The very amplitude, diversity, and contradiction of Thomas Jefferson's mind enables perceptive thinkers to see the permanence in his thought. Jefferson changed much during his long life, until the day when he and John Adams died on July 4, 1826; and his time-conditioned contradictions enable living reformers to claim for themselves the generosity of his mind. Jefferson, with his French colleagues, saw that there is a thing as despotism and that its alternative is political freedom. He undertook, with reason, to show the conditions that led to despotism in England, in France, and in America. In the unsystematic body of thought associated with Jefferson, the agrarian tradition he bequeathed to American thought is to some its most appealing contemporary aspect. The agrarian can see no compromise between Jefferson and the modern urban, bureaucratic state which implies a continuous process of national centralization.