Fruit From The Tree Of Liberty

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” Thomas Jefferson

“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. … If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” Samuel Adams

“The 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 Washington

“I 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 by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power” Thomas Jefferson

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” James Madison

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” John Adams

“No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” George Mason

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams

“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Thomas Jefferson

“It is necessary for every American, with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and of the people to do this, and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the outstretched arm of tyranny, which may appear under any mode or form of government.” Mercy Warren

“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” James Madison

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies” Thomas Jefferson

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” Alexander Hamilton

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” John Adams

“Government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit and security of the people, nation or community; whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, indefeasible right, to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public Weal.” George Mason

“The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.” Alexander Hamilton

“The best guarantee against the abuse of power consists in the freedom, the purity, and the frequency of popular elections.” John Quincy Adams

“We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.” Abigail Adams

“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.” Thomas Jefferson

“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” John Adams

“The Grecians and Romans were strongly possessed of the spirit of liberty but not the principle, for at the time they were determined not to be slaves themselves, they employed their power to enslave the rest of mankind.” —Thomas Paine, 1778

“Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.” Alexander Hamilton

“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” John Quincy Adams

“An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.” Thomas Paine

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” James Madison

“On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” Thomas Jefferson

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” John Adams

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1787

“No 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 Washington

“The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” James Madison

“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” Benjamin Franklin

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” John Marshall

“If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds.” Alexander Hamilton

“In a general sense, all contributions imposed by the government upon individuals for the service of the state, are called taxes, by whatever name they may be known, whether by the name of tribute, tythe, tallage, impost, duty, gabel, custom, subsidy, aid, supply, excise, or other name.” Joseph Story

“It is a singular advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end purposed — that is, an extension of the revenue.”   Alexander Hamilton

“But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.” Thomas Paine

“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” George Washington

“Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” Thomas Paine

“Considering the natural lust for power so inherent in man, I fear the thirst of power will prevail to oppress the people.” George Mason

“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” James Madison

“An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.” Thomas Jefferson

“All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.” John Quincy Adams

“There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.” Benjamin Franklin

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” —Edmund Burke

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” Thomas Paine

“When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.” Thomas Jefferson

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” James Madison

“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” Thomas Jefferson

Upon leaving at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and being asked what type of government had been formed, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it”. Benjamin Franklin

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” John Adams

“To preserve the republican form and principles of our Constitution and cleave to the salutary distribution of powers which that [the Constitution] has established…are the two sheet anchors of our Union. If driven from either, we shall be in danger of foundering.” Thomas Jefferson

“Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.” John Quincy Adams

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” Patrick Henry

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