"A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government."
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1780
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 -- jim k, Austin,Tx      
Not bad per se but what constitution is he referring to here. The US Constitution was not even thought of at this time.. The Revolution and The Articles were not yet even competed.
 -- Waffler, Smith     
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    The Constitution of Massachusetts was written in 1780. Which goes to show that the States were taking the lead in asserting their individual sovereignty. The States need to reassert these rights and vigorously assert the 10th Amendment and nullification of all UN-Constitutional ederal laws. And the people need to put down their Blackberry's and credit cards and relearn American values.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Waffler, read J Carlton's comment. It is a travesty that Massachusetts has rejected both its own and the U.S. Constitutions.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Maybe Waffler should do a little research first before giving thumbs down to a subject he admits he knows nothing about? The thumbs down either represents his purposeful ignorance or his distain for the fundamental principles of liberty and justice for all -- either way, if he represents the majority of Americans, is it any wonder America is hated for its hypocrisy and its arrogant government leaders? The quote is spot on, and for those that truly do not know history, the state constitutions came first, and the Constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was the last state to draft its constitution and yet remains the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world. But hey, what good are fundamental principles, right, Waffler? I have re-read the Massachusetts Constitution just now, and it is an amazing document and its model was used as a prototype for the federal Constitution. In the year following this new Massachusetts Constitution, Elizabeth Freeman sued her slave master and won her freedom, soon to be followed by more suits by slaves effectively abolishing slavery in Massachusetts. But I guess the return to fundamental principles is just not in style now -- afterall, it is an old dusty document -- like treaties with the Indians -- that surely must have reached its statute of limitations by now... ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    It is good that states take the lead in legislation etcetera. I have read recently that the first social security systems were started in several states. the one I remember was Montana. The Feds took their ideas partly from that.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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