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By Garet Garrett

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So many people thought at the time. It was not so. In unexpected ways the consequences were vital. By the revolutionary war the Colonies won their independence from Great Britain. By the war of 1812 the American Republic won its independence in the world. After that it walked alone. For now it was possible to establish the supreme principle of American foreign policy-the principle, namely, that Europe should meddle no more in the New World. After the fall of Napoleon there had been formed in Europe a Holy Alliance of monarchs, dedicated to the proposition that monarchy was the only legitimate form of govern- BEARDING THE RELUCTANT LION 37 ment and divine, wherefore the world should be made free of republican revolutions forever.

Now Jefferson succeeded Adams. Jefferson the philosopher was pro-French and republican-the word republican meaning then a radical, a leveller, or those who, if they could not have both liberty and order, would choose liberty. Later the republicans began to call themselves democrats, but for a long time the word democrat was too strong and tabu, because of its association with the frightfulness of the French revolution. But Jefferson the President was another person. It took only one scratch to touch his tough American hide.

The dragon had many defenders because it had been kind to its friends, many of whom were men in public office who were either not as innocent as they pretended to be or too naive to serve government. When it CONCERNING MEN 53 was dead the carcass stank. After all, it was absurd for the government to have a banker. Later the United States Treasury became its own banker and next there was a National Bank System controlled by national laws. Then what was it Jackson did for that political frustration called the common man?

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American Story: The Real Story of the Real America from Its Beginnings to Now by Garet Garrett

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