“The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating” — Thomas Jefferson
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This quote suggests that Thomas Jefferson was critical of the idea that government or national debt could or should be perpetually maintained and increased. He seems to believe this “modern theory” of endless debt accumulation had led directly to immense bloodshed and suffering around the world.
Jefferson appears to be arguing that allowing debt burdens to grow indefinitely will crush societies under the weight of ever-mounting financial obligations. The quote conveys Jefferson’s view that perpetual or rising debt poses serious risks and consequences, potentially even sparking wars and human costs if not managed responsibly.