"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? 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
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy, ed., 1939
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous 
 -- Ken ********, Aurora 
I think Americans should pay more attention to the words of our founding fathers than to the talking heads on the media.and to the political poltroons and robots in Washington!
 -- John-Douglas, Nassau
Well the blood of patriots has been shed at places like Waco and Ruby Ridge and who knows where else in the USA - but how come the blood of tyrants has not been shed, not even one drop? Or do Americans prefer slavery to freedom?
 -- GWDrope, Grimsby, Canada
I think we Americans have grown accustomed to the manure of Big Government and Bureaucratic Bull - and we enjoy wallowing in this political filth, just like pigs in the mud.
 -- JDoN, Michigan
 -- Chris , Oxford, MS 
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." The blood of patriots and tyrants is being spilled everyday in the name of liberty. God Bless our Troops and God Bless America.
 -- NYC native, new york city
I agree with NYC Native in some sense, but I think you are interpreting the quote incorrectly. Jefferson is speaking on domestic behalfs. This is more a support for 2nd Amendment (RIght to bear arms) than anything else. He is saying Americans inherently will fight for their rights. It is the governments duty to respond. It is also a warning to keep an open government so the people can see what is happening and not rebel. We have minor cases of this called "riots" but other than that, the people are happy enough not to rebel against the govt. He is speaking of civil war and revolt. As for foreign affairs, I believe the ends will justify the means, but that has nothing to do with this quote since we were not attacked by Americans.
 -- Rob, Raleigh
In our vast ignorance, Americans have taken this quote and twisted it to justify our foreign wars in recent years. This quote was talking about REVOLUTION on our own soil, not about going abroad and exerting our will in other peoples' lands. But I do think it's a very appropriate quote for the times, in it's original context.
 -- EB, Michigan
 -- James T. Shaw, Sr., New Castle, PA 
Gun control advocates should read this quote and think about what it really means.
 -- M, LVNV
Freedom - democracy, individual and economic freedom are the only systems worth defending. The only other alternative is Socialism in various forms.
 -- Anonymous 
In the name of telling us what medicines to use, the government has already declared war on the American people! It's time to take our country back!
 -- Mary Jane Hempster, Independence, MO
This quote means to assert that the people must keep abreast of what is going on in government, otherwise our liberties will be lost to the actions of those in charge. We must react to an infringement upon our lilberty in accordance with it's severity, and let the governing body know we still retain the spirit of revolution and will protect our rights. His referance to the blood of patriots not only refers to sacrifice of life for liberty, but also the sacrifice of lesser things.
 -- Dave, Annapolis
"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." - Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804. ME 11:33 "I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way." - Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. ME 14:85 "It [appears] that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their natural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience [has] shown that, even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." --Thomas Jefferson: Diffusion of Knowledge Bill, 1779. FE 2:220, Papers 2:526 "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck." --Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 1822. ME 15:409 "We shall have our follies without doubt. Some one or more of them will always be afloat. But ours will be the follies of enthusiasm, not of bigotry, not of Jesuitism. Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. We are destined to be a barrier against the return of ignorance and barbarism." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1816. ME 15:58
 -- ect, boston
 -- Anonymous 
EB, Michigan. shut the fuck up. i guess the tree of liberty only sprouts in america. if someone else needs help getting freedom then i'm down.
 -- Anonymous, an nasariyah Iraq
 -- Anonymous 
Anon from Nasariyah, Iraq: you would do well to take your own advice. If we were to take Jefferson's advice to heart, the US would have had three or four violent revolutions in the past 25 years. And the most justified revolution would be against the current administration, responsible for putting your ass where it is right now. Killing 100,000 civillians in Iraq and then kicking off a civil war isn't going to look good on our international resume. Oh, you were going to save them from something... Yeah, right.
 -- Historian, Springfield
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
 -- V, Revolution
Thomas jefferson is a straight up racist fuck. He talked against britain for their involvement in the slave trade between colonies, yet he had over 600 personal slaves in his life time. not to mention is eurocentric philosophies that led to the assimilation of native americans, genetic genocide in my book. As far as im concerned, Jefferson is the early representatation of wat America is today...unchristian, racist, white, double standard euro american hell
 -- Dulani Wilson, London
it's important in that it's necessary to rattle the cages, while he proposes a violent and stupid minority, I'd go more for a peaceful, well informed majority, as for the previous comment about Iraq, um, I think in our current scenario the "blood of a tyrant" would be Bush's blood, as, we're sure as hell not revolting against anyone over in Iraq, far from it actually.
 -- Anonymous, Boulder CO
Jefferson was accurate in his thoughts that government needs to be afraid of it's people, not the other way around as that is called tyranny.
 -- Tom , Portland
 -- Anonymous 
I've put this excellent quote on the back of a hoodie/t-shirt here: http://www.cafepress.com/enemy_combatant The front has a pic of Jefferson with the words "ENEMY COMBATANT" underneath.
 -- Anonymous
although yes the blood is shed but whose to say the blood is from the patriots or tyrants i mean isn't a subjective question. i mean its just like the asking if stealing is wrong? isn't it?
 -- yngthought, seattle washington
Jesus Christ IS the ultimate socialist! Time to overthrow this evil American government and their international corporate sponsors; Mammon lovers one and all they are! Taking care of our fellow man should be the only 'business' humankind ever has, and the passing of gold and silver is an age to soon be but a horrilble chapter in the history of humanity. One can either serve God or Money there is no in-between! Praise Jesus! Amen. Amen. http://empyrius.blogspot.com/2007/02/republic-21st-century-odyssey.html
 -- Empyrius, Spokane
The words crafted by the Fathers of this country are magical in their clarity and meaning. The Declaration of Independance refers to "Natures God" not Jesus or Allah or Ra. The truth is that the spilling of the blood of tyrants and patriots is not just a quote from a famous american, it is a guidline to maintaining what was established (kind of like an owners manual). It has, is, and will happen. Its a plan, not a revalation. They are directions, not suggestions.
 -- Geologist, Cypress
The words have become rhetorical, as many of the wisdoms of our Founding Fathers. The truth of the matter is, the Tree of Liberty has been rotted to the core, and social democracy and the entitlement mentality have destroyed freedom and social fabric and empowered thieves and rapists.
 -- Wes Mantooth, Balad
NEVER has a quote been so needed to be understood and followed as this one today. BUT there is a problem that is our government is so scared of it's own people anyone who is caught saying things or even quoting verses as this will end up in Gitmo never to be heard of again.
More true today than it ever was.
 -- Brian Owens, Portland, Oregon
 -- Anonymous 
Public lethargy is indeed the forerunner to the demise of public liberty as Jefferson correctly wrote. America is currently in this dangerous stage of development. Only one in two thousand (1 in 2000) Americans can name the first five presidents. I call that lethargy. Wake up America and grasp at liberty once again before all is lost.
 -- Marc, www.SaveTheGuns.com
Waco & Ruby Ridge were not the homes of patriots, but rather of radical fools. Of much greater concern is the blood of the patriots of our troops which is being neadlessly spilled on a daily basis these past 5 years, all due to the lies of King George W. Yet armed rebellion is not the answer, the answer is for the congress to respect the measure of the people that this monarch is on the wrong path and must either turn or be turned out.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US
Either Americans will embrace these words as the spirit of American Liberty or they will toss them aside for American Fascism. The choice has always been ours, the power has always been ours, and the consequences will always be ours. The choice is ours -- revolution or government totalitarianism. I am afraid lethargy is more prevalent than a desire to fight for our freedom -- but who knows -- I am ready.
 -- E Archer, NYC
We are too corrupt to take Jefferson's advice, just like the late Roman republic.
