Thomas Jefferson viewed the nature of the common man as self-motivated and egocentric, having little faith in their moral conduct, honorable abilities, and reasoning skills, though politically he was a strong advocate of the rights of the states verses a sovereign central government. He believed government to be not a means of controlling and restricting the people of a nation, but instead thought it as an institution put in place by the people and for the people. Jefferson felt that both individuals and governments are subject to moral law, suggesting that morality refers to conduct that is proper in society, and rightful government necessarily reflects this proper relationship in its policies and in its dealings with its own citizens and with other nations. .
Though Jefferson did admit to his lack of faith in the decision making abilities of the common man, he writes in the final draft of the "Declaration of Independence" his beliefs on the common rights of man. When he states in the beginning of the second paragraph "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal- Jefferson is putting forth the idea that every man is born with a natural right to equality and it is within each person's own self that they come to understand this. He explains that all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" and goes on to list among them the rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. We must assume from the context of Jefferson's writings that by "self-evident" he feels that the rights of every man are outlined by their own free will. Jefferson believed that the more essential part of our moral sense was innate and intuitive, that our reason at best only assisted that innate sense of morality. .
As a conclusion of Jefferson's ideas and principles on morality and government represented in the Declaration of Independence, as well as a number of his other writings, it is drawn upon that the very foundation of government resides in and rests on the inalienable rights of the people and of each individual composing their mass.