Thomas Jefferson's use of "Setting up a kite..."

prr

Senior Member
English--USA
When protesting the Federalist reaction against Shays' Rebellion, Thomas Jefferson, fearful of a strong central government, said "they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order." Now I know that he didn't want America to over-react against Shays to the point of creating a tyranny--but what exactly was the meaning behind this proverb?
 
  • prr

    Senior Member
    English--USA
    That explains it--a bird of prey to guard the hens, much like we would say, "the fox is guarding the henhouse" nowadays. And so would a strong national government be, over the states. OK that makes sense.
     
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