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Quote 965 details Share on Google+ - Quote 965 Linked In Share Button - Quote 965 If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.

Thomas Jefferson: letter to Thomas Cooper, November 29, 1802
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 967 details Share on Google+ - Quote 967 Linked In Share Button - Quote 967
The free system of government we have established is so congenial with reason, with common sense, and with a universal feeling, that it must produce approbation and a desire of imitation, as avenues may be found of truth to the knowledge of nations.

James Madison: letter to Pierre E. Duponceau, January 23, 1826
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 968 details Share on Google+ - Quote 968 Linked In Share Button - Quote 968 The genius of republican liberty, seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people; but, that those entrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people, by a short duration of their appointments; and, that even during this short period, the trust should be place not in a few, but in a number of hands. Stability, on the contrary, requires, that the hands in which power is lodge, should continue for a length of time, the same. A frequent change of men will result from a frequent return of electors, and a frequent change of measure, from a frequent change of men; whilst energy in Government requires not only a certain duration of power, but the execution of it by a single hand.


Quote 969 details Share on Google+ - Quote 969 Linked In Share Button - Quote 969
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of a good government.


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We are endeavoring, too, to reduce the government to the practice of a rigorous economy, to avoid burdening the people, and arming the magistrate with a patronage of money, which might be used to corrupt and undermine the principles of our government.


Quote 981 details Share on Google+ - Quote 981 Linked In Share Button - Quote 981 At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions,nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that the invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is no made to be trusted for life, if secured against all inability to account.

Thomas Jefferson: letter to Monsieur A. Coray, October 31, 1823
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 982 details Share on Google+ - Quote 982 Linked In Share Button - Quote 982 The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body, (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow,) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one.

Thomas Jefferson: letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 983 details Share on Google+ - Quote 983 Linked In Share Button - Quote 983 The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity ever acting, with noiseless foot, and alarming advance, gaining ground step by step, and holding with it gains, is engulfing insidiously the special governments into the jaws of which feeds them.

Thomas Jefferson: Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, march 9, 1821
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 984 details Share on Google+ - Quote 984 Linked In Share Button - Quote 984 The judiciary of the United states is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. ... A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing, but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.


Quote 993 details Share on Google+ - Quote 993 Linked In Share Button - Quote 993 In every Society also there must be some Taxes, because the necessity of supporting Government & defending the State always exist. To do these on the cheapest Terms is wise, and when it is considered how much men are disposed to indolence and profusion it will appear that (even if those demands did not require the whole of what could be raised) still it would be wise to carry Taxation to a certain amount, and expend what should remain after providing for the support of Government and the National defense in Works of public utility, such as opening of roads and Navigation.

Robert Morris: letter to Alexander Martin, July 20, 1782

Quote 3 details Share on Google+ - Quote 3 Linked In Share Button - Quote 3 The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.

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The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of the people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.


Quote 1019 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1019 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1019 ... between an absolute legislative authority, divested of ye power of taxation, appears to me a contradiction in terminis - how can legislation be absolute and supreme, when destitute of a power, which is its very soul and essence: and without which every legislature must be acknowledge incompetent, and inadequate to ye ends of government.


Quote 1024 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1024 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1024 If justice, good faith, honor, gratitude & all the other Qualities which enoble the character of a nation, and fulfil the ends of Government, be the fruits of our establishments, the cause of liberty will acquire a dignity and lustre, which it has never yet enjoyed; and an example will be set which can not but have the most favorable influence on the rights of mankind. If on the other side, our Governments should be unfortunately blotted with the reverse of these cardinal and essential Virtues, the great cause which we have engaged to vindicate, will be dishonored & betrayed; the last & fairest experiment in favor of the rights of human nature will be turned against them; and their patrons & friends exposed to be insulted & silenced by the votaries of Tyranny and Usurpation.

James Madison: Report on Address to the States, April 26, 1783
Madison's Gift - David O. Stewart

Quote 1029 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1029 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1029
A sense of this necessity, and a submission to it, is to me a new and consolatory proof that wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.


Quote 1035 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1035 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1035 If an election is to be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured by a party through artifice or corruption, the Government may be the choice of a party for its own ends, not of the nation for the national good.

John Adams: Inaugural Address - Philadelphia March 4, 1797
Quoted Document: John Adams Inaugural Address

Quote 1036 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1036 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1036 If that solitary suffrage can be obtained by foreign nations by flattery or menaces, by fraud or violence, by terror, intrigue, or venality, the Government may not be the choice of the American people, but of foreign nations. It may be foreign nations who govern us, and not we, the people, who govern ourselves; and candid men will acknowledge that in such cases choice would have little advantage to boast of over lot or chance.

John Adams: Inaugural Address - Philadelphia March 4, 1797
Quoted Document: John Adams Inaugural Address

Quote 1038 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1038 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1038
And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence.

John Adams: Inaugural Address - Philadelphia March 4, 1797
Quoted Document: John Adams Inaugural Address

Quote 1041 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1041 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1041 The second office [vice presidency] of this government is honorable & easy, the first [presidency] is but a splendid misery.


Quote 1044 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1044 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1044
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion have drawn indelible lines of destruction between them. [Salvery]


Quote 1048 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1048 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1048 In truth, the abuses of monarchy had so much filled all the space of political contemplation, that we imagined everything republican which was not monarchy. We had not yet penetrated to the mother principle, that "governments are republican only in proportion as they embody the will of their people, and execute it." Hence, ore first constitutions had really no leading principles in them. But experience and reflection have but more and more confirmed me in the particular importance of the equal representation then proposed.


Quote 1050 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1050 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1050 We repose an unwise confidence in any government, or in any men, when we invest them officially with too much, or an unnecessary quantity of, discretionary power.

Thomas Paine: Serious Address to the People of Philadelphia, 1778

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Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people.

Samuel Chase: Supreme Court of Maryland, "Runkel v. Winemiller", 4 H & McH. 276, 288, 1799

Quote 1057 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1057 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1057 I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet devised by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.

Patrick Henry: letter to Thomas Paine, 1789

Quote 1069 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1069 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1069 The jarring & divided Sentiments on the merits of this untryed System, combine in this Choice And under your Patronage its operations will be undisturbed & viewed with the indulgent Eye of impartiality. To this proof I have ever referred the opponents as the true standard by which to judge of the Constitution. And if I may be allowed to prejudge any event I think I may predict that opposition will weaken as the Government goes on. The Horrors supposed to be inherent in the Texture will wear off & if the People feel no additional burden they will think well of it. If I may be allowed to hope on the first movements, it would be that the present taxes on Land & Slaves might be discontinued & the Sum raised from duties which was formerly required from them. This would immovebly fix a predelection in the Minds of the People in favour of this Government which the oratory of a Henry could not move. But I see I am trespassing on the province of others.

Carter Braxton: letter to George Washington, 15 April 1789



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