Skip to comments.Founders Speak Out
Posted on 04/21/2002 12:15:56 PM PDT by PsyOp
Quotes by: Patrick Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Thomas Paine and George Washington.
Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick dispatch. - Thomas Paine, "Reflections on Lord Clive," Pennsylvania Magazine. March 1775.
I do believe we shall continue to grow, to multiply and prosper until we exhibit an association powerful, wise, and happy beyond what has bee seen by man. - Thomas Jefferson.
A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of the mortal eye then I contemplate these transcendent objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking. - Thomas Jefferson, first inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
America yet inherits a large portion of her first imported virtue. Degeneracy is here almost a useless word. Those who are conversant with Europe would be tempted to believe that even the air of the Atlantic disagrees with the constitution of foreign vices; if they survive the voyage, they either expire on their arrival, or linger away in an incurable consumption. There is a happy something in the climate of America, which disarms them of their power both of infection and attraction. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. January 24, 1775.
Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of a mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which their affections are interested. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has more. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have so long been forging. - Patrick Henry, speech to 2nd Virginia Convention. March 23, 1775.
If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us. - Patrick Henry, speech to 2nd Virginia Convention. March 23, 1775.
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. - Patrick Henry, speech to 2nd Virginia Convention. March 23, 1775.
The people seem to have laid aside the monarchial, and taken up the republican form of government, with as much ease as would have attended their throwing off an old, and putting on a new suit of clothes. Not a single throe has attended this important transformation. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ben Franklin.
These are the times that try mens souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and women. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
If they cannot conquer us, they cannot govern us. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
The time is now at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unknown millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this Army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have therefore, to resolve to conquer or to die. - Washington; address to the troops before the battle of Long Island, 1776.
To see men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lay on, without shoes, by which their marches might be traced by the blood from their feet, and almost as often without provisions as with; marching through frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their winter quarters within a days march of the enemy, without a house or hut to cover them till they could be built, and submitting to it without a murmur, is a mark of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled. - Washington, about Valley Forge.
Sir, I have the Honor to inform Congress, that a reduction of the British Army under the Command of Lord Cornwallis is happily affected. The unremitting Ardor which actuated every Officer and Soldier in the combined Army in this occasion, has principally led to this Important event, at an earlier period than my most sanguine hope had induced me to expect. - George Washington.
The cement of this Union is the heart blood of every American. - Thomas Jefferson.
Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS--our inferior one varies with the place. - Thomas Paine.
The heart that feels not now, is dead: the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
The good sense of people will always be found to be the best army. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington. 1787.
I think with the Romans of old, that the general of today should be a common soldier tomorrow, if necessary. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison. 1797.
None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. 1803.
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. - Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 17, 1787.
All authority belongs to the people. - Thomas Jefferson.
I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Taylor. May 28, 1816.
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Yancey. 1816.
Our plan is commerce, and that, well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of all Europe; because it is in the interest of all Europe to have America a free port. Her trade will always be a protection. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
The commerce by which [America] hath enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy on one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same. - Thomas Paine.
I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry, too. - Thomas Jefferson.
He is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams. August 27, 1786.
I laid it down as a law to myself, to take no notice of the thousand calumnies issued against me, but to trust my own conduct, and the good sense and candor of my fellow citizens. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Wilson C. Nichols. 1809.
Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our own land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and as capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. - Thomas Jefferson, in a reply to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association. 1802.
As the union between spiritual freedom and political liberty seems nearly inseparable, it is our duty to defend both. And defense in the first instance is best. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
The more perfect civilization is, the less occasion has it for government, because the more it does regulate its own affairs, and govern itself. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
Civilization, or that which is so called, has operated in two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would ever have been the lot of either in a natural state... - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
Under pretense of governing, they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves and sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe. Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. - Thomas Jefferson.
If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise, in a body to which the people send one-hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing and talk by the hour? That one-hundred and fifty lawyers should do business together, ought not to be expected. - Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography. 1853.
The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. the tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period. - Thomas Jefferson.
Modesty forbids men, separately or collectively, to assume title. But as all honors, even that of kings, originated from the public, the public may justly be called the fountain of true honor. And it is with much pleasure I have heard the title of Honorable applied to a body of men, who nobly disregarding private ease and interest for public welfare, have justly merited the address of The Honorable Continental Congress. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. May 1775.