 -- Ken, Allyn, WA
it is My belief in these troubled times that Americans need to wake up and realize that their liberties and freedoms that they are taking for granted are slowly and inexorably being taken from them, whittled away because of their lack of knowledge and caring about their individual freedoms that many have shed blood for over the course of our history as a nation, Myself included...those who are true patriots will heed Jefferson's call to arms, though he cries it from the grave...
 -- Iceman, Ann Arbor MI
Two Words, one passed legislation: PATRIOT ACT. That's where your goverment signed away your right to private phone calls, the right against unreasonable search and in many cases free speech. You can no longer hold political beliefs that are "anti-american" without being questioned and possibly detained. You guys WERE the champions of the free world. Now apathy has replaced resistance, and fear has replaced freedom. Small protests aren't going to do it folks, it might be time to take Jefferson's words to heart.
 -- Lisha, Ottawa, Ontario Canada
On the basis of this quote, we can conclude that Jefferson would have approved of Timothy McVeigh's blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Jefferson approves of the ignorant taking violent action FIRST, and THEN society educates them as to the facts, and pardons them for their behavior. It implicitly defines as a tyrant any leader with whom the ignorant are so discontented as to take violent action against him/her. This is the advice of a moron.
 -- Goseyn, Three Rivers, CA
Reston, by your words, our founding fathers were "radical fools." The blood of the victims at Waco and Ruby Ridge is as patriotic and red as the troops who die in Iraq. Since Congress does not respect the people, perhaps it IS time for a rebellion. Term limits may go a long way to increasing the respect of Congress for the people who elected them, and put Congress on the same social security you and I have.
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI
I think many of you have read too much into this quote. Especially Goseyn in Three Rivers! (you are embarassing Californians). The blood spilt at Oklahoma City, Ruby Ridge, and Waco was not the blood of patriots. As little as I like those in government, they are not tyrants, (but they might be getting close). Jefferson wished that those that came after him would be free, it is simple. Jefferson hoped that those that took issue with government would not be lethargic, and would fight for it. The problem with most of these responses is that you are taking it LITERALLY. I don't believe that Jefferson meant for his statement to be taken that way some 220 years on.
 -- Nick, Fresno, CA
@Nick in Fresno: What do you think "Let them take arms" means, anyway? It means guns. What do you think "what signify a few lives lost in a century or two" means? If you bother to read very many quotes of the Founding Fathers, it wouldn't seem so odd to you. They just got done doing this very thing to their own government. I agree very much with a previous sentiment that when the people fear the government, rather than vice versa, it's a pretty good indication of tyranny. Perhaps I'll construct a "liberty alert system" with red, amber, yellow, etc. to easily inform people of the current status of threats on their liberty. I guess I'd have to start with orange being second worst status (and our current status), followed by red (soon to come). I'll worry about the other (less severe) colors when I think we're headed in that direction.
 -- Dorothy Mantooth, San Diego
I wonder if Thomas Jefferson felt Native Americans should revolt against the tyrannical Europeans who enslaved, murdered, raped and exploited them.
 -- Saul, Aztlan, Anahuac
 -- Josh, MO 
 -- Brent, Brookyln 
Well said, I'm glad I could find the total quote.
 -- Malathos, the south
Yep. Great quote. Too bad Americans are too afraid to fight for the Rights of Americans, but would rather fight for their Rght to party, instead. When T.S.H.T.F. the only ones left will be those who have prepared for it. The Haves will outlive the Have nots. The herded dummies who believe everything the government tells them will be thinned out. Then those who were willing to do what is necessary and/or their children will have back what God once gave them to defend.
 -- JR, UpState New York, 11th FF
This is in reponse to "Saul, Aztlan, Anahuac"...appearently one of the Conquered people of Mexico who now lives illegally in America. You were beaten in war. You lost. Get over it and get back over the fence you climbed over. Sure the people of this continent were done a lot of harm against; my ancestors included. But that was back before we had Illegal Aliens. The only reason the hordes of people want to come from Mexico into America is for the Freebies, the hand-outs, the Welfare Checks, the Free Money to start a business. You can't get it in your own country, so you come here to get it. You protest against Americans and America itself saying that this is your land. I say to that again; Your army of Santa Anna was beaten in open combat. You lost! Just like my people, the Native Americans. Time to come to terms with reality. Your argument has no credibility whatsoever. It is not bad enough that you allow your Mexican government to destroy your own country; now you come here to destroy ours. And you believe you can protest in the streets, say this is your country, burn our flag, destroy our property, murder our people and say it is your Right to do so. The only reason you do all of these things here in America is because if you did it in your own country, they would not hesitate to shoot you on sight. Don't confuse our compassion for weakness. There will come a time when we have no more compassion and will turn back the hordes of Invaders ... People like You... by any means necessary.
 -- JR, UpState New York, 11th FF
It is important to understand that power is a corrupting force that few can withstand. The inclination to act like a soveriegn is almost uncontrollable while holding high office. Ect's quote from Jefferson that America is an experiment to determine if a people can be governed by reason and truth is right on the money. Should a device like the US Patriot Act be acceptable to the people? Should we give up a bit of our freedom for a measure of safety? Are we ready to say that the experiment is over and we are only concerned with individual self-preservation at any cost? Have you Americans out there considered the far-reaching effects of the US Patriot Act? I believe the US Patriot Act is exactly the kind of thing that Jefferson is warning us about. Wake up America. Read the text. Read the facts surrounding it's passage. Then read George Orwell's 1984. Then tell me you disagree. Come'on Americans. Get on the ball! How did you get so far off if it? Lethargy will ruin this great country and you're to blame if you don't pay attention!
 -- HDTVJunkie, Fullerton, CA
I am a direct descendent of Thomas Jefferson, and I have great respect for him. Quotes like this, which remain applicable today, only multiply my respect.
 -- Reed, Roanoke
Read the 'Federalist Papers' and then tell me this quote from Jefferson doesn't mean anything today.
 -- Rick Glass, Ft. Pierce, FL
I'm pretty sure that a couple of lines later, Jefferson explains why taxes are a must. Yet, I never hear people quote that part ... hmmm.
 -- Charlie Gocio, Little Rock, Ark.
So tired of people complaining about the government. We all have the right to vote as do all, you don't like it, do something, anything. Until then, shut the fuck up and enjoy the freedom our military provides for all the degenerates who lean back and bash the very things that make us the greatest. Everything you have is the direct result of the blood spilled for us. The very fact that idiots can post their opinions here (without having their balls chopped off and shoved in their mouth) should be proof enough that our government does it's job. As for the "Patriot Act" whiners, the "Man" doesn't care if you're sleeping with your neighbor or any of the other sick things many of us like to talk about on phones. What he does care about is the growing tumors full of "fanatics" who enjoy what this great country provides and plan it's demise in the same breath. If you're not doing anything wrong then who gives a damn who's listening if you never know about it. There were electronic whiz kids listening to your dumbass long before the Patriot Act was ever passed so have some cheese with your whine. And I'm out, I have to get up early to make sure my small part of the worlds greatest Air Force is ready to kick ass and to write my wife who doing her part in Afghanistan.
 -- Big D, Tucson AZ.
We are, in one sense, fortunate to be couched in an uniquely American economy of an historic and extraordinary abundance. I can imagine that while the Forefathers may not have dreamed of such scope and wealth they may see fit to modify what compounding of modern 'abuses and usurpations' triggers a desire to water liberty's tree.
