that time. However, he enjoyed the notion of an occasional rebellion as a way of reminding the government of the innate power of the people. However, he also believed that the government's responsibility was to put down the insurrection to enforce the will of the people as expressed through their representative government. This is evident in his comments on the Shay rebellion where he wrote:

    "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356
    I am reluctant to enter this fray as I am admittedly woefully outgunned in this arena. It appears to me, however, that one could list literally pages of Jefferson quotes stating his stance on 'the peoples power' and resistance to tyrannical government. His 'Shay Rebellion' stance would not conflict (in my opinion or be relative to) his inaugural speech statement that "If there be any among us that wish to dissolve the Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed, as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

    Seems to be two very different things to me.
    Last edited by dback; 03-03-2010 at 11:15 PM.
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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dback View Post
    I am reluctant to enter this fray as I am admittedly woefully outgunned in this arena. It appears to me, however, that one could list literally pages of Jefferson quotes stating his stance on 'the peoples power' and resistance to tyrannical government. His 'Shay Rebellion' stance would not conflict (in my opinion or be relative to) his inaugural speech statement that "If there be any among us that wish to dissolve the Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed, as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

    Seems to be two very different things to me.
    There is no question that Jefferson believed that the legitimacy of a government derived from the people it represents. There is also no doubt that Jefferson was basically anti-authoritarian and enjoyed things that made established powers uncomfortable. However, I have seen nothing that would suggest that he believed that the Union was some form of gentlemen's club where member states might come and go as they pleased. I have also seen nothing to suggest that he would have been supportive of secession or other forms of insurrection against a government that fulfilled its resposibility to represent the people as a group, as distinct from the people as individuals or groupings of individuals. Ultimately, Jefferson believed in the authority of the "people" to elect a representative government and to govern. However, he did not favor a strong government, favoring "eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." If I were going to compare Jefferson to anyone on the current political scene, it would probably be Soros or Buffett, with whom he would have shared a strong sense of social justice, libertarian values on issues of religion and personal morality, an unfettered imagination, and strong individualism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    If I were going to compare Jefferson to anyone on the current political scene, it would probably be Soros or Buffett, with whom he would have shared a strong sense of social justice, libertarian values on issues of religion and personal morality, an unfettered imagination, and strong individualism.
    That's pretty good - you apparently believe what the publicists for these Robber Barons present, in this case you are dead wrong with your praise of their attributes. I've presented my case against Buffett prior so won't go there, I consider Soros an individual who makes Buffett look angelic by comparison.

    But that statement tells me how far left you are on the political Bell Curve. .
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    However, he also believed that the government's responsibility was to put down the insurrection to enforce the will of the people as expressed through their representative government.
    I think Jefferson is spinning in his grave if he can see the bunch of jokers we have in Congress today.
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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I think Jefferson is spinning in his grave if he can see the bunch of jokers we have in Congress today.
    I think you are right. However, he might well have felt the same about Congress in 1800.

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I think you are right. However, he might well have felt the same about Congress in 1800.
    Probably there have always been some idiots in Congress, but there seem to be far fewer outstanding people now than there were then; especially when one considers the larger numbers in Congress today. I wonder how many of today's Congress will even merit a footnote in history, except for their scandal-ridden private lives. Oops, better not forget their corruption scandals in public life as well.

    Remember Steve Allen's old TV show, Meeting of the Minds? Would have been very interesting to sit Jefferson and Lincoln down together.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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