We are bound, you and I, and every one, to make common cause, even with error itself, to maintain the common right of freedom of conscience. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush. 1813.
A constitution... is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of Judicature. The court of Judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution. - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791.
As a man who is attached to a prostitute is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favor of a rotten constitution of a government will disable us from discerning a good one. - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791.
A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit. - Thomas Jefferson.
These are the times that try mens souls. - Thomas Pain, The American Crisis.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes--a principle which, if acted on, would save one-half the wars of the world. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. 1820.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.... - Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776.
May it [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all): the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition have persuaded them to bind themselves and assume the blessings and security of self-government. - Thomas Jefferson, days before his death on July 4, 1826.
Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Monroe. July 11, 1970.
I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master. Could the contrary be proved I should conclude either that there is no God or that He is a malevolent being. - Thomas Jefferson, Letter to David Hartley. 1787.
The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Hunter. March 11, 1790.
Nor was it uninteresting to the world, that an experiment should be fairly and fully made, whether freedom of discussion, unaided by power, is not sufficient for the propagation and protection of truth--whether a government, conducting itself in the true spirit of its constitution, with zeal and purity, and doing no act which it would be unwilling the whole world should witness, can be written down by falsehood and defamation. - Thomas Jefferson, Second inaugural address. March 4, 1805.
Force [is] the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism. - Thomas Jefferson, first inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
It is part of our American character to consider nothing as desperate, to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance. - Thomas Jefferson.
A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. - Thomas Jefferson.
My great wish is to go on in a strict but silent performance of my duty; to avoid attracting notice, and to keep my name out of the newspapers. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. January 11, 1789.
Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail. - Thomas Jefferson.
The greatest service which can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture. - Thomas Jefferson.
I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers.... We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy. - Thomas Jefferson.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursement to repel it. - Washington, Farewell Address. September 17, 1796.
To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones. - Washington, letter to James Welch, 1799.
I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion. - Thomas Jefferson.
This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate error as long as reason is left free to combat it. - Thomas Jefferson.
Illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibiteth, that, possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural power to defeat its purposes. - Thomas Jefferson, legislative Bill for the Diffusion of Knowledge. 1779.
No one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in its effect towards supporting free and good government. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Hugh L. White, et al., 1810.
We must train and classify the whole of our male citizens, and make military instruction a regular part of collegiate education. We can never be safe until this is done. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Monroe. 1813.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Colonel Yancey. 1816.
Knowledge is power... knowledge is safety... knowledge is happiness. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Ticknor. 1817.
The brier and the bramble can never become the vine and olive; but their asperities may be softened by culture, and their properties improved to usefulness.... In the present spirit of extending to the great mass of mankind the blessings of instruction, I see a prospect of great advancement in the happiness of the human race. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Cornelius C. Blatchly. 1822.
Universal empire is the prerogative of a writer. His concerns are with all mankind, and though he cannot command their obedience, he can assign them their duty. The Republic of Letters is more ancient than monarchy, and of higher character in the world. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis #2. 1777.
During the contest of opinion through which we have passed, the animation of discussion and of exertions has sometimes worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely and to speak and to write what they think; but this now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
That the elected might never form to themselves an interest separate from the electors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
In a country and government like ours, eloquence is a powerful instrument, well worthy of the special pursuit of youth. - Thomas Jefferson.
And whatever a foolish tyrant, a debauched court, a trafficking legislature, or a blinded people may think, the national account with heaven must some day or other be settled: all countries have sooner or later been called to their reckoning; the proudest empires have sunk when the balance was struck. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis #2. 1777.
An injured friend is the bitterest of foes. - Thomas Jefferson, French Treaties Opinion. 1793.
A Treacherous friend in power is the most dangerous of enemies. - Thomas Paine, The Forester's Letter's. 1776.
It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent maxims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mistakes. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. - Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence. 1776.
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.... The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature, for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. - Thomas Jefferson, letter 1813.
I am ready to say to every human being 'thou art my brother' and to offer him the hand of concord and amity. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. 1819.
All eyes are opened or opening to The Rights of Man. The general spread of the lights of science has already opened to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to R.C. Weightman, 1826.
Where there are no distinctions there can be no superiority; perfect equality affords no temptation. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia. 1781.