 -- Jack Ian Mayer, Edwardsville Illinois
 -- Anonymous 
There goes big duck killing for the American corpotocracy that is his true enemy! You and the wife keep on killing innocents over there, at least you are not yet killing innocents over here, in America. Jesus even dined with a tax collector but he didn't pay taxes to the Roman state (being that he didn't have any money), and as he took to heaven one of the thieves he was crucified with, I thank G-d that indeed there is hope for all of us. Shed yourself of the idolatry of patriotism and instead arm thyself with the armor of Christ! Amen.
 -- empyrius, Spokane
There are a lot of tyrants in Washington these days. Is a day coming when the tree of liberty will be refreshed again? With all the things I read these days about a coming North American Union and NAFTA highway, a national/international ID (REAL ID), and the executive powers the president has given himself in so-called times of distress, America appears to be on a downward spiral path towards fascism. What recourse will Americans have who want to preserve liberty? We cannot continue to sit on our butts.
 -- Petros
Amen Big D!! Empty Head of Spokane needs to remember who is saving his ass from all the tyrants abroad, because words do not cut it big guy. You think terrorists or any other radicals in this world want to listen to your ranting? Words are not going to save us!! They would rather cut your head off than have to listen to you and your biblical tyrade. That is what a lot of you people posting here do not understand, TALK IS CHEAP!!! These people do not care what you have to say, get it through your thick skulls! They will keep attacking until they have destroyed every last one of us. I may not agree with everything that our government does, but I damn sure believe it is better than any other country in this world and I will damn sure keep fighting for it, so you may all have the RIGHTS and FREEDOMS that you take for granted everyday. You can't bring words to a gun fight, plain and simple! However, after reading some of your comments I wish you would!! Damn ingrates!! No one is perfect in this country and we will never find a president who does everything right. They all have huge faults, because they are human just like you and me.
 -- Anonymous
Wilson in London.... Think what you like, but make sure you do in London. Stay the hell OUT of this country!!
 -- JR, Southaven, MS....USA
 -- Anonymous 
to HDTVJunkie, Fullerton, CA, EXACTLY, Couldn't have said it better myself . COME ON AMERICA, WAKE UP, TAKE BACK YOUR COUNTRY
 -- John, USA
God save this Republic, I am certain that there are no politicians who have any intention of doing so. Do you smell the aroma of discontent, I wonder if that is the same smell that the Founding Fathers smelled?
 -- VpatS, Orlando
 -- Corie, Moses Lake 
-- Big D, Tucson AZ. wrote: "shut the fuck up " Isn't freedom of speech one of the things our military is fighting for? I guess you disagree with the Jefferson quote on this very page, and the intentions of our founding fathers. If you want everyone to stop criticizing the government, you'll be better off moving to Pakistan where you can live with a dictator like Musharraf who imprisons those who disagree with his policies. The rest of us will continue with the intent of the founders to love our country AND to speak up and do something when we see things going wrong.
 -- TS, Phoenix
I think it's time to take out country back!!!!!!!
 -- TW, Seattle
 -- Big E, Arkansas 
-Big D, while I support our troops, I do not support this war. While I do support laws that protect my rights, I do not support the patriot act. I have the right to privacy. I will not tell you to "shut the fuck up" because I believe myself to be a true patriot, an upholder of the Declaration of Rights, the Constitution, and all of the Amendments granted to me by our fore fathers. I do not feel my rights are being threatened by terrorists -we have made our point to them, we are a super power and they will never win, only a super power can stand against a super power- I do not feel my rights are being taken away from a foreign party. Therefore I do not feel that this war is protecting my rights. As for the patriot act, if it is such a "patriot" act and if you claim that those who speak out against the government such as myself are degenerates, take into consideration the words of a man who helped give you your liberties: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."-Benjamin Franklin, PA, Declaration signer. We must always remember that our rights are first and foremost threatened by the ones we elect into office. As a final statement, the tyrants are those that strip us of our rights and liberties by misleading us. The patriots are those that would be willing to die and fight to worlds end for those rights and liberties. Good night to you all.
 -- Thomas, Colorado
Wow there is a lot of hostility surrounding the liberty tree. It seems as if everyone is mad at the government or its constituents for one reason or another. the fact is in the modern day political scheme, you all are thinking the way of your political party. the democrats says this is bad, so do I, or George Bush says go to War...fuck it Im in! Just take a minute and think for yourselves and do away with all the cliche sayings of your particular party. And Remember, brilliant people's quotes deserve legitimacy, however, they are not facts. they are not the end all and be all.
 -- Geoff, Jersey
We today assume "He couldn't possibly have been serious!" But he was. And he was right.
 -- The China Desk, Taipei
Read H.R. 1955
 -- Anonymous
the American public needs to wake up, freedom comes at a cost. like it or not the mtv generations are going to be the downfall of wester civilization. the youth of today would rather waste their lives in bars and bong circles while a select few pay the ultimate sacrifice. we should look at history "the greatest generation" how many millions of Americans stood up for a cause in 1940's compared to todays generation, where they are in college living off their parents chasing tail at parties every night. we have all lost site of what it means to serve our country. even those in Washington!
 -- vlad tepes, wallachia
A wonderful quote, this is one of the single greatest things that the founding fathers ever said. They realized that nothing will be kept perfect, and that people must look their government in the face from time to time and say "we aren't going to put up with this any more." I wish more people in America could see this quote, and truly grasp what it means. I <3 freedom.
 -- Patriot, Kansas
This is a great quote, and yes, I do believe Jefferson was speaking of taking up arms. Someone earlier mentioned that "term limits would go a long way". This is something I hear all the time and it really pisses me off. The only way we are going to get term limits is if congress votes for them, and that is a highly unlikely scenario. But there is another solution, and it would not require shedding blood. ALL YOU JACKASSES THAT ALWAYS BITCH ABOUT CONGRESS WITH IT'S 7% APPROVAL RATING, BUT ALWAYS VOTE YOUR SENATOR OR CONGRESSMAN BACK INTO OFFICE, STOP DOING IT. AS VOTERS WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO IMPOSE TERM LIMITS BY ALWAYS VOTING OUT THE INCUMBENT! Forget the partisan politics, make the house and the senate revolving doors, just like corporate America treats it's employees. The private sector has no job security, so why should the public?
 -- Anonymous, Dallas, TX
We should really be looking at history and comparing it with current government rhetoric and propaganda. Our democracy is fading because Americans have gotten lazy - or just scared. People are recognizing that our liberties are being eroded but they just accept it. Colleagues have said to me before gong to a demonstration, "Don't get arrested." Why is demonstrating, exercising rights given to me by the first amendment an arrestable offense? Because we have a closing democracy, rather than a functioning one. I recommend a book by Naomi Wolf called "The End of America"; its terrifyingly inspiring.
 -- h, ct
Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers were they alive in this day and age would take up arms against this government, not based on the current administration, but rather based on the fact that our rights and liberties are being taken out from under our very noses...and we are doing NOTHING to stop it. To all you armchair soldiers out there, I say put down your remote controls and your video games and take up REAL arms against tyranny...and let's take back our fucking country.
 -- Iceman, Ohio
Thomas Jefferson was spot on! People today are way too dumbed down to realize what the government is slowly doing to our liberties. The government is taking advantage of all the entertainment (movies, books, TV, etc.) people are so blinded by. People are awake, yet asleep in their minds. They see, yet they're blind. Americans serious DO need to wake up, before it's too late. I leave you with more words of wisdom, but spoken of more than 2500 years ago: "The prudent foresee danger and take precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3 And another more recent: "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree." - Thomas Jefferson
 -- Stephen C., Virginia, U.S.A.
 -- Anonymous 
it's wack
 -- jj, reno
If anyone disagrees with this quote by jefferson, I'd be happy do get together with you and discuss it civilly, after I cut your fucking throat. Of course, I only mean that rhetorically. More or less rhetorically.
