Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Bruce AckermanThere is simply no escaping the fact that the fate of the Constitution is in our hands -- as voters, representatives, justices. If we allow ourselves to abuse the tradition of higher lawmaking, the very idea that the Constitution can be viewed as the culminating expression of a mobilized citizenry will disintegrate. After all, the American Republic is no more eternal than the Roman -- and it will come to an end when American citizens betray their Constitution’s fundamental ideals and aspirations so thoroughly that existing institutions merely parody the public meanings they formerly conveyed
Bruce AckermanThere is simply no escaping the fact that the fate of the Constitution is in our hands -- as voters, representatives, justices. If we allow ourselves to abuse the tradition of higher lawmaking, the very idea that the Constitution can be viewed as the culminating expression of a mobilized citizenry will disintegrate. After all, the American Republic is no more eternal than the Roman -- and it will come to an end when American citizens betray their Constitution’s fundamental ideals and aspirations so thoroughly that existing institutions merely parody the public meanings they formerly conveyed.
John AdamsAll good government is and must be republican. But at the same time, you can or will agree with me, that there is not in lexicography a more fraudulent word... Are we not, my friend, in danger of rendering the word republican unpopular in this country by an indiscreet, indeterminate, and equivocal use of it? [...] Whenever I use the word republic with approbation, I mean a government in which the people have collectively, or by representation, an essential share in the sovereignty... the republican forms in Poland and Venice are much worse, and those of Holland and Bern very little better, than the monarchical form in France before the late revolution.
John AdamsThey define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.
John AdamsThere is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
John Adams(Quotes on 'Republic')
John AdamsWere I to define the British constitution, therefore, I should say it is a limited monarchy, or a mixture of the three forms of government commonly known in the schools [monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical] ... And it is [the] reservation of fundamentals, of the right of giving instructions, and of new elections, which creates a popular check, upon the whole government which alone secures the constitution from becoming an aristocracy, or a mixture of monarchy and aristocracy only.
John AdamsA question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly.
John AdamsIt may perhaps be a Sufficient Recommendation of this Article to say that it was introduced by Mr Charles Pinkney of South Carolina, and he ought to have the Glory of it. But I confess I never understood it, and I believe no other Man ever did or ever will. A Republican Government is a Government of more than one. The Word Republick has been used, it is true by learned Men to Signify every actual and every possible Government among Men, that of Constantinople as well as that of Geneva. But the most accurate Writers distinguish Republicks from Despotisms and Simple Monarchies, and call every Government by that name in which more than one Person is concerned in the Sovereignty, and in this Sense the Kingdoms of Sparta Poland and England were Republicks as truely as Saint Marino. Venice Holland and other States were universally called Republicks both by the Learned and unlearned; yet the People in these States had certainly no more Liberty than those of England or France. The most Accurate distinction then has been between free Republicks and Republicks which are not free. It is not even said in our Constitution that the People shall be guarranteed in a Free Republican Government. The Word is So loose and indeffinite that Successive Predominant Factions will put Glosses and Constructions upon it as different as light and darkness, and if ever there should be a Civil War which Heaven forbid, the conquering General in all his Tryumphs may establish a Military Despotism and yet call it a constitutional Republic as Napoleon has already Set him the Example. The only Effect of it that I could ever See, is to deceive the People: and this practice my heart abhors my head disapproves, and my Tongue my Pen have ever avoided.
John AdamsThe dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, and both should be checks upon that.
John AdamsWhen I went home to my family in May, 1770, from the town meeting in Boston, which was the first I had ever attended, and where I had been chosen in my absence, without any solicitation, one of their representatives, I said to my wife, "I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning, that you may prepare your mind for your fate." She burst into tears, but instantly cried out in a transport of magnanimity, "Well, I am willing in this cause to run all risks with you, and be ruined with you, if you are ruined." These were times, my friend, in Boston, which tried women's souls as well as men's.
John Adamsno good government but what is republican...
the very definition of a republic is
'an empire of laws, and not of men.'
