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Notes on the State of Virginia is an extensive work undertook by Thomas Jefferson In this tome Jefferson discussed his state of Virginia proudly and in great detail The book was written in the twenty-three chapters or responses to queries from a Frenchman concerning the state of Virginia From his writing it is clear that Thomas Jefferson was first and foremost a Virginian His words were a factual display of what the state its people and its landscape meant to him The term republicanism is of very vague application in every language Jefferson proclaimed self-evident truths in that all men are created equal that they possess unalienable rights of Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed and can be overthrown if it becomes destructive of these ends In linking these doctrines of individual liberty and popular sovereignty with independence Jefferson established revolutionary republicanism as a defining value of the new nation Under the query relative to the several charters of the State and its present form of government Jefferson presents a compact statistical view of the colony from the first settlement under the grant of Queen Elizabeth in 1584 down to the time at which he writes gives an outline of the existing constitution and enumerates what he considers its capital defects A brief notice of these defects and the remedies which he proposed will explain more fully the opinions of Jefferson on the constitution of Virginia Inserted in Appendix II is a new constitution prepared by himself in 1783 when it was expected the Assembly of Virginia would call a convention for remodeling the old one Among the defects of the existing establishment he enumerates The want of universal suffrage -- or rather such an extension of the elective franchise as would give a voice in the government to all those who pay and fight for its support p124
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