 -- fucked, oppression, usa
The 'Tree of Liberty' seems to have wasted away by years of apathy and ingratitude. Truly, Jefferson rolls in his grave because of the actions of both government and the people in this day and age.
 -- John, Columbia
The 'Tree of Liberty' seems to have wasted away by years of apathy and ingratitude. Truly, Jefferson rolls in his grave because of the actions of both government and the people in this day and age.
 -- John, Columbia, fucking throat, usa
this is a very intresting statement! i do agree!
 -- angie s., summerville, south carolina
It is profound that Jefferson places "the blood of patriots" before "tyrants" It is a message that shouts- LET THE READER BEWARE that liberty is not gained without loss.
 -- Moses Mix, Central California
Even the best devised government will deteriorate into tyranny unless the people they govern hold a big stick over their head.That's why the founders insisted the whole of the people be armed. (2nd Amendment), and that we should be aware of when our liberties are being trampled on. He is saying the people should let the government know they will not tolerate their liberty being stolen and trampled on.To the point of violence, if necessary. If this is consistently done, then freedom is maintained. Jefferson correctly predicted that the people would become too ignorant to realize what was happening, but I don't think even he could imagine how far it's actually progressed. It has now come to the point that there is almost nothing we can do, without permission from the government in one way or another. I have come to the conclusion that some or even most people actually like it that way. Read the posts here for example.
 -- Dennis, Oxford, MS
To Saul, Aztlan, Anahuac: Actually, if you read about Jefferson, you'd probably find out that he would have supported the natives. He owned slaves but was repulsed by slavery. He pondered anarchism in the US as much as he pondered the republic. A conflicted man to say the least.
 -- Quinn, Littleton MA
Jefferson was discussing the French Revolution but his statement is true. Freedom isn't free, it is paid in blood.
 -- bob, dallas
Too true.
 -- Anonymous
Absolutly, and those comments posted herein by any who are not American Citizens, screw em. This is our land and our right, its time to take back. The government should be warned.
 -- Steven Jones, Vancouver
To all neo-conservitives fools. You are the loyal scum that worship King (who supposes himself as commander in chief of everything) and aristocratic countrymen who have brought this land low. This land has no place for you, and God willing, and I pray that the day comes soon, when my fellows and I will make use of you and your masters corpse as a water can for liberty's tree. Rebellious Stripes Forever!
 -- ew keane, michigan city indiana
to all the supporters of Big D, you say talk is cheap. Have you noticed that you live in a country where people die everyday to defend just that. No talk is not cheap it comes at a price. Our country is based on ideas provided by the founding fathers and if we do not defend those rights we are allowing people to die in vain everyday. As for bringing words to a gun fight. A day will come when I will bring words to fight for my country not my tyrant, but I will also be bringing a gun
 -- patriot, Ohio
We are not far away from our country's next great revolution. It will be a domestic affair in which the wealthy elitists try to divert our attention from them--our true enemies--to ourselves. They will tell us it is black vs. white, immigrants vs. native citizens, or muslim vs. christian. The tyrants, whose blood must be shed in the next revolution, are the wealthy elitists. They are the ones, who wage war on our behalf, stage false flag terrorist attacks to rob us of our civil liberties, increase the size of our federal government (and in doing so increase our dependence on it), cause carefully calculated economic problems(like the current housing crisis), increase the monetary supply (which decreases the value of the dollar), and open our borders to Mexico (so they can have cheap labor to work in their factories). Wake up! Our government is controlled by the wealthy elite and their agenda is to enslave us with debt. It is time for a REVOLUTION!
 -- Jaret, Orlando
you speak of a horror not a change. In the French revolution they began killing the weathly because of their wealth not their crimes. In Germany they killed Jews because their religion. We must not stoop to the level of uneducated radicals mass murdering all those who are different. We are a country of acceptance though the divide between rich and poor must be changed we cannot eradicate those who are different.
 -- patriot, Ohio
i like what i'm reading. its like a presidential debate on hbo. but why does everyone have to be a telephone toughguy. not many of you would actually say this to the other persons face. i think we all need to turn off the tv and make our communities a little better. (the tree of liberty is surrounded by grass roots)
 -- someguy, somewhere
Its not so much that we are being tough guys, but it is that this passage evokes strong emotions so people who are opinionated come off a little strong. I do see what you are saying but realize that some of the stuff being said is not completly literal.
 -- patriot, Ohio
First, to Big D and those like him: You are the greatest enemies of our nation. This Nation was founded on the hope that the people would always question the government. But more, that people would always question each other. The people should give up no power unless it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt absolutely necessary. The people should never accept the word of the government, nor the media, nor each other without a healthy does of skepticism. Men like Big D are the pawns of tyrants. May the day come soon when I am called to take up my gun, and leave the comforts of home behind, to deliver our great nation from the hands of the likes of him. For such is the noblest of causes, and if one is to die, let it be in service to liberty and humanity.
 -- Matthew, Maryland
Crazy little coincidence from this passage: Every twenty years since 1840 a president has been elected into office, and that president has either died in office or has been assassinated while president. Not to jump to conclusions, but this is exactly what TJ is saying in the quote. The only exceptions to this dying theory are Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, who both survived assassination attempts. 1840-William Henry Harrison (died in Office) 1860- Abraham Lincoln (Assassinated) 1880- James A. Garfield (assassinated) 1900- William McKinley (Assassinated) 1920- Warren G. Harding (Died in Office) 1940- Franklin D. Roosevelt (Died in Office) 1960- John F. Kennedy (Assassinated) 1980- Ronald Reagan (Survived Assassination) 2000- George W. Bush (Survived Assassination) 2020-???
 -- Drew, Ohio
I'm sorry but I fail to see any connection between death of presidents and revolution
 -- patriot, Ohio
obviously america needs help. we need to help ourselves. we are letting our country rot away for what? go look outside and you can witness the corruption take place everywhere. we need to break free. FYI it is illegal in america to speak of plotting a revolution. anyone doing so will be labeled a national threat aka terrorist. COME GET ME MOTHER FUCKERS!
 -- Lane Hendricks, Houston
@Lane Hendricks You just called one of the most important founding fathers of this country a terrorist. What does that make you?
 -- Anonymous
Our rights have been eroded away. Our government has told us that it is for our own good, for safety but that safety is an illusion. We are no more safe for these injustices (under the name of "Homeland Security") than we were when all of our troubles began. Our most fundamental rights have been damaged by new laws put into effect, "for our own good". Heed Jefferson's words well, for they will be on the lips of the leaders of the revolution. When a government has stopped fearing their people, it is time for those people to worry, and to make a stand. The revolution is upon us, what will you do?
 -- Anonymous, anytown, usa
To those on this forum who are using the quote to justify invading countries half a world away without any valid reason, you are missing the point entirely. In the revolutionary war, the British were the Tryants and Americans the Patriots. In Iraq today the Americans have replaced Saddam as the Tyrants and the Iraqis would probably be the Patriots. And considering it's close relationship with barbaric and totalitarian regimes like royal family of Saudi Arabia and the military dictator Pakistan, America is certainly supporting such Tyrants against the will of the people of those countries.
 -- Bart, Chennai
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable. Smash the state. No gods. No masters.
 -- sanjit, Heart of the Empire
"The prudent foresee danger and take precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3 And another more recent: "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree." - Thomas Jefferson . Stephen C, Here's one for you: "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato
 -- Marc L, Seattle, WA
The quote above is one of my favorite, along with this quote: "Paper is poverty,... it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1788. ME 7:36 Abolish The Federal Reserve and return to a Gold Standard! This will, by force, cut government spending, eliminate debt and curtail inflation because they government won't be able to print money when it needs more.
