4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. individual action shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.

      In this annotation, though I understand there is a contradictory aspect of this statement, (given UVa's history of gender and racial exclusion) that’s not where I’d like to focus. Rather, I ask, existentially, are there harms to societal freedom? Currently, our society values the idea of being an individual more and more. According to the famous sociologist Peter L. Berger, modern society's concept of dignity is reliant on an individual emancipating himself from certain societal rules. Our society's thirst for uniqueness can be seen as harmful. Later in the report, Jefferson writes about how molding individuals into habits of reflection will “render them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.” But, now I ask, is our modern day search for “dignity” getting in the way of what other’s consider virtuous? Increasingly people feel loneliness and estrangement from themselves and society. Can there be too much freedom?

    2. instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      I selected this excerpt because it is rare for an institution to prioritize the successful instillment of virtue & order. UVa's student led honor system, similar to the precepts of virtue and order, is a malleable form of governance that changes over time. Other institutions have cheating policies and varieties of regulations, but UVa's untaught loyalty to honor creates a sense of trust that is unmatched. Precepts are normally societal rules that regulate behaviors and thoughts; however, though it is similar, our UVa community determines our precepts. This power instills students with dignity, which leads to internal acceptance of our society's virtues; rather than the confinement experienced by other individuals who aren't granted governance.

  2. Sep 2017
    1. To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce and by well informed views of political economy to give a free scope to the public industry.

      The election of 1800 marks a pivotal change in American economic policy that parallels this quote above. When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America's economic policy shifted from heavily regulated (Federalists) to more laissez faire (Jeffersonians). Jefferson's objective was to promote freedom for pursuit of individual self-interest, which would stimulate economic growth. Jefferson's policy mirrored the invisible hand theory Adam Smith presented in "The Wealth of Nations." Economies operate best when self-interest is not governmentally limited. Jefferson prioritized lenience on agricultural and manufacturing regulation. However, UVa curriculum has a holistic approach, in which students will have "well informed views of political economy." This is evidence that Jefferson didn't allow for personal bias to influence the curriculum.

    2. In conformity with the principles of our constitution

      As evident from both the past and present, the University of Virginia values adherence to the Constitution. The subsequent portion of this sentence elucidates the reasoning for Thomas Jefferson's vision of the Rotunda (a library) as the epicenter of campus, rather than a Chapel. UVa's respect for the separation between church and state epitomizes one of the many successes that come from "conformity with the principles of our constitution." However, in my eyes, there are negatives to an absolute adherence to this rule. Supporting outlook of judicial activism, I believe the ideals presented in the Constitution should accomodate situational context. On August 11, when neo-nazi's stormed our campus, the principles of freedom of speech and right to assemble were abused. Cleary, this illuminates a detriment to our undying loyalty to the Constitution.