Thomas Jefferson's Views On Revolution Essay

858 words - 4 pages

Jefferson (1977), statement, “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical”, clearly demonstrates that he supported revolution (p.417). During the time that Jefferson was penning down this statement there was wide dissent by revolutionary war veterans owing to the failure of the government to enact the necessary reforms. Most of the veterans had not been paid for the service they offered in the fight for independence. There was heavy taxes imposed by the states and those who could not be able to pay their taxes had their farms seized by the government. Most of the veterans in Massachusetts had ganged up against the ...view middle of the document...

According to Jefferson, a revolution is justified if it is to emancipate people from the oppression of their rulers. As for the independence, America had to break away from the colonial power which was oppressive. When the elected government of George Washington could not keep the ideals philosophy of liberty as declared by the charter of freedom, Jefferson saw the need of a second revolution. According to Jefferson, revolution ‘is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government’. In order for democratic principles to flourish, people must be willing to revolt in some times. It is a necessary evil since ‘the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants’ (Jefferson, 1977, p 239). The same reasons of oppression by the king are the one that motivated Jefferson to support the French revolution.
But the views of Jefferson on revolution and the democratic ideals can not pass the scrutiny of critics. According to critics, Jefferson could have not been democratic as he portrayed himself to be. The critics wonder how Jefferson would proclaim that “all men are created equal’ when slavery continued to flourish in America. More badly, Jefferson was a life long owner of slaves bringing his support version of revolution to question. But the slave issue was a complex affair, it may be argued. Important to note is that Jefferson ruled at time when not only slaves were subjected to second class citizens but also the minority and women were discriminated (Jefferson, 1977).
People should not attempt revolutions that have no chance of succeeding. This is...

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