John AdamsPublic virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honor, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions.
John AdamsEvery citizen must look up to the laws, as his master, his guardian, and his friend; and whenever any of his fellow citizens, whether magistrates or subjects, attempt to deprive him of his right, he must appeal to the laws; if the aristocracy encroach, he must appeal to the democracy; if they are divided, he must appeal to the monarchical power to decide between them, by joining with that which adheres to the laws; if the democracy is on the scramble for power, he must appeal to the aristocracy, and the monarchy, which by uniting may restrain it. If the regal authority presumes too far, he must appeal to the other two. Without three divisions of power, stationed to watch each other, and compare each other's conduct with the laws, it will be impossible that the laws should at all times preserve their authority, and govern all men.
John AdamsThe United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
John AdamsIf Aristotle, Livy, and Harrington knew what a republic was, the British constitution is much more like a republic than an empire. They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men. If this definition is just, the British constitution is nothing more or less than a republic, in which the king is first magistrate. This office being hereditary, and being possessed of such ample and splendid prerogatives, is no objection to the government's being a republic, as long as it is bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend.
John Adams[I] never understood [what a republican government was and] I believe no other man ever did or ever will.
Samuel AdamsThe liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,
are worth defending at all hazards;
and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure
and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation,
enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us
by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them
by the artifices of false and designing men.
Saul AlinskyA free and open society is an ongoing conflict, interrupted periodically by compromises.
Fisher Ames[O]ur sages in the great [constitutional] convention...
intended our government should be a republic
which differs more widely from a democracy
than a democracy from a despotism.
The rigours of a despotism often... oppress only a few,
but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy,
for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and
that minority the chief owners of the property
and truest lovers of their country.
Thurman Arnold[The US has] developed two coordinate governing classes:
the one, called ‘business,' building cities, manufacturing
and distributing goods, and holding complete and autocratic
power over the livelihood of millions;
the other, called ‘government,' concerned with preaching and
exemplification of spiritual ideals, so caught in a mass of
theory, that when it wished to move in a practical world it
had to do so by means of a sub rosa political machine.
Bruce BartonWhat a curious phenomenon it is that you can get men to die for the liberty of the world who will not make the little sacrifice that is needed to free themselves from their own individual bondage.
Frederic BastiatIf every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Frederic BastiatEveryone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.
Frederic BastiatSometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.
Frederic BastiatThe worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.
Hugo Adam BedauGovernment should allow persons to engage in whatever conduct they want to, no matter how deviant or abnormal it may be, so long as (a) they know what they are doing, (b) they consent to it, and (c) no one -- at least no one other than the participants -- is harmed by it.
Rev. Francis BellamyI pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands;
one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
Black's Law DictionaryA national government is a government of the people of a single state or nation, united as a community by what is termed the 'social compact,’ and possessing complete and perfect supremacy over persons and things, so far as they can be made the lawful objects of civil government. A federal government is distinguished from a national government by its being the government of a community of independent and sovereign states, united by compact.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe first ten amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties. The people wanted and demanded a Bill of Rights written into their Constitution. The amendments embodying the Bill of Rights were intended to curb all branches of the Federal Government in the fields touched by the amendments—Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
Sir William BlackstoneThat the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.
Neal BoortzOur founding fathers detested the idea of a democracy and labored long to prevent America becoming one.  Once again -- the word 'democracy' does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or the constitution of any of the fifty states.  Not once. Furthermore, take a look at State of the Union speeches.  You won’t find the 'D' word uttered once until the Wilson years.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisFear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches
and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisExperience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal,
well-meaning but without understanding.
Tom BraunIf you think we are free today, you know nothing about tyranny and even less about freedom.
James BurghAll lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people.
Edmund BurkeAll that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
John C. CalhounA power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interests, combined in one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks.
John C. CalhounThe government of the absolute majority is but the government of the strongest interests; and when not effectively checked, is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised... [To read the Constitution is to realize that] no free system was ever farther removed from the principle that the absolute majority, without check or limitation, ought to govern.
