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Quote 750 details Share on Google+ - Quote 750 Linked In Share Button - Quote 750 Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.


Quote 751 details Share on Google+ - Quote 751 Linked In Share Button - Quote 751 I have been made very uneasy by the conduct of members of congress upon this subject, because I am well satisfied that it will be found that government can neither be protected nor supported without the power, and that its being even questioned by leading men in America will render the exercise of it impracticable.

Thomas Stone: Letter to James Monroe - 15 December 1784

Quote 752 details Share on Google+ - Quote 752 Linked In Share Button - Quote 752 And I think our assembly is well disposed to do everything necessary to give dignity and energy to the continental government; the only difficulty is to draw their attention from state objects to this, which, in my opinion, is much more important.

Thomas Stone: Letter to James Monroe - 15 December 1784

Quote 757 details Share on Google+ - Quote 757 Linked In Share Button - Quote 757 Security to the persons and properties of the governed is so obviously the design and end of civil government, that to attempt a logical proof of it would be like burning tapers at noonday, to assist the sun in enlightening the world.

John Hancock: Boston Massacre Oration - March 5, 1774
Quoted Document: Boston Massacre Oration

Quote 760 details Share on Google+ - Quote 760 Linked In Share Button - Quote 760 I am a friend to righteous government, to a government founded upon the principles of reason and justice; but I glory in publicly avowing my eternal enmity to tyranny. Is the present system, which the British administration have adopted for the government of the colonies, a righteous government - or is it tyranny?

John Hancock: Boston Massacre Oration - March 5, 1774
Quoted Document: Boston Massacre Oration

Quote 765 details Share on Google+ - Quote 765 Linked In Share Button - Quote 765 Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights, in order to vest it with requisite powers.

John Jay: The Federalist Papers - 1787
The Federalist Papers

Quote 766 details Share on Google+ - Quote 766 Linked In Share Button - Quote 766 When once an efficient national government is established, the best men in the country will not only consent to serve, but also will generally be appointed to manage it...

John Jay: The Federalist Papers - 1788
The Federalist Papers

Quote 767 details Share on Google+ - Quote 767 Linked In Share Button - Quote 767 Hence, it will result that the administration, the political counsels, and the judicial decisions of the national government will be more wise, systematical, and judicious than those of individual states, and consequently more satisfactory with respect o other nations, as well as more safe with respect to us.

John Jay: The Federalist Papers - 1788
The Federalist Papers

Quote 768 details Share on Google+ - Quote 768 Linked In Share Button - Quote 768 The gentleman last on the floor, has informed us, that according to this idea of a complete representation, the extent of our country is to great for it ... I take it, that no federal government is worth having, unless it can provide for the general interests of the United States.

John Jay: New York Ratifying Convention

Quote 769 details Share on Google+ - Quote 769 Linked In Share Button - Quote 769 We have considered the previous question stated in a letter written by your direction to us by the Secretary of Sate on the 18th of last Month, the liens of separation drawn by the Constitution between the three departments of government. These being in certain respects checks upon each other, and our being judges of a court in the last resort, are considerations which afford strong arguments against the propriety of our extra-judicially deciding the questions alluded to, especially as the power given by the Constitution the President, of calling on the heads of departments for opinions, seems to have been purposely and well as expressly united to the executive departments.

John Jay: To George Washington - August 8, 1793

Quote 775 details Share on Google+ - Quote 775 Linked In Share Button - Quote 775 However extensive the constitutional power of a government to impose taxes may be, I think it should not be so exercised as to impede or discourage the lawful and useful industry and exertions of individuals. hence, the prudence of taxing the products if beneficial labor, either mental or manual, appears to be at least questionable... Whether taxation should extend only to property, or only to income, are points on which opinions have not been uniform. I am inclined to think that both should not be taxed.

John Jay: 1812

Quote 779 details Share on Google+ - Quote 779 Linked In Share Button - Quote 779 The good people of the U. States in their late generous contest, contended for free government in the fullest, clearest, and strongest sense. that they had not idea of being brought under despotic rule under the notion of Strong Government, or in the form of elective despotism: Chains being still Chains, whether made of gold or iron. The corrupting nature of power, and its insatiable appetite for increase.

Richard Henry Lee: Letter to Samuel Adams, October 1787

Quote 781 details Share on Google+ - Quote 781 Linked In Share Button - Quote 781 The great object of a free people must be so to form their government and laws, and so to administer them, as to create a confidence in, and respect for, the laws; and thereby induce the sensible and virtuous part of the community to declare in favor of the laws and to support them without an expensive military force.