To be nobly wrong is more manly than to be meanly right. Only let the error be disinterested let it wear not the mask, but the mark of principle, and tis pardonable. It is on this large and liberal ground, that we distinguish between men and their tenets, and generously preserve our friendship for the one while we combat with every prejudice the other. - Thomas Paine, The Forester's Letter's. 1776.
Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressivs. Expedience and right are different things. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I have no way of judging the future but by the past. - Patrick Henry, speech to the Second Virginia Convention. March 23, 1775.
The ordinary affairs of a nation offer little difficulty to a person of any experience. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Sulivan. 1808.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. - Thomas Paine.
Is uniformity obtainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia. 1782.
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. 1786.
Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to T. Lomax. 1799.
I look with encouragement for that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with safety the vessel in which we are all embarked amid the conflicting elements of a troubled world. - Thomas Jefferson, first inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
We have a perfect horror at everything like connecting ourselves with the politics of Europe. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short. 1801.
We consider the interests of Cuba, Mexico and ours as the same, and that the object of both must be to exclude all European influence from this hemisphere. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. 1808.
The insulated state in which nature has placed the American continent, should so far avail it that no spark of war kindled in the other quarters of the globe should be wafted across the wide oceans which separate us from them. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Baron von Humboldt. 1813.
I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States, never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours.... They are nations of eternal war. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to President Monroe. 1823.
Our first and fundamental maxim should be, never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe. Our second, never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic affairs. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to President Monroe. 1823.
Tis the true interest of America to steer clear of European contentions, which she never can do, while, by her dependence on Britain, she is made the make-weight in the scale of British politics. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessing they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy. I confess I had no idea of it myself. - Thomas Jefferson, after returning from Europe.
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. - Thomas Jefferson.
The opinion of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his power into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or proposition of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy. - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Religious Freedom Bill. 1779.
Those who reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. - Thomas Paine.
Political as well as spiritual freedom is the gift of God through Christ. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
In proportion that spiritual freedom has been manifested, political liberty has increased. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. - Thomas Jefferson.
A tractable people may be governed in large bodies, but, in proportion as they depart from this character, the extent of their government must be less. - Thomas Jefferson.
But with all the imperfections of our present government, it is without comparison the best existing, or that ever did exist. - Thomas Jefferson.
The whole of government consists in the art of being honest. - Thomas Jefferson.
An elective despotism, was not the government we fought for. - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia.
Those who bear equally the burdens of government should equally participate of its benefits. - Thomas Jefferson, Address to Lord Dunmore. 1775.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. - Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington. 1788.
The accounts of the United States ought to be, and may be made, as simple as those of a common farmer, and capable of being understood by a common farmer. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison. 1796.
Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of Kings to govern him? Let history answer this question. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural address, March 4, 1801.
What more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens--a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labour the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good Government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities. - Thomas Jefferson, Ibid.
Would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the worlds best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? - Thomas Jefferson, Ibid.
Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question. - Thomas Jefferson, Ibid.
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part. - Thomas Jefferson, Letter to H.D. Tiffin. 1807.
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of a good government. - Thomas Jefferson, 1809.
A government which cannot preserve the peace is no government at all, and in that case we pay our money for nothing. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will say, 'tis right. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively be restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in the best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state and intolerable one: for when we suffer or are exposed to same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Absolute governments (though the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs; know likewise the remedy; and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
A government of our own is our natural right; and when a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and safer to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate manner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
The nearer any government approaches to a Republic, the less business there is for a king. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Formal government makes but a small part of civilized life; and when even the best that human wisdom can devise is established, it is a thing more in name and idea than in fact. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
To understand the nature and quantity of government proper for man, it is necessary to attend to his character. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force you are ruined... The great object is that every man be armed... Everyone who is able may have a gun. - Patrick Henry.
A strong body makes the mind strong. as to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks. - Thomas Jefferson.
History in general, only informs us what bad government is. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Norvell. 1807.
A Morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to john Adams. 1817.
The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies. Man has no property in the generations which are to follow. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
It is an old adage, that honesty is the best policy. This applies to public life as well as private life, to States as well as individuals. - Washington, Letter to James Madison. November 30, 1785.
I would lay down my life for America, but I cannot trifle with my honor. - Captain John Paul Jones.
It is a natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? - Patrick Henry, Speech to Second Virginia Convention. 1775.
All experiences hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. - Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776.
