The end of democracy...(Quotation)

Quotation: "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."

Sources consulted:

  1. Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Digital Edition
  2. Thomas Jefferson: Papers collection in Hathi Trust Digital Library
  3. Retirement Papers

Earliest known appearance in print: 1994[1]

Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: see above

Status:  This exact quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson.  It may be a mistaken amalgamation of the author's comments in the above 1994 reference with a real Jefferson quotation.  Jefferson wrote in 1825 to William Branch Giles of "vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76 now look to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry."[2]  Chomsky's 1994 book quotes Jefferson's 1825 letter to Giles and then comments that "[Jefferson] warned that that would be the end of democracy and the defeat of the American revolution."



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Dear Monticello: would you KINDLY FIX the errors in your posting above to reflect that the LONGER "variation" is accurate?
More that one person has disparaged the "Variation" because of your commentary on the unsubstantiated quote. You are therefore unnecessarily contributing to confusion.


Thanks Randall - it's fixed. Sorry to muddy the waters there!


Why does it say above that this exact quote, "I hope we shall...crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country." cannot be found in the writings of Jefferson?


Bryan, see footnote #1.


"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

The bipartisan "dueling" (two-party political system) is indeed a fascinating spectacle for the politically naive, and it does indeed distract from any kind of serious critique (dare we say "panem et circenses"?). The resulting winner will invariably favour the impresario, backed up by the money of the millions of simple-hearted 'santa clauses'. What were once useful past political movements have degenerated into ruses. Now, with little effective difference in approach, the so-called "business model" connives at maintaining the financial status quo, the "Big Money", and is also cautious not to allow "strangers" into the powerful "club". This "closed joint-stock company" is intended not for "the rabble" who are creating the nation's wealth but only for the business elite that is appropriating it "on legal grounds" by its own laws; with that, the degrees of their freedom are separated by the thickness of a purse. The monetization of laws, health care, education, pre-election campaign, etc. puts citizens in obviously unequal conditions. And what about a declaration of the "society of equal opportunity"? Meanwhile, the healthy and intelligent nation is possible only when the honest competition and equal access of all its citizens to nationwide resources.

These are not democracies, as Abraham Lincoln described it, that is to say "government of the people, by the people and for the people"!

"A new political system as a real Democratic Revolution."


This is a copy of a letter signed by jefferson containin the exact quote.


The quote "I hope we shall...crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country." is making the rounds and is said to be from a letter Jefferson wrote to George Logan, November 12, 1816 and quoted in Volume 12 of the works of Jefferson. Is this letter legitimate and is the quote accurate?


You can see the exact quote, as verified and cited by Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series staff, here:

there are hundreds of fully verified and cited quotes here, all key word/term searchable!


Yes, I've quoted this letter myself above - I'm seeing that quote a lot lately. The full sentence as it appeared in Jefferson's letter is, "I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in it’s birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and to bid defiance to the laws of their country." The letter was first published in Ford's Writings of Thomas Jefferson in 1892 (see - the edition you link to is a 1904 commemorative edition of Ford), and the polygraph copy is also online:

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