Richard Henry Lee: Letters of the Federal Farmer, 1788

Quote 784 details Share on Google+ - Quote 784 Linked In Share Button - Quote 784 The trial by jury in the judicial department, and the collection of the people by their representatives in the legislature, are those fortunate inventions which procured for them, in this country, their true proportion of influence and the wisest and most fit means of protecting themselves in the community. Their situation, as jurors and representatives, enables them to acquire information and knowledge in the affairs and government of the society; and to come forward, in turn, as the sentinels and guardians of each other.

Richard Henry Lee: Letters of the Federal Farmer - 1788

Quote 786 details Share on Google+ - Quote 786 Linked In Share Button - Quote 786 The first principle and great end of government being to provide for the best good of all the people, this can be done only by a supreme legislative and executive ultimately in the people or whole community where GOD has placed it; but the inconveniences, not to say impossibility, attending the consultations and operations of a large body of people have made it necessary to transfer the power of the whole to a few. This necessity gave rise to deputation, proxy or a right of representation.

James Otis: Rights of the British Colonies Asserted an Proved - 1764
Quoted Document: The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved

Quote 787 details Share on Google+ - Quote 787 Linked In Share Button - Quote 787 If life, liberty, and property could be enjoyed in as great perfection in solitude as in society there would be no need for government. But the experience of ages has proved that such is the nature of man, a weak, imperfect being, that the valuable ends of life cannot be obtained without the union and assistance of many.

James Otis: Right of the British Colonies Asserted an proved - 1764
Quoted Document: The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved

Quote 788 details Share on Google+ - Quote 788 Linked In Share Button - Quote 788 tho it is also admitted that the security of property is one end of government, but that of little estimation even in the view of a miser when life and liberty of locomotion and further accumulation are placed in competition, it must be a very absurd way of speaking to assert that one end of government in the foundation of government.

James Otis: Rights of the British colonies Asserted and Proved - 1764
Quoted Document: The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved

Quote 789 details Share on Google+ - Quote 789 Linked In Share Button - Quote 789 The end of government being the good of mankind, points out its great duties: It is above all things to provide for the security, the quiet, and happy enjoyment of life, liberty and property. There is not an act which a government can have a right to make, that does not tent to the advancement of the security, tranquility and prosperity of the people.

James Otis: Rights of the British colonies Asserted and Proved - 1764
Quoted Document: The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved

Quote 805 details Share on Google+ - Quote 805 Linked In Share Button - Quote 805 Most of the distresses of our country, and of the mistakes which Europeans have formed of us, have arisen from the mistaken belief that the American Revolution is over. This is so far from being the case that we have only finished the first act of the great drama. We have changed our forms of government, but it remains yet to effect a revolution in our principles, opinions, and manners so as to accommodate them to the forms of government we have adopted.

Benjamin Rush: Letter to Richard Price, May 25, 1786

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There is something very unnatural and odious in a government a thousand leagues off. A whole government of our own choice, managed by persons whom we love, revere, and can confide in, has charms in it for which men will fight.

John Adams: Letter to Abigail Adams, May 17,1776

Quote 825 details Share on Google+ - Quote 825 Linked In Share Button - Quote 825 To look up to a government that establishes justice, insures order, cherishes virtue, secures property, and protects from every species of violence, affords a pleasure, that can only be exceeded by looking up in all circumstances to an overruling providence. Such a pleasure I hope is before us, and our posterity under the influence of the new government.

Benjamin Rush: To David Ramsay, 1788

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The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.

Benjamin Rush: On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic 1806
For God and Country (T.K. Marion)

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After the lapse of six thousand years since the Creation of the world, America now presents the first instance of a people assembled to weight deliberately and calmly, and to decide leisurely and peaceably, upon the form of government by which they will bind themselves and their posterity.

James Wilson: Speech on Proposed Federal Constitution, November 24, 1787

Quote 833 details Share on Google+ - Quote 833 Linked In Share Button - Quote 833
In giving a definition of the simple kinds of government known throughout the world, I have occasion to describe what I meant by a democracy; and I think I termed it, that government in which the people retain the supreme power, and exercise it either collectively or by representation. This constitution declares this principle, in its terms an din its consequences, which is evident from the manner in which it is announced. "We, the People of the United States."

James Wilson: Pennsylvania Ratification Convention, November 26, 1787

Quote 837 details Share on Google+ - Quote 837 Linked In Share Button - Quote 837 The American war is over; but this far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government, and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens for these forms of government after they are established and brought to perfection.

Benjamin Rush: January 25, 1787



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