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Today the ‘scholar’s Jefferson’ is very different from what it used to be just a few decades ago. The general tendency to describe the process of foundation of the United States as being radically democratic has fashioned an image of the Virginian that is very distant from historical reality. Many recent works on Jefferson maintain that he was not a Lockean, but rather a proto-socialist ready to expropriate the rich to give to the poor, on the grounds that property rights are purely conventional and a gracious gift of society. Jefferson’s vast writings do not support this now almost conventional wisdom. In contrast, his works show that he was a natural-rights theorist of the Lockean persuasion. In his political outlook, he radicalized Locke’s doctrine somewhat, without ever really deviating from it. He believed that private property is a natural right, and that the only proper function of government is to protect the individual’s enjoyment of natural rights. The Kentucky Resolutions were central to Jeffersonian thought; the States’ rights doctrine he deployed here was even more important to his later thinking than his lifelong dedication to natural rights. Clearly, authentic federalism was the only way to protect the natural rights of mankind.