"The republican is the only form of government which is not
eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Letter to William Hunter, 11 March 1790
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mtj:@field(DOCID+@lit(tj060021))
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Reader comments about this quote:
I can only surmise that republicans were a lot different 220 years ago.
 -- Ebon Lupus, Klamath Falls     
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    Ebon, that has absolutely nothing to do with this quote. The Republican Party didn't start until Lincoln! The "republican" that Jefferson is talking about is the form of government as mentioned in Article 4 Section IV of the United States Constitution. Great quote by Jefferson!
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Now that the principles, law, justice, Constitutional Republic, etc. that were envisioned and set forth by the founders of the once United States no longer exist, history's lessons are dooming mankind to relive a violent and troubled past.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Ebon, you must be kin to Waffler.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Great quote. An American renaissance, to restore the republic, fortunately still lays in the hands of "We the People".
     -- Allen, DC     
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    Good quote, Jim, I'm laughing..
     -- M. Brown, Florida     
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    I true republic wouldn't recognize what we have today. And Allen is right. If people want their republic back...they may have to fight for it. And maybe it would be an idea to make friends with the world again.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Get this one out there....http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Great quote.
     -- Iva Mae, UT     
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    "The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind" which is of course why it is never allowed to exist for long. The republican government does not allow power mad men to become dictators.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    The rights of mankind is to have his own free and open opinion on any issue. Since these opinions and views may change from time to time and from man to man and generation to generation the republican form of government, which is "power to the people" ergo democracy, gives this eternal right of supremacy of the individual to express his view and to have them incorporated into the body politic and that is why Jefferson is spot on. Nothing is more important than the right of the individual. The republican form of govenment maintains this eternal democratic right.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Great statement. I wish to underline Logan's statements and to observe that that the word "democracy" is seldom found in Thomas Jefferson's writings. Also, I remember Ben Franklin saying that "democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote".
     -- Elisabeth, Astoria, NY     
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    The quote is written incorrectly. Thomas Jefferson's real quote was... ""The REPUBLIC is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind." And the definition of REPUBLIC is... a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. And by the way a Republican is defined in someone who favors the republic as the best form of government
     -- Larry, Aberdeen, WA     
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    Thanks, Larry, Actually the quote is correct, but poorly duplicated here. Here is a link to the letter. This is the quote in its entirety:
    "Convinced that the republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind, my prayers & efforts shall be cordially distributed to the support of that we have so happily established. It is indeed an animating thought that, while we are securing the rights of ourselves & our posterity, we are pointing out the way to struggling nations who wish, like us, to emerge from their tyrannies also. Heaven help their struggles, and lead them, as it has done us, triumphantly thro' them." -- Thomas Jefferson
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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