 -- William Proctor, Indianapolis, Indiana
Another famous line, "It was not President Abe Lincoln that made men equal, it was Colonel Sam Colt."
 -- Fred, Arizona
The stand for Religious liberty is only established under a judicial forum in the US Bill of Rights and fought and died for to preserve in America, no where else; If any of you imagine to do the same, here or there, it can only be done from its source here in the freedom of expression and the right to bear arms; preserve it here against its criminals in America and only then can it be carried forth throughout the world, by the rule of law over tyrants. Religious liberty patriots are welcome, others not.
 -- Steve Bilyue', Casselberry, Florida
 -- Anonymous 
Jefferson and the founding fathers drafted a constitution to protect us from central bankers-well guess what woodrow willson let these tyrants back in-this is the blood Jefferson was talking about-ww-so go ahead you ignorant patriots and beat your chests and talk about patriotism and then wonder why your 401k lost 15% last year and 10 % so far this year and then go look up indentured servant
 -- Joe Flatbed, Freightliner
 -- Anonymous 
Our founding fathers had it right. They showed amazing insight when writing the constitution, so much so that it STILL applies to modern day situations, hundreds of years later. There are simply not enough people in America these days that care about their civil liberties. As long as they stay safe, fed, and entertained, they don't seem to care that the country is falling apart around them. Our founding fathers were patriots for rebelling against their tyrannical overlords, but now people with the same ambitions are branded as traitors, criminals, terrorists, or unamerican. The country is in a sad, sad state right now.
 -- Andrew, New Orleans
At the time Jefferson wrote this he was living in Paris as the United States Minister to France. In France at the time there was oppression and a true lack of liberty under King Louis and Marie Antoinette, et al. Jefferson saw it daily and I am sure he contrasted it to the United States, our Revolution, and the effects our Revolution had vis-a-vis Liberty within the "New World". You write in regard to what you see, hear, and experience daily. Less than two years later the French Revolution began and Jefferson sided with the revolutionaries even though he had many french friends in power in the French Government. Though there were no pacifications or pardons in the French Revolution, only the guillotine. To restate, I think Jefferson was thinking more about "Liberty" in general across all nations and all peoples and not just in regard to the United States which had already secured ours. One point made earlier by another poster is true. Both Jefferson and Washington knew in their heart of hearts that they were hypocrites in that upon their death beds both freed their slaves. Yet while they lived neither had the moral stamina/character to free them and endure the monetary effects that their beliefs demanded! Too bad perhaps if they and others had, from the very beginning; "We hold these truths to be self evident that man is endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights among which are Liberty.....etc., the more than 600,000 men who died during the Civil War deaths could have been avoided.
 -- BH, Long Island, NY
Two things: 1. This quote and some others made by Jefferson were considered to be radical in their time. And many thought Jefferson to be a violent radical. He was great when needed during the revolution and the founding of the nation, but would have been lost during times of peace and prosperity. 2. The world has changed so much since Jefferson's time. People didn't intentionally kill innocents as a strategy back then. Unfortunately these actions by others have made it necessary for us to lose some freedoms. You can whine on a NY TIMES 1970s liberal soapbox all you want, but terrorism in America is only going to get worse. Unless you are personally willing to die and let your loved ones and children die, then some freedoms must be sacrificed.
 -- Dan R, America
God didn't give us America, warriors did.
 -- Nicole, Dallas
Yikes, there's so much anger and hurt in these comments. Our government is in a sorry state, indeed. Our citizens are lethargic and apathetic and so consumer driven. I do, however, find that at the core of what America was and is, where perhaps you might find the good characteristics and the hopes and dreams of the Founding Fathers, a hope. We as humans are imperfect, and we fail to listen to one another and rarely ever do we crave perspectives different from our own unless there is an incentive. It is hard to get outside of your comfort zone, but having a well rounding world view-- whether that's small town to big city, America to Britain, 1st world countries to 3rd world countries, we gain more from listening and talking with one another than holding onto hatred and the past. Granted, many of the things done throughout mankind's history has been horrific and unjust, but we can only work on today's behaviors and repair today relationships, not yesterday. I rather like this quote-- despite his personal failings, I enjoy the fact that someone who had such power invited the common man to come to the table and remind the government who put him there. We get lost in power grabs and mazes of 'fair and balanced' information these days-- it's nice to be reminded, especially during a campaign time, that the men our current candidates sometimes say they're trying to follow, encouraged those they represent to be knowledgeable about their country and to actively communicate with those who represent them. It's much easier to encourage the common folk to simply trust and be ignorant and inactive to retain the power. Considering where Jefferson came from-- the power hold of the monarchy lingering over his shoulder...well, I can't help but be a little awed by the bravery of he and the men who helped to found our nation. Faults and all. We have the potential, fellow patriots, we just need a little faith (not necessarily religious faith) in ourselves and each other (and if you believe in God, fantastic, too).
 -- Ericka, Nebraska
Blame video games, complacency, and the fascist market state, before you point fingers at the Democrats. Revolution is a necessity, albeit pacifism, lack of ethos, and big business are the real bad guys.... okay you can include the Saudis.
 -- Michael, Charlotte, NC
 -- Anonymous 
I think some tyrants here in the USA need to water the tree...
 -- Saifudeen, USA
TJ was an AMAZING Founding Father his love of people no matter their race, his dignity, his respect of individual rights is so aparent in the Bill of Rights...WE are so used to todays double speak idiots that we can not see the America TJ invisioned. The ignorant and unlearned may defame but his words are imortal and their folly evident. God bless individual liberty!
 -- Jared Wade, Kelso, WA
Empyrius, Spokane, you are wrong. I serve neither god nor money. Money serves me and there is no god.
 -- Brad, Franklin
Goseyn, Three Rivers, CA, it is you that is the moron. Jefferson would not have supported what McVey did because he did not try peaceful means first. You know nothing of Jefferson.
 -- Brad, Franklin, IN
 -- Anonymous, Albany, NY 
 -- Anonymous 
 -- JA, Utica, NY
Sadly, we are approaching the point where mere reference to statements and quotes made by those who were instrumental to the founding of this nation, will be construed as violations of the so called Patriot Act or similar legislation of the same ilk.
 -- Chuck, Longwood, FL
Under the Patriot Act, all of our founding fathers, slave-owning honkeys they may have been but progressive for their time, would have been held without trial and murdered. Our government is failing us, has failed us in the past, and will continue to do so unless we stop reading these words and start living them. The only way all men will be created equal is under a democratic socialist america. God bless the USSA!
 -- Comrade Freedom, Paterson, NJ 1st city of America
 -- Anonymous 
 -- Anonymous 
For those who speak of revolution! After the revolution were are the people who will run this country?Do you have a plan to get us out of the economic problems we face today?I am for revolution and would die for my country and my freedom ,but We need facts . Would we still have taxes without representation?Would our jobs be overseas still would we put the government in check more often?Would we not allow so much presidential power?Would we have an Election that allows anyone to run for president? Not just democrats and republicans(the rich and elete,Illuminati?)For I feel the problems started when the country began ,they should have allowed anyone with the desire to be President to run for office.The common man.I still think it is funny how "the patriot act" could get its name considering that a patriot fights for freedom not the taking away of such.As for biblical quotes Jesus said "give unto me thy tithing and give unto Caesar that which is his"And Caesar was a tyrant .During WW2 Hitler used tactics like our Government is using to control the people. Hmm is our government like the Nazis?
