"The people who own the country ought to govern it."
John Jay
(1745-1829) first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, First President of the United States - preceding George Washington, one of three men most responsible for the US Constitution
Monaghan, John Jay, (1935), p. 323
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Reader comments about this quote:
I fear that he speaks of the owning of things... and of the owning of people... when he should be speaking of the owning of ideas!
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    To not know history, is to fearfully re-live it. Though John Jay was more of an elitist, the statement goes to affirm a representative republic as was/is averse to a democracy.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I agree, Mike. This is a classic example as to the difference between a Republic and a Democracy... Why shouldn't the land-owners have the say of "governing" it? In a Republic, those who don't own land have the full capability and incentive of obtaining land, the defined law would offer the non-landowner the liberty and freedom of obtaining such without restraint from landowners. The catch here is that most people will view this quote in light of Democracy, and not in light of the Republic in which it was given. So sad that our country has forgotten her past so quickly and easily-- how are we to fight for our future if we don't understand our past? Bravo to John Jay for understanding that a Republic is more than mere representation.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
    Remember, this was a guiding principle for declaring independence from the British Crown. The foundinfg fathers were land owners -- Washington was the largest land owner in the country in his day. Property rights form the foundation of a free republic.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Spoken like a true fascist.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
    The people who own their own life, ought to also own their own independence.
     -- JT Ready, Mesa, Az     
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