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Indeed, America is a nation that is the most endowed the world over with maters which surpass matters of the economy, democracy, military might, security and intelligence system and legal systems, to include even the legacy it inherited from its founding fathers. As a matter of fact, it is widely held that America's success was spurred on by the great minds and ideals which these founding fathers bequeathed the American nation. Among the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson (April 13th, 1743- July 4th, 1826) as the third president of the US (1801-1809) is known to have made immense contribution to the democratization of the United States, and its realization of sovereignty. As the founding father of the great American nation, he envisioned the US as a great Empire of Liberty which would bolster republicanism. He also authored the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The extent to which Jefferson took the sovereignty and democratization of the United States is seen in his understanding of the rights of British America.
Jefferson Understands Of the Rights of British America
According to Jefferson, the rights of the British America were premised on the moral nature of God who in His justice and the law; had made these rights, equally and independently to all. Thus, it is not only the source (God) of the rights of the US to be independent, that Jefferson is concerned about, but the dispensation of equality for all. To Jefferson, the rights of the British America were to be epitomized in its rendering of equality as extant in its constitution. This is well seen in Jefferson's treatise to his majesty. Therefore, it was important for England to grant the British America its rights so as to enable the US to dispense the value of equality of all men to all in America (Jefferson, 75).
Likewise, the rights of the British America were vested on the fact that they had been given by nature to all men. This is because, the primordial occupants of America prior to the arrival of the British inhabitants, possessed all these rights. As such, the acknowledgement of the reality of these rights was of primal importance to the realization of public happiness. As far as public happiness is concerned, Jefferson cites how these rights allowed the primordial occupants in the US were able to seek new habitations, establish new societies under the provisions and laws which were cognizant of the aforementioned rights. Jefferson maintains that this is the same situation which existed among the ancestors of the Saxons who under the universal law, were able to exercise their will and self determination to leave their native wilds in northern parts of Europe, to possess the Britannia Islands, therein established their system of laws and thereby, ultimately enabled the realization of the glory and protection of the United Kingdom. It is important to note that the law that Thomas Jefferson makes reference to is the universal moral law.
At the same time, Jefferson pointed out at the situation in England as proof to the need for the realization of the rights of the British America to be sovereign. In this regard, Jefferson points out how the princes on the British thrones appeared before the people for treasonable crimes, since the crimes had contravened the sacred and sovereign rights of the people. Jefferson divulges on the matter, thereby appreciating the fact that the case (of treason) is of extreme necessity which needed judgment of the constitution, and that the dispensation of judgment, based on this constitution would have been unsafe upon being delegated to any other judicature. The gravity of the matter is that Jefferson herein equates legitimacy of the constitution and regime to the people. The extension of his standpoint is that as long as the local processes were being effected or delegated from overseas as was being done by Britain, then it is factual that Britain was contravening the rights of America.
Jefferson's View on the Elements That Held the Empire Together
The factors or values that Jefferson saw as being responsible for the upholding of his "Empire of Liberty" included representative democracy. While divulging on this, Jefferson maintained that it is through this democracy that citizens will be able to resist corruption which is mainly endemic in aristocracies and monarchies. The rights of the individuals and its observation as is safeguarded in the Bill of Rights remained central among the essentials to this empire's existence (Jefferson, 128).
Conversely, Jefferson emphasized the importance of observing the separation between the Church and the state as the most ideal way of keeping religious matters from interfering with the governing and administration of the empire's federal government, while keeping religious disputes and the corruption of religion by the government at bay. The freedom of expression and speech while not only covering the rights of the human person, but also that of the press was also seen by Jefferson as being sacrosanct to the prevention of tyranny and despotism by the government. It is against this backdrop that the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts were seen as a major issue and an affront to the ideals of the aforementioned "Empire of Liberty". Likewise, the US Constitution is seen as important to the realization of the empire since it was written to safeguard the freedom of the people. Of the same, Jefferson acknowledges the importance of amending the constitution, saying that there is no society which can make a perpetual law or constitution, and that the earth (the constitution included), belongs to the existing generation.
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