Saturday, August 7, 2010

pp. 10-12 A New Birth of Freedom, Jaffa

What is the parallel Jefferson makes betwee the Saxons and the American colonists?

Relevant Passages: But for Jefferson, no less than for Aristotle, what men seek by nature is not the ancestral but the good. After all, neither the Saxon ancestors of present-day Britons nor the British ancestors of present-day Americans left their native lands for any other reason than to better themselves. And therefore no claim or idea of right carries any intrinsic authority if it is contrary to the reason of natural right.

"Nor was ever any claim of superiority or dependence asserted over them by that mother country from which they had migrated: and were such a claim made, it is believed his Majesty's subjects in Great Britain have too firm a feeling of their rights derived to them from their ancestors, to bow down their state before such visionary pretensions. And it is thought that no circumstance has occurred to distinguish, materially, the British from the Saxon emigration. America was conquered, and her settlements made and firmly established, at the expense of individuals, and not of the British public. Their own blood was spilt in acquiring lands for their settlement, their own fortunes expended in making that settlement effectual. For themselves they fought, for themselves they conquered, and for themselves alone they have a right to hold."

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