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Quote 560 details Share on Google+ - Quote 560 Linked In Share Button - Quote 560 And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.

Samuel Adams: Debates of the Massachusetts Convention of 1788, 1788

Quote 561 details Share on Google+ - Quote 561 Linked In Share Button - Quote 561 I hope Congress, before they adjourn will take into very serious Consideration the necessary Amendments of the Constitution. Those whom I call the best - the most judicious & disinterested Federalists, who wish for the perpetual Union, Liberty & Happiness of the States & their respective Citizens, many of them if not all are anxiously expecting them. They wish to see a Line drawn as clearly as may be, between the federal Powers vested in Congress and the distinct Sovereignty of the several States upon which the private & personal Rights of the Citizens depend. Without such Distinction there will be Danger of the Constitution issuing imperceptibly and gradually into a consolidated Government over all the States: which, although it may be wished for by some was reprobated in the Idea by the highest Advocates for the Constitution as it stood without Amendments. I am fully persuaded that the population of the U S living different Climates, of different Education and Manners, and possessed of different Habits & feelings under one consolidated Government can not long remain free, or indeed remain under any kind of Government but despotism

Samuel Adams: Letter to Elbridge Gerry, August 22, 1789

Quote 565 details Share on Google+ - Quote 565 Linked In Share Button - Quote 565 Before the formation of this Constitution, it had been affirmed as a self evident truth, in the declaration of Independence, very deliberately made by the Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled that, "all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." This declaration of Independence was received and ratified by all the States in the Union, and has never been disannulled. May we not from hence conclude, that the doctrine of Liberty and Equality is an article in the political creed of the United States.

Samuel Adams: Address to the Legislature of Massachusetts, January 17, 1794

Quote 578 details Share on Google+ - Quote 578 Linked In Share Button - Quote 578
A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves... and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms.

Richard Henry Lee: Senator, First Congress

Quote 582 details Share on Google+ - Quote 582 Linked In Share Button - Quote 582 By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."

Samuel Chase: Unknown

Quote 610 details Share on Google+ - Quote 610 Linked In Share Button - Quote 610 Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who ... will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.

Samuel Adams: Unknown

Quote 638 details Share on Google+ - Quote 638 Linked In Share Button - Quote 638 a spirit of liberty and patriotism animates all degrees and denominations of men

James Madison: Unknown

Quote 663 details Share on Google+ - Quote 663 Linked In Share Button - Quote 663 When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.


Quote 664 details Share on Google+ - Quote 664 Linked In Share Button - Quote 664 The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.

Thomas Jefferson: letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...
Quoted Document: Letter to William Stephens Smith

Quote 669 details Share on Google+ - Quote 669 Linked In Share Button - Quote 669 It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry: Unknown

Quote 685 details Share on Google+ - Quote 685 Linked In Share Button - Quote 685 Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.

Patrick Henry: Unknown

Quote 690 details Share on Google+ - Quote 690 Linked In Share Button - Quote 690 I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

Thomas Jefferson: letter to Archibald Stuart, December 23, 1791
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 692 details Share on Google+ - Quote 692 Linked In Share Button - Quote 692 The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.


Quote 701 details Share on Google+ - Quote 701 Linked In Share Button - Quote 701 A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves. They include all men capable of bearing arms. To preserve liberty is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike how to use them.


Quote 707 details Share on Google+ - Quote 707 Linked In Share Button - Quote 707 They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Quote 710 details Share on Google+ - Quote 710 Linked In Share Button - Quote 710 In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes.

Thomas Jefferson: in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 371

Quote 735 details Share on Google+ - Quote 735 Linked In Share Button - Quote 735 Civil liberty is only natural liberty, modified and secured by the sanctions of civil society. It is not a thing, in its own nature, precarious and dependent on human will and caprice, but it is conformable to the constitution of man, as well as necessary to the well-being of society.

Alexander Hamilton: The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775

Quote 736 details Share on Google+ - Quote 736 Linked In Share Button - Quote 736 Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes and the opportunities of fraud growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison: Political Observations, April 20, 1795

Quote 742 details Share on Google+ - Quote 742 Linked In Share Button - Quote 742 The Constitution proposed has few, if any federal features, but is rather a system of national government: Nevertheless, in many respects I think it has great merit, and by proper amendments may be adapted to the exigencies of government and the preservation of liberty.

Elbridge Gerry: Letter to Massachusetts Legislature Oct 18,1787

Quote 743 details Share on Google+ - Quote 743 Linked In Share Button - Quote 743 I shall only add, that as the welfare of the union requires a better Constitution than the Confederation, I shall think it my duty as a citizen of Massachusetts, to support that which shall be finally adopted, sincerely hoping it will secure the liberty and happiness of America.

Elbridge Gerry: Letter to Massachusetts Legislature Oct 18,1787

Quote 748 details Share on Google+ - Quote 748 Linked In Share Button - Quote 748 .......it is the nature and intention of a constitution to prevent governing by party, by establishing a common principle that shall limit and control the power and impulse of party, and that says to all parties, thus far shalt thou go and no further. But in the absence of a constitution, men look entirely to party; and instead of principle governing party, party governs principle. An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Thomas Paine: A Dissertation on the First Principles of Government (1795)
Quoted Document: Dissertation on first-principles of government

Quote 758 details Share on Google+ - Quote 758 Linked In Share Button - Quote 758 They are called upon to say, whether they will live Slaves, or die Freemen. They are requested to step forth in Defense of their Wives, their Children, there Liberty and every Thing they hold dear. The cause is certainly the most glorious one; and I hope every Man in the Colony of Maryland is determined to see it gloriously ended, or to perish in the Ruins of it.

John Hancock: To the Convention of Maryland - June 4, 1776

Quote 761 details Share on Google+ - Quote 761 Linked In Share Button - Quote 761 We are not insensible that when liberty is in danger, the liberty of complaining is dangerous; yet a man on a wreck was never denied the liberty of roaring as loud as he could, says Dean Swift. And we believe no good reason can be given why the colonies should not modestly and soberly inquire what right the Parliament of Great Britain have to tax them.

Stephen Hopkins: The Rights of Colonies Examined - 1764

Quote 771 details Share on Google+ - Quote 771 Linked In Share Button - Quote 771 It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honor of the States, as we as justice and humanity, in my opinion loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused.

John Jay: to R. Lushington - March 15, 1786

Quote 780 details Share on Google+ - Quote 780 Linked In Share Button - Quote 780 It is not choice then, but necessity that calls for Independence as the only means by which foreign Alliances can be obtained; and a proper confederation by which internal peace an Union may be secured. Contrary to our earnest, early, and repeated petitions for peace, liberty and safety, our enemies press us with war, threaten us with danger and Slavery

Richard Henry Lee: letter to Landon carter, June 2, 1776



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