 -- Anonymous, Little Town MIchigan
I will allow my government to spill all my blood in order to obtain supremecy on the globe and keep this world peaceful, in which the only nation capable is in fact the US. Semper Fidelis
 -- Marine - 0311, Deployed in Afghanistan
I think some of people really have miss-interpreted what Jefferson said. None of our troops are fighting for liberty, they are enforcing a dictatorship abroad and at home. Jefferson is saying that each person who calls themselves a citizen and a patriot have a duty to overthrow any system within OUR borders and within OUR government. Each American has a constitutional right to bear arms to that end and fight. Certainly we have tyrants who need to die, but we have no patriots to fight them. Our cause is lost, we no longer have liberty. Richie. www.bikerdotcom.com
 -- Richie, L.A.
 -- Publius, America The Beautiful
For those interested in the whys, means, and end of the upcoming revolution, here are two stories that fill in the details: http://empyrius.org/oddblogballs.aspx http://empyrius.org/therepublic.aspx pax vobiscum
 -- empyrius, Spokane
When the "(un)Fairness Doctrine is unleashed, will 50+ million Americans who enjoy talk radio take it sitting down? When the Second Amendment is neutered through laws that outlaw ammunition or outlaw gun stores that are within 5 miles of any school or park (90% of gun stores would be outlawed), will 100+ million American gun owners take it sitting down? When an average American is investigated and destroyed by Government and media henchmen (i.e. Joe the Plumber) for questioning authority, will all freedom-loving Americans take it sitting down? NOW is the time to "take up arms" and defend freedom...
 -- Anti-Obama, Las Vegas
Obama has been elected by the zombie morons socialist of the welfare elite hypnotized by the dishonest mainstream media. Unfortunately, their numbers outweigh the thinkers, doers, and workers in our great nation. I guess it's time to open the safe and get some guns oiled up... we have to bring it to them, they won't give up their corruption and dishonesty easily.
 -- Revolution, Action not talk
Seems to me Jefferson is often misquoted in this regard: He is saying that no law, including the Constitution, is built to withstand the passage of time, and that every twenty years the laws should be revised for current needs. It has been said that he once considered setting expiration dates on all laws--which may well have been a good thing, but far too time-consuming. Guncultists and anarchists do love to think this quote is a license to advocate the overthrow of the government by force, but they're wrong. Jefferson had been through one war of revolution, I can't imagine he'd want another.
 -- R. Coleman, Indianapolis
To R. Coleman: Anybody who reads the complete quote and thinks it means the Constitution should be re-written is beyond dumb and ignorant. Jefferson chose his words carefully, and his reference to "rebellion", "rulers... warned time to time", "spirit of resistance", "take arms", "few lives lost", "blood of... tyrants", etc. can only be interpreted in one way: Freedom-loving Americans sometimes must fight to preserve freedom and liberty, and sometimes that fight includes the shedding of the "blood of tyrants".
 -- AntiObama, Las Vegas
It is through hard times that we learn to appreciate the good. What hard time have we lived through? What sacrifice have we all made due to a hard time? It's through these lessons that we truly understand how great our country is. When you can look past your own small problems and appreciate the opportunity given in our country, then you can understand what Jefferson meant. Unfortunately, this requires a hard time of great magnitude to truly bring about the understanding that we require. It is through this shedding of "blood" that we will all be reminded of what was so fresh in Jefferson's mind when he made this statement.
 -- Anonymous, Crewe, VA
The blood of tyrants havent been spilt? Hitler, Mussolini, numerou senglish kings/french kings, or maybe even SADDAM HUSSEIN? Those people havent been killed but are actually hiding somewhere? Patriots and Tyrants will always be killed for Liberty, it IS natural manure to the tree.
 -- Jeff, Tacoma
it shows us all that we should be free to choose what we want when we want without a ruler or king to make or choices. we are able to rebel the unjust or unfair laws or rules to make it better for all. if america is founded on freedom so should it be today.
 -- bannannanna men of earth, kay-town
go bannannanna men of earth
 -- sam jackson, pen state
NYC Native, I don't believe that Thomas Jefferson was referring to the good, honest, and selfless men and women of this country that are serving in the military as the "patriots and tyrants". I believe that he was referring to his belief that patriots and tyrants are essentially the same animal. The founding fathers had a unique understanding of the disease of patriotism. They witnessed first-hand what a fanatical believer would do because his government told him to do it. May the good people of this country be so enraged at some point that a revolution takes place lest we lose everything we have fought for for over 225 years.
 -- Semper Fidelis, San Diego
BHO in his "victory speech" in Chicago said "We are No Longer A Nation Of Individuals." Jefferson said the demise of INDIVIDUALISM will result in the death of the American experiment.
 -- phil, newark
To all of our brave men and women abroad: read our Constitution...stop with your Semper Fi crap and think before you speak. You claim to be protecting freedom and spreading DEMOCRACY. This country was NOT founded as a democracy. It was founded as a REPUBLIC. Hasn't anyone else ever heard of the Pledge of Alligence? "...and to the republic, for which it stands..." Open a dictionary and look up those two words. As for anyone that wants to claim Waco and Ruby Ridge were justified actions by our government, I would really like to know where you got your information. Even the FBI admits they screwed up on both occasions. Granted, it was not untill after they were backed into a corner, but they admit it none the less. Our freedom WILL be restored, and it WILL be coming in the not so distant future. There WILL be blood spilled on our soil, and I will gladly donate. However, I will gladly put a bullet in my own head before I will support this empire. Say what you will of my unwillingness to fight for the freedom I take for granted. Your words don't suddenly change the fact that there is NO THREAT to my freedom from any country in the Arab world. They only threatened security, not freedom. Those two concepts are separate and mutually unrelated. They have acted as we would. If you killed my mother, father, and children you better believe I'd attack you. And that is not "terrorism", it is revenge. This quote is one I have taken solace in over the years, not because of its words, but because of its spirit.
 -- james mcdouglas, indiana
After the past several months, and all the lies told by our politicians and business leaders I believe the time is now. Maybe the best thing that could happen for us is to have a nuke set off in DC, and then have the common man take over every broadcast station in the country. The elite need to be lined up on the wall like in France in the late 1700s. The first shot is not far off.
 -- Matt Woodard, Nashville
To all who opined here, I have a small tale to tell, of a relative of mine, who fought at Monte Cassino in World War Two, and at El Alamein before that. Post war, he was wrongly pulled over by a Policeman. He'd been hurrying medicines home to his unwell wife, when stopped by the Policeman, who insisted on arresting him and taking him to the local Police Station. Came the part where he had to undress as far as his undershorts (standard practice in that era), and the Policeman saw lines of "zipper-like" scars from his left hip to his neck, the result of machinegun bullets he'd been hit by in the battle at El Alamein, where he had attacked a German machinegun emplacement with hand grenades, after crawling to within throwing range under mg fire. "Gee, that's interesting scarring, "Says the Policeman, "where did you collect that?" (My relative):"I got it in El Alamein, defending the bloody country so it didn't end up being run by bastards like you!" In short, I'm Proud of My Veteran Relative, and forever ashamed My nation produced a Policeman as ignorant as the one who arrested him. Jefferson was right, and My Family among many others has lived to prove it, even outside America. God Bless America: As a nation you have your faults, yet remain Humanity's BEST HOPE for True Freedom. Uyraell, New Zealand.
 -- Uyraell, Wellington, New Zealand
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - Matthew 7:1-2
 -- Lisa, Spokane Wa
-- JA, Utica, NY Wrote - REVOLUTION IS NEEDED, NOW MORE THEN EVER SINCE THE DAY WE TOOK THIS LAND FOR OURSELVES. LET'S TAKE IT BACK FROM THE TYRANTS THAT CONTROL US TODAY. --My Reply--- You're a fuggin idiot and what you just said is treasonous. You need to be blind folded and shot. This is a time of War we are in and your statements of taking down the government are a cause of natural concern. You are a moron and a dolt!
