"I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one another in large cities as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
letter to James Madison, 1787. Papers 12:442
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Reader comments about this quote:
His fears gave become reality. For example, could Chicago be any more arrogant, corrupt, or controlling?
 -- Jim Moravec, Lombard, IL     
    That's why they call it Crook, County.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    We have seen the truth of all this in our own lifetimes.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Pol Pot would love this one. Jefferson must have had one to many glasses of his wine when an if he wrote this.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    Since urbanites cannot provide for themselves the basic necessities of life, they develop a twisted view of the world far from the realities of an agrarian society.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Waffler, as ever the complete Communist railing against all American values. Still putting Scotch on your Commie Flakes Kamrade?
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    It isn't true on a country-wide basis yet, but where we have big cities and in states where the farms have gone away, TJ was right on. Here in CT, the 'big' cities rule the legislature along with the unions. And the unions are mostly made up of gov't workers. BHO is the crowning achievement of buying the votes of people who won't work with printing press money. "...and none dare call it treason."
     -- J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT     
    Waffler...You truly are an arrogant idiot. In his infancy, Jefferson knew more about freedom, law, liberty, rights, responsibility, and justice than you ever will. He is a founding father, the author of the Declaration of Independence, this country would not be here without him; and you think you are wiser than he? I am sure that you have done nothing in your life that could even come close to giving you the ability to criticize his philosophies.
     -- Publius     
    Founding Father Drafter of The Declaration of Independence Third US President Jailer of America's First Political Prisoner
     -- Max Conflict, Remo, LA     
    Publius Jefferson was a man as I am and I hope you are or will become. He was not a god and would be shocked if you think he was. This quote fails for many reasons. First of all where did governments ever become categorized as agricultural. His apparent disdain for city life was well known because of his love for his beautiful Charlottesville. But to imbue a love for the countryside with a total philosophy of government is a bit much don't you think. Publius maybe you think like Sarah and her ilk that the real America is out in the corn and soy bean belt, and New Yorkers, Philadelphians, Angeleons etc are just not well worth the time of day. It is a sad and sorry quote and I would love to discuss with my Beloved Thomas Jefferson, beloved but I consider him a man to be respected but not worshipped as you seem to do.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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