Thomas Jefferson was a walking contradiction. Hated slavery yet owned slaves. Hated debt yet swam in it. Monticello was a total failure for him. I think the biggest difference that creates the effect you have identified is population. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were about 2.5 million people living in the United States’ original 13 States in 1776. In todays world you are nothing more than a name with a body attached to it. You have been stripped of being a person to being a liability to your government. Suppose you go to trial tomorrow. Is the population so small that somebody you know might be on the jury? Back then it was. That’s what jury of your peers really means. Even the religious zealots of that time considered 13 to be the age of consent because that came straight out of the old testament. No one would think that now and you have to ask yourself why not? How and in what way have we changed from back then? Invariably you will hear that we are a modern industrial society as the reason. Since when did industry trump biology?
You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. (Charles Austin Beard)
If we were still true to the values this country was founded on repeating our founding fathers would be like preaching to the choir and wouldn’t get anyone a reputation as a dangerous citizen. What went wrong with us? Could it be that many of us have adopted values contrary to those this country was founded on?