 -- A proud Army Veteran, Alexandria, Va.
I am in agreement with all of the statements calling for revolution. We need one to unseat the Tyrants who have made themselves kings over all Americans. These scumbags have eroded our liberties so much over the last 100 years that we no longer have the option of a peaceful revolution. Democracy is no excuse for Tyranny! We are a Republic, not a Democracy... and we need to force our government back in like by whatever means necessary.
 -- John, Seattle, WA
 -- Anonymous 
Whoever said the blood of patriots was shed at ruby ridge and waco is insane. Those people were nutbags and NOT the people Jefferson was talking about.
 -- Anonymous
I think that Americans have become too comfortable and too much in complacency with themselves. ZOG should be aware that when people do not have their comforts they become irrational! This is getting ready to happen with the collapse of the economy. All jobs are going away and people are losing their jobs each and every day. Now lets see when this takes hold and people snap out of their sleep of the total brainwashed that they have been given by the Zog controlled Media. When millions will be homeless because they are jobless!!! When Zog gives millions of illegals Amnesty that will take our jobs that are left for less than $7.00 an hr. and pay not into the system with taxes and ss, and the end but beginning of total slavery to Zog! Maybe when all this happens Americans will stop being such a bunch of pussies and instead become pussy-footed! Come on now, Zog is counting on us all to be a bunch of pussy's! Loose lips sink ship's and Kilroy is watching! There are traitors even here in this place watching! Then and only then will Americans have nothing to lose but their lives which in some ways has all ready happened.
 -- Wardog, Miami
Colonists revolted because, among many grievances, taxation without representation. Our new "changed" gov't is asking us all to pay for the outrageous spending of other states, counties, and municipalities. I don't care where you live, you aren't represented in every state. It's time to refresh the tree of liberty...
 -- Anonymous
It's great....I need this for my SociVl Studies report....thank you.
 -- John Carlo N. Rola, Manila, Philippines
it's interesting to read such an inspiring quote..
 -- Justine Casey Z. Corpuz, Manila, Philippines
 -- secret, Monacco, France
i agree., it's terrific!!!... thank you!
 -- Ma. Rozen G. Campos, Manila, Philippines
this string is a really interesting read - notes from many walks of life. historians appreciate TJ was most interested in a common principal of public liberty in the republic but only if checked by a continuing debate of new conditions and actions. the debate is apparent, and if the common principal is liberty where has it been sacrificed at large on US soil? some argue wire taps, torture and bombing are aborrations of our government but who can truely argue that the people have been denied a voice in correcting those offences. that is liberty - people are just not happy with their own limited effect and timing. the bad timing is what ends up spilling the blood of patriots and tyrants but as that argrian TJ analogized that tree needs it's natural manure.
 -- VEO, scottsdale
 -- Anonymous, USA
 -- Brooksher 
Talk is real cheap. It is time for action, and not the pansy actions described by the liberals above. Before it is our children who never taste true freedom,,,,TO ARMS! TO ARMS!
 -- SKID, Little town, Ohio
Hazaah! How far we have fallen since our country was born, how far removed are we from the men who bore our burdens and declared our freedom and independence. The great men who defied history and forged a new one are more estranged from us than the parasites in the media and the worms burrowing in Washington. The Democrats are inclined to replace our national ideals with those of Asia, South America and the socialist rat traps of Europe. The Republicans, likewise, have forgotten what freedom is worth and would rather cowtow to the opposition to keep their jobs and fill their pockets, having lost all sense of history and responsibility. Damn their eyes, damn them both I say!
 -- A.W.M., Dayton, Ohio
Lots of people speak in 19th century prose about the truth behind this quote, but if actions mean anything, no one really BELIEVES it any more. The threshold he was talking about has clearly been crossed, but no one's doing what Jefferson suggested - me included.
 -- Mike, Leawood, KS
Now you know why the government controled publics schools do not teach American history
 -- D.B. Wells, Black Lake NY
I am not as surprised as some are to the events taking place in our country and abroad. All the answers have always been right in front of us we were just not willing to accept the corruption in our government being the lovers of the U.S.A that most of are. Who wants to believe they were lied too , fought wars of lies, what American wants to believe their own government would perpetrate an ultimate goal and divine plan to over throw the freedom liberty and justice for all!!!! History tells a very factual story of all nations and their governments and the inevitable growing of greed and corruption on the people in every nation under government and the outcomes are catastrophic. Our previous president was right when he said a sleeping giant has been awoken and how true 8 years since 9/11 and the giant is now wiping the sleep from its eyes in the form of the American people. This government is dealing with a different kind of breed than most countries: Thomas Jefferson: "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a
 -- Stella1776, Fort Wayne
It is just an intersing fact. And as must of you I feel the meaning of these quote but one can´t read these and stop to think about the cruel reality of a society in which violence and death are the solutionto problems rather than reason and undersanding for example. I think what I want to sa is that I belive the quot to be true but that perhabd we should work in an alternetive to violent opposition. Even a silly one like each 20 years whoever wins a lottery gets to rule the country or a a smart one whoevergets more iintelectual awards in 20 years getts to rule the country. jajaj
 -- Anonymous, Monterrey
if you truly agree with this quote then you should serve in the military to earn your rights and you should also vote so you have a real say in the government
 -- countryboy, colorado
Dulani Wilson, You really know nothing of history do you? Yes, Jefferson owned slaves, but who didn't in the time? Actually Jefferson had several illegitimate children with one of his slave girls. I am all for the right to bear arms as means of rebellion if it comes to it. I am also for the right to talk about rebellion protected by the first amendment. This country is becoming a socialist Obamanation. HR45 is unconstitutional.
 -- Anonymous, Indiana
Some people can't understand why there are troops in various countries overseas constantly putting their lives on the line. The answer? To preserve and protect the ideas of our founding fathers and entitle the people of the world to their natural rights. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, all men are created equal, and the last time I checked, the people of poor thirdworld countries are men too. The tree of liberty extends far beyond the borders of the United States. Let's grow out its branches to shade the world from tyranny, oppression, and persecution.
 -- Anonymous
Jefferson was not a rasict f**k as afore mentioned! He loved his slaves very much and they loved him back. As to this quote I agree we need armed uprising to water our tree before it withers away. Kill all those who work against our Constitution period.
 -- James, FtMyers
If a person will take the time to read "The Constitutional Journal", by Jeffrey St John, published in 1987, I promise you will be well rewarded by an enhanced understanding of the devlopment of our Constituion. Some 50 or so representatives of (most of) the 13 original states met continuously from mid May until mid September to discuss and debate ideas which culminated in the Constitution, replacing the Articles of Confederation which had ineffectually provided some unified form of government for about 10yrs. I believe one of the most obvious observations is that, though they were able to compromise and come together to create the Constitution, there were fundamental philosophical differences of opinion from the start which continue through to today. I read it as a struggle between to create a form of government which can save it from itself - thus the three branches and several other conventions which are designed to provide cross-checks and counterbalances. The framers of the Constitution realized they were not perfect and that "power corrupts". It will only be by constant vigilance and the freedom and exercise of our just liberties that we will continue to have this most unique institution which stands as a beacon amongst the history of the world's great kingdoms and nations - proving that self-government (while not perfect) can work and the best system so far contrived. May we long continue to disagree and yet come to workable compromises of the people, by the people for the people.