Integrity of views more than their soundness, is the basis of esteem. - Thomas Jefferson, Letter. 1800.
Emigrants of property will not choose to come to a country whose form of government hangs but by a thread, and who is every day tottering on the brink of commotion and disturbance; and numbers of the present inhabitants would lay hold of the interval to dispose of their effects, and quit the continent. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
If ever there was a holy war, it was that which saved our liberties and gave us independence. - Thomas Jefferson, 1813.
Call it independence or what you will, if it is the cause of God and humanity it will go on.
And when the Almighty shall have blest us, and made us a people dependent only upon Him, then may our first gratitude be shown by an act of continental legislation, which shall put a stop to the importation of negroes for sale, soften the hard fate of those already here, and in time procure their freedom. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Journal. 1775.
Nothing but independence, i.e. a continental form of government, can keep the peace of the continent and preserve it inviolate from civil wars. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Nothing short of independence, it appears to me, can possibly do. A peace on other terms would, if I may be allowed the expression, be a peace of war. - Washington, letter to John Banister. 1778.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. - Washington, Farewell Address. September 17, 1796.
Let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
I shall often go wrong through defect of judgement. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional; and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
Judges... should always be men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness and attention; their minds should not be distracted with jarring interest; they should not be dependent upon any man or body of men. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Wythe. July 1776.
These decisions [of federal judges] nevertheless become law by precedent, sapping by little and little the foundations of the Constitution, and working its change by construction before anyone has perceived that this humble and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Adamantios Korais. Mid - 1780s
Knowing that religion does not furnish grosser bigots than law, I expect little from old judges. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper. 1810.
This member of government was at first considered as the most harmless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining, slying and without alarm, the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare attempt. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Livingston. 1825.
Juries... are not qualified to judge questions of law, but they are very capable of judging questions of fact. - Thomas Jefferson, letter, July 19, 1789.
Equal and exact justice to all men,... freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected,--these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us. - Thomas Jefferson, First inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
The sword of justice should never fall but on those whose guilt is so apparent as to be pronounced by their friends as well as foes. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Sarah Mease. 1801.
I believe that justice is instinct and innate, that the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams. 1816.
The social compact would dissolve, and justice be extirpated from the earth, or have only casual existence, were we callous to the touches of affection. The robber and the murderer would often escape unpunished, did not the injuries which our tempers sustain, provoke us into justice. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. - Thomas Jefferson, inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
The only thing that has ever distinguished America among the nations is that she has shown that all men are entitled to the benefits of the law. - Thomas Jefferson.
Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should therefore be construed by the ordinary rules of Common Sense. Their meaning is not to sought for in metaphysical subtleties, which may make anything mean everything or nothing, at pleasure. - Thomas Jefferson.
The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abbé Arnond. 1789.
The instability of our laws is really an immense evil. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1787.
Ignorance of the law is not an excuse in any country. If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can always be pretended. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to M. Limozin. 1787.
No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison. 1789.
It is the will of the nation which makes the law obligatory. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. 1799.
A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country to scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to J.B. Calvin. 1810.
No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrict him; everyman is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of society, and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to F.W. Gilmore. 1816.
In America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to BE king, and there ought to be no other. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
A law not repealed continues in force, not because it cannot be repealed, but because it is not repealed; and the non-repealing passes for consent. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct that may not hereafter be drawn into precedent. - George Washington.
It is really more questionable, than may at first be thought, whether Bonapartes dumb legislature, which said nothing, and did much, may not be preferable to one which talks much, and does nothing. - Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography.
The tyranny of the legislatures is the most formidable dread at present and will be for many years. That period of the executive will come in its turn, but it will be a remote period. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison. 1789.
There never was a law yet made... that hit the taste exactly of every man, or every part of the community. - Washington, letter to Daniel Morgan. 1794.
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, speech, Second Virginia Convention. 1775.
The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. - Thomas Jefferson.
The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. - Thomas Jefferson.
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson.
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time. - Thomas Jefferson, The Rights of British America. 1774.
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington. 1788.
The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches. - Thomas Jefferson, to Reverend Charles Clay. 1790.
The ball of liberty is not so well in motion that it will roll round the globe. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Tench Coxe. 1795.
It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush. 1803.
From the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms!