John C. CalhounStripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government;
a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States,
or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.
Charles CarrollWithout morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.
Jimmy CarterThe law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.
Dick CheneyIt will be necessary for us to be a nation of men, and not laws.
Shirley ChisholmIt is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
Sir Winston ChurchillA nation that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it.
Ramsey ClarkA right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
Constitution for the United StatesThe United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.
Constitution for the USAWe the People of the united States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
U. S. ConstitutionThe United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government...
Oregon Supreme CourtThe nearer the power to enact laws and control public servants lies with the great body of the people, the more nearly does a government take unto itself the form of a republic -- not in name alone, but in fact.
Steven R. CoveyOur ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside of ourselves will affect us.
Abraham CowleyThe liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatsoever form it be of government; the liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country.
Clarence S. DarrowLiberty is the most jealous and exacting mistress that can beguile the brain and soul of man. From him who will not give her all, she will have nothing. She knows that his pretended love serves but to betray. But when once the fierce heat of her quenchless, lustrous eyes have burned into the victim's heart, he will know no other smile but hers.
Elmer DavisThe Republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it ...
This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
Elmer DavisThe republic was not established by cowards, and cowards will not preserve it.
Alphonse de LamartineRepublicanism and ignorance are in bitter antagonism.
Alphonse de LamartineAt twenty every one is republican.
Charles de MontesquieuThe deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
Charles de MontesquieuRepublics end through luxury; monarchies through poverty.
[Fr., Les republiques finissent par le luxe; les monarchies, par la pauvrete.]
Charles-Louis de SecondatIn republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing.
Alexis de TocquevilleThe American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.
Alexis de TocquevilleIn towns it is impossible to prevent men from assembling, getting excited together and forming sudden passionate resolves. Towns are like great meeting houses with all the inhabitants as members. In them the people wield immense influence over their magistrates and often carry their desires into execution without intermediaries.
Alexis de TocquevilleAmerica is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good it will cease to be great.
Declaration of IndependenceWe 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.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, ...
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.
Anthony J. DennisStanding armies consist of professional soldiers who owe their livelihood and income to the government. Unlike civilians who render periodic service in local militia, professional soldiers do not own property and therefore do not have any source of income other than the government’s military paymaster. Thus, they are more likely to serve the government’s interests, regardless of whether its leaders are dishonest and corrupt or not. In fact, standing armies may even promote rapacious foreign or domestic policies if such policies enrich the army. In contrast, arms bearing, property owning citizen militiamen have a stake in the health of the republic as a whole and can be trusted to act in the republic’s best interests, whether those interests call for action in support of or against the political leadership of the nation.
John F. Di LeoOur Founders warned us that all republics have eventually fallen into tyranny -- the only difference being the relative timeline of each republic's descent. ... From the summer of 1787 when our Framers deliberated over their magnificent Constitution, we have recognized that the clear statement and equal application of the Law is among the most critical duties of any government. If we allow ourselves to lose this, we may as well be back in ancient Rome, subject to the whim of every petty tyrant in the taxing bureau or the zoning board. For it doesn't matter whether the regulator's foot is shod in a jack boot or a Roman sandal; if he can hold you down with that boot upon your neck, then we are no longer in the America that our Founding Fathers intended for us.
Justice William O. DouglasThe First Amendment makes confidence in the common sense of our people and in the maturity of their judgment the great postulate of our democracy.
Justice William O. DouglasThe Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.
Justice William O. DouglasThe right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
Friedrich DurrenmattThe freedom of each individual can only be the freedom of all.
Olive Cushing DwinellHamilton's whole monetary policy is based on unconstitutional grounds and unsound reasoning, and fraudulent statements. His policies were fought through the whole public career of Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Randolph and many another truly great lovers of Republican Government.
His policies have proved to be more destructive of our independent and democratic form of government than the old subjugation of the Colonies by Great Britain. The deliberations in Congress over Hamilton's Bank Bill, and the opinions of members of The Cabinet show the intensity of feeling between the private money interests and those supporting the Constitution. History records that the “money changers” have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.
