Thomas Jefferson, "The Tree of Liberty Must Be Refreshed from Time to Time with the Blood of Patriots and Tyrants" What It Really Means.

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Many people tend to confuse or question Thomas Jefferson’s infamous quote “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”. Those who try to briefly examine the quote tend to misinterpret what Jefferson intended. The context he was hoping to be perceived from this was that if liberty is to exist, there will forever be a struggle of free people with the forces of tyranny. And that means that the continued existence of liberty will be nurtured by the results of that struggle, namely the blood of the tyrants and also of the patriots as they stand up to the tyrants. It does not mean that the patriots are vicious or are terrorists. In all reality when he wrote the letter to William Smith that contained this quote Thomas Jefferson was ultimately trying to affirm the right of the people to rebel against one’s government. At the time, Jefferson was deeply concerned about some of the new proposals for the new United States Constitution; particularly the role of the executive branch, which he saw as being far too powerful. In addition, Jefferson believed that the recent rebellion in Massachusetts; which became known as Shays' Rebellion -- had heightened the fears of the American elite, causing them to throw their weight behind a stronger executive government. Shays' Rebellion was essentially an armed rebellion against taxes being levied at Massachusetts farmers. Its leader, Daniel Shays; who had served as a soldier during the American Revolution -- used the legacy of the American Revolution to garner support for his cause. As a result, scores of patriotic Massachusetts men, most of whom were farmers themselves, resurrected the legacy of the "liberty tree" to fight the perceived injustices of the newly created government. As a result, America's governing class believed that a strong centralized government was the only surefire

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