Through the land let the sound of it flee;
Let the far and the near all unite, with a cheer,
In defense of our Liberty Tree. - Thomas Paine.
In the barbarous ages of the world, men in general had no liberty. The strong governed the weak at will; 'Till the coming of Christ there was no such thing as political freedom in any known part of the earth. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
Political liberty is the visible pass which guards the religions. It is the outwork by which the church militant is defended, and the attacks of the enemy are frequently made through this fortress. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
As the sword was the last resort for the preservation of our liberties, so it ought to be the first to be laid aside when those liberties are firmly established. - Washington, 1776.
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. - Washington, to James Madison. 1788.
The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the American people. - Washington, First Inaugural Address. April 30, 1789.
My affections were first for my own country, and then generally, for all mankind. - Thomas Jefferson.
Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities. - Thomas Jefferson.
It is my principle that the will of the majority should always prevail. - Thomas Jefferson.
Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possesses their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, our 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. - Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Edward Carrington, 1787.
There is nothing which obtains so general an influence over the manners and morals of a people as the Press; from that, as from a fountain, the streams of vice or virtue are poured forth over a country. And of all publications, none are more calculated to improve or infect than a periodical one. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
It has always been the opinion of the learned and curious, that a magazine, when properly conducted, is the nursery of genius; and by constantly accumulating new matter, becomes a kind of market for wit and utility. The opportunities which it affords to men of abilities to communicate their studies, kindle up a spirit of invention and emulation. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the f0x is as murderous as the violence of the wolf; and we ought to guard equally against both.... - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. - Thomas Jefferson.
Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgement is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. - Washington, farewell address. September 1796.
It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. - Washington, farewell address. September 1796.
The most sincere neutrality is not a sufficient guard against the depredations of nations at war. To secure a respect to a neutral flag requires a naval force organized and ready to vindicate it from insult or aggression. - Washington, address to Congress. December 7, 1796.
The nature of foreign negotiations requires caution and their success must often depend on secrecy.... The necessity of such caution and secrecy was one cogent reason for vesting the power of making treaties in the President. - Washington, to the House of Representatives. 1796.
Europe is too thickly planted with kingdoms to be long at peace, and whenever a war breaks out between England and any foreign power, the trade of America goes to ruin, because of her connection with Britain. The next war may not turn out like the rest, and should it not, the advocates for reconciliation now will be wishing for separation then, because neutrality in that case would be a safer convoy than a man-of-war. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
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.
Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia.
Would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm, on the theoretic and visionary fear that this government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. - Thomas Paine.
Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism. - Washington, Farewell address. September 17, 1796.
Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Monroe. 1790.
I love peace, and I am anxious that we should give the world still another useful lesson, by showing to them other modes of punishing injuries than by war, which is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer. - Thomas Jefferson.
Europe is too thickly planted with kingdoms to be long at peace. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776.
If there must be trouble let it come in my day, that my child may have peace. - Thomas Paine.
There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy. - Washington, letter to Elbridge Gerry. 1780.
The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. - Washington, farewell address. 1796.
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
We are all republicans, we are all federalists. - Thomas Jefferson.
I am not a federalist, because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson. 1789.
Let me now... warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party.... It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeebles the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption.... A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume. - Washington, farewell address. 1796.
One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. you can not shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. - Washington, farewell address. 1796.
Every political measure will, forever, have an intimate connection with the laws of the land; and he, who knows nothing of these, will always be perplexed, and often foiled by adversaries having the advantage of that knowledge over him. - Thomas Jefferson, Letter to T.M. Randolph, Jr. 1787.
Let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. - Thomas Jefferson, First inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
He who guides the natural tempest will regulate the political one, and bring good out of evil. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness--these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. - Washington, farewell address, 1796.
All the powers of government, legislative, executive and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one, 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one. - Thomas Jefferson. Notes on the State of Virginia.
The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. July, 1775.
A long and violent abuse of power is generally the means of calling the right of it in to question, (and in matter to which might never have been thought of, had not the sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry). - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Equal and exact justice to all men, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trail by juries impartially selected--these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us. - Thomas Jefferson.
The opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds. - Thomas Jefferson, Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia. 1779.
Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.... - Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address. March 4, 1801.
In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.... - George Washington.
Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. - Thomas Jefferson, Inaugural address, 4 March, 1801.
We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, or shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or beliefs; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Religious Freedom Bill. 1779.