Hans L. EicholzGovernment of the self was the original basis for republican
government, reflecting the view that civil society was much
more than politics. Society was made up of men and women
who gave order to their lives by entering into associations
on a voluntary basis, quite apart from government, for all
the various reasons of fellowship, philanthrophy,
faith and commerce.
Millard FillmoreLet us remember that revolutions do not always establish freedom. Our own free institutions were not the offspring of our revolution. They existed before.
Benjamin FranklinThe longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: 'that God governs in the affairs of men.' And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
Benjamin FranklinWhen the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
Benjamin FranklinOutside Independence Hall when
the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended,
Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,
"A republic, if you can keep it.
Benjamin FranklinOur Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world
nothing is certain but death and taxes.
Major General J.F.C. Fuller[S]ince the substitution of an industrial for the agricultural order of society and the conquest of the industrial by the financial, the government of the Western nations, whether monarchical or republican, had passed into the invisible hands of a plutocracy, international in power and grasp. It was, I venture to suggest, this semioccult power which, automatically, rather than calculatedly, pushed the mass of the American people into the cauldron [of World War I].
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiMen ... should do their actual living and working in communities ... small enough to permit of genuine self-government and the assumption of personal responsibilities, federated into larger units in such a way that the temptation to abuse great power should not arise. The larger (structurally) a democracy grows, the less becomes the rule of the people and the smaller is the say of individuals and localised groups in dealing with their own destinies. Moreover, love and affection, are essentially personal relationships. Consequently, it is only in small groups that Charity, in the Pauline sense of the word, can manifest itself. Needless to say, the smallness of the group, in no way guarantees the emergence of Charity. In a large undifferentiated group, the possibility does not even exist, for the simple reason that most of its members cannot, in the nature of things, have personal relations with one another.
Jean GenetPower may be at the end of a gun, but sometimes it's also at the end of the shadow or the image of a gun.
David Lloyd GeorgeWho ordained that a few should have the land of Britain as a perquisite; who made ten thousand people owners of the soil and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth?
Georgia, Declaration of RightsThe jury in all criminal cases, shall be the judges of the law and the facts.
J. Paul GettyThe meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights.
Angelica GrimkeThe doctrine of blind obedience and unqualified submission to any human power, whether civil or ecclesiastical, is the doctrine of despotism, and ought to have no place among Republicans and Christians.
Stephen P. HalbrookSuch questions have never been discussed in scholarly publications because the Nazi laws, policies, and practices have never been adequately documented. The record establishes that a well-meaning liberal republic would enact a gun control act that would later be highly useful to a dictatorship.
Alexander HamiltonIf it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws.
Alexander HamiltonForeign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.
Alexander HamiltonThe President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. The person of the King of Great Britain is sacred and inviolable: There is no constitutional tribunal to which he is amenable, no punishment to which he can be subjected without involving the crisis of a national revolution.
Thom HartmannEvery culture and every religion of what we call the civilized world carries, in one form or another, a mythos or story about a time in the past or future when humans lived or will live in peace and harmony. Whether it's referred to as Valhalla or Eden, Shambala or 'A Thousand Years of Peace,' the Satya Yuga or Jannat, stories of past or coming times of paradise go hand-in-hand with hierarchical cultures. Such prophecies were clearly in the minds of America's Founders when they first discussed integrating Greek ideas of democracy, Roman notions of a republic, Masonic utopian ideals, and the Iroquois Federation's constitutionally organized egalitarian society, which was known to Jefferson, Washington, Adams, and Franklin. The creation of the United States of America brought into the world a dramatic new experiment in how people could live together in a modern state.
Friedrich August von HayekMany of the greatest things man has achieved are not the result of consciously directed thought, and still less the product of a deliberately coordinated effort of many individuals, but of a process in which the individual plays a part which he can never fully understand.
