Requests for Information related to Thomas Jefferson



>My name is ___________ I would like to ask you an important
questions about Thomas Jefferson is for my project for friday march
19,1999 I would like to answer me soon as posible please to the
fallowing adress ___  and the question is :
> * What does Thomas Jefferson related to said "The merchants will
manage commerce the better, the more they are left free to manage for
themselves" this in extarnalities, opportunities cost, regulation in market
economy I will like if you can explain this to me .
>I appreciate very much

The complete quotation to which you refer is as follows:

"Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns
only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other
nations except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage
the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves,
and our general government may be reduced to a very simple
organization and a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be
performed by a few servants." --Thomas Jefferson to Gideon
Granger, 1800.  ME 10:168

This does not mean that merchants should be free from taxes and
whatever regulations are necessary for commerce.  What it refers to is
the MANAGEMENT of commerce, i.e., the operation of their business.
Jefferson is saying that the federal government should have as little as
possible to do with foreign nations, EXCEPT as to commerce.  And the
commercial dealings with other nations and their merchants should be
left, as much as possible, to the merchants themselves.  He did not want
to have involved treaties that spell out matters related to the exchange
of goods,  but rather leave such arrangements up to the merchants
involved in trade.

"On the subject of treaties, our system is to have none with any
nation, as far as can be avoided... We believe that with nations
as with individuals, dealings may be carried on as
advantageously, perhaps more so, while their continuance
depends on a voluntary good treatment as if fixed by contract
which, when it becomes injurious to either, is made by forced
constructions to mean what suits them and becomes a cause of
war instead of a bond of peace... It is against our system to
embarrass ourselves with treaties, or to entangle ourselves at all
with the affairs of Europe." --Thomas Jefferson to Philip Mazzei,
1804.  ME 11:38

Jefferson did not oppose certain kinds of regulation of commerce,
including the encouragement of necessary home manufactures.

"The government of the United States at a very early period,
when establishing its tariff on foreign importations, were very
much guided in their selection of objects by a desire to
encourage manufactures within themselves." --Thomas Jefferson
to -----, 1821.  ME 15:337

"I do not mean to say that it may not be for the general interest to
foster for awhile certain infant manufactures until they are strong
enough to stand against foreign rivals; but when evident that they
will never be so, it is against right to make the other branches of
industry support them." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith,
1823.  ME 15:432

Hope that helps,

Eyler Coates


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