The past treatment of Africans must naturally fill them with abhorrence of Christians; lead them to think our religion would make them more inhuman savages, if they embraced it; thus the gain of that trade has been pursued in opposition to the Redeemer's cause, and the happiness of men. - Thomas Paine,Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
Whenever the visible church has been oppressed, political freedom has suffered with it. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. - Thomas Jefferson, Original draft of the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. - Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776.
Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; and therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy of the public by laying on him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust or emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injudiciously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right. - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Religious Freedom Bill. 1779.
The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourages and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
The illuminating and divine principle of the equal rights of man (for it has its origin from the Maker of man) relates, not only to the living individuals, but to generations of men succeeding each other. Every generation is equal in rights to the generations which preceded it, by the same rule that every individual is born equal in rights with his contemporary. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
I would gladly agree with all the world to lay aside the use of arms, and settle matters by negotiation; but unless the whole will, the matter never ends, and I take my musket and thank heaven he has put it in my power. - Thomas Paine,< I>Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
If a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to bind me in all cases whatsoever, to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
The strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, not to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured. His natural rights are the foundation of all his civil rights.... - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
To understand what the state of society ought to be, it is necessary to have some idea of the natural and primitive state of man; such as it is at this day among the Indians of North America. There is not, in that state, any of those spectacles of human misery which poverty and want present to our eyes in all the towns and streets of Europe. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man. 1791.
Every citizen must be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state. - Thomas Jefferson.
When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen. - George Washington.
It is a very dangerous doctrine to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions. It is one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to W.C. Jarvis. 1820.
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.... - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Religious Freedom Bill. 1779.
Economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
It may be the pleasure and pride of an American to ask, what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax gatherer of the United States. - Thomas Jefferson, second inaugural address. March 4, 1805.
The reasonable freeman sees through the magic of a title, and examines the man before he approves him. To him the honors of the worthless serve to write their master's vices in capitals, and their stars shine to no other end than to read them by. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
When I reflect on the pompous titles bestowed on unworthy men, I feel an indignity that instructs me to despise the absurdity. The Honorable plunderer of his country, or the Right Honorable murderer of mankind, create such a contrast of ideas as exhibit a monster rather than a man. Virtue is inflamed at the violation, and sober reason calls it nonsense. - Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine. 1775.
If there be any among us who could wish to dissolve this union or to change its republican form, let them stand as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. Mar 4, 1801.
Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our own land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and as capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. Mar 4, 1801.
Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. - Patrick Henry, speech to the Second Virginia Convention. 1775.
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural Address. March 4, 1801.
The truth is great and will prevail if left to herself;... she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Religious Freedom Bill. 1779.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only the tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth! - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
When the world was overrun with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.
No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it. - Thomas Jefferson.
When I was first honored with a call into service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties... my duty required that I renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed.... I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensable included in a permanent provision for the executive department. - Washington, 1st inaugural address, April 30, 1789.
Fellow citizens: I am again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of it's chief magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor; and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of United America. - Washington, 2nd inaugural address, March 4, 1793.
In reviewing the incidents of my administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. - Washington, farewell address. September 17, 1796.
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell., is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph... - Thomas Paine.
War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen and unsupposed circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end. It has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes. - Thomas Paine.
I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
Booked & Bumped!
Purchased by the inch and sold by the yard.
Here I see Jefferson very strong on education and Washington in his first Administration made public education a priority...so, why is it that so many Freepers argue we shouldnt have a public education system, with it so prominent in several key Founding Fathers speeches, Administrations, and clearly in their intents?
"The most effectual means of securing the peace is being prepared for war."
Other statements like this have been made by Cicero, Aristotle and others.
The earliest was a pre-Socratic philosopher whose name escapes me...
"To secure peace is to be prepared for war." (It's also in a Metallica song entitled "Don't Tread on Me.")
Our founders were all very much in favor of public education and its most vigorous proponent was Benjamin Franklin, who also pushed forward the idea of public libraries - having formed the first of them himself and at his own expense. The reason they were for it was becasue of the european and English class systems which kept most people from gaining any formal education, and which the founders felt was a major reason why tyranny and monarchy was able to flourish.
Universal education at the public expense was seen as an insurance policy for liberty. The more educated the people, the longer the fledgling republic they fought so hard to establish would last. Also, in their day, all control over what was taught rested in the community which the school served. If teachers were found to be ineffective, incompetent, or teaching things which the community at large felt ran contrary to the interests of the community, they could be removed without much fuss.
