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  • A social philosophy expounding the beliefs of President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson preferred a weak central government with simultaneous strong local governments. Jefferson believed that such an arrangement would be more responsive to the popular will than a strong central government. This sentiment stemmed from Jefferson's strong faith in the ability of the citizenry to govern itself.

    As a yeoman farmer, Jefferson believed that the American economy should rely more on agriculture than on industry and big business. Jefferson did not trust big business. He believed that Americans could remain virtuous by minding their own agricultural affairs and that the government should not shape its economy on behalf of commerce and industrialization.

    Jefferson also believed that all individuals have inalienable rights, or liberties, which could not be infringed ...

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