Friedrich August von HayekI am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Heinrich HeineThe same fact that Boccaccio offers in support of religion might be adduced in behalf of a republic: "It exists in spite of its ministers."
Patrick HenryIt is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. ... Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things, which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. ... 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!
Eric HofferAbsolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.
John F. HylanThe real menace of our Republic is the invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities states and nation. At the head is a small group of banking houses
generally referred to as 'international bankers.'
This little coterie... run our government for their own selfish ends.
It operates under cover of a self-created screen...[and]
seizes...our executive officers... legislative bodies... schools... courts...
newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.
Andrew JacksonIt is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.
Andrew JacksonI am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country.
Andrew JacksonThe Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.
Justice Robert H. JacksonIf there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
Justice Robert H. JacksonCivil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
John JayThe people who own the country ought to govern it.
Thomas JeffersonChoice by the people themselves is not generally distinguished for its wisdom.
Thomas JeffersonThe price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Thomas JeffersonI hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;
Thomas JeffersonI have indeed two great measures at heart,
without which no republic can maintain itself in strength:
1. That of general education, to enable every man to judge for himself
what will secure or endanger his freedom.
2. To divide every county into hundreds, of such size that all
the children of each will be within reach of a central school in it.
Thomas JeffersonThe way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions in which he is competent ...
It is by dividing and subdividing these Republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in the administration of everyman's farm by himself, by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.
Thomas JeffersonYou seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal.
Thomas JeffersonI believe the States can best govern our home concerns, and the General Government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established by the constitution for the limitation of both; and never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold as at market.
Thomas JeffersonMay [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 had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.
Thomas JeffersonBear 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 possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Thomas JeffersonThe two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.
Thomas JeffersonWith respect to the new Government, nine or ten States will probably have accepted by the end of this month. The others may oppose it. Virginia, I think, will be of this number. Besides other objections of less moment, she [Virginia] will insist on annexing a bill of rights to the new Constitution, i.e. a bill wherein the Government shall declare that, 1. Religion shall be free; 2. Printing presses free; 3. Trials by jury preserved in all cases; 4. No monopolies in commerce; 5. No standing army. Upon receiving this bill of rights, she will probably depart from her other objections; and this bill is so much to the interest of all the States, that I presume they will offer it, and thus our Constitution be amended, and our Union closed by the end of the present year.
Thomas JeffersonThe republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.
Thomas JeffersonEvery government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.
Thomas JeffersonA government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns, not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods.
Thomas JeffersonIf 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 JeffersonThe concentrating [of powers] 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.
Thomas JeffersonI 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 JeffersonThe mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
Thomas JeffersonI, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.
Thomas JeffersonThe issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.
Thomas JeffersonConvinced 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 JeffersonParties are... censors of the conduct of each other, and useful watchmen for the public. Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise, depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, ...Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still, and pursue the same object.
Thomas JeffersonYes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.
Andrew JohnsonOutside of the Constitution we have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects.
Kentucky Declaration of Rights - Art. I, Sec. 2Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it.
Benedict D. LaRosaSince independence in the fourteenth century, the Swiss have been required to keep and bear arms, and since 1515, have had a policy of armed neutrality. Its form of government is similar to the one set up by our Founders -- a weak central government exercising few, defined powers having to do mostly with external affairs and limited authority over internal matters at the canton (state) and local levels.
Robert E. LeeWith all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword...
C. S. LewisA man may have to die for our country: but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country. He who surrenders himself without reservation to the temporal claims of a nation, or a party, or a class is rendering to Caesar that which, of all things, most emphatically belongs to God: himself.
Abraham LincolnAs I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.
This expresses my idea of democracy.
Abraham LincolnMy paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.
Abraham LincolnI see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war
Abraham LincolnShall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step over the ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! -- All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a Thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Abraham LincolnI have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from ... the Declaration of Independence ... that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence ... I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.
John LockeThe power of the legislative being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.
John LockeAny single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
James Russell LowellBut it was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled.
