If one thing surprised me when I read the biography of Thomas Jefferson, it was how radical he was, even for the revolutionary age.
He viewed devotion to empire and country as something that one should be suspicious of. Too many wars were fought for the personal glory of the few.
This dawning age he thought would create an agrarian republic with each according to his need and ability.
Jealousies between the classes would fade away as people leave the cities and 'return to the land' where they would use the abundant natural resources of the new nation. With an endless supply of land, the old European problems of scarcity of resources would in a large part be eliminated.
As people would leave the crowded and infested cities for the countryside, he believed problems like poverty, disease and crime would greatly diminish as there would no longer be a landless group of people living on the dole.
In addition to his beliefs in the future communal nature of the country, Jefferson also harbored an immense skepticism of the Christian religion and the banking industry. He believed them both to be instruments of the aristocracy used to manipulate the common people.
The extent of Jefferson's scepticism of religion and banking are worthy of an entirely different post in fact.
What does 'Jeffersonian Democracy' mean to you?