Fast forward 200 years. The principle is still sound, but it has become understood, especially by people with agendas, that the school is the best place to foster their ideas and propagandize the next generation - rather than just teach them how to read, write, add and think for themselves. Add to that the advent of teachers unions, tenure, and a dozen other factors that limit direct parental involvement in their children's education, and you have a situation in which the public schools that were seen by our founders as the vanguard of our liberties are now working, in many cases, towards their destruction.
The movement away from todays public schools can be seen as an attempt to return to what those schools used to be. Returning control of what children are taught back to the parents. A movement that has been driven by the unwillingness of school boards and administrations - protected by unions, tenure and federal intrusion - to listen to the people they are supposed to serve. IMHO.
And a free night in the Licoln bedroom if you buy a gross. Thanks for the great quote. I'll add it to the data-base.
LOL, you mean we cant lump Metallica with Reagan and the Pope in relation to their contributions to bringing down the evil empire?
Although I grew up with stuff like Metallica, Public Enemy, etc.
I still prefer the oldies like J.J. Cale, John Lee Hooker, etc...
My favorite radio station can be heard on the internet: KPIG, Freedom, California. 107(oink)5 FM. I like Ramblin' Rory in the late weekday afternoons. Give 'em an squeal. If you need to oink, make a "hog call" @ 831-724-pork (warning: anything you say can and will be heard on the air).
The most eclectic mix of rock, blues, country, bluegrass and comedy you have ever heard (the commercials are hilarious).
Dude... Whats up? I went to Aptos High School (class of 80), off Freedom Blvd. Small world. As I recall, KPIG used to be a country western station.
Used to be KFAT. Ever go to the Fat Fry or Swine Soire?
Yes we are neighbors. I'm down here on the South end of the Monterey Bay, have made forays to the logic free zones or Bermuda Triangle of common sense (Santa Cruz - Monterey, Beerkeley, SF) many times. FReep mail me...
We have the freedom to analyze Freedom through the eyes of our Founding Fathers, while our kids' friends at yon local public school spend their days on what their socialist teachers think makes this country great: Martin Luther King, environmentalist theories, and diversity training. Even my 7-year-old has memorized the Preamble to the Constitution, and I have them write as well as memorize quotes such as these.
Thanks for providing us with a motherlode of goodies here!
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." --Thomas Jefferson
Our spirits are living bayonets. The ideals which we carry in our hearts are more deadly to the enemy than any man-made weapons." Coningsby Dawson
"By push of bayonets, no firing until you see the whites of their eyes" Frederick the Great at the battle of Praque 1757
"The bullet is a mad thing, only the bayonet knows what it is about" Field Marshal Prince Aleksandar Suvorov, The Science of Victory, 1796
"The bayonet has always been the weapon of the brave and the chief tool of victory" Napoleon
"A man may build himself a throne of bayonets but he cannot sit on it." William R. Inge ( 02/00)
And that oldie but goodie from the cowboys of this great nation................."There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. And the rest of them who have to pee on an electric fence to learn for themselves."
Ya'll Stay Safe !
I like this one in particular:
ARMS - "What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. - Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 17, 1787."
"This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded in principles of honesty, not of mere force." --Thomas Jefferson
"I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation." --George Washington
"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights." --Benjamin Franklin.
"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." --Thomas Jefferson.
"Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they want a war let it begin here." Captain John Parker at the Battle of Lexington.
"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth." Thomas Paine.
"We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the Strong. Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?" John Page.
"Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!" George Washington.
"The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution." John Adams.
"Patriotism itself is a necessary link in the golden chains of our affections and virtue." Stephen Decatur.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Thomas Jefferson.
"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.
"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" Samuel Adams.
"Si vis pacem, para bellum"
God Save The Republic!
Where have you been? Haven't seen you lately around here...
I've been around. Not posting much due to time constraints, but checking in and lurking the threads. Good to hear from you.
"Any free nation has a right to punish those who have done them an injury... While I advise [another nation] like an affectionate friend to avoid unnecessary war, I do not assume the right of restraining [them] from punishing [their] enemies." --Thomas Jefferson to John Baptist de Coigne, 1781. (*) ME 16:373, Papers 6:61