F. J. LucasWithin seven centuries, [the ancient Greeks] invented for itself, epic, elegy, lyric, tragedy, novel, democratic government, political and economic science, history, geography, philosophy, physics and biology; and made revolutionary advances in architecture, sculpture, painting, music, oratory, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, anatomy, engineering, law and war... a stupendous feat for whose most brilliant state Attica was the size of Hertfordshire, with a free population (including children) of perhaps 160,000.
James MadisonI go on the principle that a public debt is a public curse, and in a Republican Government a greater curse than any other.
James MadisonBut I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks -- no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.
James MadisonBesides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.
James MadisonDemocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.
James MadisonA republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.
James MadisonWhat becomes of the surplus of human life? It is either, 1st destroyed by infanticide, as among the Chinese and Lacedemonians; or 2nd it is stifled or starved, as among other nations whose population is commensurate to its food; or 3rd it is consumed by wars and endemic diseases; or 4th it overflows, by emigration, to places where a surplus of food is attainable.
James MadisonEach State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution
James MadisonAs there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.
James MadisonIt is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.
James MadisonIn the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.
James MadisonA government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.
James Madison[T]he delegation of the government, in [a republic], to a small number of citizens elected by the rest . . . [is] to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.
Dumas MaloneThe fact that we became a nation and immediately separated church and state -- it has saved us from all the misery that has beset mankind with inquisitions, internecine and civil wars, and other assorted ills.
Robert K. MassieOne of the things that really bothers me is that Americans don't have any sense of history. The majority of Americans don't have any idea of where we've come from, so they naturally succumb to the kind of cliche version that Ronald Reagan represented.
Jonathan MayhewNo taxation without representation.
Jonathan MayhewTo say that subjects in general are not proper judges (of the law) when their governors oppress them and play the tyrant, and when they defend their rights ...is as great a treason as ever a man uttered... (more)
William Gibbs McAdooThe fact is that there is a serious danger of this country becoming a pluto-democracy; that is, a sham republic with the real government in the hands of a small clique of enormously wealthy men, who speak through their money, and whose influence, even today, radiates to every corner of the United States.
Donald S. McAlvaneySwitzerland, on the other hand, insists that every male of military age must keep a powerful, fully automatic assault rifle in his home. Every home must be armed -- by law -- and some even keep mortars. Yet Switzerland has one of the most law-abiding citizenry, the lowest crime rate, and least violence of any country in the free world. And it has remained free for over a thousand years. Compare it to New York and Washington where handguns are completely banned. In fact, in Washington, Chief of Police Maurice Turner recently said that the District of Columbia gun ban law had completely failed, and he has called for armed citizen's police auxiliary to help restore order.
H. L. MenckenThe only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights.
H. L. Mencken[T]he only thing wrong with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was that it was the South, not the North, that was fighting for a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
John Stuart MillThe worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.
John MiltonWhen complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty obtained that wise men look for.
James Monroe[In a republic,] it is not the people themselves who make the decisions, but the people they themselves choose to stand in their places.
Edward R. MurrowI am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and mature than most of the broadcast industry's planners believe. Their fear of controversy is not warranted by the evidence.
Edward R. MurrowWe must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment, unpopular.
Lyn NofzigerThese things I believe: That government should butt out. That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away. That individual freedom demands individual responsibility. That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil. That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away. That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquillity. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. That America should be wary of foreign entanglements. That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. That guns do more than protect us from criminals; more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government. That states are the bulwark of our freedom. That states should have the right to secede from the Union. That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows.
José Ortega y GassetOrder is not pressure which is imposed on society from without but an equilibrium which is set up from within.
James OtisThere can be no prescription old enough to supersede the Law of Nature and the grant of God Almighty, who has given to all men a natural right to be free, and they have it ordinarily in their power to make themselves so, if they please.
Thomas PaineIt has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom, to say, that government is a compact between those who govern and those that are governed: but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be, that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.
Thomas PaineFrom 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 PaineA constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.
