The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 192
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
possessing only delegated powers subject to whatever changes the
people-the source of all authority-may see fit to make to achieve
their safety and happiness. Revolution was a natural right of
The evolution of the idea that one of the main objectives if
not the chief purpose of government was to secure the happiness
of the people is shown to have been widely accepted by the po-
litical writers of the period. The idea was borrowed from
Burlamaqui (1694-1748), a Swiss jurist, who advanced this
doctrine in his Principes du droit politique (Geneva, 1751) . Jef-
ferson in using the phrase "pursuit of happiness" in the Declara-
tion was, therefore, making no radical departure from the ac-
cepted philosophy of his confreres.
It is not generally understood, however, that while Locke used
the term property to include life and liberty, the forefathers used
the term liberty to include property. The revolution originated
over property rights--"taxation without representation." It was
for this reason that the forefathers emphasized the protection of
property rights as the chief end of government-a sine qua non
Possibly the most radical thing in Jefferson's philosophy was
his declaration that the acquiring, ownership, and use of prop-
erty was not a natural right but a social right. In this respect he
stood alone among the forefathers and as a result became an
exponent of the doctrine that property "affected with a public
interest" is subject to the regulation of society-a doctrine an-
nounced by the Supreme Court of the United States in Munn v.
Illinois, 94 U. S. 113 (1872).
This book deserves to be widely read, especially by historians,
economists and political scientists, lawyers and judges. If George
Mason was still living, he would be delighted to discover that one
of his great principles is still operating-"that no people can
maintain liberty who do not make a frequent recurrence to
fundamental principles." I congratulate the author and the pub-
C. PERRY PATTERSON
The University of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/213/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.