George Washington Quotes on Government (27 Quotes)


    Following his brief inaugural address to the Congress, President George Washington and his party walked over to St. Pauls Church for divine services. His prayer that afternoon was 'Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large.'

    In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude

    I go to the chair of government with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.

    The very idea of the power and right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

    In the appointments to the great offices of the government, my aim has been to combine geographical situation, and sometimes other considerations, with abilities and fitness of known characters


    The new constitution established a president with powers unheard of in the republican United States. Some even wanted him to be king, a thought that GW found ludicrous What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking, thence to acting is often but a single step. But how irrevocable and tremendous What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal fallacious.

    I anticipate with pleasing expectations that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

    A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.

    As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of thecommunity are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.

    No man is a warmer advocate for proper restraints and wholesome checks in every department of government than I am but I have never yet been able to discover the propriety of placing it absolutely out of the power of men to render essential services.

    It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.

    Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government.

    President Washington's second oath of office was taken in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia on March 4, the date fixed by the Continental Congress for inaugurations. Before an assembly of Congressmen, Cabinet officers, judges of the fede.

    (Liberty) is indeed little less than a name, where the Government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of society within the limits prescribed by the law, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyme

    In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

    The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.

    Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.

    The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.

    Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas, both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee,

    When I contemplate the interposition of Providence, as it was visibly manifested, in guiding us through the Revolution, in preparing us for the reception of a general government, and in conciliating the good will of the People of America towards one

    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    Government is not reason and it is not eloquence. It is force Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

    The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.

    The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered ... deeply, ... finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

    As the issue was being debated, George Washington wrote to Lafayette in Paris with the observation that It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the delegates from so many different states (which states you know are also different from each other in their manners, circumstances and prejudices) should unite in forming a system of national government, so little liable to well founded objections.. ... We are not to expect perfection in this world.

    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.

    Precedents are dangerous things let the rein of government then be braced and held with a steady hand


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