Thomas PaineThe danger to which the success of revolutions is most exposed, is that of attempting them before the principles on which they proceed, and the advantages to result from them, are sufficiently seen and understood.
Dr. Ron PaulOur federal government, which was intended to operate as a very limited constitutional republic, has instead become a virtually socialist leviathan that redistributes trillions of dollars. We can hardly be surprised when countless special interests fight for the money. The only true solution to the campaign money problem is a return to a proper constitutional government that does not control the economy. Big government and big campaign money go hand-in-hand.
Dr. Ron PaulWhen one person can initiate war, by its definition, a republic no longer exists.
Westbrook PeglerDid I say "republic?" By God, yes, I said "republic!" Long live the glorious republic of the United States of America. Damn democracy. It is a fraudulent term used, often by ignorant persons but no less often by intellectual fakers, to describe an infamous mixture of socialism, graft, confiscation of property and denial of personal rights to individuals whose virtuous principles make them offensive.
Wendell PhillipsA large body of people, sufficient to make a nation, have come to the conclusion that they will have a government of a certain form. Who denies them the right? Standing with the principles of '76 behind us, who can deny them the right? ... I maintain on the principles of '76 that Abraham Lincoln has no right to a soldier in Fort Sumter. ... You can never make such a war popular. ... The North never will endorse such a war.
William PittThe poorest man may in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.
PlatoDemocracy leads to anarchy, which is mob rule.
Pledge of AllegianceI pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Joseph PulitzerOur republic and its press will rise and fall together.
Ayn RandToday, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals -- that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government -- that it is not a charter _for_ government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection _against_ the government.
Edmund RandolphThe general object was to produce a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origins, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.
Ronald ReaganOurs was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: 'We the people.' 'We the people' tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us. 'We the people' are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which 'We the people' tell the government what it is allowed to do. 'We the people' are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I've tried to do these past eight years.
Will RogersI bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him 'father'.
Franklin D. RooseveltThe creed of our democracy is that liberty is acquired and kept by men and women who are strong and self-reliant, and possessed of such wisdom as God gives mankind -- men and women who are just, and understanding, and generous to others -- men and women who are capable of disciplining themselves. For they are the rulers and they must rule themselves.
Clinton RossiterThe Americans of 1776 were among the first men in modern society to defend rather than to seek an open society and constitutional liberty.... Perhaps the most remarkable characteristic of this political theory sits in its deep-seated conservatism. However radical the principles of the Revolution may have seemed to the rest of the world, in the minds of the colonists they were thoroughly preservative and respectful of the past.
Dr. Benjamin RushThe only foundation for... a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.
Epes SargentRepublics, like individuals, who are benefited by personal sacrifices, are proverbially ungrateful.
Eric SchaubThe 'strength' of the People becomes weak when we don't 'exercise' our rights.
Carl SchurzIf you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other.
John F. ShafrothRepublics are formed only after revolution. The change to the empire is slow and gradual. One of the saddest lessons of history is that whenever these schools of politics have met in the republics of old, the imperial school, with its dazzling influence of wealth and power, has always won.
L. Neil SmithPeople who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically 'right.' Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work.
Herbert SpencerThe Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature -- a type nowhere at present existing.
Herbert SpencerThe Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature -- a type nowhere at present existing.
Lysander SpoonerIf our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.
Justice Potter StewartThe 4th Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.
Justice Joseph StoryThis provision (the 4th Amendment) speaks for itself. Its plain object is to secure the perfect enjoyment of that great right of the common law, that a man's house shall be his own castle, privileged against all civil and military intrusion.
Justice Joseph StoryRepublics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and
intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished
from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and
the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people,
in order to betray them.
William Howard TaftNext to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.
Margaret ThatcherAmerica, my friends, is the only country in the world actually founded on liberty -- the only one. People went to America to be free.
Henry David ThoreauThere will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.
Mark TwainFor in a Republic, who is "the country?"
Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle?
Why, the Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant;
it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong,
and decide who is a patriot and who isn't.
Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
Sir Alex Fraser TytlerA democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Abel UpshurThe Federal Government is the creature of the States. It is not a party to the Constitution, but the result of it the creation of that agreement which was made by the States as parties. It is a mere agent, entrusted with limited powers for certain specific objects; which powers and objects are enumerated in the Constitution. Shall the agent be permitted to judge the extent of its own powers, without reference to his constituent? To a certain extent, he is compelled to do this, in the very act of exercising them, but always in subordination to the authority by whom his powers were conferred. If this were not so, the result would be, that the agent would possess every power which the agent could confer, notwithstanding the plainest and most express terms of the grant. This would be against all principle and all reason. If such a rule would prevail in regard to government, a written constitution would be the idlest thing imaginable. It would afford no barrier against the usurpations of the government, and no security for the rights and liberties of the people. If then the Federal Government has no authority to judge, in the last resort, of the extent of its own powers, with what propriety can it be said that a single department of that government may do so? Nay. It is said that this department may not only judge for itself, but for the other departments also. This is an absurdity as pernicious as it is gross and palpable. If the judiciary may determine the powers of the Federal Government, it may pronounce them either less or more than they really are.
U. S. Army Training Manual No. 2000-25Democracy, n.: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic... negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Result is demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, [chaos].
Mike VanderboeghAnyone who tells you that "It Can't Happen Here" is whistling past the graveyard of history. There is no 'house rule' that bars tyranny coming to America. History is replete with republics whose people grew complacent and descended into imperial butchery and chaos.
Sir Robert WalpoleThough I admire republican principles in theory, yet I am afraid the practice may be too perfect for human nature. We tried a republic last century, and it failed. Let our enemies try next. I hate political experiments.
Earl WarrenA republic is not an easy form of government to live under, and when the responsibility of citizenship is evaded, democracy decays and authoritarianism takes over.
Earl WarrenThe only protection of every citizen from such deprivation of rights is a strict adherence to the Bill of Rights by everyone for everyone. This should be self-evident but the danger of erosion of rights stems largely from the fact that so many citizens of the majority, who have never been deprived of any of these rights, find it difficult to understand what the deprivation of them means in the lives of others.
George WashingtonHappiness is more effectually dispensed to mankind under a republican form of government than any other.
George WashingtonAgainst 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.
George WashingtonNo pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.
George WashingtonAgainst 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. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
George WashingtonRepublicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination. On the contrary, laws, under no form of government, are better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness more effectually dispensed to mankind.
George WashingtonNo country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass.
George WashingtonThe preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
George WashingtonArbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of Liberty abused to licentiousness.
Daniel WebsterWhatever government is not a government of laws, is a despotism, let it be called what they may.
Daniel WebsterHold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.
Daniel WebsterThe inherent right in the people to reform their government, I do not deny; and they have another right, and that is to resist unconstitutional laws without overturning the government.
Daniel WebsterThe States are nations.
Daniel WebsterNo man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or if he fall in defense of the liberties and Constitution of his country.
Daniel WebsterIf the States were not left to leave the Union when their rights were interfered with, the government would have been National, but the Convention refused to baptize it by that name.
Joseph WillardThere is sufficient evidence that a number of societies, of the Illuminati, have been established in this land of Gospel light and civil liberty, which were first organized from the grand society, in France. They are doubtless secretly striving to undermine all our ancient institutions, civil and sacred. These societies are closely leagued with those of the same Order, in Europe; they have all the same object in view. The enemies of all order are seeking our ruin. Should infidelity generally prevail, our independence would fall of course. Our republican government would be annihilated.
Walter E. WilliamsThe War between the States... produced the foundation for the kind of government we have today: consolidated and absolute, based on the unrestrained will of the majority, with force, threats, and intimidation being the order of the day. Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. ... [The War] also laid to rest the great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that 'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed'.
Walter E. WilliamsThe framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny.
Wyoming Declaration of Rights Art. I, Sec. 7Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.
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