 -- Jerry, Phoenix AZ
 -- Anonymous 
When you look at the Founding fathers of America and Victorian British politicians you see inspired geniuses who were truly worthy of recognition. Take a look around now; who is worthy of remembering? No one. I trust very few politicians, and they hold no real power. You look at the political groups around now, Neocons trotsky, marxists, communists, and all manner of rubbish that is respected and given weight by those in power. America you need to stamp on socialism. To my Fellow British/English we need to bring the revolution of America home, and use the words of the American constitution alongside those of 1215 Magna Carta and the 1689 rights of Man
 -- Matthew, Kettering (England)
I believe that many of you are "fools of the 4th reich" and it's the blood of tyrants like yourselves that are willing to follow the socialist agenda of our new leadership that will be the next to water the liberty tree.
 -- BB, NC
Without arms we are subject. The gun makes us a citizen. One able to protect the God given freedoms we enjoy. Take the gun away and we are putty in the hands of Socialists and Communists.
 -- Russ, Orland Park, Il.
Amen... Are you Ready? The Party is Over
 -- Zoanthropy, New York City
Seems to me he is saying it it the DUTY of Government to justify its actions - and if not, it is the DUTY of the citizenry to take arms against that government - until such a time that Liberty returns...just my own personal translation. Jefferson and many other Founding Fathers found all in a position of power to be a potential Tyrant - and therefore they were very starightforward with their statements as to what should happen to them.
 -- Crap, Richmond
you see when the the founding fathers created our great country they knew of things to come , Dwight D Eisenhower knew of the military industrial complex and all that jazz if more ppl lived by the constitution and not like 50 cent or the Doors , The country would be a better place and big government would not survive . lest 50 more 50 states. God Bless American
 -- Anonymous
all of the above!! DUH!!!
 -- RN, shanty
You see it isn't about actually taking up a gun, ............ but taking up the fight for Liberty and carrying it on in the name of our fore fathers and future generations of Americans. Not every fight has to be fought with mighty big guns, ............ sometimes the ammunition you fight with is ......... Right. Every now and then Right makes Might. Remember this is the same man who gave this Nation and it's people a "fail safe" or the right to "Do Over".
 -- Anonymous
Most Americans are too pacified, liberalized, and dumbed down to understand this quotation of this most outstanding of our forefathers! The tree is dying and there is no more than an EXTREMELY SMALL percentage of true Patriots who see it withering!
 -- Jeff Powell, TyTy, Georgia
This is the most accurate quote, however, I would change the second to last sentence to: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time (sooner than every four years), with the blood of non former presidents of the federal reserve and non wealthy republicans from Texas.
 -- Gins, Monmouth Beach, NJ
 -- militia man, cleveland,texas 
I think the US government has already commited acts of war against its own people by means of taxing the living fuck out of us...The IRS is an unconstitutional entity and its offices should be burnt to the ground along with all records within...propert mtax is a bullshit tax penalizing hard working people who have the initiative to work and buy a home FUCK you Uncle SAm
 -- Bucky Scheisskopff, fuckville usa
I think Uncle Fucking Sam has commited acts of treason against the american people...using an unconstitutional incometax to penalize hard working people and redistribute wealth to lazy ass crack heads and those who'd rather suck off the government teat....Taxation without representation is tyranny.... and Where tyranny is Law.. Revolution is order..I'm keeping my guns oiled and loaded for the day some worthless piece of shit tries to come on my land and take what is mine...and that goes for you Mr President
 -- Come Get Me Mutherfukkers, none of you fukkin biddness
Societal ignorance, Governmental fascism, and Societal intolerance all go hand-in-hand, and feed off one another. the more fascist a government becomes, the more ignorant the people, the more intolerant the people, the more fascist the government. there's no avoiding it, and there's almost no reversing it. You can see it now in America. people blindly totting bible quotes to say gays have no rights, or that this person is this, and that group is that. Reality TV focusing on all the faults of everyone, entertaining the masses with mindless drivel, all the while the viewers don't realize that they're really just looking in a mirror. a government taking away our freedoms for our safety ("Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin). and the "not my problem..." attitude of America (unless it involves crude oil, then we're the only one who can help "save" the people). When will we wake up? every problem you see is your problem, from the homeless man sitting on the street corner, with the multimillion dollar pent house above, to a war. America hasn't won a war since World War two for a reason, our hearts, minds and spirits aren't in support of it (I'm not advocating war here). Our society has become focused too much on the "Me" (Twitter, blogs, and pod casts are a prime examples, who cares if you just saw someone really hot on the corner, or your favorite way to make this, or fix that?) It is these lethargies that Jefferson was referring to, not the physical laziness, but a mental and social laziness. where "someone else will do it" become the standard answer. well, if everyone is saying this, then who's going to do it? Jefferson was advocating for the people to never forget that there aren't enough bullets to kill them all in a revolution, and there's nothing that a government could effectively do to stop them if the masses decided to move against their government. And then he was warning the government to not forget that fact, and to be willing to hand over power on a regular basis, for the amount of blood (both literal and figurative) that will be spilled shall remain the same over time, it just depends if you want to do it all at once, or a little at a time. He was also promoting the radical change, as a revolution implies a complete reversal of nearly everything a society once stood for. it is time for America to enter the flames, and emerge from the ashes, stronger, and rejuvenated.
 -- Pheonix, Truth
Love this quote, but are you missing the point? "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." You said: The blood of patriots and tyrants is being spilled everyday in the name of liberty. God Bless our Troops and God Bless America. Perhaps its our own government that is causing problems and killing innocent people. Yes, Saddam deserved what he got, but we should have ended it there. We are killing millions of innocent people and reaping profits at the same time. He is talking about our country in the quote.
 -- Anonymous, PA
I think that the person from canada should mind their own p's and q's, and go fly a kite, this is my country, your county is living off the coattails of this great country. When was the last time someone wanted to run out and buy the latest canadian automobile? ( and I know AMERICAN cars are built in canada for cheaper labor ) or go to canada for health care? when was the last time you were happy about getting a canadian quarter in your change? the only good things that have ever came out of canada is moosehead beer ( and thats debatable ), canadian bacon ( most of witch is from USA ) and oil. you can keep your socialism Canada. Patriots were not in waco, they were in the twin towers, they were in the planes that crashed and in the pentagon. The tyrants are the Saddams, Kim Ill's of the world and the muslim wack jobs that think that blowing up people will help their cause. GET A GRIP !!
 -- Erich, Ohio, USA !!!!!!!
This quote may give at least some insight as to why Lincoln is known to have hated Jefferson.
 -- ScarletCloak, Virginia
JFK once said to a group of scholars in the White House "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." True then, more true today with the inept fascists now running the white house - and the country - into the ground. The Founders knew the nation might have to be rescued from a criminal government - hence the 2nd Amendment. And why the Bamster is trying so hard to eliminate the 2nd Amendment.
 -- Laurent, Scottsdale
 -- Anonymous 
A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson (1801)
 -- Armed Hippy, Atlanta
 -- Anonymous 
THE TIME HAS COME!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now more than at any other time in our lives does this quote hold true meaning. Too many of our countrymen (women), along with most of our Politicians either have forgotten, or have no idea why this country was founded. Our founding Fathers knew exactly why they crafted in the fashion they did, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the First 10 Amendments, etc. The reason that our Founding Fathers where so careful in Drafting these documents was to protect our freedom and our Country. God Help Us All!
 -- Bruce, NJ
How many people speak loud and proud about how things should be and then shrink to the back when the spotlight is pointed at you? Half of you on this board probably voted for Obama because your friends did or because it was the popular thing to do at the time. He wants to take away our rights to ownership, arms, capitalism and religion. He tells us we are not patriots if we oppose him, but I say we are not patriots if we don't oppose him.
 -- Mike, Mobile, Al.
I don't see the connection either. In my opinion, I think we are long over due for a revolution. The American people seriously need to open their eyes so that they can see that this country is being governed by a socialist bastard.
 -- Anonymous, Va. Beach, VA
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