The founders established a government of checks and balances so nobody could take advantage. As for Hamilton, he set up our banking system.
Real firmness is good for anything; strut is good for nothing.
Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.
When you assemble from your several counties in the Legislature, were every member to be guided only by the apparent interest of his county, government would be impracticable. There must be a perpetual accomodation and sacrifice of local advantage to general expediency.
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value
That this gentleman President John Adams ought not to be the object of the federal wish, is, with me, reduced to demonstration. His administration has already very materially disgraced and sunk the government. There are defects in his character which must inevitably continue to do this more and more. And if he is supported by the federal party, his party must in the issue fall with him.
Learn to think continentally.
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased.
The Founding Fathers were careful to distinguish representative republicanism from direct democracy. Alexander Hamilton, for example, endorsed the former but condemned the latter. ...the records of the ratification conventions were not verbatim transcriptions. It has been observed, by an honorable gentleman, that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position in politics is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny their figure, deformity. When they assembled, the field of debate presented an ungovernable mob, not only incapable of deliberation, but prepared for every enormity.
Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.
It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from
The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right.
There is one transcendant advantage belonging to the province of the State governments... --I mean the ordinary administration of criminal and civil justice.
The proposed Constitution, so far from implying an abolition of the State governments, makes them constituent parts of the national sovereignty, by allowing them a direct representation in the Senate, and leaves in their possession certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign power. This fully corresponds, in every rational import of the terms, with the idea of a federal government.
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.
If the end be clearly comprehended within any of the specified powers, and if the measure have an obvious relation to that end, and is not forbidden by any particular provision of the Constitution, it may safely be deemed to come within the compass of the national authority.
The courts must declare the sense of the law and if they should be disposed exercise will, instead of judgment, the consequences would be the substitution of their pleasure for that of the legislative body.
But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States.
A promise must never be broken.
There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.
Those who do not industrialize become hewers of wood and haulers of water.
Power over a man's subsistence is power over his will.
I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man.
Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.
Ah, this is the constitution, he said. Now, mark my words. So long as we are a young and virtuous people, this instument will bind us together in mutual interests, mutual welfare, and mutual happiness. But when we become old and corrupt, it will bind no longer.
In the usual progress of things, the necessities of a nation in every stage of its existence will be found at least equal to its resources.
In testimony of their Respect For The Patriot of incorruptible Integrity, The Soldier of approved Valour The Statesman of consummate Wisdom Whose Talents and Virtues will be admired By Grateful Posterity Long after this Marble shall have mouldered into Dust.
In the main it will be found that a power over a man's support (salary) is a power over his will.
I think the first duty of society is justice.
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